[ 4 min read ]
Why am I writing these posts about shadowpreneurship? What’s the point of it?
Because I’m pissed. That’s for sure. I’m pissed that a bum or a 6th grader can start a business in this country and they will be treated differently than the rest of people. That there is this double standard which can’t be justified in any way. But it exists anyway.
People like me can’t expect that nobody will give a shit what they do. But if I became a bum…, then things would be different. I could expect that. Which means that officially I would not be an entrepreneur, but de facto I would qualify as one. The things I would do each day to get money in order to survive would de facto qualify as running a business / conducting an individual business activity or, in some cases, even as having a partnership — that’s what the law in this country states.
There are certain conditions which, when met, lead to the conclusion that a person de facto runs a business. Nobody said bums are the exception to that rule. But they are. They are the de facto exception to that rule. Nobody made them officially an exception, but they’re treated as an exception. So they are, de facto, an exception.
So most bums de facto run micro businesses — do things each day to get money in order to survive. They make money like everybody else. OK, we usually pity them and are pleased that we are not them (that our lives are better). Sometimes they piss us off too, but being pissed at them doesn’t feel right, so that’s not common. OK, we pity them, so what? Does the law of this country say anything about that? Does the fact that people pity you makes you a different category (I mean legally)? Does it mean you can set up and run any business unofficially? Because you’re in a terrible condition and situation?
What about people with cancer? Can they set up and run any business unofficially? How about old people (those who will die soon — let’s say they’re in their 90s)? Can they set up and run any business unofficially? How about people without legs and arms? Can they set up and run any business unofficially?
The law doesn’t know such exceptions. Nobody created them. According to the law of this country, if you do things which can be qualified as running a business, it means you run a business, and if so you should be doing it officially.
How many bums operate their businesses officially? I would be surprised if I found one. Never heard of a bum who officially set up a business. Never saw such bum. And almost all bums I saw in my life did things which can be qualified as having a business. It’s obvious that they (most of them) need to do such things. How would they survive? They have no money. They must make money. Will someone take them to court one day, provide evidence that, de facto, they are running a business, and have been running a business for who knows how many years, and want all the taxes and other payments which other business owners have to pay each month? Of course not! Nobody gives a shit!
Why I, a person who is currently struggling financially, can’t expect my country to give me the same treatment which bums get in this country? If I want to run a business officially it means I need at least $300 per month in order not to run into debt. $300 before I’m out of debt! If I make less than that per month it means I’m accumulating debt — I run a business, but the only outcome is debt. Debt in the first month, and more debt with each passing month. There are preferences for people who set up their first business, but they last only two years and if you took advantage of that preference once you can forget about that (I can forget about that — if I recall correctly my preference ended in 2010). And of course anything I will make (provided that my business earns me more than $300 per month) will be subject to income tax.
Nothing like being a bum in this country, I guess. No taxes, no scrutiny, no paperwork, no administrative fees, no need to pay draconian sums to the national social insurance fund each month. You can make money each month (sometimes even good money — if you’re a smart bum or have some talent) and nobody will give a fuck. Because you’re a bum. Because as a bum you’re not in most people’s radar. Bums have it tough already — that’s the general perception. It’s so obvious nobody will ever question that.
What if this perception is wrong, or misleading? Can’t it be wrong or misleading (at least in some cases)? I think it can, and it is. Why not pretend that you are a bum? The majority will never notice.