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Risk Aversion

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Hi Folks,

 

Had a chat with a customer of mine, he's retiring, closing up his building exteriors business after several decades in operation.  Turns out he offered his employees the chance to buy him out and take the business over, or pay him in instalments.  No takers.  Also happened to a nursery nearby a couple of years back, owner wanted to retire, offered his employees the option of taking it over - again, no takers.  Both businesses are/were profitable with established customer bases, where the owner offered flexible buyout terms. 

 

What's going on here?  I would have jumped at the chance.  You could stay in an established business tha you know well and helped build up, with customers you know and coworkers you trust, but take on a bit more risk, but more income potential too.  Or, you could say screw it, and look for a job somwhere else, and keep being an employee, with all of the pluses and minuses associated with that.

 

Also browsing the Arbeitsagentur website for job seekers, as I'm looking to hire soon.  What stands out is that every seeker has specified that they are looking for a position without responsibility, not in a leadership position.  Some of these people have bigger qualifications than I do.

 

I've been here in Germany a good long time now, and I get that the locals are more risk averse and less entrepreneurial than us Canadians.  But that much?  Maybe I'm just seeing this from a new angle now as a prospective employer...

 

Thoughts?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, kapokanadensis said:

What stands out is that every seeker has specified that they are looking for a position without responsibility, not in a leadership position.  Some of these people have bigger qualifications than I do.

 

You know that when Giving a Reference for an employee, there is special code/way or writing it etc...

 

Well,, "Position without responsibillity" is employee speak for "Spineless wanker"...   

 

 

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I would pass.  Way too much extra work.  No experience running a company.  Not keen on taking that much responsibility and possibly risking the livelihoods of my coworkers.

 

if I wanted to run my own business, I'd freelance and take risks for myself only.

 

I like being a worker bee.  There are a lot of perks, actually, chief among them is when my workday is done, it's 100% done,  I can forget it and return to the office next day, fresh as a daisy and raring to go. 

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oh, regarding the wish to avoid leadership positions, in Germany I don't want those either.  No way.  Most German businesses I've encountered don't have even the remotest clue about how to manage their teams and employees in a healthy way, and some places are downright toxic. The good managers I knew were mobbed unmercifully (as was I when I was in an interim team lead position - which is pretty obnoxious if you think about that alone: we don't want to offer you this job, we just want you to do it for a while).  I have no desire to put my foot in that.

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3 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

What's going on here?  I would have jumped at the chance.  You could stay in an established business tha you know well and helped build up, with customers you know and coworkers you trust, but take on a bit more risk, but more income potential too.  Or, you could say screw it, and look for a job somwhere else, and keep being an employee, with all of the pluses and minuses associated with that.

 

 

I suspect that many people are quite happy having their relatively secure 9-5 job that affords them a lifestyle they enjoy. If they are happy with their life and what their income can provide them, the prospect of more income actually doesn't have that much appeal once you factor in the increase in stress. Once our basic needs are met, additional income is really a marginal gain and what we give up to increase our income such as time with friends and family cannot be bought back. There are times where the risk aversion here is almost comical, but it's also nice that more people seem to realise what makes them happy. 

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I feel like most Germans are happy with their lot in life, working 9-5 and being done at the end of the day. There is little incentive to manager anything because the pay is not considerably better. 

 

Ive been nagging my wife to buy apartments and rent them out and retire early. Its not rocket science but does take work and is a little risky. She said she doesnt want the stress and would put all our money in a matress if she could. 

 

Working in a buro in a shitty job you hate till you are 65 is way more stressful than taking the risk of buying some realestate. 

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Interesting topic.  I became self employed a mere 3,5 years ago.  At first my friends and family were happy for me.  I worked at home.  Little risk was involved.  Now, I've opened a shop and it has been a huge investment.  For me, no worries.  Made perfect sense.  To everyone else.... shite!  Only one person has actually been supportive.  The rest, have truly tried to talk me out of it.  Now, in hindsight, I think they saw my work as more of a hobby.  One stopped by today for a coffee and we had a chat.  His view has changed somewhat in that he now sees a difference between a shop selling clothes or shoes and a 'handwerker'.  But he is not all in.  He thinks it a bad risk.

Yes, it does seem to be a risk aversion.  No one in my circle of friends takes risks.  They work, have their evenings, do their weekend hobbies, etc. But take a risk - a business risk.  No.  Could education be a factor?  Perhaps, I'm not a social scientist.  Maybe not.  A mate had a partnership carpentry shop.  His partner became injured.  Sold his half back to his partner who is now the sole owner.  Why is there an aversion to risk.  Comfort?  Laziness?  Fear?  Who the fook knows... 

I'm happy I took a risk.   Even if it fails, I took a chance and could not be happier. 

 

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1 minute ago, Petro6golf said:

I feel like most Germans are happy with their lot in life, working 9-5 and being done at the end of the day. There is little incentive to manager anything because the pay is not considerably better. 

 

Ive been nagging my wife to buy apartments and rent them out and retire early. Its not rocket science but does take work and is a little risky. She said she doesnt want the stress and would put all our money in a matress if she could. 

 

Working in a buro in a shitty job you hate till you are 65 is way more stressful than taking the risk of buying some realestate. 

