Q: I'm sick of working for other people. I want to start my own business, but can't decide what kind. Can you offer some ideas? - Karen
Dale: So, Karen, you've reached the place where you're thinking, "The only problem with working is management." Well, you should know that many business owners say, "The only problem is having employees." So, you need to figure out just what it is you want to avoid.
Kate: You need to choose a business that you can be passionate about, something that makes you willing to break through the obstacles you'll face, including the human kind.
It's time for research and soul-searching. I recently
recommended to our readers the book "The Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century" by Paul and Sarah Edwards, as way to start sorting out their interests.
Dale: And I'd suggest that you subscribe to Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines and read articles on trends that affect business, such as ones from American Demographics that you'll find at www.AdAge.com. Maybe you'll spot your passion. If you don't, there is another option - the prepackaged passion of buying a franchise. I recently spoke with Kent Craven, who pairs would-be franchisees with franchisors, and who surprised me by saying, "There is no correlation between initial investment and income - zero." You can find Kent and others in his business via www.franchiseresource.com. Lastly, if you want a cheap and easy way to try out being in business for yourself, there are multilevel companies. Some of these are ghastly, of course, but others - The Pampered Chef and Discovery Toys come to mind - are quality companies that let you get into your own business for a tiny investment.
Kate: Dale and I both own businesses and both love it. We hope that you, too, will find a business to love.