Saturday, November 27, 2010

Test-Drive Your Dream Business

Starting a business is pretty scary. Having an idea and then going through EVERYTHING you need to decide you can even do what it takes to succeed with it are a big job. There are all kinds of idea men. Anyone can have an idea, but very few of them can take that idea and make it into a reality. Many try. Many fail. They fail because they have no idea what they are getting into, their idea stinks, or any other excuse you can come up with.

What about working paycheck to paycheck and taking out payday advance loans just to get by wondering if your idea works, or the business you want to run could actually be right for you? Maybe you need to take a test-drive....

Here's an interesting idea. VocationVacations, a company that exposes people to alternative careers in one-, two- and three-day getaways. Brian Kurth founded the service in 2004 and has steadily expanded his network of vocational mentors to 30 states. The mentors -- all working professionals -- offer one-on-one training in 185 careers, from archeology to sports play-by-play announcing. Clients learn directly from brewmasters, make-up artists and television script writers -- a few of the most popular choices, Kurth says. The more adventurous step far beyond the 9-to-5 world to try bison ranching and guiding white-water rafting tours.

"You can be a total novice in whatever it is," says Kurth, who took a circuitous route to forming the company. He left his Chicago marketing job, got laid off from a dotcom, and traveled by car for six months, mainly in Colorado and on the West Coast, asking people about their careers. After finally settling in Portland, Ore., he went into marketing for the wine industry. He also launched VocationVacations, a moonlighting business based online. The concept proved so popular and rewarding that after a year he gave up the wine job.