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When you are "self-employed", and things don't go quite as you planned, remember that in the eyes of the majority of hiring managers, head-hunters, employment agencies and banks, you are "unemployed" or "unemployable".

Plus, because now you no longer have a past record of fixed income, should you consider returning to the job market, you are no longer in position to express a "desired salary" option. As sad, unfair and irrational as it really is, in the eyes of a hiring manager, or employment agency, your salary market value is now zero!

The only one who actually likes you is the government: they do see you as a valuable resource; if you are successful, you help the economy in more ways than just creating jobs; and, if you fail, you're not its problem (- yet).

Why do people choose self-employment?

In my opinion, there are three reasons why people become self-employed:

85% of them are forced to because they have exhausted all other options to find a job.

10% of them feel that they can do better on their on, or are no longer willing to put up with reporting to incompetent bosses.

5% of those who choose self-employment do so because, while still employed, they were also involved in some sort of part time business which, at some point, began to generate a comfortable amount of money. These are also the most likely self-employment scenarios to succeed. Speaking of which...

19 out of 20 self-employment operations fail in the first year with little, or no chance of recovery.

Got a different opinion on all this? Write me »



Hello and Welcome to Padronius! This is a page I wrote for those who dedicated an entire life to a professional career only to wake up this morning and sit in front of this screen wondering how they're going to pay the next bill. Among other items that I thought would be relevant to this scenario, I wrote here some paragraphs that deal with the current economic scenario, as well as some ideas that you may want to consider when you look at your possible future "employment" options. What I did not plan on doing here, is sugar-coat the facts. And, of course, I do not expect anyone to fully agree with me. Here we go...

At fifty (or over) you now look back in time at what it took you to build a professional career over all these years. Long story, short, in order to support a family and save for retirement you did everything you needed to, and more. Lots more! For the most part, lots of you neglected our kids as they were growing up, or maybe sacrificed marriages, or missed what should have been happy times with the family. Others had to work long hours for low pay, or away from home in remote areas, sometimes weeks or months at a time; even put at risk your health when you needed most to take care of your own being. Worse yet, some had to put up, day in and day out, with impossible bosses or business associates. Still, you all did it because you knew that one day it'll be pay day...

But, between then and now, a lot of things changed. You are older now (but you are wiser, too); you no longer have the energy you used to have (but are now more productive); the temporary financial benefits you got after losing your last job are gone, and so are almost all your savings. I am not even going to get into the house thing... Still, while you may be down right now, you are definitely NOT OUT, just yet!

Just as you've been doing for the past few months, this week too, you will be sending resumes, making phone calls and talking to people. And, you'll be hoping that the economic forecast will get better or, should I say, much better. Still, as of right now all signs are that this is not going to happen any time soon. Not for you, anyway. So, what are you going to do? What options do you have? Care for my opinion?


1. You keep doing what you've been doing. a. You may get a job (when?)
b. You may not get a job (soon enough)

2. Hope that some miracle will happen. a. That's already long overdue...
b. Meanwhile, the banks still don't accept
    hopes or miracles as payments.

3. Figure out how you can put your skills to use and start working for yourself while you still have some money. You start generating income which will no longer depend on someone else's decisions.


The Numbers

Before the end of summer of 2008, that is, before the markets meltdown, the numbers on self-employment looked like this: According to Industry Canada, the US Census Bureau and US Department of Labor in 2008 there were over 2.6 million self-employed Canadians and 10.6 million self-employed Americans. It is estimated that in only a few short years, 20% of the Canadian work-force will be self-employed, while in the United States the figure will exceed 45 million! Today, having a better understanding of the national and global economics as well as seeing how the effects of the 2008 meltdown have been carried through 2009/2010 and projected to last well into 2011, it looks like the predictions on the growing trend of self-employment could very well materialize.

Is this you?

You have been out of work for a few months now. You've been looking hard to find a job but, as yet, there's no hope in sight and it doesn't look like any changes for the better are in their way any time soon either. So, what do you do? Keep on looking? Yes, but... in a tight market you have almost no control over how long it might take you to get that badly needed job. Meanwhile, you need money or, at least, a sound plan. For what it's worth it, here's my advice:

You just can't keep on doing what you've been doing and expect different results. So, as of now, while you're looking for a job, also do something you've never done before: put to work your overall education, skills, knowledge, trade experience, past business connections and entourage to build something over which you have full control: START A HOME-BASED BUSINESS! Tell your family and friends what you want to do and ask them to help. They are your best (hidden) resource. They can help with money, their own knowledge and, hopefully, will also support you morally.

How do I start a business with no money?

I'm going to cut to the chase here and say this:

1. If, right now, you still have a job, think (hard) how you can turn the duties that you perform for your employer into a business. Your own, that is.

