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      Self employment--is it a good idea in a tight economy?

      The attitude today is if you can't find a job, make one, and while that's a great concept pitched by many in the media today, it's not for everyone. It takes a special personality and great effort to start even the smallest of companies.

      I really wanted to be my own boss, said Beth Millner, an artsy young Marquette Township woman on a budget. She says that's how she's managed to grow her jewelry making business more than 300 percent since its start. Her passion is silversmithing; her priority is P.R.

      You also have to spend a lot of time on the business end of business, and I probably spend more than half of my time marketing my work, Millner said.

      Her small business has been so successful that she and her fianc have started a second venture: a farm in her Marquette Township yard.

      In our ailing economy, many may think starting your own business is the perfect solution to unemployment. And our Facebook fans agree. Mary Boros posted, In this economy, any employment is great.

      And why not venture out on your own at a time like this? Incentive programs for entrepreneurs are popping up all over the country through the Small Business Association and Northern Initiatives.

      But at the E-loft, David Saint-Onge couldn't disagree more. His business is to guide small businesses, and he says four out of five ventures fail within their first few years; they're relying too much on passion, not enough on planning.

      You may have a passion for something. What entrepreneurs have to understand: is there a market for your passion? I've always said the three most important things in business are cash flow, cash flow, cash flow.

      The E-Loft says now is probably as good of a time as any to start your own business; no better no worse. It all depends on you, your product, and your versatility.