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Hey ladies,

I wanted to start a thread to find out who else is self-employed here. I just released a book Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs.

There's a message board at the site:
and some pretty fantab stuff in the bimonthly newsletters. You can sign up at

I'm 28...and I do mostly copywriting from my home office. Love it. Breaking out was hard, but I am glad to be my own boss!!

Hope to chat with you here!

Welcome to bust, Kristen! Just so you know, we're a self-moderated board, and as such we try to propose new thread topics in the Community Forum under Ladies Who Lounge, to gauge interest in your idea....that way we keep the forum pared down to stuff that is of interest to the whole community. I would also recommend that your post would be well suited to the "self promotion" thread here. Joining the forum and racing in with your first 10 posts so you can promote yourself is not so cool. I do hope you become a member of the community, but look around a little to see how we work.

i was posting to be a member. thought this post would be a good fit here. you can move it if you'd like.
we can't move it, nor can we delete it; that's why we get really pissed at unsolicited new threads and newbies who post simply to start a new thread. please, please, please pass anything through the community forum.
well, thread is here. and it's a great topic. jump in to talk if you'd like, gals!
I wouldn't say everyone gets pissed off. But yeah, it's usually preferred if you go through the community forum first. Either way, I think this would actually be a good topic for self employed people.
this might be the right place for my very first post / question in the lounge.

i recently started my own record label and with the first release out, all of a sudden i have cashflow. *shock*
i'm still getting my head around organising my records in the most efficient and useful way. so yesterday i was going through my expenses spreadsheet wondering what expenses categories there are. i've heard it's best to list purchases in as few categories as possible. i imagine there are 'research material' (ie. books, trade specific magazines), 'entertainment' (ie. business dinners), 'production' (ie. vinyl pressing cost in my case as a record label). what other categories are there? are there limits as to how much i can spend on each category?

any other useful hints and tips regarding bookeeping?
Ok so I see this thread hasn't gotten much action. *Are* there some self-employed busties around here? Just getting my own thing up and running and I just keep coming up with more things that need to be done. It's frustrating and makes me tired, but it's exciting!
hi angelle,

i'm in the process of starting my own business. it's way more confusing than i thought it would be. i wish i could just make things and people would buy them and i'd get paid to do what i like to do. not working out that way though.

what kind of thing are you getting up and running?

i want to start my own business teaching art......... i want to watch this thread.
I'm with you on it being way more confusing (and more complicated!) than I thought it would be. I am a photographer and I have been for years. I just figured it was time I start making some money for something I've been doing and will be doing anyway. This past week in the mail I got some official documents (my sales tax license and the official paperwork from the irs for my EIN) and that's pretty exciting.Wee!
angelle321, I've been considering working for myself for years. Its nice to see another artist doing it. I'm an artist & designer am considering taking some business classes so that I can be my own boss. I honestly think I'd be happier even though I know working for yourself is difficult.

If anyone has any words of wisdom for me feel free to share.
I'm still trying to figure out the articles of incorporation. i guess the tax id number comes next. yup. way more complicated than i thought it'd be. we don't have sales tax in my state. lucky for me.

the pay taxes page of the small business association has some useful links:

woo hoo! our company has something to sell. now quick, i have to make a site to sell on.
Now that I'm pretty much ready to go, I'm getting kind of impatient for things to get going. I pretty much want my growth just to be by word of mouth to start out because I'd hate to get in over my head with the business parts. But I need those first few mouths to start the ball rolling. I have a shoot with a friend of my mom's tomorow but she can't afford to pay me much and so I'm mostly hoping for some portfolio shots. Maybe she'll help bring more business my way as well.
angelle, how did your shoot go? get lots of good shots that you can use? did you have fun?

I finally got the needed papers from the state. I'm legal now (with the state). still need to get a tax number. anyway, one thing down. yippee!

QUOTE(shinyx3 @ Oct 8 2007, 07:35 PM) *
woo hoo! our company has something to sell. now quick, i have to make a site to sell on.

what are you selling?

i want some.
I'm currently trying to explore some options to either be self-employed or doing part-time work from home....since we moved in late August, I've been a stay-at-home mom to my boys (3 1/2 and 1 1/2) and while I know financially we need me to bring in more income, it breaks my heart to think about returning to the workforce full time and paying a significant chunk of my salary out in childcare.

One thing I've just started looking in to is Miles of Marketing ( which is an awesome concept, using Moms as a street team marketing angle. The money isn't much, but I'm hoping by piecing together little creative $$ makers like this, it will help me in my efforts to stay at home longer. If anyone is interested in joining M.O.M., I can answer most of your questions, or you can just email Liza directly.....
The shoot ended up going very well. I got a few portfolio shots out of it and made a little extra money. I'm hoping in a few more months I'll be able to start getting some high school senior portraits to do. Otherwise it has been very very slow. Alas.
I'm in the process of getting my company up and rolling. Trying to find the time between my day job and creating handbags/accessories. Let me tell you, it's a real pain. But I'm excited to work for myself and see my product all over. Thanks for the article hopefully I will be able to absorb this knowledge to better me and my company.
Check it out, or

Happy New Year

hey tru you should go to the shameless self promotion thread
and tell everyone about your new venture.
Thanks for the link! SWEET....have a great weekend everyone..
Just checking in. Business things still kind of stalled at the moment while I'm getting the website built and waiting for it to warm up a little! Then I'll start trying to get some HS senior shoots booked.

