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Entrepreneurship


  • One year later: The benefits and tragedies of self-employment (76 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson. Almost exactly a year ago today, I quit my full-time job to pursue my passion — writing. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, but it was also terrifying. I had spent the last six years working alongside my husband, a mortician, in the funeral industry. My job certainly wasn’t perfect; but it was stable, well-paying, and sometimes fun. I also loved the people…

  • Cultivate your X-factor before it’s too late (25 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Sam. Sam spent 13 years working in Equities on Wall Street and discusses financial independence strategies on Financial Samurai. Sam is also the founder of the Yakezie Network, the largest personal finance blog network on the web. Out of the 500 or so college graduates I interviewed over a 13-year period, practically every candidate was extremely enthusiastic about getting their butts kicked working 14-hour days in finance. When you can…

  • How I built an income safety net (53 comments)

    This guest article was written by Kimberly Palmer. Kimberly is the author of the new book “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life,” and senior money editor for U.S. News & World Report. In addition, she is the creator of Palmer’s Planners, a line of digital financial guides on Etsy. A month after my daughter was born four years ago, as the fog of newborn sleep deprivation was at its…

  • Anyone can start a side business (47 comments)

    Note: This guest post is from Jim Wang of Microblogger, a blog about entrepreneurship and how Wang built a seven-figure business. For actionable advice on how to build your own business, join his free newsletter. I believe anyone can start a side business that becomes their full-time business. My first job out of college was writing software in the defense industry for Northrop Grumman. Every day I went to my 9-to-5 job, wrote software that…

  • How I Sold My Comic Books (and Why) (83 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. After a year off, J.D. is once again writing here at GRS. His non-financial writing can still be found at More Than Money. It’s fun to meet readers for coffee or lunch. It used to seem a little strange that random strangers knew so much about my life, but nowadays it just makes conversations easier. People always want to know about…

  • Garage Sale Tips and Tricks (or, How I Made $2500 Last Weekend) (41 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. After a year off, J.D. is once again writing here at GRS. His non-financial writing can still be found at More Than Money. Last weekend, I hosted a garage sale with my brother, my ex-wife, and my girlfriend. It was a raging success. We cleared out tons of Stuff, and we netted over $2500 in the process. I’ve hosted many yard…

  • Recalibrating for self-employment: Smartphones (53 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Holly Johnson. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my hesitation to hire out our yard work. After working 60 or more hours per week for the past year at our full-time jobs and side jobs, my husband and I had come to a crossroads. Basically, putting in so many hours meant that we were having difficulty finding time to do anything else. For months, nearly every one of our…

  • Reader Stories: How I became a home entrepreneur to get out of debt (37 comments)

    This reader story is from Kelly Crawford. Kelly is a “mompreneur” and contributing author for five blogs, including her own, Generation Cedar. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. I had left my job to raise my two children and was now expecting…

  • Ask the Readers: What can you do this month to earn an extra $150? (93 comments)

    And here we are in March! We’d like to check in with a series of challenges to help us achieve some goals this year. In February, we gave you the challenge of giving up something (or a series of somethings) for one month to save $250. How did you do? One of our staffers (and her partner) gave up alcohol, soda, a daily hot-chocolate habit, and suspended their gym membership for the month and resolved…

  • Mike Michalowicz, ex-Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (20 comments)

    I’ve been meaning to write about Mike Michalowicz for a while now. Last October, in a comment to an article about generalization vs. specialization, I sided with specialists and promised reader Rya that I’d soon be discussing GIANT PUMPKINS! Why? Because at the time, I was reading Mike’s newest book, “The Pumpkin Plan.” However, life is full of detours, so I am finally writing about it months later… except that I won’t be writing about…

  • Make more money as a subject matter expert (33 comments)

    I spend a lot of time working. I have my day job, first of all. I also have a demanding side hustle in addition to writing here. I’ve spent most of my working life like this. I like working and learning something new, but the main reason I seek employment is because making more money gives me choices. I can pay off debt, save for home improvement projects or add to our retirement accounts. As…

  • Being a landlord: Is it worth it? (127 comments)

    This is a guest post from Holly Johnson. Holly is a 32-year-old wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She blogs about saving money, frugal habits, and whatever is on her mind at ClubThrifty.com. In 2006, my husband and I bought our first rental property. We put 10 percent down ($8,500) on a small brick ranch in the same Midwestern community that we call home. I had gotten my real estate license several years…

  • How I Launched a Successful Kickstarter Campaign (40 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Sarah Gilbert. “You can always back out,” a dear friend who had successfully completed a few Kickstarter campaigns told me a few days into my own campaign. “You just have such a short timeline.” “You probably aimed too high,” said another, just beginning her own campaign, having carefully lined up a roster of advisers and marketing backers. “Next time, shoot a little lower.” “Let’s try for $6000,” said one…

  • Can’t Get a Job? Get a Microjob! (74 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Frugal Cool blog for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Looking for work? Somebody out there wants you to design websites, board dogs, run errands, write blot posts, do laundry, deliver packages, be a virtual assistant. Sites like eLance, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, 99designs and 3to30.com are virtual employment offices offering gigs you can pick up and put…

  • How I Won $10,200 on Game Shows (39 comments)

    For the next week (or two), we’ll be sharing “audition” pieces from folks interested in being new staff writers at Get Rich Slowly. Your job is to let us know what you think of each of these writers. Pay attention, give feedback, and after a couple of weeks we’ll ask which writers you prefer. This article is from Chip Chinery, who writes about personal finance at Chip’s Money Tips. Chinery won the website award for…

