Self-Employment: Scams and Faulty Assumptions — The World is NOT Set Up for Multiple Businesses!

4 Min Read
721 words

After some 40 years of (mostly) self-employment, I have no choice but to conclude that the world is not set up for those entrepreneurs who have more than ONE business.

What brings this to mind is a seemingly simple thing such as creating a Patreon account to garner support for a creative endeavor, having more than one PayPal account, or even something relatively simple like creating a LinkedIn profile and presence.

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Evening, near Tomales Bay, CA

The default assumption from the mainstream world is that when someone tries to create a "second account" they have shady business in mind, rather than legitimate business.

"There is already an account associated with this name/address/social security number" or whatever else pops up and tells you to not do that!

What's ironic about that is that you can create 100's of twitter identities, one for each day of the year, and nobody gives a rat's hindquarters... but the moment what you're doing looks like an actual business you're assumed to be a scammer.

Of course, there are workarounds, but I'm strictly going by what happens if you just try to play completely above board.

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The reason I am writing these words is that I have spent most of today working on our dreaded income/business taxes, and I am once again saddled with the bookkeeping quagmire that is "sorting" thousands of transactions from a single PayPal account into their appropriate cost center streams.

Yes, indeed, there are options to simplify this process... each of which typically costs hundreds of dollars a year to subscribe to.

Again, faulty assumptions: if you operate multiple businesses, you "must" be a multi-millionaire who can easily afford such things.

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In the case of something like Patreon, the faulty assumption is that a single person couldn't possibly be both an artist, AND a writer, AND something else... so you only get ONE shot.

It falls into the same family of faulty assumptions that goes with people who hear me talk about our complicated taxes and then ask "Why don't you just have a professional tax preparer do your taxes? I do... it's only about $150!"

Precisely because our taxes are complicated, a professional tax preparer would charge about $2,000 to do our taxes, thereby erasing a significant chunk of our already meager income.

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PayPal's faulty assumption is that I must be some kind of scammer or money launderer if I do more than one thing. Of course, I can take payments from as many different sources (registered to me) as I want... as long as I am content that ALL my invoices/receipts, regardless of what I just sold, all have the same heading.

Maybe I should just rename everything I do "My Glorious Financial Spaghetti Bowl, LLC" and be done with it!

Writing is my catharsis, and this was a highly self-indulgent and whiny post... so I shall now take myself to bed! We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

How about YOU? Do you happen to be a multiple-business operator who sometimes deals with this sort of thing? What's your workaround, if you have one? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

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Created at 20210304 22:20 PST

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