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Confessions of a reluctant entrepreneur

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While working in Malaysia, another contract for Jakarta came through – yippee!

I’ve mentioned – more than once – that I’m a highly reluctant entrepreneur! However by some brilliant stroke of luck (or two!) am somehow surviving with independent work.

Knowing there is nothing certain in life, I’ve been preoccupied with – don’t laugh – opening 3 companies! Yeah, like the paperwork and hassles for one isn’t enough, hmm?

Sounds fancy but isn’t really. Just have 3 very different types of work on the go…

1. International Independence

The Petronas Towers by day...

The Petronas Towers by day…

For projects in Indonesia and Malaysia, am fortunate to work with a great gang of experienced, talented guys on interesting consulting assignments. Our Jakarta “Take 2” project is expected to last until end September.

However this isn’t my only independent international activity. An ex employer is a favourite client and we are planning programs in May and June – bringing me back to familiar favourites like Shanghai, Manila, Bangkok and Singapore. And a new opportunity to touch down in Japan!

It has now reached the stage to formalize this element in the equation so figuring out how best to do this…

2. Domestic dilemma

I don’t want to lose touch with the country I call home – India. So am exploring a few smaller flexible projects that can work around my bigger assignments. Also looking at what can be sub-contracted, where appropriate, with obviously my taking the fall – I mean oversight responsibility!

Sailing to Mumbai

Sailing to Mumbai

Bottom line – I’d sure love a little domestic income! It would just spiffy to have SOME cash coming in not just going out! At the moment, I pay for everything in India for work done everywhere else BUT India. Hmmm….

However the economy isn’t exactly healthy in some sectors and HIGHLY price sensitive (as in – do this practically free to demonstrate you deserve the work??). My approach to the old ‘We don’t have money but we want the services’ deal is generally to build a business case together with the client… but even then, sometimes the economics and effort just don’t make sense.

Throw in the massive rupee devaluation against the dollar, and it honestly doesn’t PAY to get PAID in my adopted home.

However home is home. And I do need a medium and longer term strategy… so setting something up to hopefully help with that!

3. Partner Plans

The most significant development is that my partner and I (with other friends) are cooking up something really exciting. Waaay too soon to spill the beans… but if everything goes well, there will be a major announcement later this year!

In the meantime, as I sit in Singapore airport after breezing through new Mumbai T2 International Terminal, I commit to getting out of Jakarta AT LEAST ONCE during this project – hopefully much more!

Piffle on being a business woman!

Piffle on being a business woman!

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15 Comments

  1. Not exactly bored, are you….?

  2. Karolyn Cooper says:

    Great – you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. This year the international basket is the heaviest; maybe next year the local one will fill up. Keep up the eggsellent work.

    • Haha! Quite true! I don’t mind that this year the international basket is subsidizing… and am smart enough to know it just might not be so healthy n full next year so… bring on all sort of eggs to my happy little basket!!

  3. pollyheath says:

    Wow, just wow! I’m struggling just to figure out taxes for working abroad/having a very small freelance side job. You’ve got skills, my friend!

    • Oh I’m struggling with the taxes one too! For us freelancers, the govt expects you to pay taxes in advance – like anyone actually knows how much they are going to make?! Heck the last project in Jakarta we had a contract n everything but… the last part of it was cancelled and obviously never saw that money. I’ve already shared the hassles of trying to get a couple pennies back… Try getting a couple thousand dollars?!

      • pollyheath says:

        I know, it’s definitely a tricky system. Thankfully this first year was really small so I had a trial run on how things go. It’s great, but god. A lot of work! I hope you work it all out with relatively little hassle!

  4. Expat Eye says:

    Hmm, maybe I should be doing more with my life 😉

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