View Full Version : Daydream jobs or businesses- What's yours?

3-16-11, 10:21am
I love being a SAHM but sometimes it's fun to daydream about other jobs or businesses I might enjoy. I want to hear what your daydream jobs might be. These don't have to be feasible in real life necessarily.

I have a few daydream businesses I'd like to start, mostly because I want these places to exist. :)

The first is an informal style tea room. I live in Minnesota, where it's winter a good chunk of the year, and in my daydream part of this tea room is a greenhouse-type dining area with lots of plants and sunshine. The food is healthy in the sense that it's real food made with wholesome ingredients, but I wouldn't shy away from comfort foods. I'd like to have a nice mix of light, healthy fare and comfort foods. I also want to have a nice array of baked goods for people who just want to come in and have a treat and a cup of tea or coffee in the warm sunshine.

The second business would be a bookstore. Our main focus would be on people who like to over-think fiction, but we'd have a healthy non-fiction section too. In my daydream a couple of friends and I buy this old 1920s theater that has been rundown and abandoned for a really long time. We'd keep a lot of the old style of the building, but rework it for our purposes.

The lobby and ticket counter would be a coffee shop section. The theater seats (which are destroyed, I've seen them) would mostly be removed to make room for bookshelves. We'd keep the stage for book signings, roundtable discussions, speakers, classes and the occasional story time. It would be available as a meeting place for groups who wanted to use it for free by reservation when it wasn't being used for store events. Kind of a community living room of sorts for anything from meetup groups to students who want to study to people who want to hold workshops. I'm thinking things like creative writing groups, workshops on community gardening...whatever people want to get together to learn and discuss.

So what are your dream jobs or businesses?

3-16-11, 1:56pm
I'd love to visit your bookstore, Stella. :-)

One of my dreams is working in a library basement. I'd repair old books and never deal with people. LOL

Another would be abandoned and injured animals.

Finally, I think it would be great to start a food business out of my home. Maybe meals to go, cookies and cakes, etc.

3-16-11, 2:39pm
I've always wanted to move to VT and start a "Black & White Cafe"... inspired by the fact that my DH is always accusing me of disagreeing with him just for the sake of it--"I say black, she says white!" (and if you've read other posts of mine recently, maybe that's one reason I'm living elsewhere for awhile :-( he and I are opposed on politics (I'm D/he's R), the environment (I believe we're messing it up, he thinks climate change is made up by treehugging liberals), he's a meat-and-potato guy and I'm a vegetarian.

But still, the concept is solid: Why not have a little cafe--it would be all black and white of course, with maybe red accents. One side of the menu would be the greasy comfort food like big burgers and grilled cheese--the other side would be stuff like hummus platters and sprouts salads.

And for dessert--what else? Black and white cookies! Black and white ice cream sodas!

Maybe if we don't divorce, we'll start a restaurant!

3-16-11, 3:40pm
...the environment (I believe we're messing it up, he thinks climate change is made up by treehugging liberals)

I like your black and white cafe idea! I tend to see almost everything in shades of grey, personally. :) And I absolutely do not want to make light of your situation, but the above quote made me laugh. My user name is no accident. I even sometimes call myself a professional treehugger since I'm an environmental consultant.

Re: making up climate change. When I was first talking about my new job (3 years ago now) and telling my father-in-law what departments I worked with, I mentioned supporting the climate change practice. He immediately jumped on that and said he would just imagine that meant that I am in charge of adjusting the thermostat in the office. Yeah, he doesn't have any respect for environmental consultants, that's for sure. @@


3-16-11, 3:51pm
@catherine--love it!

3-16-11, 5:08pm
great ideas! and totallydoable, too. want to eat at the tea shop, the black and white cafe, and the bookshop/community living room. and, stella, i absolutely think the best ideas come out of a product or service or place that you wish existed, but doesn't!

that's why i started wear the shift -- because i wanted these dresses and could never find any that fit. and i wanted to have a way to support myself that actually seemed fun and interesting to me (for the first time in my life!) ... and i wanted to do something productive for the environment, and i wanted to have lots of dresses and buy lots of fabric and make people happier/cuter and dream up lots of ideas and then do them!

it's been really fun so far ... we're launching for real very soon! which is super exciting, but also makes me want to throw up (just a little). up till now, everything's gone great. it hasn't been easy and we've had a million little problems to solve, and a few big ones, but that's just to be expected.

we're so close to the beginning of this, and yet we have also come a REALLY long way. 8 months ago, i had never sewn a dress in my life!

anyway, yeah, it's my dream job, running this little business. and i've been lucky enough to hook up with a dream partner and so many awesome, helpful, and supportive people. can't wait to see what happens next!

