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When to quit my day job

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by joe, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. joe

    joe Member

    Ok I know im not the only one with this problem with living this double life. By day I run a location with 5 employees for a large company. With every other minute of my life I'm a taxidermist 20 years of this is start the wear me down. Income is about the same with both jobs but iv become a custom to that double income . So I guess the question if I spend more time I'm my shop and increase my turn around time take in more work or even do some wholesale work could i make the transition. I know health care is big factor in this too. Any one in this same predicament ?

  2. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    You never know how taxidermy will be one year from the next. Some good years some bad, new shops opening up near you, loose some work to price shoppers. My problem is close to the same but I will never leave my day job, always a paycheck at end of week, full family benefits, paid vacation and sick time. Taxidermy, still waiting for customers to pick up finished work, that sure won't pay the mortgage, and it seems to be happening more and more lately.

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    Keep your day job (health insurance, retirement benefits, etc.) and raise your prices on your taxidermy. Take in less work and make more money. Enjoy life. Don't be a slave to your part-time taxidermy work.


  4. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    Kerby could not have said it better.......
  5. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Re: Keep...............

  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I took Kerby's advice and haven't regretted it. I cut way back on intake and went up in prices.
  7. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Health insurance. 60 yr old male , 62 yr old female, non smokers zero health issues. Blue cross, solid company, 3000.00 deductible each per yr.

    80/20 policy

    1200.00 per month

    Just one issue to consider
  8. Richard B

    Richard B Well-Known Member

    You need to sign up for Obamacare Jerry ;D
  9. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    I'm in a similar situation, Joe. As soon as my home is paid for (about two more years) I plan on going full time. I've been in the same business for 21+ years and it pays great but I have NO benefits. I'm required to be "on call" several nights a week and have to work every other weekend and holidays. This greatly restricts my freedom of movement and leaves little time for taxidermy. Two co-workers have recently left to open their own business in competition with my employer. My boss only replaced one of them and starting next month, I'll only be off every third weekend with more nights on call (even less time for taxidermy). I'm burning the candle at both ends and have completely become burned out with my regular job. I've spent my entire working life tied to someone else's schedule and frankly I've had enough. I have to make a change before I become one of my own clients at my day job (funeral home).

    I've researched the "when to go full time" question myself many times in the archives and old forums. There's a lot of good information in there. Many guys make some really good points for either side. I'll be taking a paycut but for me...my family, health, freedom and sanity are more important. My wife has a successful home based business and between that and my taxidermy we should do just fine. .

    Not sure if this has helped but your question has helped me vent a little about my own situation. For me, I'm working for the opportunity to at least know what living life without being in bondage to someone else is like before I take the nes tea plunge.

    Only you can know your situation and if the next step is right for you. I would very carefully weigh all my options and do what you feel is best for you and your family.
  10. Another thing to remember. Try to look at this as objectively as possible. Sometimes we all let what we want skew how we look at things. Just make sure you don't put more weight on points or discount others because it gets you closer to what you want to do.
  11. Taxiserv

    Taxiserv James Newport

    The love of taxidermy and running a full time studio are completely different animals. If you love taxidermy (and don't want to feed baby birds and wipe backsides) then going up on your prices, doing less, and getting back to enjoying taxidermy is a great option. I have a fairly large shop and don't regret it; but at times miss the opportunity to just do taxidermy work.

    10 replies and nobody has brought up the NTA!!! Gotta be a record!!
  12. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    Also, having a spouse that has a GREAT job with benefits and pay, that can be a big plus in going full time.
  13. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    I heard you were replacing Moren since he resigned 8)
  14. Taxiserv

    Taxiserv James Newport

    Mikey you couldn't get me to play on the playground for all the silver bullets in the world!!
  15. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    If you wait around till all the stars are aligned, or your house is paid for, or your wife gets a better job, or the kids are out of school or.....??? you'll never get anywhere. The rewards in life go to the "risk takers" not the "play it safers"
    Reward and risk are at opposite ends of the same balancing beam. You cannot have one without the corresponding weight of the other. Jump in with both feet and make it work.
  16. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)


    Bill Dishman you NAILED it!
  17. BrianHendricks

    BrianHendricks Member

    Lace up those " NIKES " Joe ! You have a great cheering section and one heck of a support team on here. Take advantage of it !
  18. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Re: Keep...............

    Kerby and I had some back and forth on this issue in another thread but this is good advice. Especially if you don't HATE your other job. I'll just put in my experience as a example.

    I quit a medical job with decent pay and benefits after 17 years to go full time. Same reason as you. 16 hour work days, every day.

    I did OK for about 10 years and then economy issues started to hit here pretty hard. Now my price of $450 is out of the range of my clientele. That's just under the average paycheck in this county. Look at your clientele. Are they Blue Collar or are there enough money guys to keep you afloat during the down times?

    Then we had 2 bad deer seasons in a row coupled with the rise of $50 skull mounts. Numbers went down and I had to take a part time job. NOW I am right back in the same boat without a day off and with burn out because the time I devote to my JOB has caused me to be behind again. Something I HATE.

    If I had it to do over I would have figured out a way to CUT DOWN my taxidermy numbers and/or find a job that worked around taxidermy better.

    The thing with this business(and ALL business for that matter) is you are just within an inch of going broke...all the time. Injury, health, economy, fads, etc etc. all make a difference.

    1. Look at your clientele. Are they Blue Collar or are there enough money guys to keep you afloat during the down times? Are there ENOUGH people to DOUBLE your workload as you are thinking?

    2. Look HARD at those benefits. Can you afford them OR not afford to have them? You could be 1 surgery or broken bone away from the poorhouse. Seriously. My wife carries benefits here or I would be out of business.

    3. Are you working your long days because of volume? Or are you just taking too much time. If you are going to be a commercial studio you need to learn to get stuff out the door.
  19. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    Very realistic, Jim. We love our job and it blinds us to many things. But that being said, people are all different. Some people are just focused working machines. These types do the best at taxidermy regardless of their level of quality. Then you have your "artists". Whole different critter. A tragedy on the news can ruin a day of productivity for them. Getting used to a money stream can be a dangerous thing once a person starts to slow down. And they will. Whatever decision you make I wish you the very best.
  20. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    Joe, build a business plan and consider if you can get enough business to pay your overhead, salary, etc. at the prices you can charge to generate that volume OR Raise your part time prices and enjoy.