I am in my final semester in college taking a class about finding work. As I have learned more about the world of work, I have wanted less to do with it. From what I've been taught, work is always a brutal, merciless environment where everyone is constantly trying to manipulate others. Even my own professor isn't that kind, or understanding. I informed her of a glitch I found on our class website. She interpreted that as me trying to get out of doing my assignments (which had NOTHING to do with that, I was telling her that the page wasn't keeping track of which assignments I had done right, even though I had done all of them and she had even given grades for them). She even threatened me because of what I said! I'm afraid I'll just make her even madder if I try to explain to her that she completely misinterpreted what I was saying.

Beyond that, the local businesses are infamous for mistreating their own employees. Obviously, I need to work, but I don't see anyway I could stand working for anyone for any length of time (even my own relatives are constantly switching occupations due to abuse from their superiors). Funny enough, half the business around here have had 'looking for work' signs up for months, and that's because nobody in town wants to work for any of them! Most businesses around here don't even obey laws regarding working rights!

A plan I came up with to fix my dilemma was to just make money on my own somehow. I don't know anything about actually doing that (I'm an IT major), but given the local work climate I really can't see myself doing anything else. As for what I was thinking, there's quite a few farms around here (including one of my neighbors), so I figured I could make money growing crops on my property. I don't know how much money that would make me though, or how I could sell them. I do know the local grocery stores get their food from the local farmers, but I have no idea how that actually works or what they require of their farmers (I think my neighbor grows food for himself).

What would I have to do to seriously create my own self-owned business, and I would prefer a business where I didn't have to hire any employees. I want a source of income that is just me and me alone. I don't have a degree that teaches me how to actually create a business though, so I don't know how I could accomplish this goal.

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    "From what I've been taught, work is always a brutal, merciless environment where everyone is constantly trying to manipulate others." I beg to disagree. Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 17:09
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    The only thing worse than having a boss is having a customer. Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 18:02
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    Where are you located? Is your country offering any unemployment financial help?
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 19:17
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    This is not about the workplace. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 18:55
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    I think that you will find working on a far much, much harder than working in IT. Are you prepared for some very early rises, very long days, in all weathers for potentially very little money? It's bad enough when young, but 20 years from now?
    – Mawg
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 6:16

5 Answers 5


First of, I feel obliged to challenge your frame of reference a little bit since you’re inexperienced (by your own account) and there are certain conceptions that are really wrong.

First of all, not all employment is bad. Most of the population of the world are employees and they do get by just fine. Just because some of the references around are bad, don’t assume it’s going to be bad for you and, more importantly, do not condition yourself to perceive it as bad. Work (both self employment and working for someone else is something you need to TRY and decide whether it is for you or not and it’s better not to be too biased).

Second, self employment also has drawbacks:

  • Your financial health is constantly at risk, there’s no guaranteed pay at the end of the month.
  • The above implies you have loads of stress and you usually never have holidays or time off, even when you do part of your head is still thinking about the business
  • If it goes well you may have a load of money but if it doesn’t you may end up in a very, very, very bad spot. Which adds up to the above stress every day.
  • You don’t answer to anyone, which also means all responsibility for everything is on your shoulders, more stress.

Now, to your point. There’s no difference between being employed or unemployed for starting a business. You’ll need, at the very least:

  • A business plan. What are you going to sell? To whom? What’s your market? Who’s your competition? How are you going to compete with them? How are you going to get benefits?
  • A place to conduct business. Can you work from home or do you need a customer facing office?
  • An initial expenses plan. How much money do you need to start business? Think licenses, set up , equipment, etc
  • A projected monthly expenses plan. How much does it cost to run your business?

You’ll need, in my recommendation, enough money to cover at least the initial investment plus money to cover between 6 to 12 months of expenses except when your self employment is expected to produce immediate income (not the usual but maybe in cases like being a consultant).

I can’t stress this enough, self employment is way harder and more pressing than working for someone else. So are the rewards but your conception that self employment is, somewhat, easier, it’s in my opinion, completely wrong and I’ve done both.

