They're called "unintentional entrepreneurs" -- the unemployed who stop looking for work and start creating their own business. It is not an easy road, but some will tell you it may not be as hard as you think.
When Lisa-Marie Grillos first got laid off, she spent all her time searching for work, combing the Internet and sending out resumes.
"I could not find anything," said Grillos. "It's really frustrating, it's hard to be heard when there's 100, 200 people trying to get the same job, you know."
So she did something most people might not dare -- she stopped looking and now amazingly her life seems more hopeful than ever.
Here's why: Grillos remembered the bicycle pouches her brother once made as Christmas gifts. She always thought they'd be a hot seller and now she could try it out.
"I wouldn't have had the courage to take the step to do this if i hadn't been laid off," said Grillos. "You have so much free time and you can easily waste that and sit on the couch and watch TV but really you should utilize it."
So, sister and brother launched hambonedesigns.com, making slim, fabric, snap-on pouches that don't get in the way when you pedal -- and it's taking off.
Heather Sanders left the corporate world to turn her passion into a small business, too and the dogs love her for it.
Sanders gives doggie massages and acupressure right in her clients' homes. Her treatments keep old Lorca very content, and out of the vet's office with her arthritis.
"People hire me because they see the value of the health improvements for their animals, not because they're looking to create a spa day for their pets," said Sanders.
So how hard is it to start a business? The economy may be in the tank, but there's one big advantage these days -- More online tools that can take the place of a big staff like outright.com. It does your bookkeeping, figures your taxes and it's free.
"It makes it so you are in control of every aspect of your business," said Grillos.
"The less time I have to spend bookkeeping and doing office paperwork, the better, so then I can focus on my clients," said Sanders.
"What we're trying to do is eliminate the more painful part of running a business. We want people to spend time as possible doing what they love. This is an option they may not have considered previously," said" said Reeth.
Still it's a challenge to start from scratch.
"You have to be very persistent, you have to work three times as hard when you're working for yourself because you're wearing all the hats," said Sanders.
But they say -- well worth it.
"Definitely I'm more passionate about it. I love riding bicycles," said
"I love what I do, I get excited about getting up every morning and I ever have a bad day," said Grillos.
Both Lisa-Marie and Heather say money isn't pouring in yet, but their businesses are growing steadily.