Scary start-up

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Scary start-up
Fri, 01-18-2013 - 12:23pm

As most of you "residents of DSG" know, I went into my own business last year.  It was scary but I took the plunge into my passion.  I had a great emergency fund, our debts were really going down, and we were getting to be in good shape - not great, but good and I took an offer to make the move, and my husband says my face is so bright every day and he is so happy to see me so passionate.  I was at an event last week, and met some other women in the field, who had nothing but encouragement for me, as well as really sound advice.

Well now most of the eFund is gone!  I have a couple thousand left, but that is a baby efund compared to what I had. My goal was to be at 50% of my prior pay by now, but it is more like 25%.  I can no longer project out a 6 month payment plan, and that scares the heck out of me.  DH's pay dropped, even with a small raise, because our healthcare went up $180 a pay for the SAME coverage, thanks Obamacare!  (OK, some of our prescriptions are covered now, and are primary Dr co-pay is down from $40 to $10.)  The hit is about $500 a month less from his pay, which is substantial, and we don't spend that much in medical to make up for it.  Right now he brings home only 51% of his gross pay due to all these deductions.

DH bought a truck this fall and it was a great deal, and was planning on selling his outright.  Well then DS's old car we gave him started acting up, so we gave him the truck, with expectations he pays us back.  We did give DD $2500 for a car this year, and she paid the rest for hers.  To make things equoal, we took the same $2500 off the value of the truck (as DH had a buyer for $11k, so we valued it at $10k for DS, then took $2500 off that price.)  Now he owes us $7500.  He still has no college job, so I am worried about that deal and don't expect really anything from him.  The truck sale was supposed to pad our eFund again, but that is not happening.  Again, scary!  But to buy a car for DS would be far more than the value of the truck for something that is older, with more miles and an unknown history.  And repairing the 1995 Chevy seemed pointless as it was getting too old.  We did get $1000 for it, that was ours.

I am doing what I consider the "right" thing to do in my new position, with regard to obtaining and helping clients and prospects.  The potential for growth is really there doing the right things, and I am getting good feedback, just the wheels of income turn very slowly, so my income is not where I expected so far.  My mentor threw me for a loop a couple weeks ago, with his future plans, which could be good for me.  We are doing a lot of education, and from that have a lot of potential in the works. Issue is that we meet with people 3-4 times to do fact finding, analysis and then make recomendations, a process that might take 3 months or more in some cases.  Again, it is the right process, just slow for someone working on no salary. 

Our pantry and freezers are stocked.  We should not need much at all but basics for a while.  Our vacation in March is a road trip to Florida to stay with in-laws, so no big trip there either. Taxes, insurance and big bills are paid for the next 6 months.  We also expect a pretty good tax refund and will file asap, which will pay any big bills (car insurance) coming late this spring. 

With DH's pay, I just need about $2.5k a month to make it with a little wiggle room, it was only $2k, but his paycheck hit increased demands on me.  And I need to invest in the busines - computers, continued education, marketing, supplies, etc.  I have put my retirement savings on hold for now.

So I guess what I need is encouragement.  I know I can do this, can do it with integrity and build slowly by reputation. There are so few women in this industry and it is actually dropping.  I am working 60-80 hours a week, but I LOVE IT.

Or should I throw in the towel and go back to a salary world?

-Marie, eating rice and bean soup!



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2011
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 1:02pm


I think if you turned a small profit your first year, you are in decent shape.  As long as your hubby has a job and your guys carry good insurance all the way around, I would stay the course at least another year or two. (Without good insurance, including health insurance, I would throw in the towel.)  But is sounds like between the two of you, there is real stability there.  A lot of small businesses fail in the first couple of years, as you know, but I don't know that everybody puts the work in.  You are a smart lady...I think you will be ok.  Oh, but just don't let your son off the hook!!   Heather