Saturday, September 9, 2017

self employ

note: okay, let's put this bitch to rest once and for all.  Amazon causing all these retail closings-pure rubbish!  2016 net sales at Wal-Mart were $480 billion.  Amazon was $135 billion.  Also, of the top ten online companies, Amazon was #1.  However, #2 through #10 had a combined net sales total equal to Amazon, AND they were all retail companies with online sales. Such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Home Despot.  Now, tell me you believe that Amazon is killing retail.
I hope that by now self employment is self evidently problematic.  Not impossible.  Nothing is impossible.  Well, okay, some things ARE impossible.  Getting a boner for more than five seconds when you are ninety.  Getting a quality education in American untainted by political correctness.  Proving Obammy was a US citizen.  Fracking oil lasting a hundred years ( even if the average of each well was more than three years before 80% of production has taken place, the industry can only produce low EROI product for so long before our economy implodes ).  So I should say, within the laws of physics, nothing is impossible.  But highly problematic-yes, we can easily do that.  It is as simple as the fact that wages are shrinking too much.  Less wages, less consumption, less buying and selling, less production.  You schlepping a lawn mower, that is production, just like selling a waxen blob of candle scented with an ancient Chinese secret aphrodisiac oil is ( those herbal oils everyone is selling-not to say it doesn’t work, even if it is only psychosomatic.  Just saying, hello!  Too costly ).


This contraction of customer purchasing power has been ongoing since The Crash of 2008.  It is nothing new and it should be coming as absolutely no surprise.  After the Tech Wreck, the credit spigot was turned up to full Money From Helicopters mode.  We ramped up paramilitary spending ( Homeland Security ) and overseas military spending in a good little war that promised to limit body bags.  Hell, we were actually working within the tribal structure rather than against it.  Well, evidently that wasn’t enough so we got the Housing Bubble going and added another war-where this time we could explode lots of tanks and helicopters and other expensive crap.   The housing bubble did about as well as the Iraq Occupation did, since we saw a little thing called Peak Oil a mere two years prior to things blowing up.  And Iraq, well, Peak Military was way back in Vietnam.  Not that we lost in Iraq like we did in Vietnam, as the whole point was economic stimulus and defending the PetroDollar Standard.  Forgot about that one, did you?


So, rack one up for the home team!  We stay in our Green Zones and pretend to occupy the county and they pretend to go about their business-hell, what can you really do in a country bombed back to the Stone Age, sprinkled with radioactive dust?  The whole place must be just like Detroit, both without infrastructure, with dark hued folk with automatic weapons and with chanting Muslims.  Anyway, things just kept getting worse after that.  We brought an Oil Age military into Afghanistan to fight a guerrilla war that will far outlast the oil, after Libya ( remember the Gold Dinar? ) we lost every PetroDollar conflict and are merely awaiting the day our debt won’t buy any oil outside North America ( it will happen and you are a damn fool if you don’t plan on this, SUV driving commuter.  Right about the time-oh, say, 2020 around the latest-the fracking industry can’t produce enough to offset import declines and domestic economies of oil producers are using far more of their own oil, and after two decades of 5% annual production declines, the whole Perfect Storm will hit.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Peak Oil wasn’t Dropping Supply, it was Dropping BTU.  Get ready for Dropping Imports AND MORE Dropping BTU.  A trickle of fracking oil and a trickle of imported oil adds up to Ah Crap ).


In 2008, 2009 when things were really going to Hell, when states were going technically going bankrupt and counties couldn’t pave their roads and cities weren’t paying their bills, folks did the best they could, which was very little.  They started Dog Poo businesses ( drive to a house in the process of repo in your upside down in finances SUV with a scoop and a bag to pick up dog crap so the idiot owning two Great Danes and a St. Bernard could pretend to still be solvent to his neighbors as they were his investment advisor clients ), consulting businesses which meant your old job at half pay and twice the hours with no bennies but now you were Self Employed, and if the gal that just lost her house had any assets left, a hobby business selling decorative beads.  First everyone got into the business of spending a LOT more credit, then they tried businesses that required no capital, then they just gave up and went to work two retail jobs at fifteen hours each, and now all the retail stores are closing and it is back to self employment.  Which didn’t work when the economy was better, and is going to be just as problematic now. 


