Building Foundations

It recently occurred to me that this time next year will find me a bachelor degree holder. *gasp*

This means that 2011 will be a year of foundations. The bachelor’s degree is not an end to itself, but is a stepping stone to where I’m going next. Unfortunately, I don’t know what that next step is yet.

I do have some ideas, however. Three of them:

  • Business idea #1 – This business would be built around a hobby that I greatly enjoy and would like to have more time to pursue. It would be the most fun, though perhaps the most challenging to build an income around.
  • Business idea #2 – This business would be built around something that I’ve been interested in for some time. I have been told that I should pursue this more actively, and I can see where it could be fairly easy to generate an income with.
  • Career path – Of the ideas that I’ve brainstormed, this is the only one that involves working for someone else. It’s also the easiest and would traditionally be considered the most secure, though also the one with the least long-term income potential (though the fastest way to build a steady income).

(note: I realize that these don’t give away any details, but I’m still mulling them over at this point.)

No matter which one of these options I choose (or even if I decide to pursue a business and the career at the same time) I will be busy laying the foundations for them in 2011. Either of the businesses will have to be built from scratch and even the career I will have to start contacting the organizations and jumping the necessary hoops to land myself a job.


This is the dilemma that I’m currently facing. I like all of these ideas, for different reasons. While I think that I can reasonably attempt two of them (a business and career combo) I am fairly certain that trying to pursue both business ideas while also attending school would be too much of a stretch for me.

I have a year to get one or two of these going. At least one of them needs to be successful in that time, because I will then have to begin paying back the pesky student loans and hopefully also allow my wife to quit working in order to better focus on school.

Answers not expected

I’m not really looking for you to tell me what to do, just trying to make the best decision for me. I’m not sure if I should:

  • Go for the most fun business, but one that will be harder to monetize.
  • Build a less fun business, but one that could be easier to monetize.
  • Get a stable job in a respectable career field. Immediate, steady paycheck, but less room for income increases down the road. Also means I’d be travelling more.

I’m not expecting any answers, but if you happen to have some input I’d love to hear it in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Building Foundations

  1. Rebecca Burgener says:

    Just for the sake of income, I would probably go for the J-O-B, and build your business on the side, but have a clear plan to monetize it before you get started.

    Just my two cents. I look forward to seeing what you do.

    • Matthew says:

      I’m going to go for both simultaneously, building the business while also going after the job. I chose to focus on the business that I feel will be easier to monetize, since I need the income.

      Steps that move me toward the job also help me achieve some other goals for the year, so the duality of those steps will help me make progress for the “backup” position in case I do need it.

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