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From Part Time to Full Time

Your part-time business is just itching to take up 100 percent of your time. Is the time right?

This story appears in the April 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Jon Carmen did the safe thing. He kept his day job in the high-tech industry and started his online guitar string discount store in his spare time. He built his Web site and filled orders on evenings and weekends. Then, what was just a fun hobby for two years turned into his sole support when Carmen, 33, was laid off from his day job in May 2001. Suddenly he was faced with a tough question: look for another job, or dare to take this entrepreneurial gig full time?

Fortunately for guitar players roaming the Web, Carmen chose the latter. But even with two years of business-building behind him, he faced some serious challenges in taking his part-time hobby down the full-time road. "[When it was part time,] I cared about it, but I wasn't trying to achieve something-it was just something fun," says Carmen, founder of String This! Inc. "[I thought,] 'It would be fun if it turned into something, but if it doesn't I've got a full-time job.' But when [the business] was what I was living off became a lot more stressful."

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