2. Once you got that straighten out, go to your boss and offer to continue to do your "job" as a consultant. Chances are that, their only objection is that they don't want to "lose control" on what/how you work and the fix is, offer to continue to work from their office.

3. If they still reject your proposal, or you already no longer have a job, get a website and start advertising yourself in the field that you are best qualified. Websites and web hosting services no longer cost big bucks like they used to. If you do things right, work will come. For the immediate future, that will take care at least of the most pressing bills! And, if you continue to do things right, in a short time, you just might decide that you no longer need, a job.

Why should your business be on the internet?

Well, for at least a handful of the following 20 reasons:

  1. To establish a presence.
  2. To network.
  3. To make business information available.
  4. To serve your customers.
  5. To heighten public interest.
  6. To release time sensitive materials.
  7. To sell things.
  8. To make available pictures, sound and film files.
  9. To reach a highly desirable demographic market.
10. To answer frequently asked questions.
11. To stay in contact with salespeople.
12. To open international markets.
13. To create a 24 hour service.
14. To make changing information available quickly.
15. To allow feedback from customers.
16. To test market new services and products.
17. To reach the media.
18. To reach the education and youth market.
19. To reach the specialized market.
20. To serve your local market.

A word from our

The Current Economic Scenario...

I first started to write this column during the forth week of October 2008 when all markets were going down - fast. The idea was to write a 'preemptive' note regarding the paths that our professional careers could take during uncertain economic times. It goes like this...

In the past, dealing with a career path used to be pretty simple: if you lost your job, you would update your resume and in a few weeks (or even days) you'd find a new company to work for. End of problems. In fact, in most cases, changing jobs was not even a real problem.

However, things have changed. These days you can no longer rely on this outdated "standard operating procedure" alone. Now, along with searching for a new company to work for, it's best to put together a professional backup plan that goes beyond finding a job. Because if, by now you don't understand what's going on locally, nationally and globally (from an economic perspective) then you might as well pack up and move to another planet.

The Good, The Bad, and The Really Bad

As I said above, at the time of the first writing of this column in the fall of 2008, the markets were falling brutally all over the place. The good news is that now, a year and a half later, not only did the markets stabilized but (somehow...) their values keep going up.

The bad news is that so does the rate of unemployment. At the beginning of 2010 no economist seems to have a clear understanding why both the markets' and unemployment numbers rise constantly at the same time, nor do they seem capable to give any indications as to what else may be (or if is) coming our way. Which brings me to...

The really bad news is that, if a second wave of economic downturn is on the way, still no one knows exactly what form that will take, or how long this thing is going to last, nor do we know the full impact that this possible new economic landscape will have on the future of our careers. Now, let me clarify something here. This is not about North America alone. This is a subject that applies to every country on every continent.

So, What Do We Do About All This?

Well, my advice is that you start to plan ahead because, where you and your career are right now, may not necessarily have much in common with where the two of you might find yourselves in a month or two. That is, perspective wise.
If you plan to open a restaurant, or establish a small manufacturing company, then it's going to cost you a few hundred thousand dollars to do so. Add to that the hassle of dealing with banks (...), a chain of contractors and local/state/prov/fed regulators (in order to obtain supplies and zoning/vendor's licensing) and the matter becomes the grounds for serious decisions.

On the other hand, you plan to start a consulting business, or publish a book or more, (see what this lady has been doing) then you might get away with only a few thousand dollars.

Better yet, if you plan to operate your new business from home, then you can be in business in a matter of days and start with as little as a few hundred dollars. But...

If you want to run your business from home, and expect anyone to know that it exists and has something to offer (a service, or some products), then you better...

    1. have a good website and
    2. make sure that your online presence is
        well maintained.

After that, getting work, projects and clients should get easier.

Just because you put it online, a web site does not feel a sense of obligation to make you money.

So, if your web operations are not performing as well as you thought they should, then it's perhaps the time you changed that.

You do have a job now. Is it secure though? If it is, then obviously, you are on the wrong web page. Might as well, stop wasting your employer's resources and get back to work. Get something done for the money they're paying you.

On the other hand, if you don't feel secure in your job, then this is perhaps a good time to figure out a way to turn your day job into a successful home-based business. Then, inform your boss that their company has just become your first client.

Let us help you to fire your boss »

Nobody wants to hire you. (that's no good...)
But nobody can fire you either! and that...


If you are an entrepreneur at heart, then you understand what it takes to start a business and what it's like to operate it, at least in the beginning, on a small budget and other limited resources. But you also know that, in the long run, that is priceless...

See how we can help »

Do the type of work you like and charge for your efforts and performance what you're worth.

Stop worrying about paying your bills; stop worrying about your future.

Spend more time with your family; live life to the fullness together (priceless!)

Have more time for yourself and your hobbies and personal interests.

Go green and help the environment. Save on gas, car repairs and insurance by working from home.

No more boss barking orders at you (priceless!)


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