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  1. #1

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    Default Risk and Reward - 5 years off

    So, been contracting a while now (13 years) and 50 this year. Current gig is good with 60% WFH and greenfield work. Little bit of pressure but that's tolerable.

    However, a blast from the past has emerged in the shape of startup that didn't get started due to the involved parties all being over committed. Then another one also emerged with a guy I've known a long time. I also have one of my own.

    The dilemma now is how can I be involved in all/any of these whilst continuing to contract? They are all IMO viable and credible opportunities. One of the guys is a serial entrepreneur and having just sold his last business, looking for the next buzz.

    Sick as I am of contracting, it's relatively risk-free and some might say 'easy money'. But it's only good for a maximum of 200k a year (developer rates) and I feel I'm coming to the end of my career (patience) with it all.

    I cannot stop thinking about just selling up in the UK (no kids, etc) and going to live in our pad in Spain where I could dedicate myself to all of these opportunities without having to worry about contracting. I could probably last around 5 years without income but then I'd have to return to contracting (anybody looking for a 56 year old developer?) or sell that place if none of these startups come to fruition. But then again I'd know well in advance of 5 years. Or I could just plod on as I'm doing and look back on this as a real missed opportunity in years to come.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by oliverson; 22nd May 2017 at 09:31. Reason: typo 2

  2. #2

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    Where does a developer rate get you 200k a year ?

    Anyways I'm in the same boat as you (not earning 200k though), approaching 50 and beginning to think life is slipping by. Slumming it on 120k but with an nice easy contract working in a good environment.

    I'd say go for it. Carpe Diem and all that.

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    Depends.

    Difficult to say not being in the position you are but I can't help thinking by 50 I'll be looking to start winding down and going for the easy life, not getting involved in high pressure start ups.

    The last paragraph has so many options with absolutely no detail so really not sure what we can help you with bar guess what we might do in your position. That said you sound pretty fed up with what you've got so why not go for it. What is the worst that can happen.....
    Last edited by northernladuk; 22nd May 2017 at 09:56.
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    Quote Originally Posted by radish2008 View Post
    Where does a developer rate get you 200k a year ?

    Anyways I'm in the same boat as you (not earning 200k though), approaching 50 and beginning to think life is slipping by. Slumming it on 120k but with an nice easy contract working in a good environment.

    I'd say go for it. Carpe Diem and all that.
    I'm not on that but I have a few pals on a touch over 800 a day in London. Few and far between and a lot of competition but that really is the ceiling I feel. Not just about the money either as at my stage of life you start questioning why you are selling your days away. I didn't feel like this maybe 3 years ago but increasingly as I approach 50 I do. I do feel it's coming to a head now and when this gig ends and I'm back down London 5 days a week instead of just the 2, that will be that. Then there's Brexit and how that would affect us.

    As others have said, what's the worst that can happen? Those ideas flop and I'm back on the contracting scene again, but what if they succeed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by oliverson View Post
    As others have said, what's the worst that can happen? Those ideas flop and I'm back on the contracting scene again, but what if they succeed?
    Indeed but bear in mind the start up statistics. If you can plan for the worst and survive it then you can't go wrong really.
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    The statistics on startups is that most of them fail within 5 years, so if you don't have a big enough nest egg I wouldn't chance it. I mean no harm in trying for a few months but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlasterBates View Post
    The statistics on startups is that most of them fail within 5 years, so if you don't have a big enough nest egg I wouldn't chance it. I mean no harm in trying for a few months but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
    Whilst they are start-ups, none of them are of the "let's make an Instagram/Facebook clone", just the application of technology to boring established sectors that really need to modernise. But the tech. is good and the non-technical partners are well known/respected in their respective industries.

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    Very hard for any of us to comment on your situation, but you certainly sound like you really want to give them a go.

    If you were a lot younger it'd be a no brainer.

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    Yup if you still want to do it in the knowledge that start ups almost always fail then its a good decision to go ahead.

    In the end someone has to take this risk. He who dares as they say. Just make sure that there is a feasible plan b.

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    In your position I would be inclined to go for it, I'm sure you would regret it otherwise, and you do sound like you need the change.

    I'm sure you will have done the maths already, but it would be worthwhile factoring in how much personal investment would be required to get these ventures off the ground, what pension provision do you have if/when you return to the UK and are considering returning to work/contract....and who knows what the Brexit uncertainty might add to the confusion.

    Exciting times, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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