Work it Wednesday: Is self-employment for you?

6:57 AM, Oct 13, 2010   |    comments
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Karen Kodzik of Cultivating Careers

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Many people dream of being their own boss, but that "freedom" can come with a heavy price.  Long work hours, less income in the building years and the risk of failure are just some of the pitfalls.

Karen Kodzik, founder of Cultivating Careers , says she advises clients to look long and hard before they leap.

"Self-employment isn't for everybody," said Kodzik. "It requires people to have a diverse skill set.  You can't just go into business doing one thing.  As an entrepreneur and a business owner, you have to be able to do everything."

Kodzik says businesses have multiple parts, from sales, to human resources to IT. 

"When I started my business six and a half years ago, I knew I needed a web person, a web design person," said Kodzik.  "I knew I needed an IT person. That was not in my personal and professional toolkit.  And so if I wanted to come out to the market with a good presences, I needed that to be done well, so that was part of the investment.  That's why I needed the cash flow."

And by cash flow, Kodzik says she recommends people have one or even two years of some kind of cash flow to invest in the business itself, and also to live on while the business grows.

Another money question that will factor into anyone's decision to go it alone is whether they can find health insurance. 

Kodzik says the first thing is to determine whether you are insurable on the open market.  Some people with pre-existing conditions will find they are not.  The next question is, if you can find insurance, can you afford it?

"That alone can be a deal-breaker to this deal of being an entrepreneur," said Kodzik.

Kodzik says anyone thinking about starting a business also needs to have the support of family members who might be affected.

Often the dream of more flexible time is exactly that, a dream.

Kodzik says families need to understand a budding entrepreneur will be working longer hours, and will likely  be less available to the family than before. 

In addition, that regular paycheck will become irregular, with no guarantee of income.

Kodzik is hosting a workshop for people interested in self-employment. 

"Is Self-Employment Right for Me?" is Wednesday, October 27th from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Paul Council of Churches.

You'll find more information at Cultivating Careers.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All rights reserved.)

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