YES, self employed is great, but...


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
What about the one-man shop that has a problem with the one man (or woman - remember Val's ordeal?) Total self-employment isn't so great, then..

Last Saturday Kassandra had a minor medical issue (we thought) that took her to the ER. Today is Tuesday, and she won't be home until tomorrow at least. We'll have to wait and see about any work restrictions, etc, but meanwhile the shop sits empty (not making $$$.)

I work a fulltime job (for benefits that aren't affordable otherwise) that will pay the tab for her little "vacation" at the hospital, and NOW I get to try and 1)run the shop; 2) work my "real" job; and 3) keep mom and baby safe and healthy until he arrives and things go back to whatever "normal" is...

I'm a BIG believer in the self empoyment thing - and I DO believe that a turnaround is not far away. But to sugarcoat things is a mite unrealistic I think...

Just gotta vent sometimes

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Forum Support Team Angry_Badger
Staff member
Hey Tony,
Sorry to hear the news...hope all ends well.
I know its a struggle, but closing the shop for a short period of time probably won't have that much of an effect. Most folks are patient, and those that aren't will have to get over it.
Your normal is about to change in a big way. If I can remember back that far the first thing is to learn to do without sleep at all. Once you get that down, the rest is a breeze.
Best to you and Kassandra...and to her speedy recovery.
We just went through 6 months of going back to single income from my shop, and boy am I glad that's over.
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PFG, Picture Framing God
I feel your pain.

Just remember though--its not her fault...and I'm sure it doesn't feel like a vacation to her. Framing is a 'real' job, by the way.


Yeah, I know what you mean.

I'm sure she'll pick up the slack for you sometime, too.

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Hi Tony. Sorry to hear about Kassandra. Hopefully she'll be back to full strength real soon.

When it comes to health issues, no one is exempt. I wish both of you the best.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Thanks for all your kind words. Latest tests show she's fine, the baby is fine and all is OK with them. The challenge will be in keeping the store running a somewhat regular schedule with her on a bed-rest only deal. We'll deal with whatever comes, that's for sure.

By no means do I blame her - given our experience from 2 yrs ago it seems like "pregnancy" will be forever linked to "difficult". It certainly isn't a vacation (it's funny - she'll want to kill me if she sees this post)

SO FAR this actually is turning out fun (right now) I'm actually in the shop, cutting mats, building frames and fitting pieces - I'm a "real" framer for this week, at least. That said, I really want her back where she belongs - home and healthy.


Framing Goddess

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Everyone thinking romantically of the 'freedom' of being a shopowner should read Tony's post.
There are a lot of ongoing thorny issues involved with self-employment that most newbies tend to gloss over.
Thanks for the unvarnished view.

Edie the beentheredonethatstillperservering goddess

danny boy

PFG, Picture Framing God
Tony, sorry to hear that Kassandra is down. I am glad she is OK. You guys take it easy, one step at a time.


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
The very best to you both! or all three, maybe. :) Edie's sure right: working alone is fraught with all kinds of problems. It makes one all the more grateful for the G where you can connect with people like yourself who are in similar situations.

Can't say too many times what a great resource this is. :thumbsup:



PFG, Picture Framing God
The shop will wait Tony. Take care of Kassandra and your expected arrival. Congrats to both of you!


Forum Support Team
Staff member
Good luck to you and wishes for speedy recovery.

I am a one woman shop and my husband is going to take some framing classes so he can jump in when needed.
I have kids that have irregular school days (lots of half days where I cannot work and have to close the shop) and do get sick sometimes (not often). My family will always come first though. Most customers do understand and I make sure that they know about it. For the few that don't understand; well, can't make everyone happy and am not trying.



SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Some of the benefits are good but the sick leave stinks......

I have knee surgery AND eye surgery scheduled the end of this month. Since I'm now a one person shop I have no choice but to close for a week. Hate to do it but I want to be sure I follow dr's orders.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Likewise self employed his a double-edged-sword. Specially in a small family business.
My wife was seriously ill last year, and so that was immediately a quarter of the workforce off, nobody at the counter or dealing with the phones, admin etc. Visits to hospital, the usual worries stress and practical problems of a serious illness.

It nearly broke us financially. as if its not bad enough getting only two holidays lasting less than a week in fifteen years.....

We ended up with my wife back at work, when any member of staff would still have been on paid sick-leave after six months.

You tend to run a bit close to the wire when you are self employed - at least in the UK with its considerably heavier penalties for business failure compared to the US.

We had some friends over from the US, one of whom is a reporter for CBS, and he's pretty clued up on small business, and when this issue of no holidays came up, and the hideous amounts of tax, he shook his head and said "is that what being an entrepreneur is all about in the uk? Thats not why you become your own boss".

I figure the reason I'm my own boss is that I am pretty much unemployable anywhere else after working for myself for fifteen years.

At almost 51 years old I'd gladly throw it in for a job that paid the same money, gave me four weeks paid leave, sick pay, "rights" etc.

Then on a good day, when the sun is shining, im caught up with work, and the staff are complying, I can just get me bike out and turn petrol into a load of noise and speed, and all's well with the world.