  • Advice for Entrepreneurs (27 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Sarah Gilbert. “This is a really intense spreadsheet!” I told Jay, another parent at my seven-year-old’s school. I was meeting with him for coffee to talk about a garden art product he had developed. It was beautiful, and he made the samples himself using the craftsmanship he’d developed while getting an MFA. I liked them so much, I was really hoping we could work out a barter arrangement: He…

  • The Real Secret to Making Money by Following Your Passion (47 comments)

    This is a guest post from Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, available from Amazon.com or your favorite local bookstore. You can also read his free blog at ChrisGuillebeau.com. Guillebeau is a long-time reader and supporter of GRS and one of J.D.’s good friends. You’ve probably heard the line about following your passion to the bank. Just do something you love and cash in…right? As an astute reader of Get Rich Slowly, chances are…

  • Book Review: The $100 Startup (30 comments)

    This post is by staff writer April Dykman. In March I attended the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas, and I had a chance to meet a few online personalities face-to-face, like former GRS staff writer Adam Baker of the Man vs. Debt blog. I also attended a session called The $100 Startup, a book reading led by Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity. Long-time readers know that J.D. and Chris are good friends,…

  • How I Got Rich Quickly, Then Failed…Miserably (62 comments)

    This is a guest post from Belinda James. Belinda is currently attending Trident Online University and earning her master’s degree in business administration. In her spare time she writes automotive articles for Nissan Minneapolis. A few years ago I had a regular administrative 9-to-5 job working for one of the three credit bureaus. It was an okay job with an annual pay of around $33,000 a year. In 1998 that was more than enough to…

  • Reader Story: Starting a Successful Business as a Single Person (47 comments)

    This guest post from Kelly is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want submit your own reader story? Here’s how. When I was younger, I’d always planned to be a professor in the social sciences field. I studied hard through college…

  • How to Make Money at the Farmers Market (49 comments)

    This is a guest post from Lee Doppelt and originally appeared on The Dollar Stretcher. You enjoy sauntering around your community’s farmers market each Saturday morning. Besides purchasing fresh produce, baked goods, and homemade crafts for gifts, you feel good about supporting local growers and producers. Additionally, it’s fun to meet friends at the market. The wood carving that you do is a fun hobby and friends have raved about your finished projects. They’ve encouraged…

  • How and Why I Sold Get Rich Slowly (327 comments)

    When I started Get Rich Slowly — on 15 April 2006 — it made very little money. It earned a few pennies per day. Slowly, the income grew. A few pennies per day turned into a few dollars per day, and that turned into tens of dollars per day. Eventually I was making enough money from this site that I could quit my day job to blog full time. The last time I mentioned my…

  • Reader Story: Turning a Side Hustle into Self Employment (152 comments)

    This guest post from Crystal is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Crystal writes about finding the balance between paying the bills, saving for the future, and budgeting for the fun stuff at the aptly-titled Budgeting in…

  • Reader Story: Finding Financial Balance (141 comments)

    This guest post from George is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Back in 2007, I was in a financial funk. I was doing all the “right” things — track our spending down to the penny,…

  • Giving Thanks for Small Businesses (50 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sarah Gilbert. I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family near the Oregon coast this past weekend, and spent nearly the whole day Saturday in blissful cooking mode. It was lovely, but it’s a remote area where the only nearby business is a gas station/convenience store on a highway between Portland and the coast. If one should need a quick shopping trip, the choices, to put it mildly, are limited. I…

  • Think Different: Teaching Kids to Be Entrepreneurs (62 comments)

    This article is from new staff writer Tim Sullivan. I remember when my parents gave me a raise in my allowance. I was seven and I went from $2 a week to $5 a week because I started doing my own laundry and washing my own dishes. I was so excited to be a model employee. I remember that day plotting out just how many extra GI Joes I could buy in a year and…

  • Reader Story: Using Small Income Streams to Fund Big Goals (90 comments)

    This guest post from Julie Mayfield is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. In 2006, Julie hired herself to save her family money, make extra money, and pay down debt, all while creating a life she loves. She blogs about her experiences at The Family CEO. I have great respect for small…

  • Spare Change: WDS 2012 Edition (44 comments)

    Earlier this year, I helped put together the World Domination Summit, a conference of writers, travelers, entrepreneurs, and other folks who want to change the world, both for themselves and others. Though I hadn’t anticipated it, this one weekend in June changed my life. I heard amazing speakers, absorbed incredible ideas, and, most of all, met many remarkable people. This video summary of WDS 2011 only scratches the surface. The planning team is now hard…

  • An Introduction to Arbitrage: Using Craigslist to Make a Living (152 comments)

    On Saturday, I drove from Portland to Eugene to meet Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme. He’s on a mini road trip from the Bay Area, scouting Oregon for a place to live. Along with a few other ERE readers, I joined Jacob for a meet-up. (We also go to hang out with Jacob’s dog, Frank, who is so ugly he’s cute.) For those who don’t recall, Jacob is a theoretical physicist who applied his analytical…

  • Women Entrepreneurs: Savvy Blogging Summit 2011 (30 comments)

    Last year, I gave the keynote address at the first-ever Savvy Blogging Summit, a gathering of about 65 women bloggers, most of whom write about deals, shopping, and couponing. I didn’t know what to expect before attending the conference, but if you read my wrap-up last July, you know I was impressed. These women blew me away with their attention to both sides of the personal-finance equation. Ten days ago, I flew to Colorado Springs…

