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Are You Having Fun Yet?
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By Judith Kallos

If you want your online business to survive and thrive, you need to be having fun! At least several times each week, potential clients call me for business ideas or suggestions for "things to sell" online. They don't have a business concept or a product they believe in. They are just looking for some way to jump on the online bandwagon and get their hands on the supposed riches everyone else is making.

When asked this question, I tell them my story about how I got into the whole Web/Internet thing in the first place. Back in early 1994 when most folks hadn't heard of "online" and there were things like IRC, bulletin boards and very slow modems, I got hooked on CompuServe.

I remember telling anyone who would listen how much fun it was to use (the speed of connectivity wasn't an issue back then) and how I just knew that this technology would change business and our world forever. I got used to the "deer in the headlights" look that came over their faces.

Needless to say my family, friends and most of the folks on the block thought I was nuts! Their eyes would glaze over after 10 seconds of me trying to explain how it worked and what the potential was. I didn't care. It was so much fun, I could burst! My better half at the time and to this day was the only one who recognized that sparkle in my eye to know that I was on to something.

Remember to Go Home At Night

So, I opened my little studio in a small rural town's downtown district in December of 1994. They didn't want me there. They thought the Internet was "evil" and I was about hooking up children with pedophiles, credit card fraud and creating adult Web sites. But I didn't care - I was having fun! You name the stereotype and I was confronted with it. Regardless of the resistance I couldn't wait to get up and get to the office and enjoy each moment of every day.

I enjoyed it even if it meant dealing with people stopping by with comments such as "You really think this fad is going to last?" I would reply "Fad? I'll catch you in 10 years when this technology has changed the world as you know it!" The time flew by and each day was a blur. My better half would have to give me a call around 7 or 8 to remind me that it was time to come home.

Starting my business, growing it and keeping it healthy in an online arena saturated with experts and gurus hasn't been easy. But I am having fun! Incorporating and filling out all those legal documents and quarterly returns for the past 10 years has been a real pain. But it doesn't matter; I'm having fun! Dealing with skeptics, criticism and the ongoing challenges that any business will present are all there. Who cares? I'm having fun!

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Judith Kallos is the principal of The IStudio.
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