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Old 12-29-2014, 02:26 PM
Location: Florida -
8,767 posts, read 10,859,665 times
Reputation: 16640


One of my grandsons said he thought that he would attempt to go into business on his own. I was thinking about a few of the business I had attempted to start over the years, ... thinking, this will allow me to retire early and wealthy. Fortunately, I kept my 'day job' and was ultimately able to retire comfortably and early from that. A few of these 'other time/effort/financial investment areas included:

1). Oil Painting and Frame Importing --- Great prices on an unusual product, but, inadequate follow-through on the marketing and distribution angle. Gradually phased-out of inventory w/no major loss.
2). Video Pong Games -- Fortunately the lenders had more sense than I did, preventing me from expanding at a huge debt-creating level. -- Sold machines and moved-on
3). Weekly Buy/Sell Magazine --- Established distribution in over 200 convenience stores, but, profits did not justify the time/cost/effort to produce, manage and distribute the publication. -- Sold equipment and gradually phased-out the magazine.
4). Commercial Fishing --- Had a fleet of 4-5 boats, while maintaining day-job of selling computers for IBM. -- Not enough profit to switch to fishing, or hours in the day to sustain the fleet ... plus, too difficult to keep fishermen sober-enough to profitably fish and take care of equipment.
5). Stock Market Day-Trader --- Discovered that my emotional psyche was not well-suited to huge swings in options and daily stock movement. - Gained from experience, but, lost a significant, but, limited amount.
6). Bible Study Publication (Bible-at-a-Glance) -- Achieved distribution in multiple chains of Christian bookstores. -- Sold many 'Study Tools', but, ultimately wound-up giving away an over-production to various study groups. Broke even -- Still have/using many of these tools.
7). Bible Teacher/Preacher --- Spent almost 30-years in 'street and church ministry', often preaching/teaching 4-5 times per week. --- Never took any financial compensation from the ministry, ... but, the experience and benefits were priceless. (Still active, but, not at the same pace).

What type of significant businesses and activities did you engage in over the years ... How did they work-out -- and did any last until/beyond your retirement?
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:21 PM
Location: WA
5,398 posts, read 21,412,400 times
Reputation: 5903
As a young man I started a IT service bureau with a partner. After a couple of very good contracts it became clear we were very good at programming and operations but simply not good at running a business. Without capitalization and complete business skills we decided after a year or so to ramp down and go to work elsewhere.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:21 AM
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,583,976 times
Reputation: 3810
Running a small construction business. It worked out to be very successful
Not a huge one, but kept us busy. Actually TOO busy.

Business ran 24/7 for 25 years.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:03 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,854 posts, read 54,552,867 times
Reputation: 31223
I had a graphics/sign/engraving business for 16 years, and was able to comfortably raise 3 kids from the income. With 1-4 employees there were busy times when I worked 12 hours a day, others when I was able to go home at 2:00. Eventually I became specialized in commercial real estate, parking management and developer work, so when the recession came my customer base pretty much dried up and I took a good job in 2009. I was still young enough at the time that I'll be able to get a pension. Meanwhile I still do some work "on the side" and pull in an extra thousand or so a month from 2-3 good customers.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:16 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,994,426 times
Reputation: 15649
All the years of working FT or nearly FT, I had and still have a business as a professional editor and book/publications designer/producer. This was made possible by the digital age. I had been trained as a graphic designer pre-computers, and never would have been able to do this stuff without the digital technology. (I do—not fondly—remember the days of sending out text to be typeset, and doing paste-up on a drawing board, lol, what a nightmare.) Though my client base isn't what it used to be, by choice, I can do this work from home and it served me well when my mobility was highly impaired.
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