Being Your Own Boss - Entrepreneurship

Helene: Entrepreneurs are a viable option in this economy, aren't they? And you are entrepreneurs, you're not just sales people, so but like running any business there are a lot of pluses and minuses, so what's the plus? And what's the minus?

Tamika: Well for me, of course like you said there are a lot of pros and cons, and for me the biggest pro is that you are your own boss. You're pretty much running your office the way you want to run your office and the financial reward of it. You know you get out of it what you directly put it into it. There is no glass ceiling that you have to be concerned about. The other beauty of it is basically being able to manage your time and do the things that you love to do and not really just always focus on the office because you definitely have to have that work/life balance.

And for me it's basically my weekends, my weekends I take to spend with my family and my friends. Whether it's rolling skating on Saturday and Sundays, you know hanging out with Nicole and Latoya on Saturdays doing shopping and things of that nature, what I can do.

Helene: Those are your friends, right?

Tamika: Those are my friends, yes those are my friends.

Helene: Then you have your staff working.

Tamika: Definitely right. Then I have my staff working with me. They're working on Saturdays, I give them Sundays off I guess.

Helene: You're a good boss.

Tamika: Tell them just take one day off, no. But basically they do work on Saturdays and they man the office for me and make sure that everything goes pretty well. The cons to it of course, there's always some type of con but for me it's the financial piece to it when you're first starting out, it can be a little, a little challenging there but you just have to know how to budget and do things the correct way so that the business flows still.

Keith: A lot of things I like about the agency and running my own business is the fact that no day is the same, every day is different. And part of that too is just the fact we get to hire our own staff, bring in people that we get spend 8 to 12 hours a day with and choose those people and unfortunately as I said, you know sometimes we have to let them go. So that's unfortunate but it's part of being a business owner. Regarding the budgeting piece, I was given a great idea this year about marketing where it's going to cost me an extra $4 to $5,000 to do it.

I didn't have that budgeted obviously this year for my marketing plan. So I felt really strongly about it, so obviously I had to take $4 to $5,000 out of something else to put towards this. But again it was my decision. Something I made the choice of and that's very rewarding. I've seen it work, I've seen some things not work, which is again sometimes a con of things but it's just very rewarding, that atmosphere.

You know, one negative I tell you unfortunately there is a lot of stress with it. I provide for my family and just the fact as you were kind of talking the finance aspect, it's tough sometimes knowing that you know you're not getting instant gratification from it but you really do help people, you really do build a lot of great relationships with people. Whether it's talking to a CEO in the morning or somebody who's possibly unemployed in the afternoon, you touch so many different lives and so many different people, it's really a rewarding opportunity.

Helene: It's worth hanging in there.

Keith: Oh, of course, completely.

Maggie: Part of that budget has to do with our own production really. So when it comes to hiring and recruiting and employees to work with us that's, that's a huge challenge really of State Farm agents is to find competent employees that can represent you as well as State Farm so well. But it's also extremely rewarding when you do find employees like that. Because you can really have a positive impact on their life. So I really enjoy that part of my career as well. But the flexibility is amazing. This past summer I took off every Wednesday and my employees were back running the office, they did a great job. Just because I wanted to spend time with my firstborn.

Helene: Congratulations.