In this weekend’s Sunday Styles, The New York Times wove a cautionary tale that should strike, if not fear, then at least a note of caution, in the hearts of wantrepreneurs eager to slough off the corporate shackles for Plan B. Granted the Times piece focused on corporate refugees or victims of the recession starting second careers “as chocolatiers, bed-and-breakfast proprietors and organic farmers.” But even without the technology component, some of the stories sound eerily familiar.
There’s the never ending workday, the difficulty gauging how many customers you’ll have, the manual labor (sorry, no budget for a janitor), and the start-up diet, which in the case of 28-year-old AnnaBelle LaRoque, a former pharmaceutical representative means “oatmeal for dinner and Grey Goose for dessert.”
But perhaps the most moving is the case of Charan Sachar, a 12-year software engineer veteran, who switched from being an Etsy fan to an Etsy seller through his online store Creative With Clay. He now spends 70 percent of his time acting as his own accountant, sales director, marketing manager and shipping clerk, and less time at the kiln. What’s worse, he can always click over to his interview on Etsy’s “Quit Your Day Job” feature to look back on when this all seemed like a dream.