September 2, 2014  
 
  Entrepreneurs  
  Transitioning from Employee to Entrepreneur  
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There's no shame in being unemployed or getting laid off. It happens. Most folks who lose a job start looking for a new job. If you have recently joined the ranks of the unemployed or are simply sick and tired of your current job, another option is to become an entrepreneur.

There are two ways to become an entrepreneur. You can either start a business from scratch or buy an existing business.

To help you out, we've collected some interviews with people who have made the transition from employee to entrepreneur, including a few folks who are just starting down that path. We've also collected some advice from the experts on how to go from being an employee to being an employer. Want to be featured in an article of your own? Just submit your employee-to-employer interview.

Employee to Entrepreneur

  • Gena Rotstein's Journey from Employee to Entrepreneur - Being an entrepreneur takes up a lot of time and can be lonely, but Gena Rotstein is enjoying running her own company. She's developed a nice niche providing charitable advising services to companies, families and individuals.
  • From Sales Superstar to Successful Entrepreneur - Sales skills are invaluable for new entrepreneurs. So, it's no surprise that Debra Freligh has successfully transitioned from employee to entrepreneur. Her marketing firm, based in Sparta New Jersey, has become a go-to destination for business owners in search of effective media strategies.
  • Lost a Job to Downsizing, Bought a Franchise - Vickie Tompkins is the founder of Synergy HomeCare in Beaverton, Oregon. She was a downsizing victim at a manufacturing company and decided it was time to control her own destiny. So, she bought a franchise in the booming home care industry.
  • Becoming Your Own Boss After Leaving a Job - Circumstances change and jobs can go away. When that happens, a great option is to become your own boss. Jennifer Dillon of Franklin, Massachusetts took that route.and so far, so good.
  • Bailing Out on the Auto Industry to Become an Entrepreneur - Wondering whether Detroit will get a bailout and whether the automotive industry will rebound? Nick Lober decided he wasn't going to stick around and find out. He left the auto industry to seek his fortune by starting his own business.
  • Starting My Own Medical Practice - Melissa Babcock worked as a dermatologist for somebody else for five years before she decided to set up her own dermatology practice. She shared some of her lessons learned with us.even if the business you want to start is completely different, there's some great advice in this entrepreneur interview.

