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Old February 28th, 2013, 07:27 PM   #16
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

I would never think of leaving the job without:
- 1 year funds / liquid assets ready to go (minimum)
- a strong drive to find work
- a network of people in the biz
- all the necessary gear for my targeted niche (being everything to everyone is expensive, equipment-wise)
- close to half of minimum annual income in 'anchor clients' with a good relationship already cemented and ongoing

There have been countless times i've thought that i'd be better off working for someone but i keep plugging along, trying to get better, smarter, give better service, etc. The hourly rate may be better than employment but i'm sure many would agree that when you have your own business, you don't punch out; you think constantly of the business; putting in extraordinary amounts of mental hours. This is where i usually ruminate on the idea of 'getting a job'. When i can't relax and let go . . . searching forums, evaluating equipment and cost, consider software, develop marketing, healthcare, etc.

I'm sounding like a downer but the lifestyle of setting my own schedule and working from home with my wife and dogs around me is kind of priceless to me; and once you get rolling, the sky's the limit (in theory).
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Old February 28th, 2013, 09:21 PM   #17
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

Thanks everyone for all of the responses and experience. I have a lot to think about but mostly, I want to continue to do great work. Realistically there is no way I can start my own business right now or go freelance, nor do I desire to. I have a great situation right now and I'm not going to give it up. My employer and I talked about where we want to be in 5 years and his vision includes me. I've been with him 9 years and he is willing to give me more creative freedom and responsibility. That's a win/win for us both.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 12:27 PM   #18
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

Well I'm glad it worked out for you. You can always freelance in your spare time too. But if you are anything like me, there's not too much spare time to spare.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #19
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

It should be noted that there is more to having the status of independent contractor beyond just you and your employer deciding that's what you want to be. There are a number of "T"s to cross and "I"s to dot that deal with working conditions, autonomy, supervision, compensation method, sales taxes, etc, that must be fulfilled lest you run the risk of the IRS delivering a rude shock at tax time. Search the references to "Employee versus Contractor" on the IRS web sites.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 09:09 PM   #20
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

Well gang, it's gonna happen. I've decided to start my own LLC. Independent of the original post, I've been approached by someone who wants to help me start the business. We are working out the details but it will happen with in the next couple of months.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 11:04 PM   #21
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

Sincere good luck! Meanwhile I'm looking at my exit strategy...
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Old June 1st, 2013, 12:06 PM   #22
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
If you were a great DP and a great editor, you will still have almost none of the skills you need to go out on your own. You need to be a great finder of business, a great salesman, a decent accountant (even if you have a GREAT accountant, you still need to take care of the basics plus keep an eye on your guy), do some light legal (contracts and the like). I was none of those things when I set out, and it showed. I would say that most of the successful guys in this business (and this thread) were in the same shoes, and they all learned to overcome it - but 10x that many have failed out.

My point is this - there are guys in this world who were meant to be great DPs and editors and work for somebody else who will manage all the bullshit. And there are guys in this world meant to learn all the bullshit and persevere. Nothing wrong with being either one of those guys - just know which kind you are.

Also, if I were going to quit my day job, I would have a minimum of a year's living expenses in liquid assets, and plan on blowing through all of it.
THIS. Thank you for sharing, Mike.

To the OP, good luck with your new business. I assume you will be able to continue working your current position while things grow? Or no?
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Old June 8th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #23
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

I like the last couple of responses here a lot.

Much wisdom there.

I'll just say that the classic thing that makes people entrepreneurs is the fact that for them, the awful pain in all the uncertainty and stress of not knowing if you're going to sink or swim week by week, month by month, year by year, is less important to them than the even more terrible certainly that they'll be forever unhappy if they don't strike out on their own.

There are vastly more people who need the comfort of certainty than those who can live on the edge of failure - while working their asses off to build toward success.

If that describes you. Take the chance. If it does not. Then find peace with that.

FWIW.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #24
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Re: Pros and Cons of Changing From Employee to Freelance

Thanks Bill. That describes me! And thanks to everyone else who replied. I've always found DVInfo to be a great resource.

And just to let everyone know, I just finished my second week running my own business, Dave Perry | Cinematographer, LLC. I'm currently working as a D.P. for the interviews in a documentary film about the advertising history in Southwest Virginia (paying) as well as a short film I co-wrote with my director (non paying, no-budget film). You can check out my work at daveperry.net.
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