Ask a hundred people and a good majority will say that they value their independence. Yet almost all of those who answer in the affirmative go to work every day and work for someone else. That doesn't sound very independent, does it? Even if the work if in some ways fulfilling, it still benefits others more than it benefits you. The only way to gain true independence is to branch out and become your own boss. It might sound intimidating, but it is truly one of the most liberating feelings a human being can experience.
With so many resources freely* available, there are fewer and fewer excuses for continuing along the boring path of employment. The self-employed might not have those charming medical benefits, and they might not have the security blanket of a regular salary, but they have something more important. They have a sense of self-reliance that no amount of money can buy.
If you feel the motivation to start your own business and break free from the binds of Corporate America, here are a few ideas to get you off the ground.
Do you have a skill that you're not utilizing at your day job and that is in demand? If so, there could be a means for you to build a business. Freelancing is risky, but done right it can turn into a business that you control. Starting out is tough -- how do you gain experience when you have little? -- but once you establish yourself you can actually make decent money. The trick is getting out of the commodity market.
Unfortunately, most freelancers have to start there. Sites such as Elance.com allow you to bid low, sometimes very low, for various freelance projects. This won't be your end game, of course. This is just a place where you can build up your resume so you can start taking on bigger and better paying clients. The key is to put your best foot forward, even if you're getting paid $100 to do $1,000 worth of work. The goal here is exposure, so make sure to hang onto your day job for the time being.
Build an app
Maybe you don't know a thing about programming, but you can still build the next great iPhone app. How? By using the other end of the Elance equation. There are hundreds of programmers looking for gigs. As long as you understand exactly what you want, and know how to communicate it to the winning bidder, then you should see your vision realized.
(Elance also has a nice guide to making a mobile app using its service. Anyone interested should definitely pay the paltry 99 cents for the inside info.)
Think that there's already an app for everything? Think again. You might have an idea that someone already made into an app. But guess what? There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store and most of them are very poor. If you do your homework and bring a vision to your project, you can do better. One app can bring a nice side income. A suite of apps can start earning you real money.
Start an e-commerce site
There is often pushback to an idea such as opening your own online store. You don't have storage space. You don't have the time or the energy to fulfill orders. The list goes on. But none of that really constitutes an excuse. It's just a way of brushing off a good idea.