ApartmentS ..in the plural?:D...why your wife? Why not you? Take the stress, feel the pain!!!

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13 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

Interesting topic.  I became self employed a mere 3,5 years ago.  At first my friends and family were happy for me.  I worked at home.  Little risk was involved.  Now, I've opened a shop and it has been a huge investment.  For me, no worries.  Made perfect sense.  To everyone else... shite!  Only one person has actually been supportive.  The rest, have truly tried to talk me out of it.  Now, in hindsight, I think they saw my work as more of a hobby.  One stopped by today for a coffee and we had a chat.  His view has changed somewhat in that he now sees a difference between a shop selling clothes or shoes and a 'handwerker'.  But he is not all in.  He thinks it a bad risk.

Yes, it does seem to be a risk aversion.  No one in my circle of friends takes risks.  They work, have their evenings, do their weekend hobbies, etc. But take a risk - a business risk.  No.  Could education be a factor?  Perhaps, I'm not a social scientist.  Maybe not.  A mate had a partnership carpentry shop.  His partner became injured.  Sold his half back to his partner who is now the sole owner.  Why is there an aversion to risk.  Comfort?  Laziness?  Fear?  Who the fook knows... 

I'm happy I took a risk.   Even if it fails, I took a chance and could not be happier. 

 

No risk, no fun, babe. Just imagine being a Beamte life long. I know your story...go for it! I took a risk this evening. It was windy and I stepped out of the door despite that! (but not for long):P )..doggie Max needed a dumpez-vous! ).

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We need a premium in return for  risk.   Often that is money but not always.  Others would include the status of being a business owner or the changes to practice one's passion as a profession.    The equation is not the same for those people.  Payback not valuable enough.

 

Also times are changing.  I know plenty of small business owners who to a large extent regret taking on business not because of the business per se but that other - easier - opportunities that earn more have opened up meantime.   They having to work hard and assume tons of risk to get less than, say, consultants who churn out office-based work. 

 

Risk is also a matter of perspective.   We apply it in some setting but not others.   My self-employed business arguably contained less risk than, say, going abroad to pursue a man and build a life in a foreign nation.

 

I think statistics about SME numbers in Germany (especially the south west) would contradict the suggestions that Germans are "less entrepeneurial", rather the opposite.   It often goes into high margin STEM industry though.   The guy employing 30 people in the label machine business, or in medical testing process or producing coating systems for a satellite component for 50k per sq mm is somehow not an "entrepeneur" to foreigners, and neither is the takeaway owner or restaurant franchisee, while the more "artisan" is.  There's vast amounts of that in South Hesse - everywhere you look, all around us.  

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28 minutes ago, john g. said:

I took a risk this evening. It was windy and I stepped out of the door despite that! (but not for long):P )..doggie Max needed a dumpez-vous! ).

:lol::lol::lol:

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Bayrische: my dog Max is self-employed..probably has a tax number in Hamburg! He dumpez-vous where he wants..he doesn´t like our French neighbours ( PS: nobody does...)--not sure if he´s a yellow-jacket type in Paris but possibly a Brexiteer!!!

My sadly deceased cat Hemingway was very German...Borussia Dortmund fan .

Bloody animals!!! So politically extreme...

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Entrepeneurship I guess would be more creating and inventing things, and getting patents and such.   That's what is valued here.

 

If we mean selling people stuff, then there would also appear to be no shortage of people taking risk.  Indeed, it is peak time.   No shortage of entrepeneurs taking a good margin on food and drink at the Christmas market we went to tonight.   Lots famously took a big hit on fan miles here in the summer when the national team flopped.

 

Also worth noting that many employees do take risk here.   Many senior managers round me face personal liability risks of litigation and even prison if their products are damaging.  That is part of their job. Being employed does not eliminate some big risks for many employees here.

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12 hours ago, john g. said:

ApartmentS ..in the plural?:D...why your wife? Why not you? Take the stress, feel the pain!!!

 

Im retired for the most part at 34 and dont need to work again but it would be nice for the wife to join me. Her dad owns somewhere around 10-12 aprtments and while that does not make him rich it does make him comfortable and able to vacation when he wants and to have his peace, even if managing them is stressful or a little work. She sees it as stress and a full time job, I see it as freedom. 

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Can you not give it a go with one apartment and then another, etc.? You don't show your location so who knows how the rental market is in your area but you don't have to invest locally being retired and all. It would give you a project and something meaningful to do as well as generate a little income or a lot.

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1 hour ago, catjones said:

I, literally, just read this topic:  Nightmare Tenants, insurance, The law

I suggested others here read it too.

 

https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/373944-bad-tenants-insurance-the-law/?page=3#comment-3720642

 

I've read that. It is an extremely rare case. We've had zero problems with our renters. Even if we did, it' a very small place so not much to destroy. Wish we had bought more than one in hindsight.

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34 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

I've read that. It is an extremely rare case. We've had zero problems with our renters. Even if we did, it' a very small place so not much to destroy. Wish we had bought more than one in hindsight.

 

that case was also noteworthy as they took the tenants under very bizarre circumstances.  Circumstances that profi landlords would (or at least should) never accept.

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