  • Starting a Boutique PR Firm - A great job can become hellish when the people mix changes for the worse. Michelle Renee saw that happen at her job, so she left and started her own company, a boutique PR firm based in San Diego, California.
  • Sony Alumni Start Events Production Company - Jamie Geffen and Brian Worley left their jobs at Sony to start an event production company, called YourBASH! They are located in Santa Monica, California but plan events both nationally and internationally.
  • Leaving a Job to Become a Business Owner - Penny Haynes of Holly Springs, Georgia saw the writing on the wall when business slowed down at her company. So, she started a business of her own.
  • Opening an Acupuncture Business - Joy Lundquist lost her job at a not-for-profit after voicing disagreement with the organization's new direction. She's pulled out a win though, as she now has transitioned into owning her own business as an acupuncturist, which she loves. As she says, when you love doing something very much, you cannot possibly fail. So true!
  • The Road to Entrepreneurship for Amos Winbush III - Amos Winbush III was pursuing his musical interests in New York and then decided to switch gears and start a business. He offers some great advice for other would-be entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting a company.
  • Jeff Teeter's Story: Lost a Job, Bought a Franchise, No Regrets - After getting laid off from a job, Jeff Teeter decided it was time to gain control of his own destiny. He bought a franchise, and, from all appearances, he's loving his new life as an entrepreneur!
  • From Travel Industry Job to Travel Entrepreneur - Jason Kucherawy is an entrepreneur in Toronto in Canada. His company went through a variety of changes and he ended up unemployed. Like many of the entrepreneurs we feature in this section of our site, he's made the best of it by using unemployment as a transitional device to pursue his goal of owning a business and making the most of his talents.
  • Starting an Online Game Company - Douglas Granzow is a talented entrepreneur from Ashburn, Virginia. He left a large company to become his own boss. He's now enjoying life running a popular online business game called Tycoon Online.
  • Closing Up One Business to Start Another - We're taking a look at transitions from employee to entrepreneur, but another interesting transition is going from owning one business to starting a different company altogether. That's a story that Iyabo Asani was kind enough to share with us.
  • Starting a Virtual Assistant Business - A bad job can be a blessing in disguise. For Caroline Pigott, it motivated her to leave and form her own company, VIP Assistant Solutions. Now, she's blazing a trail in the fast-growth market for virtual assistants.
  • Founder of Collar Free Discusses Switch from Employee to Entrepreneur - Jimmy Hendricks is the co-founder of Collar Free in San Diego, California. He worked as a sales manager for a while and then decided it was time to go out on his own. He was kind enough to share his entrepreneurial experience with us.
  • Transitioning from Employee to Entrepreneur - Here's an interview with Michelle Hill, an aspiring entrepreneur who is starting a copywriting business. She's still keeping her day job, but you can tell she's got what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
  • How Andrew Cronk Went from Employee to Employer And Never Looked Back - It's tough to work for a big company that stifles creativity. Occasionally, some talents escapes from those confines and become entrepreneurial innovators. Andrew Cronk is one such individual, and he shared his thoughts on what it's like to leave a job and go out on your own.
  • From Employee to Entrepreneur - Brent Ridge, in Sharon Springs, New York, saw the writing on the wall, as he watched the media company he worked for suffer in the down economy. He jumped ship.onto his own ship, a new startup that promotes a lifestyle brand that is cultivating a loyal following.
  • Bryan Heathman's Path from Employee to Entrepreneur - Bryan Heathman lost his job but had already been working on a Plan B to start a company of his own. Today, he is the founder of Made for Success, an audio recordings company. He's also written a book that helps other entrepreneurs to make the most of their ecommerce websites.
  • From Real Estate Agent to Business Owner - With the crash of the real estate industry, many real estate agents and others involved in real estate are looking at new career options. Jean Newell decided that it was time to own a business, rather than simply find a job.
  • How John N. Clark Went From Employee to Coffee Company Owner - Who doesn't love coffee? This entrepreneur took a passion for coffee and used that passion to fuel the successful launch of his own coffee company. He left a big paycheck and a nice expense account, but he has no regrets at all.
  • The Journey from Employee to Entrepreneur for Kendra Herington - Kendra Herington moved to a new town and found it was tough to find a job. So, she set up shop on her own, helping others with marketing and event planning. It's a new way to live, and, so far, she's enjoying it!
  • Starting a Consulting Business After Being Laid Off - When life deals you lemons, make lemonade. That's what Mark Stelzner did after his company merged with a large company and downsized his position. His new consulting firm is doing well, and he has some great advice for others who are contemplating becoming entrepreneurs after a change in employment puts them into free agency.
  • Formerly at Lehman Brothers, Now an Entrepreneur - What happened to Lehman Brothers was a tragedy. But, many former Lehman employees will no doubt go on to do amazing things. Peter Ubriaco is a great example of an ex-Lehman employee who is now well on his way to becoming a very successful entrepreneur.
  • How Melissa Cassera Went From Ad Sales Rep to Starting a Publicity Firm - Melissa Cassera left her job as an advertising sales rep to start her own business. She now owns and runs a publicity firm that is focused on helping entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • Becoming an Independent Consultant After Losing a Job - Mitch Paioff was laid off when the dot com bubble burst. He didn't waste any time in setting up his own consulting company, and he's now very active in helping others to build their own consulting practices.
  • From Quality Assurance to Quality Lifestyle - Nacie Carson left her job at a software company to do her own thing. She not only quit the corporate rat race, but her new business evolved from her creation of a blog to discuss such personal transitions. She's becoming an authority on best practices for lifestyle design, and was nice enough to spend some time with us, talking about her own transition from employee to entrepreneur.
  • Downsized Too Many Times, Now an Entrepreneur! - Nancy Spruel suffered through downsizing a few times before deciding to become an entrepreneur. Her business, Wholesale Spa Source, sounds like a great business. We asked her a few questions about how she went from being an employee to being an entrepreneur.
  • From Advertising Agency Employee to Entrepreneur - Ruta Fox started a business and made a million dollars her first year. Before that she worked for a global advertising agency. Curious how Ruta made the transition from employee to entrepreneur? This interview explains exactly how she did it.
  • Starting a Natural Foods Company - Life is too short to be unhappy. With that in mind, Seth Mendelsohn decided to turn his passion for cooking into a new business. He left the life and being an employee and, so far, has enjoyed the transition to owning a business of his own.
  • Recessions Create Great Entrepreneurs - The current recession may be the mother of all recessions. But previous recessions have generated their fare share of talented entrepreneurs. We caught up with Miriam Silverberg, owner of a New York PR firm, to hear her story about how she got started as an entrepreneur.
  • Making the Transition to Entrepreneur - Writing a book might not seem the same as opening a business, but, in fact, authors that do well approach promoting their book in the same way that any entrepreneur goes about promoting their offerings. Beth Dunn's business is her book. We talked to her about the transition from working for somebody else to having her own business.
  • Accidental Entrepreneur - Robert D. Willis is the founder of an Eastford, Connecticut company that makes a fragrance product that is an alternative to scented candles or potpourri. Before that, he had worked at a company for 34 years. Then things changed, and he ended up, to his surprise, owning his own business.
  • Employer Went Bankrupt, Started a Bath Products Company - Donna Rug's former employer went bankrupt, but her story has a happy ending. She started a business of her own and says it's the best decision she ever made.

 

 

 

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