Maybe its a case of the other man's grass is always greener?

But what happens when I fall off my bike and break a leg or worse? Game over? The business folds???

Doesn't bear thinking about. So we dont.

Sometimes you think being your own boss is king of the hill, other times you are the bottom of the pile, worse off than your staff, and with none of the benefits.

Have you ever analysed exactly what keeps you working for youself instead of doing the same job for someone else?


Grumbler in Training
It can also be tricky to be self-employed as a single person. I don't have another's paycheck to help me through the tough times so I am looking for a part-time job. I will probably have to change my hours to accommodate this and I'm hoping it doesn't send potential customers elsewhere. It's just what I have to do.....:confused:

J Phipps TN

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
It is so hard!!!

Anyone who plans on opening up on thier own should take this into account.

My mom had a surgery go bad last month and was in intensive care for 4 days and in the hospital for 3 more. I had to stay nights with her and then work during the day. I was exhausted and it really through me behind. I am just now catching up!:icon45:

I have often wondered what I would do if "I" was to get really hurt or sick.
My husband has a job and he doesn't know anything about framing, so I have no back up worker or a special savings account to cover for me.

We set our bills at home around my husbands job. That way if something big happens, I can just sell off my stuff and close the doors. I don't own my building and I'm not locked into a lease so I have the freedom to just walk away..... but no income either.
no unemployement or back up.

There are perks to owning your own business but no gurantees on a furture.

I have to trust the Lord and just enjoy it while it lasts.

Tony, Just take care of Kassandra and just do what you can. Your customers will understand and they will be back, just keep them informed. I think this is key!!
Signs on the door are really helpful, and make sure to do all of the call backs.
I left my cell number on the door with a note that they are welcome to call me anytime and I would give them a discount if they came back. :)

Customers like to feel like they are in the know, and part of what you are going through. They feel more devoted to you, which makes for more loyal customers.

I will be praying for you guys and I hope all is well.
Tell Kassandra to give me a call, I would love to hear all about the baby!


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Why did I open my own business?

Sx days a week open to close, I have sunday off my husband fri-sat. Behind on the bills, don't have the rent, business is dead. Then I had a customer come in and say what a beautiful store I had, and another cried when she picked up her piece. So I think I will take another whack at it all, for one more day!

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
This is obviously a very difficult time for many of us; some more than others. Given the state of the economy, it is no doubt a tremendous burden when health and personal issues are piled on top. It's certainly enough to shake one's confidence and cause us to question the choices we've made.

I can only express the same hope and compassion that all of us here feel for those going through tough times, especially when extraordinary personal hardships are also involved. I truly believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that it's not that far away. I also think there will be great opportunities to prosper once the real estate market and the general economy start to rebound. I hope it happens real soon.


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I constantly remind my bank manager that he is on a fixed income. I can earn as much as I like. :) Also, he can be made redundant at any time. My employment is guaranteed.:thumbsup:


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
are there still not ins. policies to cover periods of unemployment? I had, in my younger years--on and off--such a policy.....never collected on it tho...always healthy. dont remember the cost but dont remember as it was tooo hi---altho todays ricing may well have changed that!

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
AFLAK! It's disability insurance and it's a great idea for anyone who's self-employed.

Janet L

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Tony, I wish a speedy recovery for your wife!

I've not been here much lately due to a herniated disc. Since May, I've suffered terribly, trying a chiropractic approach and then finally going to an orthopaedic doctor. Had the surgery two weeks ago and am finally back at work half days. This type of problem is not for sissy's. The month prior to the surgery, taking more than 3 steps was incredibly painful.

I was very fortunate through all this. My part-timer stepped up to the plate at the shop and I taught her to use our CMC by phone. All other basic aspects of framing, Kelly had learned in the past two years of working with me. What a trooper she was. Not only did she come by my house each morning (prior to opening the shop) with a steaming cup of coffee for me, she came in on Sundays, cooked food and kept the sheets changed and assisted me in bathing. How can I EVER repay that kind of loyalty and friendship????? My son was extremely helpful in his own way, but it's not the same as having a female who just senses what needs to be done to assist someone in pain.

Everyone needs a backup plan if they are self-employed. I was very lucky. To all of you, I send best wishes to keep yourself healthy. Stressing over slow business is not going to help your bottom line at all. The holiday season is rapidly approaching and maybe that'll help each of us a little. Take care of yourself!!!!

Janet Lowry


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

All is well. Kassandra spent last Saturday thru Wednesday in the hospital. Baby is good; Mom is good; everything will be OK. Doc has her on restricted activity (NOT bed rest) for a few weeks at least.

I'm reducing my hours at my "other" job to be able to be here. Turns out working 9 days a week will be GOOD for me:confused:

Meanwhile we'll reduce the shop hours by a day and a half - we'll have extended hours on some days and we'll be here only about 12 hrs less than normal. Phone messge, signage, etc regarding "Maternity Hours" and keeping everyone up to date on their work. Customers so far are understanding and working with us.

Expecting no more issues until he gets here...