1. The Closet Entrepreneur – Intro

The Closet Entrepreneur by Kendra Leah Fuller

By , @Writing2Day

I have many passions in life, among them are writing and entrepreneurship. I love to write fiction but my love and experience of starting my own businesses has led me to put that experience to paper. Yes, I said businesses. I have actually started several businesses over my lifetime, the first when I was nineteen years old. My how the world has changed since then.

When I was nineteen, the computer I was familiar with had a black screen and green lines for inputting information. I can still remember the fascination I felt when we got our home computer and I browsed the Internet for the first time. Amazing! Every once in a while technology will slap me upside the head and this was one of those times. Little did I know then that a pastime would lead me in to a new business venture.

I was working as a financial manager at the time and taking care of the company’s Internet store. This led me into my first web designing experience and I was hooked. Shall we say, “I was a little disgruntled at work?” That is putting it mildly. I called up my husband of not even a year and told him I wanted to quit my job and start a couple of businesses – web designing and an online retail store.

I truly have to thank him for being so supportive of my foray into the unknown world of e-commerce. As it turns out, he came to work with me after my Internet business really took off. With my first child, I was able to stay home and take care of her. I knew we were planning on having a baby (second husband, second family) and I was dreading the thought of having to leave that baby at daycare. I wanted desperately to be at home with that child and starting a business that I could work from home was my solution to making that happen.

I started two businesses at once because I knew it would take time for either business to take off and doing both would help make ends meet. Within a year, I was so busy with my online store that I totally backed away from designing for others. I will caution anyone who thinks that they can grow a successful business, home-based or otherwise, by only devoting a couple of hours a day to that business. Owning an Internet store is no different that owning a brick and mortar store. You are in for some long hours as a business owner.

I spent anywhere from 60-80 hours per week growing my business. But what I did have working from home was flexibility. I didn’t have to go open the store at 8:00 a.m. and stay until it closed at 9:00 p.m. My store was open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week but I had the flexibility of taking care of business around my family’s schedule. This meant waking up around 3:00 a.m. on a regular basis, working until about 11:00 a.m., devoting time to my son throughout the rest of the day, and working again in the evening.

I ran this business for close to ten years and made many mistakes along the way. But yes, I did learn from them! I am a hands on type of person (read couldn’t afford to hire outside help) and if I didn’t know how to do something, I learned. I have heard horror stories of other people starting online businesses and spending thousands of dollars having someone else design their website, customize their shopping cart, the list goes on… I would cringe at this and think, “Unless you have bottomless pockets, learn to do it yourself.”

This is my mission. To teach you how to start your own internet business out of your closet. From the first steps of choosing what you are going to sell, picking a business and domain name, web hosting, creating a business plan (yes, even a home-based business needs one), designing your website (yes, I will teach you how), the importance of search engine optimization, and marketing and growing your business, this guide will make it possible for you to do it all yourself.

I chose to blog this book because many of the topics can stand alone and you may not need help with every single aspect of your business. And, the thought of blogging a book has been one that always intrigued me. It is my intention to post once or twice a week. I wish I could commit to more at this point, but alas, I have a day job.

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