Starting a business due to lack of employment

A little over a year ago I switched careers, but unfortunately I was let go from that employer in July. Since then, I’ve been trying to find a new role within that same field, but that has proved to be difficult. After 40+ interviews for ~10 positions, not one resulted in an offer. I feel exhausted from the interviewing process and emotionally drained.

In the past few weeks, I have started doing some consulting work for a friend who owns a small consulting business. This will pay my bills in the short term, but it’s not very fulfilling work, hence why I transitioned away from this type of work.

One of the options that I am considering for the long term is starting a business. I just don’t know what kind of business to start. I have $150k liquid, and could come up with another $50k if I sold my car. If I pulled equity out of my house, I could generate another $300k. I have $4k a month worth of bills to pay, but more if I go the HEL route.

Some ideas that interest me:

  • Flipping houses - seems very high risk to me. I would feel much more comfortable doing something like this while having a full-time job, just to shoulder some of the risk. I have some experience with this. With the real estate being crazy, and everyone having access to cheap capital, this doesn’t seem to be a very good option
  • Airbnb/VRBO - there would be good vacation rental possibilities within a 1-3 hour drive of where I live. I’m thinking something like a hunting cabin, etc. For the reasons mentioned above, it may not be the right time to start something like this. Even leveraged to the till, it would seem difficult to generate $6k of income, even with a $500k investment.
  • Boat/ATV rental - seems highly seasonal and would require significant capital investment. Liability could be huge.
  • Some sort of franchise? - I have 0 interest in running a McDonalds, Subway etc though. Could there be other opportunities though?
  • Storage unit rental - would it make sense to buy something or start from scratch?

Any other ideas? Should I just take a month off from job hunting and start fresh? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Wow! This may not be helpful, but it’s the best I’ve got. :frowning: Rather than look elsewhere, I’ll focus on your first paragraph. I don’t know anything about you, so nothing below is personal.


Figure out why. I don’t know your field/expertise, but my wife has been looking for quite a few months. She has (and has had for over a decade) age and compensation requirements against her. She doesn’t get to (or too) many interviews, but when she does, she always (well, 16 out of 17 times), gets an offer.

Is your résumé or Linkedin profile misleading? I mean, do you look that much better on paper than in person? Why?

Is there something about your personal appearance (unkempt, smelly, disfigured) that would throw someone off?

Regarding personality … You can’t be the arbiter of your likability. To rule out jackassedness or some other undesirable trait, get your best friend (hopefully, your spouse) sauced, and force them to be brutally honest. You should remain sober, and semi-silent – damn sure not argumentative. Listen and take notes for review (not ammo). Your best friend is not going to say something that’s not true.

Just in case your interviewer is @scripta, or someone else who discriminates on looks, cover all tattoos and remove all fishing tackle from your face, arms and other visible areas of your body. For the same reason, remove all religious clothing (hijabs, kippahs, etc) and trim your beard. The U.S. has made great strides, but there are still, as has become obvious recently, intolerant people with keyboards.

After an honest review of the above, you may then be able to figure out why your interviews are failing. If not, do a couple of dozen, harsh, practice interviews. Then give the job search another try.

Starting a business is very hard and requires a huge commitment, usually the least of which is monetary. There are lots of reasons to start your own business. Not being able to get a job, especially in this employee bereft economy, is rarely a good one.

Oh hush your honker. I don’t discriminate on looks, all tattoos, or piercings. Only obvious hate symbols.


Sorry to be so brief … gotta catch a gulfstream - no, not the fast kind. :frowning:

The eye of the beholder. So, we’re to bow down to the views hall monitors?

I don’t know the best way to do this, and I don’t know if Goose’s idea is the best, but he is right that you need to figure out why. Start changing stuff. Do something, or several things, different. Change your resume. Change your answers to those questions that all interviewers ask. Pay a few bucks for one of those services that will interview you and tell you where you suck. Pay a few bucks for a new resume.


I would venture that this is probably the wrong approach, and I’d echo earlier comments about trying to improve your job search. Of course if you’re ready for a change, that’s fine, but I would caution against going into it as a “job” with steady cashflow. Said another way, when you have had a decent career, why would you throw that away to be Subway manager or an active landlord / real estate renovator?

I mean you can if you want, but you should really want to do that new thing and be ready to move on from your old job. I don’t get that feel from your post, which is more looking for direction. I think if you’re asking about maybe doing it, you probably don’t know enough and aren’t serious enough about it to make it work out, certainly not enough to risk most your life savings. Often a better way to get into these types of things is to work for someone else who is already doing it for a while and learn the ropes with less risk to your capital.

If you asked me whether you wanted to make a new life day trading stocks for a living and here are some stories about people making a lot of money, I would caution against it. Sure some people do make a lot of money trading stocks (I do ok, at least more often than not), but it’s very hard, very competitive, and the vast majority of people who try fail and lose money in the process. The kind of person who has a good chance of succeeding is already trading stocks because they can’t not trade stocks. They don’t ask if they should trade them, they ask for help to get better. This is the attitude of someone I would teach -

We do not do this thing because it is permitted. We do it because we have to. We do it because we are compelled. [Watchmen]

Are you still abroad?

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I think taking some time off to reassess things might be a good idea for starters.

If you do want to pursue the career you’ve been job hunting for then maybe just doulbe down on those efforts and seek help with the job hunt.

It seems kinda more like you are looking at starting a business as a replacement for a job.

How old are you? Where do you live?