All those customers you had THEN?  They had jobs.  Not good ones, and it was helped with asset liquidation, but they had jobs.  They could spend money.  No one was back to doing their own dishes and cooking their own meals, washing their own cars and growing their own vegetables.  There was still wiggle room for your supply to their demand.  Now, hours are cut and paychecks are suffering mightily as Obammy The Kenyans mighty health care “reform” sucks up twice the GDP as it did a very short time ago.  Less cash to spend for your potential customers.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t start your own business, nor am I saying yours will go bust any time soon, nor would I imply all areas are equally destitute.  I’m saying that the long term trend these last ten years and going forward hopefully another decade ( if the trend stops, that means the economy has also ) is less and less disposable income for everybody who could be your potential customer.  If you don’t plan on that you will fail before you need to.  Growth Is Gone.


YouTube was a great self-employment tool.  Your customers didn’t have to spend a dime and you got paid for producing edutainment ( which is actually a word in my computers dictionary-well, I’ll be! ).  You didn’t have to learn how to write and they didn’t have to learn how to read.  Or think.  Well, there was one little problem with YouTube, and no, it has NOTHING to do with their being putrid asswhore politically correct princess snowflakes.  It is a little issue called advertising, something TV executives could have warned you about.  The PC censorship is an excuse, because no executive loses money to PC.  Their advertisers are doing what?  Selling less and cutting back on ads.  This is NOT your daddy’s old economy.  This economy has gotten so bad, and I’ll remind you this is after a decade of customer cash contraction which is nothing new, that businesses are now at the late stage of cannibalizing themselves.  Before, you took out a loan for new commercials to boost business.  Now, you sacrifice next quarters profits for this quarters profits and that is all you can do as you await bankruptcy.  And that is across industries not in finance or medicine.  The lords of the universe not plugged into the approved industries ( and the medical industry was only saved by government Medicare payouts and insurance company needs ) are over and done and we are witnessing their zombie shuffle.


But those were the companies that employed everyone.  When you are self employed and hurting, you don’t have employees.  You have your family as employees because they work for free.  And when you are self employed and dependent on advertising ( as I am.  The last few months were chock a block full of extremely generous donors, bless all your hearts, but that isn’t a sustainable business model, especially when your reader base shrinks.  It isn’t sustainable anyway, as my readers disposable income decides my commission amount, but I’m also at the mercy of Amazon deciding on the percentage of commission as the cost of advertising.  This is NOT a plea for more donations.  This is just my new declining revenue reality.  You’ll know when I’m begging for life saving funds-the panic will be evident ) and the companies paying your wages must themselves shrink costs so cut back on advertising, you must factor in continuing customer decline.  Not growth.  This is nothing new in the annuals of the Agricultural Age.  Business goes up and then it goes down and small business owners have always adapted.  That is not new.  What I’m trying to convey to you is that we are well past the beginning stages of decline where part of your businesses survival is the failings of your competitors and you had better do better, quicker and cheaper.


Self employment is never a bad thing, but it can be an easy thing or a really difficult thing.  Would you like to guess which of those you’ve just now gotten a small taste of and which will be a grand buffet of for your future? 

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  1. You know what the most self damaging, and completely changeable, aspect to people in the US is? Extreme over arrogance. Hell, someone even came up with a simile for it, "The mexicans do the jobs nobody else wants to do." Everybody thinks they're too good to do (fill in the blank_________).

    No they aren't. They just haven't become hungry enough. Yet. But they will. Think you're too good to pick up a few dozen St Bernard loads for $5.00? You'll have a change of perspective when you haven't eaten for 3 days. You'll fist fight people for the opportunity.

    While you're picking up them loads and depositing them in the waste recepticle, what if the neighbor asks you if you'll climb his 24' tall ladder and extract a hornet nest from his roof eave for $20., will you do it? Dam right you will cause that'll now put ham sandwiches in your belly for the next week.

    See opportunities where no one else sees them, do what others refuse to do, make yourself available, treat every person as a potential customer, be friendly to all, be rude to no one.

    IOW, BE a business rather than an employee.
    Employees are lazy, doing only what they have to, waiting for the end of the year and hoping they get a quarter an hour raise just because.

    To BE a business owner you first must ACT like a business owner.

    Change the way you think about being a business owner.
    If you are not employed by someone, but do individual jobs for many people, you are a business. You don't have to have a business license, you don't have to have an office or building where you do your work, and you don't have to have employees to be a business owner.

    If you choose to place yourself out in the free market and make yourself available to everyone at anytime, yes especially weekends and nights, you are a business.

    Technically, the gov't would call you a sole proprietor, but what the gov't labels you as is none of your concern because it is none of their business. You are flying well below the radar, you are covering your tracks and carving your path, and you are striking deals with everyone you can find.

