Monday, December 5, 2022


Do you, or did you ever, own a business that was your main source of income?


At any point in time, whether it was a long time ago or at the present moment, did you ever own a business that was your main source of income? If you don’t mind sharing, will you tell us what that business was? We’d love to know!

According to, 10.6 percent of American’s owned their own business in 2019. That’s quite a few business owners! Are you one of them?

Please tell us in the poll below, and be patient if it takes a few moments to load. Thanks!

UPDATE (Thursday, April 22) at 11 a.m., Pacific): From editor Chuck Woodbury: Wow! So many interesting businesses our readers have run or created! See comments. Fascinating!

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1 year ago

Mobile diesel repair for husband.

1 year ago

I had a cleaning business. It was great as the kids were in school. The hours were great, the pay was even better.

Bob Weinfurt
1 year ago

I wanted to get away from the rat race on Long Island so in 1983 with a friend, started a car repair shop in a small town in northern NY. Branched out into selling used cars and fixing lawnmowers. Made enough to get by and eventually pay everything off. In the late 90s I was diagnosed with MS and finally had to retire in 2008. My G/F and I bought an old motorhome, fixed it up, and now I’m enjoying the RVing experience. The RVtravel newsletter has given me a lot of information and advice that’s been most helpful and even at times entertaining.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bob Weinfurt
1 year ago

My father conned my mother into helping him open up an antique shop. She ended up running it. After what they went thru? I will never ever own one and I will talk anyone out of owning or runnning their own business just to save them the headaches. Our one set of friends opened up a coffee shop. My husband said hey lets invest I told him absolutely over his dead body. Glad we did not. They went bankrupt 2 years later. Owning a business is IMO a stupid idea unless you have Trump money or Trump giving you cash to invest. Good luck if you do and it is still working.

Mike Albert
1 year ago

Late to the discussion but…
I owned a real estate residential appraisal company for 28 years and home inspection business for two years. My wife and I bought rental properties 15 years ago. Through our investments, it allowed me to retire at 55 and her as an RN 15 years ago. I still volunteer for our local CERT team as well as our fire company teaching first aide, CPR and rescue techniques for close quarters, high angle and auto/heavy rescue.
Now I get to do minor repairs and manage the rentals along side my wife. Then we travel in our RV and enjoy life.

Johnstown Fred
1 year ago

Started a nondestructive testing service company in 2002 after being in the industry for 20 years. At our peak, we had close to 50 employees. Now we have 30 and I have taken a backseat to some employees that are about to purchase the business from me. 19 years of hard work and many hours per week, I’m ready to retire and hit the road in our RV. Working for myself has definitely changed everything including my net worth. I try to thank God as often as I can for the opportunities I have been given and for hopefully many more.

Paul S Goldberg
1 year ago

I had a Financial Planning Practice housed with a few other Financial Planners and continued to serve my client base as I moved into RVing. As I was ready to go full time; I sold my practice and made the purchaser my planner so my mind would be free of the necessity to keep up with the ever changing markets and options for managing money.

Joe Allen
1 year ago

Wife and I owned and operated a Fireplace/Chimney Sweep shop in TN. We pretty much did it all from gas logs to running black iron pipe, stainless steel chimney caps, liners, etc. All in all had some of the best customers one could ask for!

Lil John
1 year ago

My wife and I started an Auto Repair business in my small home town in 1970. Worked on folks vehicles that I had gone to school with. That’s where I first started seeing some of the crazy things RV manufacturers do! Worked in mechanics for 50 years, trucks and cars. LOVE to drive and see the country. rvtravel is part of my reading every morning with coffee. Keep up the good work.

William Johnson
1 year ago

No access to the poll. This has been the case for a few weeks.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago

We’re sorry you’re having problems opening the poll, William. There have been almost 1,500 votes in there so far today, so it might be something in your computer or whatever you’re using. Here’s what one of our IT folks, Jessica, said about this situation: “Sometimes script blockers and ad blockers interfere with our polls since they are from a 3rd party site. If you have one of these try and turn it off and see if that fixes the issue.” We hope that works for you. If not, let us know and I’ll check to see if there’s another possible solution. Take care. 🙂 —Diane at

Tim Slack
1 year ago

A friend & I started a small repair/remodel construction business. We humped for new jobs, bought & delivered the supplies, did the work, and then went out to find the next job. We had it two years. At another point in my life, I crafted cottonwood & rawhide drums, gourd rattles and beaded leatherwork items. I was the sole worker and had the business four years, have more than 150 instruments placed with individuals around the world. THAT was very fulfilling.

Ed Thomas
1 year ago

A friend of mine and I started our own business in 1981 making TV commercials – Bideo Productions Unlimited – built the company up for 3 years and then were bought out by a larger production house. Had a ball and did many and sometimes varied and unusual commercials. Opened up a second revenue stream doing video taped weddings ( did the wedding of the son of the president of Nicaragua who married the Daugher of a Greek shipping owner). Also presented the local Real Estate Board with the concept of showing homes on Video as opposed to driving all over Miami showing homes. They laughed out loud and said that no one would buy a house off the TV. Now there R entire channels devoted to showing homes for sale. We had the last laugh when we finally sold the business and retired for a year.

Bill Richardson
1 year ago

Wetland consultant

patti panuccio
1 year ago

I have been self-employed my whole adult life, not the family biz, but that is where I learned. Even now I still, at my advanced age, keep doing craft markets to pay for my travel addiction.

David Binkley
1 year ago

I have owned my own business for almost 30 years. I am one of those clowns who works 80 hours a week so I don’t have to work for someone else 40 hours a week. But in the end, the flexibility in schedule, being in charge of decisions, knowing where every penny is going, etc. has major benefits in my mind.

Joe Allen
1 year ago
Reply to  David Binkley

So true!

Steve - from Alaska
1 year ago

In the early 1970’s, my ex-wife and I bought a women’s clothing store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She was very gifted and the store was a big hit! In the mid 70’s when Disco was big, we opened the first Discotheque in Fairbanks. It was also a hit! In the mid 80’s I opened a Real Estate Appraisal business in Palmer, Alaska and while it was not necessarily a “hit” the business did very well until the mid 90’s when I sold it when the State of Alaska contacted me and I went to work for the state until I retired in 2014. Gotta say, I loved every business I have been involved with and did well but the state of Alaska gave me a very rewarding retirement!!!

1 year ago

Worked at various W2 jobs for 40 plus years but always had side businesses.

Finally realized we made enough from our own companies to not need the paycheck. Have been happily self employed for 4 years now. Never looked back even with the COVID times.

Plus got out of the rat race 10 years earlier than ‘the man’ said I could.

Tom H.
1 year ago

I was a dental tech and opened my own laboratory in ’81. 30+ years.

Diane Mc
1 year ago

Nope. Father had his own tailor shop, making suits, doing alterations. Decided I wanted a paycheck from someone, so I knew what I was getting every payday. Yes, you could get laid off. However, only happened once when last company I worked for was acquired. Got a big bonus to stay 2 years and help transition. Then I retired at 50. Got husband to retire 6 mos later at 55. 20 yrs later, best thing that ever happened to me/us.

James Starling
1 year ago

Professional Videographer, 25+ years, Weddings, Events, Commercial, Safety Videos, Instructional Videos, Miss California Pageant, etc.

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