So I decided this last year to start a small business. I mean very small. So small, I still need my current job and paycheck to help finance it. An incredible opportunity came my way to purchase a similar business from someone retiring for health issues. Another ending tied to a new beginning. It wasn't so much the entrepreneurial spirit that motivated me into this endeavor as it was freedom from student loans. What small profits I hope to see, and that will not be used to pay down my start up costs will be put directly into paying off my student loans.
Like most folks in their 20s and 30s I have a large pile of student loan debt. This debt could follow me around most of my productive working life if I allow it to. I don't want to be paying off student loans in my late 40s and 50s (I know several folks who this is still a reality for at that age). I'll always be happy I got the education that I did, but I can tell you leaving college with 20-40k in debt (and still some folks even more) can prevent you from taking larger steps into the economy. Depending on future employment prospects, relationships, and sheer luck many of my generation may never get to be homeowners. Many of us will live at home longer than our parents generation did, many will end up in jobs that are just paychecks to pay off debts. We can talk more about the terrible student loan industry another time, back to my business adventure.
For several years I have been listening to the advice of my friends who I consider to be successful small-medium business owners, they repeatedly told me we have entered the 'knowledge economy'. As fun as political consulting for local candidates was/is, I know buttons even better. I know how to make them. I know what people like in their buttons, I know the kinds of events buttons are popular for etc. Like my friends who love baking cupcakes and other pastries, I love making buttons. Even if I don't end up making any money, at least I am doing something I enjoy (and without the calories of unsold cupcakes).
Not sure what will happen with this endeavor. If I pay my loans off sooner than expected I will be most happy.