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Own your own business in NYC?

Anyone here have their own sole proprietorship or one-person LLC in NYC?  Have any unique experiences, amusing anecdotes, or horror stories to share about being your own boss in NYC?  I'm just curious on what goes on behind-the-scenes in any industry.

Diego Alban
Saturday, July 19, 2003

I'm a one-person shop, with a very focussed mission: I do Access databases for non-profit organizations. You're question's pretty broad, and I've not been an independent consultant in other places, so I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for, but...

It's a pretty wonderful setup. I live in NYC because I love it. There are more exciting things going on here in any given week than most other cities see in a handful of months. Last weekend I saw great performance art. Last night it was a great Zimbabwean band. There are so many things going on in the city, and at all hours of every day. Being an independent gives me the freedom to plan my time such that it's OK if I'm out til four in the morning, take two hour lunch breaks to go to a lecture, or just sit lazily in my favorite cafe, drinking passionfruit lemonade and kicking a database around on my laptop. New York also offers a ton of really exciting clients for me, and a great Tech Assistance community in the non-profit world.


Friday, July 25, 2003

Maybe you should preface your question by asking if there are any non-independently wealthy business owners in NYC.

How does this Access programmer working for non-profits turn enough profit to survive in NYC?

If I'm wrong why don't you tell us about your bad parts of your lifestyle too. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

I certainly don't live like a king, but I don't suffer. I have a great deal on my apartment (two bedrooms for $1550 in AlphaBet City). I have a 13-year-old motorcycle. I eat out much more often than I eat at home. I take a lot of vacation time, mostly doing small trips around the eastern states on the moto. I don't have kids. I don't spend tons of money on tons of stuff I don't need. I work a niche market. I charge an hourly rate that's respectable. It's often hard for clients to stomach it at first, but I'm good at what I do and good at communicating that to people. I've lost very few bids because of my rate.

I think there is a lot of hype about the expense of living in New York City. It _is_ very expensive if you want to live a suburban life in the city. If you need a new building with laundry facilities and a doorman, and you get all uptight about seeing a rat in your neighborhood, then yes, living in NYC is quite expensive. If, however, you live in the city because you love the city, a lot of those expenses disappear. I don't need an apartment with a walk-in closet: I have a bed that's an extra 18 inches off the ground for the storage space. I don't need expensive suits, because my clients evaluate me on the basis of my work and my reputation. I don't go out to really expensive restaurants all that often because I know how to find truly amazing food at reasonable prices.

It's plenty doable. I'm not going to get rich, and I'm not looking to get rich. I'm quite happy with the way I live, and I love the way I work.


Friday, August 8, 2003

Slightly off topic:

I've owned 3 businesses in NJ. Including a Custom Frame Shop, a News Paper, and a Computer Consulting firm for the Pre-press business.

The best thing about owning your business in Jersey and doing work in the city is, no commuter taxes :) . 1099 is good! And of course we get a little more space for the life thing.

Bill Bingham
Thursday, September 25, 2003

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