What do people think about what you do?

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Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,661
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
What do people think about what you do?
16 Oct 2015
This is for all of you selling full-time - so it's your living and your business!

When you tell people what you do, what's their reaction? Do they think it's cool, or interesting, or that you should get a "proper" job... or what?

It would be great to find out if there are any common things people say to you - maybe misconceptions that they have - and share some ideas on how to deal with them.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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London New York Toronto United Kingdom
john.obrien
Kudos: 61
Joined: Sep 14, 2015
Re: What do people think about what you do?
16 Oct 2015
Few people are interested in what you do, however if you ask a person "so how did you get involved in this business?" They will tell you their entire life without asking a breather, it's all about 'framing' If you ask your kid WHAT did you do at school today ? The answer is invariably 'nothing ' but if you ask them "what did you LEARN that was NEW today? And see what the response is! Ages between 12 and 25 exempted !
We are all kids and we all want to tell our story!
Too much red wine!
NC United States
seller252gregb
Kudos: 171
Joined: Apr 12, 2015
Re: What do people think about what you do?
17 Oct 2015
When I tell people I sell on eBay, they want to know what I sell (and want a super deal), want me to sell some stuff of theirs or think I carry a card table in my car and sell out of the trunk at flea markets. It makes a living but hard to stand up tall and be proud of what you do at 55 years old.
United States United States
tall-corn
Kudos: 108
Joined: Dec 13, 2012
Re: What do people think about what you do?
17 Oct 2015
A lot of people are impressed that I can actually make a living working from home. I went from part time, to full time a year ago. I now have three full time employees, and am planning to hire a fourth and also to open a brick and mortar store soon. My wife is finally coming around to the idea, but I think she would actually rather have me earning a paycheck with benefits. I do contribute some to the family income, but put most of the profits back into growing the business. I just turned 60 and really enjoy what I am doing.

Scott
Herts United Kingdom
HarleyKev
Kudos: 59
Joined: Oct 9, 2015
Re: What do people think about what you do?
20 Oct 2015
There are two main reactions when a stranger learns what I do for a living.

a) Incredulous (that I'm making a living from web retailing)

b) Envious (that I work from home, wear no uniform, and have no transport costs)

Friends and family know that I've been self-employed for years, but it took my Mum many years to accept that I hadn't 'dropped out' of the 'real' work force and was actually still a legitimate worker!!
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: What do people think about what you do?
21 Oct 2015
Most people don't really seem to get it to be honest. My mother asked me how "retirement" was going. I laughed so hard I'd nearly busted my gut. There is some jealousy because I have some flexibility in what I can wear and that I can usually arrange my day to run an errand if needed. Their attitude changes when they realize that I rarely get time off and that I work 60+ hours a week (usually more).
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,310
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: What do people think about what you do?
6 Nov 2015
They love it (I think)!!!

I tell them that I am my own boss, I work around 20 hours a day, I have to put up with rude customers demanding to know where their delivery is even though they have been on holiday for the last month, and I have to put up with 'trained' customer service personnel from the shopping channels who have not got a clue what they are doing.

I then explain that I enjoy the challenge, and if that does not sway them I tell them how much I can earn.

Ian

[Last edited: 6 Nov 2015]
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: What do people think about what you do?
6 Nov 2015
@Bigian13 True and made me laugh.
Scotland United Kingdom
FBA Book Flipper
Kudos: 63
Joined: Oct 14, 2015
Re: What do people think about what you do?
2 Dec 2015
A lot of people can't grasp it when I say "I work from home" because, to them, being at home means not being at work. My parents still don't quite understand the difference between "working from home" and "being at home".

A person doesn't fully understand what it means until they do it themselves and realise that it's not as they thought it was.

I am sure some of my neighbors think I'm a drug dealer of sorts and that I seem to do nothing as I'm always at home. Maybe they think I'm freeloading off the state?

If a person seems jealous of what I do to earn a living then I let them get on with it and I don't associate with them. It's not my problem if they're jealous and I don't need their negativity anyway.

Most of my friends think it's cool, which is probably because of the "I work from home" part. But when it comes explaining what I do, now that is the part where it either goes right over people's heads or they ask 101 questions about everything.

I sometimes just lie about what I do and say "Oh I design websites" as it's something most people understand. This means I can avoid getting in to a conversation with someone if I'm pushed for time.
FBA - Book of Profits: Selling used books on Amazon for 500% profits
Ted
Germany Germany
Ted
Kudos: 104
Joined: Nov 26, 2015
Re: What do people think about what you do?
3 Dec 2015
That's funny what I read here because running my shop was very different. It was far from 20 hours a week - I worked everyday as there was the constant, buying, selling & shipping routine. When I told others, they thought it was really cool on how I turned a quarter into $300 or $5 into $2000 but this wasn't always the case & there were plenty of $1 turned into $5 but they weren't so interested in those stories.

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