  • Ask the Readers: How Can I Earn Extra Money? (122 comments)

    The realm of personal finance blogs is large. It’s filled with general money blogs like Five Cent Nickel and The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly. But there are many smaller corners of this world where writers cover smaller pieces of the personal finance puzzle. For instance, there are: Investment blogs like Crawling Road, Oblivious Investor, and Seeking Alpha (which has grown beyond mere bloghood). Economics blogs like Greg Mankiw’s Blog, the always-awesome Marginal Revolution,…

  • How to Run a Profitable Garage Sale (62 comments)

    This is a guest post from Katy Wolk-Stanley of The Non-Consumer Advocate, a blog about frugality, food waste, environmentalism, simple living and finding thrift-store bargains. When not blogging (or napping) Katy works as a high-risk labor and delivery nurse. Garage sales, yard sales, tag sales, boot sales. Whatever you call them, they’re a great way to make extra money while ridding your home of unwanted Stuff. A well-organized and well-stocked garage sale can bring in…

  • Follow-Up: Mason Shoe Company (15 comments)

    I get a lot of requests for follow-ups to reader stories and reader questions. People want to hear how things turned out. Because I want to know how things turned out, too, I’ve started a semi-regular feature at Get Rich Slowly. Whenever I hear back from a previous poster, I’ll share an update so that we can all know what happened. Last October, I shared a comic book ad from 1956. The ad explained how…

  • Review: The Money Book For Freelancers (24 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. It took me a long time to get through The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed. That’s not usually high praise for a book, but in this case I mean it to be. It took me a long time to read because it was so darn useful. I had to…

  • Why Your Income Is So Important (50 comments)

    A few weeks ago, I shared a monster list of ways to make more money. These weren’t cheesy chores or slimy scams, but legitimate ways a person could earn extra income if they needed. Most of the suggestions were drawn from GRS reader stories, from my friends’ lives, or from my own experience. They’re ways real people make real money when times are tough. After I posted the list, though, I had a few people…

  • Make More Money: How to Supercharge Your Income (81 comments)
  • Comic Book Ad from 1956: How I Made a Small Fortune in Spare Time! (19 comments)

    Last month, I mentioned that I got my entrepreneurial start as a kid by selling stuff door to door. This “stuff” generally comprised products advertised on the back of of comic books: seeds, greeting cards, and so on. For more than thirty years, companies recruited armies of salesboys and salesgirls through comics. I was one of them. But it wasn’t just kids they recruited. I was reading an October 1956 issue of Blackhawk — a…

  • Reader Story: How We Became Reluctant Landlords (62 comments)

    This guest post from Jolyn is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. You can read more about Jolyn’s financial adventures at Budgets are the New Black. My husband and I bought our first home in Las…

  • Earning Extra Income with a (Small) Blog (44 comments)

    This is a guest post from Mike Piper, a long-time GRS reader and the author of Oblivious Investor, where he blogs about such thrilling topics as Roth IRA rules and 401k rollovers. Blogging is often touted as a means to earn some extra income. But many people believe that you need tens of thousands of people reading your blog everyday before you can make any real money from it. I can tell you from experience:…

  • Book Review: Banker to the Poor (40 comments)

    This post, from GRS staff writer April Dykman, is part of Book Week at Get Rich Slowly. When J.D. announced that this week would be Book Week at GRS, I was excited about a set deadline for tackling a book from my ever-growing reading list. Since micro-finance and micro-credit have been of interest to me for the past four years or so, I decided to read Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and The Battle Against…

  • Reader Story: I Paid for Graduate School by Renting out Rooms (49 comments)

    This guest post from Mike Choi is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Almost two years ago, J.D. shared an “ask the readers” column about how to rent out your spare room. In that post, Penny…

  • Building a Money-Making Blog: Preparation (66 comments)

    Last month, I asked if you folks would be interested in a new GRS long-term project, one that tracks my progress as I try to build another blog that produces income. This would be like the garden project I did in 2008 and 2009 (and hope to do in 2011): It’d only take one Saturday post a month for updates. Many of you are interested in this project, but you have some concerns. Most notably,…

  • The Savvy Blogging Summit (59 comments)

    I’ve been a bit quiet around here lately, but for good reason. Over the weekend, I attended the Savvy Blogging Summit in Breckenridge, Colorado. This gathering of roughly 65 women (and three men) is a new event designed to help participants build better blogs. I was honored to give the keynote talk (“My Life as a Blogger”) on Thursday evening, and to present workshops (“Building Community” and “Effective Monetization”) on Friday and Saturday. During the…

  • Reader Story: Social Capital and the Microeconomic Recovery (30 comments)

    This guest post from Kimberly is part of the Reader Stories feature here at Get Rich Slowly. Some reader stories contain general “how I did X” advice, and others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity, and with all sorts of incomes. On May 27th, J.D. published an article title entitled “Social Capital: More Valuable Than Money?”. In the…

  • Reader Story: The $20 Challenge (45 comments)

    This guest post from Jessica is part of the “reader stories” feature here at Get Rich Slowly. Some reader stories contain general “how I did X” advice, and others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity, and with all sorts of incomes. Note that Jessica won $500 in the GRS video contest for this success story. My husband Paul…

