I'm a self-employed business start up mentor (whatever that is?) and have helped a wide variety of people to become self-employed - over 3000 and counting.
Successes and failures, though glad to say the majority in the first category!
My background is sales/marketing & retailing/wholesaling, and worked for two of the leading wholesale horticultural nurseries in Europe.
In 1992 I took the plunge and went self-employed. Since then I have become a "portfolio" person, i.e. a "finger in many pies". Then in 1998 I started Start Business and work closely with a variety of start-up organisations and individuals.
My favourite expression is "I'd like to start my own business" - and see that glimmer in clients eyes as they are about to embark on their new journey. Working with the self-employed has illustrated time and time again that it is not the business idea but the individual that will make it work or not.
My first book "Going Self-Employed" was published in 2008 - another is on the way! Born in Lancaster I now live Devon, in the UK. I share my life with a fantastic wife and have two incredible and wonderful kids.
February 2012 - update - sadly Steve Gibson passed away in December 2011 but his book is still available. His son will maintain his website www.startbusiness.co.uk, which provides useful links for business start ups. Steve's family was inundated after he died with messages from clients who had received support from him to follow their dreams of starting up a business. They expressed their gratitude for the help, support and friendship he gave them, which was above and beyond what would normally be expected of a business advisor.
He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the asbestos related cancer, only two months before he died. The websites www.mesothelioma.uk.com and www.junehancockfund.org provide more information on this type of cancer.