    You are an entrepreneur. You're getting stuff done, paying your way, and living your life as you see fit.

    THAT is the american way.

    But first, you need to shitcan the TV and the devices and get your fat ass off the couch, and quit bitching about every little thing like a spoiled arrogant twat that needs to be culled. Get in front of the game or get left behind, your choice.

    1. And all that works great, until everyone else is forced into the market with downward labor pressure, then self employment is the US labor market 1970-present all over again.

    2. There's no one so cheap that they can't be under bid. Those St Bernard loads? I'll do em for $3. If you want that ham sandwich you'll have to do en for $2.

      I have worked for free many times, with the hope for future PAYING work. See, when you're not chained to one employer that keeps you in slave status you get to make the rules fit your agenda. My agenda? First, keeping my belly satisfied.

    3. For the overall trend, I do agree with Lord Bison. If no one has any money or any extra money, self employment will not work.

      Before total collapse, then Ghostsniper is correct. I live in a rural area and sometimes I need help with minor repairs or heavy work. I am a woman so sometimes need things done that only a man can do. It is very, very difficult to find anyone willing to work part-time even for good money ($20/hour in 2019).

      Americans are spoiled.

    4. Of course a lot is laziness, but isn't some just from lack of knowledge or experience, since the robots do all of our work for us?

  2. "part of your businesses survival is the failings of your competitors and you had better do better, quicker and cheaper."

    My understanding is you only get to pick two of the three, your choice. Are you suggesting a new business model that you must do all three simultaneously to survive?

    I have some friends that are business owners that provide what I see are "needed" services/products (not food though). It's sad to see their customer base dwindle away, and I have no idea how one would force the customer base to spend more. I guess during a contracting, dying economy, people are just struggling to provide the basics and ignore reality with their neurotic habits of burying their head in their smart phone. (A study just came out saying the average smart phone user checks their phone every 3.5 minutes out of a 16-hour day).
    Peace out

    1. I think you actually can do it Better, Quicker, Cheaper. The whole trick is just like frugal living. Do without the "basics" everyone thinks they need. Amazons success was nothing more than eliminating the retail rental. They got in at a time housing prices, hence real estate, hence Retail rents and mortgages, shot up.

    2. "I have no idea how..."

      You must be an employee.
      Unfortunate, because it changes the way you think. Limits the way you think.

      As a sole proprietor you can do better quicker cheaper all day long and twice on sunday. I've been doing it since 1986 and leaving competitors in the gutter all along the way. If I make a dollar today it's 1 more than I had yesterday. If I let a paying customer walk because I was too arrogant to work for that one dollar (because I was brainwashed into believing I was worth more) than I deserve to starve.

      You can't appreciate the cunning in this way of thinking until you've lived it a few times. The world really is your oyster but only if you have the nutz to take it on. 99.99% have been trained to think like slaves.

  3. The most obvious form of self employment is as Ghostsniper mentioned, meaning the handyman type tasks. Cutting grass, weeding, painting houses (which can actually be rather lucrative) etc. Unfortunately for me, I don’t really have people skills, most likely due to the fact that I hate most people, so this would be a tough gig for me to break in to.

    To me the most ideal situation of all would be some type of online work. This is even harder than it might sound, and I’m not referring to those that have obvious skills that can be easily transferred to online work, such as programmers, but rather just everyday people with everyday skills. Some travel agencies hire people to work as customer service representatives from home. You need a fast internet connection, and a landline, and of course, good people skills. I can’t type, and don’t have such skills, so this leaves me out. I’ve been doing the Amazon Mechanical Turk thing on and off for a while now. There is said to be people that actually make a living doing this, but I don’t see how. You would have to have zero bills, and even then you would just scrape by doing it (we’re talking top ramen and thrift store clothing money here). But I’ll never stop trying to secure some kind of online work, however fruitless my efforts may be.

    Here’s a link that might be of some help to some of the minions (And no, it’s not my site).

    List of 100 Non-Phone Work From Home Jobs

    1. Your situation sounds about like mine. Little skill, no love. Thanks for the link.

    2. Look you guys. No one loathes people as much as I, it is simply not possible. I have spent half a century hating everybody.


      I have to eat.
      And I have to have other things.
      I cannot provide all of these things myself, so I have to get them from....people!

      I don't like this matrix but it's the only one there is, so I must adapt.

      I ate a hundred miles of long shit to get to where I am and I will never eat that stuff again.

