Monday, 11 October 2010

Could we be Self-Employed?

21st January 2008.....

We are again getting quotes for putting a fence/wall along the front of our house - just so that my husband can work in his garage on week-ends without someone suddenly appearing in the doorway begging or asking for work, or knocking on our front door. We have resisted this walled idea since moving down to the Cape from Johannesburg 17 years ago when we were delighted with the open-style front gardens we found here. But needs must: times have changed. Almost everyone now has walls. The trouble is it is an expensive exercise. Still, we are getting quotes and today I struck up quite a conversation with the young man (in his thirties) who took the brave step eight years ago of setting up his own business. He freely admits that his wife does all the nitty-gritty admin which he is not good at and says that it was a huge decision when he started out, but although he works long and hard - somehow it is very different when you are working for yourself. He says he could never now work for a boss again. Never say never. But it is envy talking - my husband has often champed at the bit to leave his secure employment and ‘do something’ on his own. I have been the restraining influence for neither of us comes from families where anyone ran their own business and we had both been brain-washed about the ‘security’ of a job and a pension. He still yearns to do it though but I secretly think that you have to be at least a tiny bit dishonest to actually do more than break even or make a modest living. Even friends/family of ours think nothing of doing cash jobs ‘under the table’. I just don’t think I could ever do that, so we shall remain as we are - comfortable as long as he is working - and we shall suffer quite a drop in our standard of living when we retire. So be it. At least we sleep easy.

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