  • Want to Make Something by Hand? Sew Start, Already! (41 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. Recently, J.D. wrote about the value in finding something that you enjoy making by hand. As I read his post, I couldn’t help but to think about my mom, who is hands-down one of the craftiest, most creative people I know. (Yes, I’m biased, but everyone who knows her agrees.) While she can make just about anything — from floral arrangements to jewelry to gorgeous Christmas ornaments…

  • How I Generate Extra Income by Letting Strangers Pay My Rent (79 comments)

    This is a guest post from Rebecca Rosenfelt, the founder of RealSavvyRealEstate.com, a website devoted to demystifying the home buying process for first-time home buyers. I almost never pay the entirety of my rent. I don’t have roommates and I’ve never been evicted. In the four years I rented a one-bedroom New York City apartment, I paid the full rent only one month. I now own a condo in Portland, Oregon, and I almost never…

  • How to Turn Your Clutter Into Cash (39 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this article is all about green: How to make more of it by selling your Stuff. Even though I can’t peer into your closets or surveil your garage (or…

  • Art and Entrepreneurship (28 comments)

    My pal Chris Guillebeau has a great interview up over at his blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. He recently profiled artist Tsilli Pines (who also happens to be a loyal GRS reader and a customer of my family’s box factory). The interview discusses Tsilli’s development as an artist, her initial steps toward starting her own business, and her decision to make the leap to full-time entrepreneur. Here’s an excerpt from the conversation: Chris What is…

  • Reader Story: Rental Properties for the Average Joe (84 comments)

    This guest post from Barry is part of a new feature here at Get Rich Slowly. Every Sunday will include a reader story (in the new “reader stories” category). Some will be general “how I did X” stories, and others will be examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success. Barry’s post is also part of an accidental “real estate week” kicked off by Baker’s story. For years I’d heard the rental horror stories,…

  • How I Bought an 8-Unit Apartment Building with No Money Down and Walked Away with $1000 Cash at Closing (92 comments)

    This article is by staff writer Adam Baker. Baker recently outlined his ambitious 2010 goals for his blogging, business, and life. When I was 23, I bought an eight-unit apartment building with no money down. And I walked away with $1,000 cash at closing! Sounds pretty fancy, right? Wrong. It was one of the dumbest (and riskiest) moves I’ve made in my young life. I escaped without a scratch, but it was due to an…

  • Economica: Women and the Global Economy (13 comments)

    In his book Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty [my review], Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus argues that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and overpopulation is to boost the economic status of women. When you empower women — especially poor women — their communities are improved in many subtle ways. The International Museum of Women has just launched their new global online exhibition, Economica: Women and…

  • The Personal Finance Hour, Episode 18: A Twenty-Something Entrepreneur (7 comments)

    In the recent GRS reader survey, one common request was to delay the weekly podcast announcement until after the show so that I could provide a brief written summary for those who don’t have the time or the inclination to listen. That means I can’t provide a reminder for people to call in during the show, but it may generate more discussion here on the blog. A millionaire by 26 This week, Jim and I…

  • The Benefits of Starting a Side Business (82 comments)

    This is a guest post from Neal Frankle, a Certified Financial Planner and the blogger at The Wealth Pilgrim. Neal is a potential Staff Writer for Get Rich Slowly. For background on Neal’s personal story, check out his recent article about how he went from homeless to homeowner. You can start a business even if you don’t have any money. You should do it even if you don’t need to earn more money. I was…

  • Employee or Entrepreneur? The Pros and Cons of Self-Employment (114 comments)

    In my recent review of Pam Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation, Chett left the following comment: I was talking with a good friend last week who is self-employed. I told him I envied his entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to “go it alone.” He told me he envied my work as a teacher and the set hours and guaranteed pay check and insurance. (I told him there was nothing “set” about the hours, so I…

  • Escape from Cubicle Nation (35 comments)

    Last Friday, I attended a workshop put on by Pamela Slim, who writes about entrepreneurship at Escape from Cubicle Nation. Before this meeting, I didn’t know much about Slim or her message, but her work came highly recommended from my friend, Chris Guillebeau. “Pam is the real deal,” he told me. “Her book is what a lot other books have tried to be.” Based on this recommendation, I drove to hear Slim speak. I was…

  • The Accidental Slumlord (47 comments)

    Several years ago — as I was clawing my way out of debt — I did a dumb thing and subscribed to Newsweek. I didn’t subscribe for just one year — I subscribed for four. As penance, I wrote an early GRS article about how having too many magazine subscriptions is un-frugal. Recently, though, I’ve come to love my Newsweek subscription. The magazine underwent a radical re-design last month, and jettisoned all of the stupid…

  • Turning Garage Sale Junk Into eBay Gold (50 comments)

    On Saturday night, I attended a party with some of my former high-school classmates. Many of the other guests were artists. I don’t know many artists, so it was fascinating to listen to their stories, especially about the economics of selling art during a recession. I learned a lot. Later in the evening, I spent some time chatting with my friend Jonathan. He asked me about the blog. “What are you going to write about…

  • Office Space: Why I Rented a Place to Write (74 comments)

    I recently leased office space for Get Rich Slowly. For about a year, I’d been working out of an office I’d created in one of our spare bedrooms. This seemed like an ideal solution: I was able to work from home (with my cat companions!) while utilizing empty space. In reality, this arrangement proved a blessing and a curse. Yes, it was convenient to have a home office. But I also found that the boundaries…

  • Riches — Or Just a Competence? (20 comments)

