Businesses I’ve Owned: Past & Present

From Debt Sucks’ blog post about his business ventures, it got me to thinking about the ones I’ve had, and the number surprised me.

If we’re counting blogs as businesses, then my grand total so far is 8*!


*BUSINESS #??: Paper Girl

I didn’t include this because I feel like it wasn’t a business. All I did was manage some neighbourhood kids into delivering papers by paying them half the rate I got and praising the good ones with ice cream cones once a week.

Nah. Not including this.

BUSINESS #1: Selling used clothes on Ebay

Yes I did this. It started with me selling stuff from my closet (not my big closet clean out, just one or two things), and then I started scouring thrift stores and picking up gems, and reselling them after merchandising them nicely and writing these exhaustive descriptions on Ebay.

I didn’t make much profit on anything I sold, perhaps $5 each item or less, but it was more of a hobby that turned into a small money maker. I closed it after I had ransacked all the thrift stores in the surrounding area, and decided that I was too tired to sift through clothes for hours every week. It was fun while it lasted.

BUSINESS #2: Selling virtual treasures on Ebay

(I forgot to write about this in my comment on Debt Sucks!. Solly.)

Yes, still a kid here. In my pre-teens.

I was obsessed with multi-player online role playing games (RPGs). I would spend HOURS in front of the screen, building up character stats and running a couple of virtual “stores” online, with my mad characters that could do anything from make suits of amazing armor to selling reagents (these herbs you make spells with).

Probably my most interesting business to date. I used to be obsessed with this RPG, and I made millions in gold a day. At least $2 – $3 million and I spent “investing” in rare items and huge houses on islands in the game.

It translated into real money for me when I decided to get out of the game completely, cut myself off and focus on getting awesome grades to hit up those scholarship funds.

I sold a million gold pieces on eBay for $20 each “lot”, for new people who wanted to get into the game but didn’t want to put in the hard work of 6 months and save the money required to get properly outfitted and started in the game.

(Gee this sounds a lot like real life….)

In the end, I sold everything I owned plus the gold during the 2 years of my obsession for about $2500 USD. This sounds like a lot of money, but remember… I was spending hours on the game, every day, every weekend.

Sure, it was a helluva lot of fun, but I probably made $0.50/hour in the end. I’d have been better off flipping burgers.

BUSINESS #3 Doing web designing and web consulting

Let’s say I’m in my teens now. I had a job at a local burger shack and on the side, I was dreaming up designs for webpages. I’m sure you must have noticed this, but I can’t stick to a theme for more than a year. I think I re-designed this blog in February, and I’ve just recently changed it AGAIN.

Oh wait? You didn’t know? Plug, plug, plug come check it out! It looks a lot sexier, and I am hoping to keep this format forever, because it was a pain in the butt to tweak.

I used to design websites, and then counsel people on how their pages SHOULD look — no bright green backgrounds with black text please thankyouverymuch.

I did this for most of my teens and into college years, changing from a burger shack salary to a webdesigning salary, but doing the web consulting bit on the side.

I made okay money. Nothing fabulous, and in one client I think I traded free comics for webdesigning. OH YEAH!! 🙂 Free comics just to do what I love anyway. Score!

I think being a kid with braces, glasses and totally geeked out must have made these businesses trust my opinion even more, as they were mostly small to mid-sized businesses.

BUSINESS #4, #5 and #6: BLOGS

So you know my blogs:

This blog, The Everyday Minimalist and Style on a String.

I make enough to cover my hosting and domain name registration fees, but not much else. *shrug*

I made some bad decisions at the start with FB in the City and I’ve had a lot of problems struggling with the identity and set up in the beginning.

I had assumed I’d make some money but that was because I was in debt so I had $_$ in my eyes and I wanted even $0.10 to go towards my debt.

Then after 2 painful years of not listening to my wise readers from the start, I sliced out all those stupid pay per posts, put up ONE Google ad now I’m much happier than writing those crap posts (sorry everyone!).

But hopefully I’ve changed a lot this year and moving forward, it’ll be a better blog as a result.

Hey, it’s gotta get really bad before it gets better right?

I’ve come to these conclusions about blogging

1) I don’t need the money from my blogs (hence, quality not crappy money making quantity)
2) I really do write for fun, not for money
3) I don’t want to be famous or rich off my blog (kind of worries me)
4) I already have a career I love that makes me more than a blog ever could, in less amount of time
5) This is just a free hobby that pays for itself


I just recently started doing this, so I forgot about it. I write PF articles on the side at Investopedia and I love it. It’s hard to NOT be a blogger and write with a neutral, third-party tone, but I think I’m learning the hang of it.

I know my profile doesn’t show my posts and they’re working on the code for that, but so far I’ve written about 10, some still to come.

My latest article is How to budget for an irregular income.


This is where I pay the bills, my bread and buttah!

Most recent budget post: September 2010.

You already know about it through reading my blog, so I won’t talk about it.


Holy. I guess I’ve done a lot more work on the side that I had originally thought.

The thing with me, is I can’t seem to get into anything without making money.

They all start off as hobbies, or little things to do on the side and I don’t know what happens but it turns into a mini business that may not bring a lot of cash considering the time, but that I have fun doing them as well.

I mean, I started selling stuff from my closet which branched into getting stuff from thrift stores to fix up and resell. That turned from a hobby into money. I didn’t mean for it to make much of anything or turn into something I’d do regularly, I just thought it was kind of cool to write descriptions, take pictures and organize everything, and I became addicted to creating Ebay postings and tracking them.

And now with blogging, it started as a free hobby on Blogspot and now it’s covering its own domain name and hosting with the (small amount) of money it makes from Adsense.

Oh well, better than nothing. 🙂


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.