My recommendation would be for you to TRY being employed and use the experience to:

  1. Evaluate first hand whether it is that bad or not.
  2. Earn and save a good investment money in case you end up wanting to start your business nonetheless.
  • For the record, my professor in my World of Work class is threatening to kick me out for doing so bad. I may be unable to pass this course, which means that I will ineligible for a job. If that happens, I will have no choice but to found my own. Yes, I know it won't be easy, and everything will be on me, but there may be no alternative for me, whether I like it or not.
    – user111056
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 17:34
  • Just remember the concept is still there. To be self employed you need to be able to produce something of value that others want to buy. That’s actually the hardest part... Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 18:16
  • Self-employed usually means a lot more paperwork. In calculating how much money you will need, most new small businesses either fail or take a year or two before they return enough money to support someone. Plan for your living expenses, car maintenance etc. Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 19:05
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    @user111056 Where in the world are you that some stupid professor can make you ineligible for a job?
    – gnasher729
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 20:00
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    Well, I'd say that there is no class to teach effectively about "World of Work", especially when it sounds like they have a severe case of paranoia. Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 6:52

From what you posted, it looks like your "professor" has some significant problems (paranoia), and that may very much influence what she teaches. So the reality is likely not "the world is horrible, and even my teacher is horrible", but "your teacher is horrible, and that's why she tells you the world is horrible".

Your teacher's view of the world is totally contrary to my experience. Of course things are not perfect everywhere. A good teacher would tell you how to handle this (and this site will likely help you if you need it).

You are planning to start farming food and selling it to stores and make money that way. Consider the competition: Dozens of farmers in your area, who have invested in land and tools for years, who have learned the business for years, possibly studied agriculture with great success, and are still struggling. As a rank amateur, your chances are slim. If you really wanted to go that route, I'd recommend finding a job on a farm first, learn what you can, and find out whether it is for you. Then when you know what farming is about, you can make an educated decision whether to go it on your own or not.

On the other hand, you can try to get a job. Every job gives you work experience and something to put on your CV. Every bad job gives you an opportunity to learn how to cope with bad situations at least. As long as there are openings, you know you don't have to stay anywhere. But once you find a good place, that's where you can start to grow.


I work as a software dev, but my real passion is music. I've started my own music business that (luckily) tends to fall on weekends, when I'm not at my "proper" job.

Working my software job isn't as bad as you seem to have been taught - yes it can be bad at times, but I work as part of a supportive environment that trust me and help me fix mistakes whenever they occur instead of assigning blame and being 'cutthroat'. Everything is sorted by the employer (health insurance, pension contributions, regular monthly salary).

In contrast, working my music business it's just me. It's awesome as I can do whatever I want, but there are a few drawbacks. When I get an irate customer, there's no help or shielding - everything comes on to me. I have to do a lot more paperwork (taxes, wages etc) which eats into my time (the alternative being paying for an accountant, which is cutting into your money flow). All income has to be generated by me, meaning if I'm ill or on holiday then I don't get paid. Additionally, payment doesn't come regularly, so it can be quite hard to budget my personal expenses.

All in all, it can be done and it can be enjoyable but there are a lot of things to consider. In my opinion it is worth sucking it up and working a "real" job for the first few months/years for a bit of financial stability, then when you're getting a decent regular income then you can quit your job and focus solely on your own business.


Even my own professor isn't that kind, or understanding. I informed her of a glitch I found on our class website. She interpreted that as me trying to get out of doing my assignments (which had NOTHING to do with that, I was telling her that the page wasn't keeping track of which assignments I had done right, even though I had done all of them and she had even given grades for them).

A single incident does not define the World.

Take a deep breath.

Yes, things are unfair. Some people can be idiots. Do not try to change her mind. It doesn't matter what she thinks of you. Let it go.

But do not assume that because you become self-employed that you won't have any boss. Your customers/clients will be your bosses. And some of those customers will have bad days, some will be idiots, and some will try to take advantage of you.

This goes whether you operate a stand at a farmer's market, or sell your products directly to wholesalers from your farm. And this goes whether you're talking to the loan officer at a bank, or your family members that loaned you money, or the health inspector who wants to inspect your livestock. Unless you're already independently wealthy, there is always going to be somebody with some kind of power over you.


What would it take for an unemployed person to create their own business?

A product and a market. The rest is just details.

  • I think willingness to learn and to work hard might also come in handy. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 14:35
  • @PatriciaShanahan I've seen plenty of businesses without those attributes. Important part is just having a product and market, preferably a captive market
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 11:10
  • How about a budget, i.e. investors? Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 21:42
  • @Mär details, I've started businesses with just a product and market... never had an investor in my life, not keen on sharing my money
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 21:44
  • Yeah I mean, I thought you might say that. However your view may turn into a, what I call, Cesar story. As in, you did that and apparently you were successful, maybe by getting lucky, bold, putting shittons of work in, whatever. It worked. However if for the other 99% it doesn't, then it is still not a viable strategy, wouldn't you agree? All I can say from experience, having seen a shitload of startups over the years, is that they all need invstors to succeed. You say, "sharing money", I say, "paying a shitload for a mere idea". :) Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 21:47