    Melissa wrote recently to point me to a story at the fantastic Modern Mechanix blog (a blog I might write if I didn’t write GRS). From the June 1917 issue of Illustrated World comes a true tale of getting rich — slowly. Although this work is now Public Domain, I wrote to ask permission to make use of the scans. Charlie, who runs Modern Mechanix, graciously agreed. I want to be clear that he did…

  • Almost One Million! A Case of Shameless Self-Promotion (183 comments)

    While I’ve been coping with the recent drama in my personal life, Get Rich Slowly has quietly posted its best month ever. Roughly 850,000 visitors have dropped by to learn about personal finance. A quick calculation shows that I’ll finish the month with nearly 950,000 visitors. So close to one million! And yet so far… This leads me to a rare instance of shameless self-promotion. Many of you have asked what you can do to…

  • How to Decide If You Should Become an Entrepreneur (25 comments)

    This is a guest post from Tim Clark, who writes about money and meaning at Soul Shelter. In response to October’s quiz about entrepreneurial “types”, a reader named Pace posed some intriguing questions: What are the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs? Are they demographically different from unsuccessful entrepreneurs? Or is it all due to individual differences? At the heart of Pace’s inquiry, I think, is something many people long to know: How can I decide whether…

  • Hustle and Patience: What It Takes to Succeed in 2009 (60 comments)

    It’s Monday morning. I’m sitting upstairs in my office, in my pajamas, watching Gary Vaynerchuk give his keynote address at Affiliate Summit West live on Ustream (along with 865 other viewers). Vaynerchuk runs a New Jersey business called Wine Library, and has a popular video blog called Wine Library TV. But most importantly (to me), he’s a passionate proponent of personal entrepreneurship. As much as I believe that frugality is an important part of personal…

  • Book Review: Work the System (9 comments)

    J.D. is on vacation. This is a guest post from Winston, the Get Rich Slowly “intern”. Sam Carpenter has written an intriguing book about how his approach to owning and managing his telecommunications company in Central Oregon has changed dramatically to positively impact his life, both in immeasurable and measurable ways. Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Working Less and Making More takes the reader through the first 15 years of Carpenter’s chaotic and…

  • Practice, Passion, and Patience: The Secrets to Successful Blogs (117 comments)

    In his new book, Blog Blazers, Stephane Grenier interviews 40 prominent bloggers about their secrets to creating successful — and profitable — blogs. Some of those who participated include: Asha Dornfest from Parent Hacks Jessamyn from librarian.net Penelope Trunk from Brazen Careerist Ramit from I Will Teach You to Be Rich Trent from The Simple Dollar Steve from Micro Persuasion The ever-popular Seth Godin I also took time to respond to Stephane’s questions. Here, with…

  • Quiz: Are You the Entrepreneurial “Type”? (12 comments)

    This is a guest post from Tim Clark, who writes about money and meaning at Soul Shelter. Have you ever wondered whether you’re an entrepreneurial “type” of person? It would seem easy enough to find out: The internet is rife with quizzes promising to assess your “entrepreneur-ability” in terms of personality, skills, experience, and background. But watch out! Many such tests are nonsense. They’re based on folk wisdom, and lack any basis in rigorous research….

  • The Best $20 You’ll Ever Spend (39 comments)

    This is a guest post from Ramit Sethi, who writes about personal finance and personal entrepreneurship at I Will Teach You to Be Rich. If you want to start a business, the best $20 you’ll ever spend is to find successful entrepreneurs and take them out to lunch. They can be from your industry or other industries — it doesn’t matter. For example, if you’re interested in hospitality, you could pick up a hospitality magazine…

  • Success as an Entrepreneur: Why It’s Not About You (21 comments)

    This is a guest post from Tim Clark, who writes about money and meaning at Soul Shelter. Looking across the living room of his expansive flat in Hong Kong’s tony Victoria Peak neighborhood, Peter Hamilton spoke in the calm, slightly world-weary voice of a man who will never again worry about earning a living. “The ones who made it,” he said softly, “are the ones who weren’t in it for the money. The fortune-seekers couldn’t…

  • Ads Are NOT the New Online Tip Jar (37 comments)

    Seth Godin wrote today that ads are the new online tip jar. “If you like what you’re reading, click an ad to say thanks,” he says. On the surface, this seems like a nice gesture. Underneath, however, it’s a bad idea. When people ask me how they can support Get Rich Slowly, I intentionally steer them clear of clicking on ads. Sure, I get a nickel or a dime or a quarter every time somebody…

  • Entrepreneurship Advice from Marc Hedlund, CEO of Wesabe (8 comments)

    This is a guest post from Marc Hedlund, co-founder and CEO of Wesabe, a web-based personal finance tool. Marc was formerly an entrepreneur-in-residence at O’Reilly Media. He also blogs about money at Wheaties for Your Wallet. A couple weeks ago, J.D. had a conversation with some friends about starting a small business. I liked a lot of what was said, but I’ve had some different experiences, and would like to offer my perspective. Here are…

  • 5 Tips for Starting a Small Business (30 comments)

    My friend Nicole and her family visited our house for breakfast this morning. She and her husband are the founders of Green Ronin, a Seattle-based game publisher. As we enjoyed a couple lovely hours outside at the picnic table, we chatted about life and work. We talked about what it’s like to own a small business. Because my father was a serial entrepreneur, I’ve spent most of my life around small businesses. Chris and Nicole…

  • The Non-Conformists’ Guide to Making Money (17 comments)

    This is a guest post from Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Non-Conformity. Last week he shared the non-conformists’ guide to personal finance. Today he follows up with thoughts on making money. Chris recently released a short (and free) e-book called A Brief Guide to World Domination. It’s all about rejecting mediocrity and pursuing a higher purpose. I recommend it highly. Working away from work I got my start as an entrepreneur completely by accident….

