Brokers: It’s Okay To Delay Starting A Family

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family station wagonWE HAVE NO “MINIMUM” GUARANTEE

The debate to increase the minimum wage across the board in the US to $15 per hour has been going on for quite some time now, with marches in the street from fast food workers, people protesting by walking off the job, and strong political debate with passionate views on both sides.

What’s been strange to me about this debate, in relation to the argument of those that are in favor of increasing the minimum wage, is their reference to workers being “slave labor” by working excessively hard and long, but not making enough in a lot of cases to support a household. The reason this has been strange to me is because for close to 9 years, I operated on a 1099, independent, 100% commission basis, as a solopreneur managing my own one man show sales office. I received no salary, base pay, hourly pay, “floor”, nor company benefits (even though I am fully insured individually). The Harvard Business School report from July 2014 by Karen Gordon Mills and Brayden McCarthy, said that there’s 23 million businesses in the country that do not have any employees and are classified as Solopreneurs.

So, should myself and the other 23 million Solopreneurs in this country all be marching and protesting as well? And if so, marching and protesting against who? I work for 1ST Capital Loans, LLC, but I’m also the sole managing director, member and employee of said entity, so as a result, I should be marching and protesting against myself? We as independent brokers have no minimum guarantee or minimum wage, which not only makes the minimum wage debate strange, but it also points to another reality in that adding a family to our chaotic situation might not be optimal at this time.


Running your own show is probably the hardest job you will ever have in your life. Having to juggle the various components of it with no established “minimum wage” just chokes out far too many independent brokers. Some of those various components include but surely aren’t limited to:

  • Having to manage regulations, laws and other legal aspects
  • Having to manage accounting, insurance and tax related aspects
  • Having to design your own business plan and ROI formulas
  • Having to come up with your own way of creative financing
  • Having to manage your vendor, supplier along with partner negotiations and agreements
  • Having to design your market strategy, solutions and spend time actually selling them

On top of this, you might have to deal with pet peeves of your Funder and Lender Partners, which could include them cheating you out of commissions, clawing back commissions after 45 days, cutting you off from your renewal and residual portfolios, among other things. These things rob you out of the hard earned commissions for deals that you fought for in one of the most competitive markets in the country (using your own capital, creativity, time and energy) to win.


With all of the aspects of building your broker office that must be managed on your own, with no minimum guaranteed wage, benefits or true assistance, the next question becomes, how do you manage a family through the very early stages of all of this chaos? The reality is that there’s only so much time in the day. If you are just starting out your own shop and if you don’t currently have a present family to take care of, putting the creation of a family on hold might be your best bet. I once expressed that it was okay to be a piker, then I expressed that it was okay to be a minimalist, today I’m telling you that it’s okay to delay starting a family.


It seems as though most of the newer brokers in our space are a part of the Millennial Generation.

Generation Y (The Millennial Generation) begins usually around 1981 and lasts until about 1995, the Generation that follows (Generation Z) are those that were born just after 1995. Being a Millennial myself, I tend to keep abreast of many of the issues facing my generation, and while I currently do not have a family that I’m responsible for, I believe that many Millennials would agree that it’s seemingly more difficult today than ever before to manage a family:

  • We Are Over-Educated and Under-Employed: We are in fact the most educated Generation, but some reports state that over 50% of us are under-employed, which means we are mainly a Generation of the over-educated and under-employed, saddled with student loan debt.
  • Lack Of Security and Stability: Prior Generations had the luxury of working for one company, in one location and in one city, for the vast majority of their working career, and be able to retire with a pension, 401k, and strong retirement benefits from Social Security. Our Generation has no such securities, as many of us will have to change careers and work locations often during our working career, making it nearly impossible to seemingly ever purchase a home because purchasing a home only makes sense when you can estimate “staying put” in one area for at least 10 years. Also the lack of pensions, strong 401k plans, and the fact that we might not receive strong Social Security benefits further complicates the security issue.
  • Our Cost Of Living Continues To Sky Rocket: From food to energy, from property taxes to rent, from insurance premiums to healthcare costs, from college tuition to day care expenses, our cost of living continues to skyrocket.
  • Our Opportunities Are Being Stolen Away: Wages and business opportunities are either stagnant or flat out decreasing due to the rise of global competitive forces and IT/robotic automation stealing away our opportunities for income advancement.

So while you are trying to juggle the issues of building your broker office, you are also having to deal with competitive global forces and IT automation, along with the rising cost of living, along with deficiencies in job/income security and stability. So how in the world do you add a family of let’s say two kids on top of this chaos? Regardless of whether or not you are married or a single parent, the costs and risks of managing a family within this chaotic situation are significant.


If you already have a family, obviously you can’t “give them back” and start over, so if you are seeking to enter this space and build your broker office, you are just going to have to find a way to juggle all of the chaos that’s present. However, if you are like me (a Millennial and Broker within this space), that hasn’t yet created a family, if you are still in the early stages of constructing your office, renewal and residual portfolios, then I would say that it’s “okay” to delay starting a family considering all of the chaotic issues that you would be facing today.

How long to delay such a very important choice is a personal one that you would have to manage, but for some of us, the choice might come down to opting out of creating a family altogether.

Last modified: December 25, 2015
John TuckerJohn Tucker is Managing Member of 1st Capital Loans LLC, as well as an M.B.A. graduate and holder of three bachelor's degrees in Accounting, Business Management and Journalism. Tucker has nearly 9 years of professional experience in Commercial Finance and B2B Sales. Connect with Tucker on LinkedIn by clicking (here), or contact Tucker at or at 586-480-2140.

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