Monday, April 26, 2010


I don't think it was that easy for G.K. Chesterton to be self-employed. He seems to have had a difficult time with money-handling, book-keeping, record-keeping and such. He procrastinated his deadlines and never became rich. Although Frances didn't have to go to work, they had a gardener and a housekeeper and a cook, and so he obviously made an adequate living.

Today, in America, a person who is self-employed, and whether it's someone who is a sole proprietor or someone who has up to 100 employees (all considered by the government to be a "small" business), the endless paperwork can seem overwhelming. One might even think there might be a consipiracy to discourage small business.

Being one's own boss comes at a price. The price is keeping up with all of the government regulations, the paperwork, paying the taxes, (fees, fines, licenses and so forth are basically still taxes), and managing the headaches. But the upside is you are your own man (in the old fashioned sense of the word). Your own boss. The maker of your own fate. With God's help, of course.

Are you self-employed like Chesterton? What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?


  1. I have been self employed since 1972. Like Chesterton, I had deadlines, never got rich, my wife worked, had the luxury of procrastination, could control my economic life by how hard I worked, spoke, negotiated, evangelized, shot the breeze with rich, drank beer with the poor, chose who I wanted to work for, had employees, been a sole proprietor, been fired thirty times mostly by managers whose careers were all about bean counting, and paid a myriad of taxes to cities, states, and the federal government. Unlike Chesterton, I used more paint than pen. With all this, I learned the most ordinary things: that people value what is valuable and rare, especially honesty and hard work. The government, however, has always been agnostic - that is, ignorant of the value of the people who actually create things. JMJ.

  2. I have been self employed since 1994, but in Oregon they are making it very hard to stay that way. They just added a whole new set of regulations that will end up with a fine meant to put you out of business if you get "caught". For a small business person like me(1 person) a $37000 fine would end my company. My contractors insurance, bond, license, did cost about $2500 a year. While being self employed did give me much freedom, especially as far as my family was concerned, but with a large family it was still hard to make ends meet.
    But to our great surprise the Lord has led me and my family to a new life, Missionary life, with Family Missions Company. Our employer is one familiar to St.Francis, Lady Poverty. I am sure I will still use my talents like St. Paul's "Tent making" but I am actually glad not to have all the hassle of keeping up with the demands of self employment.


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