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My partner says that getting fired probably saved my life. The stress was starting to affect my health. I really hated that job...<snip>...I think everyone at my old job is amazed at how calmly I am taking this. But its really freed me to do what I really want with my life.

My layoff 6-7 months ago was a very similar situation. Although before it happened it seemed impossible to give up the nice salary and the company benefits, the fact is I was unhappy, and now, without a regular salary or company benefits, I am very happy running my own business. Not such a bad tradeoff, eh?

A few pieces of advice:

1) HAVE A PLAN for what you are doing, with timeframes for completion of each step. Its very easy to drift along and let weeks go by without getting much of substance accomplished. It can be as simple as this:
Monday: get dba
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: investigate competitive services and pricing and find study guide or group for licensing exam
Friday: create a spreadsheet for anticipated expenses and break-even analysis; schedule licensing exam
etc. etc. etc.

2) Everyone in the world has advice for you when you are starting your own business. 90% of it is useless, or stuff that you already thought of like, five years ago. Listen to all of it though and thank them....they're just trying to help. The 10% that's helpful is like gold. I would also suggest that in addition to the SBA, look for a Small Business Development Center in your area. Mine was affiliated with a local college and the local Chamber of Commerce. The Development Officer there can help you in analyzing your business plan and making concrete suggestions. This is a free service.

3) This is the most important advice of all:

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! There will be many times when doubts creep in and even people like your own parents will have that skeptical tone in their voice when you talk to them about what you're doing. Sigh. At these times, remember your plan and your own analysis of the risks and rewards of the venture you have chosen, and go forward with confidence. You wouldn't be doing what you're doing if you didn't think it could be successful. Remember that!

Best of luck to you, womanontheverge, and keep us posted on how it is going!


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