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An Entrepreneur’s Tale

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You will read it in a number of places over and over again, but one of the best ways to make money is to start a business.  It's so much easier said than done.  I had made about 3 or 4 attempts at a business before I either lost the passion for the idea or got too lazy.  Ironically, acknowledging my laziness has helped me launch my most successful business - this blog.  I don't really think of it as a business, more of a hobby that generates a little income.  However, it's at the point where I could put a minimal effort in and make a good dollar for that effort.  I'm not about to do that though, I want to expand this hobby and maybe add new ones that will generate me income all the time.

My fiancee has a friend that has a couple of similar ventures.  One is a tried and true way to make money that I'm sure you've heard a lot about.  This friend, we'll call her Laura (not her real name), has a beach house on the New Jersey shore that she rents out all year.  Twelve weeks of rent in the summer can now pay off a year's worth of mortgage.  She bought the property back in 2000 or so.  I don't know if she bought at the right time or just bought the right place, but either way it's doing quite well for her.  I'd like to duplicate this myself, but in running the numbers, I can never find a good deal.  Maybe I should look in New Hampshire, north of where I used to live.  It's got good camping, skiing, and leaf peeping, making it a tourist attraction for much of the year.

It's Laura's other business that I find the most interesting though.  She breeds purebreed dogs.  It sounds so simple now that I think of it.  The demand is there, the barrier to entry can't be that high, and the profit margins seem like they'd be huge.   I have never looked into such a business, but I just might have to start.

Do you have any great business ideas like Laura?

Posted on April 17, 2007.

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11 Responses to “An Entrepreneur’s Tale”

  1. The problem with breeding, is that if you want top dollar you have to have champion lines. These don’t come cheap or without effort. Every seen best in show. Try cracking into that world.

  2. kev says:

    Breeding dogs can be a great income supplement, but it can be quite a bit of work depending on how big you want to get into it. Your having a friend who already does it should provide you an excellent blueprint to follow if you decide to get into it, though.

    Good luck.

  3. dong says:

    I think the key to succesfully launching a succesful business is being both passionate about it and being good at it. I think alot of people don’t objectively evaluate their own talent. Also sometimes, you don’t need to come up with your own idea, lots of people sware by franchises….

  4. zaphod2016 says:

    With so many unwanted dogs being destroyed every year, are you sure we need more? There are plenty of ways to make money, and most of them are far easier than caring for a litter a pups.

  5. Joe says:


    On the rental idea, have you run the projections with 20% down? I’m in the houston area and every time I get onto the local MLS and start crunching mortgage vs. rent cashflow, I find that 20% down almost always results in positive cash flow in a rental situation, it’s just a question of how much. Of course there are other variables not the least of which is vacancy rates (which will be high in a vacation home setting) and any necessary reconditioning (which could also be a factor in a vacation type beach house or mountain cabin).

  6. Lazy Man says:

    RateLadder, I don’t know if this person breed’s dogs to be competive show dogs or just for normal house pets. I think there’s a lucrative market there for the average person not looking for “top dollar.” I want to say she is able to sell each puppy for $250 or $500 a piece.

    Zaphod2016, you have a good point, but the dogs that are typically destroyed are not purebreds. The “unwanted” dogs are unwanted for a reason. It may be a poor analogy as it takes all the humanity out of it, but people destroy computers every year, so should we stop making new ones?

    Joe, I haven’t seriously run the projections in a year or two. The reason is that in the places where I’ve lived, it’s been the exact opposite of Houston’s market. Boston and Silicon Valley are almost impossible to cash flow with. In some places in MA, even 20% down doesn’t get you to a cash flow situation. Now even if 20% down does get you to a cash flow positive scenario, could you have done better by putting that 20% in a mutual fund. There are plenty of dividend paying funds that could generate cashflow. I think my $5000 in Prosper is generating around $50 a month in cash flow. I say “think” because it can be a little difficult to measure.

  7. zaphod2016 says:

    Lazy Man:

    You are correct that an amatuer can collect $250-$500 per purebred pup. Just make sure you have them spayed and neutered. Oh- and make sure to keep their anti-virus software up to date.

  8. Hey Lazyman

    i know this guy who breeds horses. something about some tax loophole that makes this attractive. probably the same thing that drives people to breeds lamas. (I think i had a post on that).


  9. eric says:

    hey lazyman—I agree that your own business is the way to go, but it does take a number of key ingredients—passion, perspiration and a little luck. Past that, I suspect you make relatively good cash in your job?—remember that the average US household income is just over $40k.

    Do you live on a written budget? spend every dollar on paper BEFORE the budget month? I know it sounds nuts, but I guarantee you find some $$ you would otherwise waste if you do that.

    Past that, if you’re debt free and doing the written budget you can make your goal just by investing in good, long-track-record mutual funds—I don’t know how old you are but if you have 20-30 years left of work-life, you can hit your number just by freeing up your income to invest—shoot for 15-20% of your take home and find a local broker who will teach you, not just sell you, investments.

    I would still swing for the fences, but the greatest hitters in my book hit for average—-protect your income and invest it, but if you see a fat fastball, swing!

  10. Jeremy says:

    I would continue with real estate (and you can’t be lazy when it comes to finding a good deal) as well as continuing your pursuit in business. I must say that books like the Millionaire Real-Estate Investor (http://www.millionairesystems.com/) and Tax Loopholes of the Rich (http://www.taxloopholes.com/index.php?s=stldetail&id=22) have really made me think hard about alot of things. I always find that the key component to getting what you want is drive. Just keep striving and you will get there. Good luck!

  11. Lazy Man says:

    Eric, stick around and read, I do most of the things that you mention. However, I do not stick to a written budget. Instead, I ask myself before every purchase if I really need it. Most of the time it turns out that I don’t need it and don’t buy it. You’d be surprised how much this works with almost no work of budgeting.

    It also helps to make a game of seeing how much you can save and how much you can grow your net worth each month.

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