  • Ask the Readers: Advice for Starting a New Business? (61 comments)

    I encourage GRS readers to pursue their dreams. I also extol the virtues of entrepreneurship. Mike believes he’s ready to take both pieces of advice to heart. He wants to leave his job, set out on his own, and start a new business. But he’s worried. He wonders if Get Rich Slowly readers can offer any advice. Here’s his story: I’ve been at the same job since I graduated from college nearly ten years ago….

  • Tim Ferriss on the Power of Personal Entrepreneurship (16 comments)

    I write a lot about saving money. Like many of you, I’ve found frugality an excellent way to widen the gap between what I earn and what I spend. Frugality helped me get out of debt, increase my monthly cash flow, and ultimately begin to build savings. Thrift is a key component to personal finance. But to be successful, to build wealth, you must also increase your income. You might do this by changing careers,…

  • Patching the WordPress AnyResults.Net Hack (26 comments)

    This post has nothing to do with personal finance, yet it’s be important to many readers. Please ignore it if it doesn’t apply to you. It’s 2:30 a.m. I just spent the last eight hours tracking down an insidious hack that had affected all of my WordPress blogs except for Get Rich Slowly. This hack redirected search traffic from Google (and other sources) away from my blogs to AnyResults.Net and similar sites. Direct links were…

  • In Praise of the Lifestyle Business (14 comments)

    I’ve received a lot of requests lately to focus more on the money-making aspects of personal finance. “There’s plenty of information out there about how to save money,” people tell me. “Can you tell us how to make money?” This is a worthwhile goal, and so I intend to cover entrepreneurship and income-boosting a little more often. Entrepreneurship: A primer To begin, last week Tim Clark at Soul Shelter posted a brief introduction to entrepreneurship….

  • An Interview with Rich Rogers, Cheesemonger (16 comments)

    I’m in Trader Joe’s with Rich Rogers. I’m looking for bread. He’s looking at cheese. Rich is in the process of opening an artisan cheese shop in Dallas, Texas, and he never misses a chance to check for cheese in other stores. The past year has been a crash course in retail marketing for him. It’s a harrowing process, but he loves it. On our way to the cash registers, I stop to grab a…

  • One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (25 comments)

    Don recently pointed me to an NPR piece about a new children’s book that explores the concepts of microlending and entrepreneurship. Katie Smith Milway’s One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference tells the story of Kojo, a young boy from Ghana in West Africa. He borrows a little money to buy a single hen. With the eggs she lays, he buys more hens. And more hens. As his farm grows, Kojo is…

  • Going into Business? Keep your Personal Finances Safe (23 comments)

    This is a guest post from Chris Bibey, a full-time freelance writer offering tips and documenting his income at www.chrisblogging.com. Going into business for yourself can be a fun, enjoyable, and profitable experience. Still, you need to keep your personal finances safe no matter what career move you are making. If you’re not careful, you could jeopardize years of hard work and savings. This isn’t to say that you should stay away from starting your…

  • How I Became a Millionaire While Working in My Pajamas (105 comments)

    This is a guest post from the Millionaire Mommy Next Door. At her blog, MMND shares her recipe for success, happiness, and financial freedom. This piece originally appeared on her site in a slightly different format. When my husband and I married (at age 23), I was working as an office assistant at a veterinary hospital earning $7.50 per hour. Unsatisfied with my low wages, I brainstormed ways to generate extra income. Going to the…

  • How to Earn Extra Income Through Private Tutoring (28 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jeff Sackmann, a GMAT tutor based in New York City. Jeff runs the blog GMAT Hacks.  He is the author of The GMAT Math Bible and several other GMAT-related resources. Are you looking for a way to earn some extra money?  Did you do well in school, or on standardized tests?  Offering tutoring services may be a good bet for you. I’ve been a private tutor for the better…

  • The Incredible Secret Money Machine (24 comments)

    In 1978, Don Lancaster — a computer and electronics geek — published a book called The Incredible Secret Money Machine. Though the title smacks of get-rich-quick schemes, The Incredible Secret Money Machine is really about starting and running a small business. To Lancaster, a “money machine” is any venture that generates “nickels”. Nickels are small streams of revenue from individual customers. If your goal is simply to earn a comfortable income for yourself by doing…

  • How to List an eBay Auction for Maximum Profit (37 comments)

    This is a guest post from Mike Panic, a freelance photographer and network administrator. In his spare time, Panic runs three sites: Randomn3ss, iPhotoForum, and iLikeCheapStuff. Over the past eight years I have been buying and selling items on eBay for myself and, more recently, for small businesses. In that time I’ve learned a few tricks to help get maximum profit for items with just a few tweaks during the listing process. Here’s a checklist…

  • Resources for Would-Be Entrepreneurs (8 comments)

    Two weeks ago, The New York Times published a nice introductory article on how to get started with a small business. Author Barbara Whitaker notes that about ten percent of small businesses fail each year: Success comes with education, careful planning and adequate cash flow, specialists say. And it has never been easier to lay the groundwork for starting a small business. Many tools are available on the Internet and at libraries to aid aspiring…