      People skills?
      You're BORN with people skills if thats what you want to call it.
      I call it one of the survival tools in my survival kit.

      Except for very close friends and family (less than a dozen total), I consider everyone else potential dollar signs. As I said in another post, you don't have to do anything at all but treat people as you'd like to be treated. Be nice, be friendly, be helpful, and never be mean. IOW, be a normal human being to others, just like you'd like them to be toward you.

      Don't pander, don't beg, don't let on at all that you are wanting to see how many dollars you can finaggle out of their wallet directly into yours. Just be nice and helpful.

      Worthwhile people don't mind paying for help with things they need help with. It's the way of life. If you encounter a cheapskate that wants to haggle and argue, cut your losses up front and be nice and walk away. There are waaaaay too many happy people more than willing to surrender their much loved legal tenders to honest people willing to solve their problems.

      You need to broaden the way you see things.

      Lastly, one of my early mentors, Clement Stone (look him up) claimed that all men's time should be divided into 2 periods, goal achieving and, tension relieving. 60/40

      60% of your time should be devoted to goal achieving.
      40% of your time should be devoted to tension relieving.

      Take an honest look at how you use your time and you'll see the reason for your lack of success.

    3. Puh-leeeez.
      You are your own worst enemy.

      Can you smear drywall mud over a crack in the wall then sand it smooth?
      Can you sweep the leaves from a driveway?
      Can you paint a bedroom?
      Yes you can.

      I bet you can come up with a list of 100 things you can do if you put your mind to it. No, you don't have to be an expert. You just have to have a positive attitude and a modicum of basic skill.

      Here, I'll give you a lesson in StayingAlive 101 right now.

      Take a walk around your neighborhood tomorrow night after supper, it'll help your meal settle.

      The very first homeowner you see out in their yard simply say, "How ya doin?", with a friendly tone to your voice. Mention something like, "Falls coming fast this year idn't it?" (By asking a question you are encouraging them to converse with you.) Engage the person in general conversation. Slip it into the conversation that they should get them leaves up out of the yard before they kill the grass. Or whatever else you can come up with. Be a thinker and an opportunist. If you notice the front steps have a board loose tell them you can come over tomorrow and put a couple nails in it for them, and of course you wouldn't think of charging them for it. By doing them a favor that costs you nothing but a couple minutes of your time you are investing in your future. They MAY call on you sometime to do some paying work or mention you to a friend that needs something done.

      Come on you guys, this isn't rocket surgery. Use that gray mass trapped inside your skall, or lose it to alzheimers. Your choice.

    4. You're experienced and good at this kind of stuff. Yes, any moron can practice enough to be good at something-look at me writing. I big picture point is that the paradigm is changing and less and less money is going to be available, with more and more competition. Think "Great Depression" when it didn't matter how skilled you were, there just wasn't the money to hire you.

  4. not apropos, i have a question.
    i know people who are forced to pay a fine because they cannot afford affordable-care-act-insurance.
    where do the fines go?
    shouldn't they be put into medical accounts for the fine payers, who otherwise have no insurance?
    why is affordable-care-act-insurance so expensive, but the insurance companies are pulling out because they say it is losing them money?
    where is the money going? into obama's swiss bank account?
    where is it?

    thanks. cannot figure it out myself.

    1. If you just look at it like this, it is easy: this is an insurance industry bail-out. Insurance companies are a subset of the bankers. Who cares where the money goes, it will never be enough. You are still thinking in pre-economic collapse terms. This is the mad scramble for the shrinking pie and this is how ugly it looks. Dollars to donuts, most disaster relief right now is just going to the insurance companies. And not just to pass on to homeowners, either.

    2. so, it is stealing. plain and simple.

    3. According to Denninger ( 9 out of every 10 people in the employ of the medical industry have NOTHING to do with the actual customers.

      First year hospital administrators earn at least $300k per year and those with 10 years on the job can earn more than a mill.

    4. Public education, the same. Colleges even worse. Not bad in a way, as they will suffer most when the industry implodes, but it does suck for those affected by them.

    5. Debra-yes, plain old government aided and abeded theft. What isn't nowadays?

  5. ghostsniper has the right idea for making it. Also, a person needs to make the connections in a community. if you are honest and don't bullshit people, they will come around with odd jobs for you to do, and they pay cash.

