I’m also very excited about this forum! It kinda reminds me of the Boardwatch days…
After a pretty normal stint in the US Marine Corps (92-97), I struggled a bit with what to do with myself. I’d grown up with computers (starting with things like the Coleco Adam and TI-99/4A and then onto the C64, Amiga, etc. after War Games debuted) and knew that that was what I wanted to be involved in.
After a few months of temp work (boring legal filing of all things), I quit and started an ISP from nothing except my desktop computer, a fractional T1 and learning by fire (I don’t think I ever once said “no, we can’t do that,” I just figured out how and slept very little). Eventually this grew into a hosting company as well and then finally just hosting, no more dial-up. This was very successful but ended tragically with a bitter divorce, sale of the company and the new owners completely running “my baby” into the ground and really upsetting the clientele I’d lovingly managed for ten years. I still carry guilt from this.
One of the things I enjoyed most while running this business was database administration. (I’ve done everything in the hosting business from cleaning, painting, building servers, running cable, rudimentary SEO in the late '90s, Perl scripting, IIS/WebSite Pro, Cold Fusion, iHTML (lol) and really, really bad graphic design.) Leveraging what I learned there, I continued my quest and became what I’m still doing today, a SQL Server DBA.
I still enjoy this work but I very much miss running my own business. Ideally, I would combine the two and have plans to do so.
I honestly don’t know what has kept me from taking the leap again other than responsibilities that have just continue to grow. I married again almost five years ago and I’ve got five kids now, so my income stability is a huge handicap at the moment. I literally can’t afford to earn less than I do.
If nothing else, I hope this forum helps gets me off the ledge and perhaps find a business soul mate which is what I feel was sorely missing last time. You can’t do everything yourself. (And why would you? It’s lonely as hell.)
Thanks for listening and providing this venue. To our health and good fortune!
(I’m on Twitter as @lordbeazley as well if you’d like to connect there.)