  • More Money: 5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash in Your Spare Time (67 comments)

    The discussion yesterday about how to earn money when you’ve lost your job got me thinking about ways to earn extra income outside regular employment. None of these are quick fixes, but they’re ways to generate cash in your spare time. Get a second job vslide_var1 = ‘vslide-extracash’; A second job can be an excellent way to earn extra money if you have the time and energy. Why have a second job? To pay off…

  • The Blurring Lines Between Amateur and Professional Photographers (14 comments)

    Photography is an expensive hobby. With all the lenses, filters, lighting, software, and tripods, a fellow can find himself in the hole rather quickly. I should know. Photography was one of my last obsessions before getting my finances in order. I spent several thousand dollars on equipment. In retrospect, that was excessive. But if you’re willing to work hard and to sell yourself, it’s possible to turn a photography hobby into something that, at the…

  • Money-Making Hobbies: Mystery Shopping and Belly Dancing (16 comments)

    Several readers have written with stories of how they make money from hobbies. Today, Scarfish talks about two ways she’s found to earn extra income while having fun. I’m a big proponent of having self-supporting hobbies, and I have two myself.   My first money-making hobby started simply as a way to make money. I had moved to New York City directly after college for an internship (which paid only a small stipend) and was…

  • Money-Making Hobbies: Binding Books and Printing Buttons (20 comments)

    Every Sunday I share a little about making money by doing something you love. This week Matt writes that he and his wife both earn money from their hobbies. He likes to build websites, but his wife does something more original: We realized that nearly anything we do for fun — because we’re the kind of people that like making stuff — can be used to earn a little extra income. My wife’s current project…

  • Ask the Readers: Starting an Online Store? (23 comments)

    The response to my informal Sunday-only “make money from your hobbies” series has been positive. A number of you have submitted stories and questions. I’ll do my best to post these in the coming weeks, but I want to keep the topic confined to Sundays for now, so that restricts how much I can post. This week, Denise writes: I was reading your entry about making money from a hobby and I have a few questions. …

  • An Introduction to Making Money Selling Digital Photos (61 comments)

    This is a guest post from reader Mike Panic, a freelance photographer and network administrator. In his spare time, Panic runs three sites: Randomn3ss, iPhotoForum, and iLikeCheapStuff. Who doesn’t want to make a little extra cash these days? The price of digital cameras is dropping on what seems to be a daily basis. Why not put yours to some use? For the past five years I have been selling royalty-free stock photographs and will share…

  • Money Interviews: Imagination Movers, part four (2 comments)

    This is the last installment of an interview with Scott Durbin. Durbin has made an entrepreneurial leap of faith, leaving behind a safe job to pursue a dream, starting a rock band for kids. In the first part, we learned how the band moved from idea to start-up. In the second part, Durbin discussed his family’s pre-band financial situation. And in the third part we learned how starting the band affected his personal finances, and…

  • Six Tips for Money-Making Hobbies (35 comments)

    You can make money from your hobby. Whether you knit, or write, or make photographs, or grow a vegetable garden, or tinker with cars, or build web sites, or collect ancient coins — you can make money from your hobby. I’m not saying it’s possible to get rich by playing your violin at weddings, or by weaving baskets from pine needles, but earning money from a hobby is a nice way to get paid for…

  • Money-Making Hobbies (from 1938) (21 comments)

    Note: For a modern look at this topic, check out six tips for money-making hobbies. What would Get Rich Slowly have been like if it were produced seventy years ago? Maybe something like this. (Or maybe not.) All text and illustrations from Money-Making Hobbies by A. Frederick Collins, published 1938 by D. Appleton-Century Company. I am not making this up. Enjoy! A Word to You It is my private opinion publicly expressed that there is…

  • You, Inc.: How to Be the CFO of Your Own Life (20 comments)

    Many people could improve their personal finances if they simply viewed themselves as a business. In this guest entry, Flexo from Consumerism Commentary explains how he’s become the Chief Financial Officer of his own life. In the very early days of 2002, I realized I needed to change a few things about my life. My girlfriend and I returned from a vacation in Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon in the middle of December 2001,…

  • Money Interviews: Imagination Movers, part three (1 comment)

    This is the third part of an interview with Scott Durbin, one member of Imagination Movers, a rock band for kids. Durbin is taking an entrepreneurial leap, leaving behind a safe job to pursue a dream. You may also want to read part one and part two. How did starting the Imagination Movers affect your personal finances? For a while, everything we did was out of personal pocket. As the organic nature of our project…

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing (6 comments)

    Somewhere between workaday jobs and entrepreneurship lies the murky world of freelancing. The idea of striking out alone appeals to many people. But where does one start? Phil Gyford has created a beginner’s guide to freelancing. It’s been over a year since I first thought of writing down everything I’ve learned about freelancing. I’ve now been freelance for more than three years but the title still has a double meaning — this is both for…

  • Money Interviews: Imagination Movers, part two (1 comment)

    A couple of weeks ago, I shared the first part of an interview with Scott Durbin. Durbin is taking an entrepreneurial leap, leaving behind a safe job to pursue a dream, starting a rock band for kids. This is the second part of the interview. What was your family’s financial situation at the time you started the Imagination Movers? At the time the Movers started, I was entering my sixth year of teaching. Picture if…

  • Book Review: The Millionaire Maker (22 comments)

    Loral Langemeier claims that she can turn anyone into a millionaire. In her recent book The Millionaire Maker, she writes: You can give me someone who’s severely in debt, you can give me a single mom on a low income, you can even give me a guy who’s living a big lifestyle on fumes. I can take all of them and make them millionaires. The Millionaire Maker attempts to codify Langemeier’s “proprietary Wealth Cycle Process”….

