Be Your Own Boss and Create the Job of Your Dreams

Written By Fran Sullivan

When I lost my job a few years ago, I received some great advice from a good friend. She told me that in order to take a step forward, you sometimes need a swift kick in your rear end.

Sometimes that kick can propel you in a whole new direction. While you are searching for your next job, take some to time to think about those new directions. Do you have a hobby or a passion that you love doing? Now is the time to consider turning it into a career. The opportunities are endless, and often come to us in strange ways. Consider a recent New York Times article that featured two career women who shuck their jobs to start an oyster farm as the result of a Groupon coupon. In the same issue, a caterer described how she was asked to waitress at a private party and wound up cooking the whole dinner. Careers they never imagined were born.

Your first step should be research, of course. Check the marketplace for any holes or gaps you could fill. Some of the most profitable ventures have been the simple, ordinary, everyday items that are overlooked but needed. Then, take an inventory of your skills, including any activities you enjoy outside the workplace. For example, are you an expert fisherman? A carpenter or woodworker? Do you enjoy needlework, such as knitting or sewing? These are interests you probably don’t think are marketable, but they are great topics for blogs, which is where you should start.

Blogs are a great place to begin because they cost very little, if anything. Carve out a niche market based on your proficiencies. Some popular topics are DIY and home décor, gardening, investing, fashion, and health and wellness, but the sky’s the limit. In addition, you’ll earn valuable experience by building and growing your site and increasing your search engine optimization.

Your site can earn income by prompting other people’s products in return for a commission on the sale. You don’t need to invest in inventory, and the process is easy. Simply add an affiliate link on your blog or social media channel. Customers then click on the link to purchase, and the conversion is tracked using cookies. You receive a commission on the sales, effectively creating an e-commerce business with other people’s products.

Dropshipping is another economical way to start your business. Create your own online store listing products you want to sell. You order those products at a wholesale price directly from the manufacturer and ship it directly to the customer. You don’t pay anything until the customer pays you. There’s no investment, no inventory, no packing, and no shipping … and the profits are yours. The downside is that you have to handle the customer service and returns.   

Don’t want to handle customer service? Consider collaborating with Amazon for its FBA or Fulfilled By Amazon program. Sign up for an Amazon seller account and select Fulfilled by Amazon. Your products are shipped in bulk to Amazon’s fulfillment center, which then ships your product directly to your customer and handles any returns and customer service issues. You are paid every two weeks after Amazon deducts its storage and handling fees. Another option is White Labelling. You source your own products, label them with your logo, and sell them on Amazon. Check out for the best wholesale products sources.                                                                                                 

Finally, there’s the online course. Here’s where your fishing or knitting expertise comes in. You can share your passion with people new to the subject and eager to learn a different skill. Online courses have become increasingly popular and preferable to traditional learning.  Upfront costs are low with the only investment being your time creating the course, and the software needed to deliver it. Once the course is created, it can be sold over and over again, ensuring a continued income flow.

These are just a few suggestions to steering your career in a new direction. Look for the door that you may have overlooked but has always been open to you and walk through it.  

About the Author:

Fran Sullivan has been a successful writer/editor for more than 40 years. She was the managing editor of Marine Engineering Log,  a publication covering the international shipbuilding industry. She was the first editor TAPinto Elizabeth,  an online community newspaper serving New Jersey’s fourth largest city. For 13 years, Fran was the employee communication specialist for Elizabethtown Gas. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University.