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I am self-employed. I have a retail web site on the web and absolutely love it because my life is totally in balance. This is my third year and I have been profitable (although very small) from the get-go; mostly from choosing not to spend on anything until I absolutely had to. For example, I was willing to put up with the snail-pace of windows 98 and a dial-up line for the first year and I found a web host that was free. I just felt that there was no sense spending money until I was 100% sure that my idea would work.

Thank you for the response. If you don't mind, I would be interested in seeing your website just to see what you have done.

My advise is don't get started before the kids are in school full time (kindergarten is half days here and that was a bit stressful - what can you accomplish in 3 hours when you're a startup?). Now is a great time to do research though. Two years before I took the plunge I set up a business name, got a resale permit and started attending tradeshows and researching the web for competition. This is all very fun - a little bit of much need travel and shopping!

That is very good advice. The kindergarten in our area is also half days and it would be too much to try and balance all of that at once. Right now, our kids are in so many classes and activities that my DW would not have the time to do it but we can do the research together.

This was exactly me...not the rubber-stamping and jewelry making, but taking something you really enjoy doing in your free time and turning it into a small business. I encourage you to see what's already being done out there. Look on eBay and the web. It doesn't have to be something that's never been done before. You just have to fill a niche.

Thanks again. It is nice to hear from someone that has done this and is currently a living example that it can be done and work well. I know my DW and my Mom have talked about starting something and doing craft shows or selling on the web. Given my programming background, setting up a website will be something we can take care of. When I get home I will mention this to my DW and see how she feels about starting a research project and starting our due diligence.

dt
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