How is it going for any of you other self-employed Busties?
wow. sometimes spam is so surreal and beautiful.
Are there still any self-employed busties around?
I'm self-employed for six years now. This is the toughest year yet because I sell non-essential home decor and not many people are buying. Am in the process of making big cuts to overhead to pull through this phase. I think I've made most of the typical mistakes if anyone wants to know how to avoid them.
Eyelet, I would like to know what the big mistakes are in running your own biz and how to avoid them. I hope your own experiences were not too bad!
QUOTE(caroline_no @ Nov 12 2008, 10:26 PM) *
Eyelet, I would like to know what the big mistakes are in running your own biz and how to avoid them. I hope your own experiences were not too bad!

The biggest mistake was not using an accounting software from the very beginning and not truly understanding basic business accounting. I thought that since I'd always managed my personal finances fine, it would be easy, but it very quickly became more than I can handle. About 3 years in I finally had a grasp of it, by which time I discovered I'd lost quite a bit of money in unbilled invoices and even some credit card income that had never posted to my account by the merchant service. Now, of course, I feel like I could teach a course on business accounting, but I was forced into learning.

The other mistake was signing a commercial lease several years back because I let my ego do the thinking for me. It was a really cool space that matched the aesthetic of my line and made me feel successful, but I had no business committing to that overhead without a reserve of cash in the bank. The owners promptly sold the building and the variable fee called "triple net" (which covers taxes and property maintenance) nearly doubled, making the rent unaffordable. Exiting the lease cost a lot of money and headaches.

So now I'm much more humble and careful, but I do wish I could have the prosperity of those first few years combined with the knowledge of the present.

I could go on and on, but would be happy to answer questions when I can about specific things you are considering or dealing with.
Thanks for that, Eyelet. I don't own my own business yet, but like to know what to look for when I do. Hm, maybe you need to move your home decor biz online for awhile. I hate saying that because I enjoy the experience of visiting live stores, but.. Maybe we'll see more co-ops soon, too.
Actually, my website has always been my primary venue. I do about equal parts wholesale and retail because I manufacture the stuff. The commercial space was a branching off from that. That's why leaving the space was just a mistake, not the end of the business. Sales are down now of course, but because it's virtual I can operate very lean and will likely weather this phase that is taking out other small businesses. I'm frustrated by the drop in sales, but it has made me prioritize and get creative. Am freelancing web and pr work now to cover the gap. At some point I'll probably register another ID in the lounge I don't need to be anonymous and I'll post in the self-promotion thread.
My partner, Lusty Crush, and I just started a business. Our website, just went live the day before Thanksgiving. One order is it so far. It's a great idea. We customize cowboy hats, military caps, and make original jewelry designs with hardware. The idea is to make people feel hardcore, and badass. It is our way of bringing that great feeling roller derby has given us to the people of the world. It is a badass, in your face, "I am who I am and I know you want to be me" feeling and attitude. Still, only 1 person has elected to try that feeling on for size. Traffic is not bad, about 100 visitors per day, but no one is buying. So, we spend all day marketing. Flyering, friending, posting, doing press releases, link exchanges, and the like.

It might be a bad time for a good business idea. Lusty is applying for a couple of flexible part time jobs since my work experience doesn't really lend me to part time work. So I will press forward at this rate for a couple more months and then look for big girl work if things don't pick up. Boo to the big girl jobs! I want this to work . . .
lustandgore, just a thought, but how about, in addition to your regular site, setting up an etsy site? the reason i suggest is that i know etsy gets TONS AND TONS of traffic, and they have their own marketing and customer base already. once you get popular there, people will follow you to your regular site. you could use it like just another advertisement kick. good luck!

lately i've been having all of these good ideas for branching out and starting my own stuff. i even found a company that prints custom fabric in small runs!! a friend and i want to start a line of something small and printed with one of the screenprinter guys from my work (teatowels or something along those lines) but none of us can get our act together fully while juggling full time (and often more) jobs. it's frustrating, because the fulltime job gives the funds for starting something new, but it takes away any time you could have to work on it. argh.
Thanks mouse. I will check Etsy out today. I appreciate the suggestion.

Unfortunately, it seems that, unless you have a stockpile of cash, at least a part time job will be needed while business gets up and running. It definitely takes away from the free time . . .

As we rollergirls say, "Roll out with your hole out!"
Hey gang,

I'm always looking to feature Etsy artists on my site, so if anyone is interested, toss me a PM. It's a small gallery-type feature that will hopefully get the word out about your goods.

Oh, I'm not talking about ad space here, it's an artist feature on my site at About.
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