  • Money Interviews: Imagination Movers, part one (2 comments)

    This is the first of a planned series in which I interview friends and family about their attitudes toward money. Most of these will be anonymized (and much shorter). Some will not. This first interview is with Scott Durbin, a member of Imagination Movers, a rock band for kids. This band is an entrepreneurial venture that required a huge leap of faith. Scott, what made you and the other Movers decide to form a band?…

  • Steve Wozniak, Entrepreneurial Hero (4 comments)

    Steve Wozniak was the brains behind Apple Computer. In the mid-seventies, he designed personal computers and peripherals while his friend and business partner, Steve Jobs, acted as salesman and marketing genius. Thirty years later, Jobs still inspires many of us with his convention keynote speeches (at which he announces new products). But whatever happened to Woz? As it turns out, he just wrote a book answering that very question. Wozniak recently appeared on The Colbert…

  • I Was a Grade-School Entrepreneur (4 comments)

    My father was an entrepreneur. He was always starting businesses. Most failed. Some succeeded in a wild fashion. (The inheritance he left the family is in the form of his most successful business, the source of my day job.) It’s no surprise that as a child, I wanted to make money too. I made my first business venture when I was in the second grade. I sold lemonade by the side of the road. It…

  • Flipping Cars for Fun and Profit (129 comments)

    The No Limits Ladies have posted an article on how to flip cars — how to buy used cars for cheap and sell them again for a profit. I find used vehicles for sale, often times through Cars.com, and I price them using KBB.com. When I find one that I know is in more demand, with a motivated seller at or below private party pricing, I go look at it and sometimes buy it. Then…

  • An Entrepreneurial Leap of Faith (18 comments)

    My friend Sparky called last night. “I’m thinking of starting my own business,” he said. “I need some advice.” I wondered why he wanted my advice until I realized that: I help run a million-dollar-plus family business; For the past six years I’ve operated a small computer consulting firm on the side; and I’ve often mentioned how I treat Get Rich Slowly as being similar to a business venture (in mindsest, not in application). Sparky’s…

  • Ten Secrets of Success (6 comments)

    This is a guest post from Aaron Muderick. He sent this is two months ago. “Wait a few days until I write about entrepreneurship as a viable personal finance strategy,” I told him. Somehow a few days stretched into a few weeks. But I’m here to make amends at last! I like reading self help/advice books that are dated by a few decades. It helps to put them in perspective and it separates the wheat…

  • Questions for Matthew Lesko, the Question Mark Man (4 comments)

    Matthew Lesko, number 99 on the list of 100 People Who are Screwing Up America, is known for his wild informercials in which he claims he can tell you how to get free money from the U.S. government. (Claims that are disputed by critics.) Last fall, The Black Table posted this interview with Lesko. His message to the world is as loud as his three-piece suits: Rape the government for all the cash you can-and…

  • 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job (1 comment)

    Steve Pavlina shares 10 reasons you should never get a job. Yet another voice in the “work-for-yourself” choir.

  • The Entrepreneurial Spirit, a Tribute to My Father (14 comments)

    My father was an entrepreneur. He was always starting businesses. He was always selling things. When I was very young he operated Steve’s Lawnmowing Service. He also sold World’s Finest Chocolate. He carried boxes of chocolate bars with him to church, and sold them after Sunday School. I remember standing on the church lawn, waiting while Dad joked and told stories and sold candy. He tried lots of other things, too: he was a flight…

  • Take Small Businesses to the Next Level (0 comment)

    Amanda has some thoughts on taking her small business to the next level.

  • In Praise of Young Entrepreneurs (4 comments)

    Last weekend my wife and I browsed a local farmers market. At one stall, Kris found a necklace that she loved. “Will you buy this for my birthday?” she asked. When I learned that the necklace in question had been hand-made by a 14-year-old girl, and that this was how she was raising money for college, the deal was sealed. This young woman is making money from her hobby. She’s also helping her parents to…

  • 10 Stupid Mistakes Made by the Newly Self-Employed (0 comment)

    This advice is geared towards small business owners, particularly people who are just starting (or about to start) their own business.

  • Accidental Entrepreneurs Turn Hobbies Into Livelihoods (1 comment)

    InformationWeek interviewed five accidental tech entrepreneurs, including the founders of del.icio.us and Digg and the author of the blog Dooce, to find out how they freed themselves from the paycheck-to-paycheck grind.

  • What Do You Want to Do With Your Life? (3 comments)

    Here’s a piece of inspiration from the mind of Greg Knauss. It reminds me of Action Girl’s Guide to Living: What do I want to do with my life? That’s easy — or, rather, it’s easy to answer. I want to create something, build something, make something, with my hands and my brain and whatever tiny bit of passion I can muster. It doesn’t even matter what, really: cool things; fun things; interesting things; silly…

  • How to Sell on eBay (3 comments)

    Cribnotes has created a guide to selling stuff on eBay. (Which, in turn, is an outgrowth of his eBay FAQ.) I recently sold a couple of thousand dollars worth of old books and games using the methods he describes here. Selling on eBay or craigslist is an excellent way to simultaneously declutter your life and generate a little extra cash. Selling does require an investment of some time and energy, but since eBay allows you…