Trade offs and compromising

According to my sources, the weather in the Northern US states is downright awful. Wind chills are bone chilling and snow is falling on top of a layer of ice. Tomorrow, when Phil the groundhog pears out of his burrow, many will be rooting for him NOT to see his shadow!!! Meanwhile, my conversations with those on the frozen tundra tend to begin with an accusatory, “What’s the temperature down there?”

In Port Saint Lucie, Florida on February 1, 2008…. it’s 81 F and it feels like 81. It’s sunny outside my window right now. The sky is blue and there are thin wispy white clouds, which in the Sunshine State officially qualifies as “partly cloudy”.

Now, before you begin cursing my “luck”… you should also be aware that living in Florida has its downsides as well. That snow and ice you Northerner’s are complaining about? That’s killing your insects so they don’t grow big enough to fight back when you step on them.

Let’s skirt over the obvious “them bugs is BIG in Flo-ri-da” and the “we don’t swim or ski in any pond or lake because of the alligators and water snakes” and move directly to the wildlife that I have encountered WITHIN MY NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HOME.

First, there was the bathroom snake incident of 2006… when my daughter stepped on a baby snake on her way to the shower. We’ve only had that happen once… on the other hand there are the jumping spiders, critters don’t spin webs because they feast on prey that is too big to be caught in a web. It takes almost a full large can of insecticide to stop one in it’s tracks. (Screaming in terror just seems to draw them towards you as well!) We’ve had multiple run ins with these 8 legged predatory beasts.

They say you “pay” for the sunshine… and my budget includes a nice hefty “pest control” entry as just one of those many payments. Incredibly high insurance premiums combined with ridiculous property tax bills are also part of the “sunshine payment package”.

Now, for those who are already sick of the snow respond with, “Those are a small prices to pay indeed! It’s WORTH it to not deal with snow and ice!” Meanwhile others respond with, “UGH! I guess snow isn’t as bad as that!”

Life is FULL of trade offs and compromises. It’s not whether the weather is better here than there… it’s a case of “Is is worth the price?” More importantly, it’s a question of “Is this a price you’re willing to pay?”

The same trade offs and compromises are present when one decides to pursue the “self employment” path. Just as some are more than willing to “pay the price” of ample Florida sunshine, some are more than willing to “pay the price” of self employment than others.

The same “trials and tribulations” of running a business will energize one person and while totally draining another.

Which do you value more? Is independence important to you? Do you find being master of your own fate (good OR bad) appealing? Do you RAIL at the thought of doing things someone else’s way simply because they’re the ones who are signing your paychecks? Then perhaps you’re cut out to be a business owner!

On the other hand, if you DESPISE making decisions and hate even more to be held ACCOUNTABLE for that decision (by the universe, your spouse, the bank, your creditors, etc.) then perhaps self employment is not your calling! If you treasure your “off the clock” hours and think of evenings and weekends as “your time”…. then perhaps that’s another reason that self employment may not be a great option for you either.

An essential part of self employment is marketing. If all you want to do is:

  • accounting
  • arranging flowers
  • counseling troubled youth
  • etc.

and the thought of doing anything outside of your passion drains you, then think twice about self employment as an option.

At the very least, invest a lot of time before hand building a team of experts to with whom to surround yourself. After all, it takes a village to build a one person business!


  1. It does take a certain type of person to be able to become successful at being self employed but if you are willing to put in the hard work then it can definitely pay off for you later down the line.

  2. There’s a well known statistic that says 95% of new businesses fail in the first five years. A lesser known statistic is that over 75% of those businesses were profitable when they closed.

    The bloom can fall from the self employment fantasy quite quickly once you’re putting in 16 hour days. I know of several people who started their own businesses and decided to return to working for someone else because they could make more money and only do what they enjoyed doing.

    But – I guess you’ll never know if self employment is for you if you don’t try!