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Turning a Career Setback Into a Business Opportunity

You’ve been working hard at your job, but somewhere along the line, something went wrong. Just because you find yourself facing a career setback, doesn’t mean that you don’t have any options. If you’ve recently lost your job or lost out on a promotion, it’s important to focus on what you need to do next.

For many people, such a setback can be the perfect business opportunity. Starting your own business is the American dream, and there’s more opportunity than ever. But before picking an idea for a new business, you need to understand why a setback really is a chance for you to start anew.

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Why This Isn’t Really a Setback

As with many things in life, a setback all depends on your perspective. Instead of looking at this as an ending, you need to do the opposite. As explains, this can also be a beginning, one where you can not only survive, but thrive. Missing a promotion or getting laid off is never easy, but by reframing this as an opportunity, you can help yourself. A setback can take you out of your comfort zone and get you started doing something exciting.

Look to Your Hobbies and Passions

The first thing you should consider is what you are passionate about. Our hobbies and passions are the best sources to explore when looking for a new business idea. Sure, you will still need the basics: a business plan, funding, business registration, and so on. But all of that will be pointless if you’re not hungry about your new opportunity.

By focusing on hobbies and passions, you can find something you want to work at. Otherwise, you can easily view your business as a burden and something to avoid, making it much more difficult to succeed.

So what are some hobbies that could lead to a potential business opportunity? That depends on your interests, but here are some great examples from The Balance:

● If you like photography, try selling your photos or services online.
● If you’re a voracious reader, start an editing service. You can also become a freelance writer.
● Lawn care and gardening services are an option if you have a green thumb or just love working outdoors.

However, just choosing something you love to do isn’t the only criteria for starting your own business. You also must be skillful at it. Knowing a lot about movies doesn’t mean you should start up a movie studio! Instead, look at related ideas that will be easier to start a business around, such as movie editing and sound design.

There Are Many Other Ideas

Some people prefer to keep their hobbies for relaxation, not as a new business venture. But don’t worry! has a list of small business ideas perfect for turning that setback into a business opportunity. Some of these include:

● If you’re good at fixing things, start a business as an electrician, plumber, or general handyman.
● A mechanic business is great if you love working on cars and trucks.
● Accounting or financial planning is a great new business if you are adept at working with numbers and budgets.
● Strong writers can start a business writing articles, blogs, and more.

One interesting business idea that just about anyone can do is dog walking. If you’re a dog lover, you can work as a freelance dog walker through online companies like This way, you can be your own boss and make your own schedule, and your start-up costs will be low. You can even take it a step farther and start a home-based dog boarding business.   

Take Advantage of Change

A career setback may not be easy, but you can reframe it as a business opportunity. Look to your hobbies and skills to inform what kind of business you’d like to start. Alternatively, check out some small business ideas that work well for someone just starting out. Just think of how proud you’ll feel turning your setback into a successful business.


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