Do You Own Your Business?

Updated on August 15, 2011
S.!. asks from Boulder, CO
12 answers

I would love to be self employed. But I have no idea what I want to do. If you have your own business - is it your passion? Did you always know you wanted to do it? Or did you kind of just fall into it?' Please share your experiences. I just do not know what direction I need to go in.


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So What Happened?

Jo - That makes sense. So how do I set myelf up to be succesful. I guess that is what I am trying to learn from this. What do I need to do to prepare? Do I need to go back to school? Do I talk with other entrepenuers?

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answers from Dallas on

Yes, and I do several things.
I love to exercise and a friend started an exercise studio and needed more instructors. She lead a class on personal training and I got certified. I have been doing that and teaching exercise classes for over 10 years. So the opportunity and the jobs have fallen into my lap. I absolutely love it.
Before that, I became a Shaklee distributor because the products saved my life. That ties in nicely with the PT
Recently, I learned to do free hand engraving. I love that too because it is an outlet for my artistic side.

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answers from Phoenix on

I own an insurance agency that I started from scratch. Literally client #1. It takes a lot of work and depending on what you want to do, it may take a lot of money. I worked out of my house for the first couple years since I can do everything over the phone, fax and email. I now have an office less than a mile from the house that I share with my husband who sells Aflac. I have been in insurance for 23 years so I don't know anything different so I guess it was "easy" for me to get into it. Oh, an most biz owners work WAY more than 9-5 M-F. And month to month you have NO IDEA what your income is going to be. Sometimes that is the hardest part. But when you have a REALLY good month, it makes up for it! Go on and put in your zip code. Search "business networking". Attend some meetings and meet other business owners in your area. They can give you a lot of advice. Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I have been self-employed since I was 23. I was a graphic designer with a college degree. After working an internship at an L.A. agency, I realized that wasn't for me. So, I started my own business. I started small and grew it. I've had successful times, and not so successful times. Right now, it kinda sucks in this economy.
However, I will tell you, that people I know that start their own businesses - the ones that do what they enjoy and love succeed, and the ones who start something cause they think it will make them some money don't or are unhappy. You have to do something you love AND know.
So, I think you need to evaluate your skills and passions and look for something that you will enjoy doing and be passionate about. Let me tell you, it's a lot easier to sell yourself when you're passionate about it!
But, I will say, with this economy, it may not be the right time.
Good luck to you!

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answers from Washington DC on

I own my photography business. I LOVE it. I really can't imagine doing anything else. I specialize in maternity and newborns. It really just started after my daughter was born about 6 years ago. Although it took a while to build up a portfolio and I had to do a lot of freebies to get where I am now, it has really taken off lately. I don't call it my "job" because I just love it so much and I love that I can make my own schedule and work around my husbands schedule so I also get to stay home with the kids.

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answers from New York on

To start your own business, you will need to know what it is you want to do. Depending on what it is you are doing you will need to know if there are any special licenses or permits required to legally run your business. You will need to determine how much capital (money) is required to successfully run your business (pay all of your financial obligations). Your business will need advertising and marketing. How will you do that? How much will it cost you to do that? How will you attract your customer base? How will you find and acquire new customers or clients? What is the best structure for owning your business?

If you did a comprehesive business plan it would really help you to see if doing your own business is really what you should do. Lastly, getting good help along the way. Always play to your strengths and farm out your weaknesses to people who are strong in those areas. Always write your own checks and be willing to enhance you skills, talents and abilities when it comes to your business.

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answers from Dallas on

We fell into it.

My husband was in outside sales for YEARS in raw materials (plastics).

About 6 yrs ago, we had the opportunity to create our own LLC in the same industry with hubby consulting and brokering.

A little over 2 yrs ago, we jumped in 100%, no outside financing, all personal funding and the first year our sales were $3 Million +.

I manage all the financials (Quickbooks), travel for hubby and some trucking companies to get our products to the right place.

It is a 24/7 job... we work from home, have warehouse space in the area for inventory. It is expensive.... health insurance, payroll taxes, etc

We opted to fund this on our own because we don't want to deal with banks or private investors telling us what to do, how to do, etc. We started with a plan, made good connections with legal and tax advisors and moved forward.

It is very rewarding, time consuming, stressful but it beats working for someone else... We are glad we made the choice.

Good luck to you!

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answers from St. Louis on

My ex's family so by proxy my son have a business. Yikes!!! It is a very successful business and even then it is difficult. My son will be fifth generation. He is 23 and already looks at it as a paycheck. I know when he starts taking over he will have fun but right now....

I guess what I am saying is you seem rather ambiguous. Like, well I would like to but I have no idea. That is no way to start a business. Even if you start out loving it you will learn to hate it, it is a job, ya know? Starting out like well, I could, but maybe, this or that. You will not be successful.

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answers from Dover on

If you want to happily own a business, then yes, it better be a passion for you. Figure out what you love, reading, cooking, gardening, writing resumes, painting houses, whatever it is, figure it out & go from there.

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answers from Richmond on

Eventually, I'd like to be a doula, which would be self-advertising to find work. The DONA program I'd go through does put your name on a list, but what's in just a name, you know? My point is, I have this natural sense of anything human body and babies, so yes, I would be passionate about being a postpartum doula.

Do you twitter? A lot of people promote their businesses or charities or products on there. I run tech support for an online twitter bot... PM me if you want info on that, it could be a good starting point.

I also write, but that's more of my hobby. ONE DAY, I'll publish something :)

We also own a boat club, but that's because my FIL owned it and passed it along to my husband and I to manage. We have approximately 50 private members. It's super private; the only way people can get in is to sit on a waiting list, and even then, they have to know someone who's already a member before becoming a member themselves. We're still learning the ins and outs as far as dues, liability, finances, etc.

I don't think that helped ;) BUT, make yourself a list of things you love, things you're good at... and see if you can't make that your dream business!


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answers from Dallas on

I own a sewing business on the side. It was a passion and then one day someone asked me to make her something and it took off from there. I still work full time and raise my 2 boys also.

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answers from Rochester on

I do own my own business, technically...I am a freelance artist. It's made me hate the thing I loved most in life, because it's just all sellout work, basically. I always wanted to do something with my art...and now, I'm refinishing people's lawn sculptures, painting rain barrels, trash cans, dates on Christmas ornaments...however, in the past two years I've illustrated two books, one which is published and available and the other is in the process...that's a lot better, but I still didn't enjoy doing them because they weren't what I like to draw, basically. It's all just work, basically...not necessarily what I love.

So, if you do...make sure you aren't going to RUIN your passion by having it warped in some way, like mine. :)

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answers from San Diego on

Hi Sam I Am I have my own business and my husband and I have a business. I have my own "Home Daycare" and then my husband and my home based business Is Prepaid Leagle, in this business we have mentors who are making 6 figure incomes, we are just starting but it's easy, it's fun, and you work your own schdule, even our 22 year old daughter is in this business, and whats good about it is there is no compeition for example Avon has to convence people they are better than Mary Kay, Mary Kay has to convience people they are better than Avon, Tupperware has to convience people their better than Pamperd Chef and so on. My daughter met a 19 young woman making 16 thousand a month, so you have to ask yourself are you looking for a past time business or are you looking for Financial freedom and independance. I set you up to look at this business if you like. J.

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