    1. i am an old lady and a bit crippled. found a young man with skills.
      his whole job was exactly what ghostsniper recommends.
      i asked him to do a job for me, but he was backed up 2 years worth because there was so much call for his talents.
      if there is any money it will go to the ghostsnipers of the world wherever they are.
      there is so much need.
      i can paint, rake, and sweep but i cannot electrician or plumber.
      those are high dollar skills.
      if you can find someone honest and moral to help at a reasonable cost that person will get any extra money you have because your need is great and you can trust him.
      mine is the first generation funnelled into college.
      a decade later, after most of my work was office work requiring no degree, i realized that a trade would have been better.
      however, in my day, girls either were discouraged or outright banned from the trade school unless they took the secretarial or l.p.n. courses.
      not allowed into carpentry [which is what i wanted] or any of the other 'man' trades.
      it is different now, but neither girls nor boys are going into trades like they ought to do.
      maybe it isn't politically correct to be skilled at something.

    2. I never knew how to install an overhead garage door until someone hired me to install one. I did a small job for a lady at her work - grinding out some faulty tile grout with my Dremel and regrouting the tile. She said her husband is having a garage built and asked if I could install the door cause he is terrified of the springs. I said, "Sure." and asked for the door manufacturers name and told her I'd call her the next day and tell her what I'd charge. That night I downloaded the installation manual (pdf) from the manufacturers website and looked through it. Not much diff from the plastic car models I built as a kid but much larger. None of the individual parts are very heavy, no more than say 30 lbs. I charged her $125. and it took me 6 hours to do it. That was cash money. So if you figure in the taxes an employer would have stolen from me I made about $26/hr. She them referred me to another guy that wanted me to build a set of stairs for his deck. I never did that before either but I had the tools, access to the web and the desire to make some money and expand my client base. I have clients I've done work for since the mid 80's.

    3. Not trying to discount your skills or work ethic, but, at what point does the customer do the exact same thing you did, out of necessity? Not as well, but good enough. I grant you, nobody is currently doing what you have mastered. It is hard to find a jack of all trades working reasonably. I was mainly pointing to the long term trend and the logical end game. We are all probably going to be dead before then, one imagines, which might be a good thing. It took twenty five years for my dislike of college and mortgages to be vindicated.

    4. "Not trying to discount your skills or work ethic, but, at what point does the customer do the exact same thing you did, out of necessity?"

      Not often. As with most things, mental is 90% of the battle. People have been conditioned to not do things unless they have "qualifications". Most people I know lack the confidence to try anything new.

      Hubby and I started out making a living doing what Ghostsniper has done.

      We had only drywalled our own home (not very well) and we were hired to drywall for someone. (I warned them of our experience level but they hired us anyway. Job took 3x as long but we did a good job.)

      We've been hired to paint, build decks, change electrical outlets, make built in drawers, yard work, snow shoveling, wash windows, garden, etc.

      Most of this has been done for older folks who can't do it themselves. But some of these jobs are for people who are too afraid to jump in and begin.

      The "trophy for everyone" generation is afraid of failure. And that fear keeps them from even trying.

      Idaho Homesteader

    5. Depends on what that *necessity* is I guess.
      Lack of money?
      If that was the case then the woman wouldn't have wanted me to install the garage door because they wouldn't have had the money for the garage in the first place.

      Some people just can't do some things. I, for example, cannot mend clothing. I guess it just doesn't work in my brain, for the several times I tried to fix garments it was a nightmare. I have a whole gaggle of garments that need little things done to them but I cannot find anyone to do it.

      Therefore there will always be people wanting other people to do things for them.

      My methodry isn't perfect, what method is? But what I do know is that by making myself accessible, and constantly trying to improve my skills, I have been relatively busy doing my thing for 3+ decades. Believe me, if I could find a better, easier way to keep the grub conveyor belt to my piehole running properly I certainly would.

      If you fail or if you succeed, it is all your fault either way, so choose your path as you see fit.

    6. I don't know when unaffordability and giving up ownership would meet. I know I can do some things around the apartments, some I need supervision from the NOL who has been around construction a long time. Some I have no clue about. If the NOL didn't need to spend money to reduce taxable income, I would be forced to You-Tube instructions and muddle through the unknowns. Your career has worked splendidly for you-and best of luck into the future. Hope things don't get as bad as I foresee. It is more a caution than a hard forecast.

    7. IH-I think what you describe is actually quite normal, but one thing I can see happening early is exactly what would have queered your business model-Social Security cuts. It is only happening on COLA now, but that is the start. My folks need help on everything but it is a constant battle paying for it with the level of supplemental medical insurance they need.