Float On
3-16-11, 5:28pm
Well, I found my perfect property. It has an old 2 story farm house, an old stone church, a hall, and various other little outbuilding on 5 acres. It would be perfect for a B&B, weddings, reunions, community theater, little concerts, art workshops. One building would be perfect for my husbands glass studio, and I think a few rail road cars added to the back woods would make neat little overnighter cabins.
But it's a little too far from a lake and I'd miss the clear streams of swMO, and it's just a bit too far from town to have a gallery store and the biggest hurdle (other than money to do all the fixing up that is needed)....... I just can't get DH on board.
So I drive by the property anytime I'm up that way and dream.

3-16-11, 6:30pm
I have random ideas like this all the time. Some include:
- house consultant (I love looking at houses) - I would look at someone's house and let them know how they could make it better - either by renovations (and I'd help them find the right people, do the budget etc), decluttering, interior decorating etc. Basically how to live in the place the currently have, but make it more enjoyable and determine the best use of time and money to improve it.
- drop-in coffee shop/book store/game den - a place to go instead of the usual bar or movie (similar to Stella's idea since it's cold here so much) where there are board games and random books and baked goods. Meant for all ages to either do something with somebody else/meet people or just get out of their own house
- animal shelter - especially taking older cats out of the shelters or taking the pets of seniors who have to move and can't keep the animal. Also horses and large animals would be cool too.
- private off-leash dog park, that is fully and properly fenced, so you can book time and allow your dogs (especially greyhound types) a safe place to run
- buying inner city apartments and/or houses and renovating them and selling at reduced rate or renting at reduced cost to people who are low income that are referred to me from community groups
- private campground/resort area with several mini-houses - like "Tumbleweed" or little manufactured homes where people (especially simple-livers) can live temporarily just as a get away or to experience short-term non-committal cohousing type arrangements. Big garden, forest - very isolated and peaceful - so many cheap places in Canada for this type of thing.

Those are some that come up in my mind repeatedly. Lots of other random thoughts for things to do. Of course I'm doing none of them, but I am in college to learn more about houses, so I'm trying explore some of my ideas a little more.

3-16-11, 9:40pm
I've also had cafe dreams for years (I love the black and white cafe, by the way!). My favorite cafe in Tucson was in an old house, with the rooms still intact, and it was a fabulous neighborhood meeting place that I've missed ever since my move 7 years ago. Like Stella, I picture a place with lots of windows and plants, because for 6 months of the year we have a monochromatic, brown and white landscape. Over the years, I've also contemplated a bed & breakfast, an organic vegetable and/or herb farm, various crafting ideas, personal chef/baker, and being a consultant of various types, from organizing to healthy/green living. Right now I'm focusing on writing to see if I can make that actually pan out, because I love working from home and not having a manager. I have made some income, though not anywhere near a living, for the past few years that way.

3-16-11, 11:34pm
If I had it to do again, I might be a translator or reference librarian, private investigator or a forensic technician of some kind. I liked technical editing, so I'll leave that on the short list, too. In another dimension, I'm a mixed-media artist.

3-17-11, 8:30am
So much fun reading through everyone's ideas. It's refreshing to hear about fun jobs and work ideas instead of "I want something where I make a gazillion dollars and can buy XY and Z."

I have so SOOOO many ideas, but here are a few of my most favorite:

*Become a studio artist and make a comfortable living from selling my creations
*Convert a local farm (very run down house but I've been imagining it fixed up since I was a little girl) and property into a retreat where I'd offer classes in art, herbalism, faith-based seminars and old-fashioned living...like caring for the rescued farm animals, hand sewing, making rag rugs, etc., and of course lots of time for people to explore the acreage--hiking, sitting by the stream, going on picnics, etc. NO cellphones/computers or other technology allowed, only one phone in the house for emergencies
*Be a successful fiction author
*Start a nonprofit to help end sex trafficking and raise awareness about the issue
*Have an art therapy office on above converted local farm (if the retreat center didn't work out)--where I'd take clients on walks/hikes as we talked or make art with them in a beautiful studio with tons of natural light

Ahhhh, that was fun. Now back to "the screamers!" (My son and a little girl I'm taking care of.)

3-17-11, 8:54am
I love reading all of these! I agree Joyous 5, it's refreshing to hear all of the fun ideas people have. Madge I thought of you when I was posting this topic because I know that you have been making your dream job a reality this past year. I love that!

I keep a list of really cool jobs people I know have, have had or have thought about for my kids. When I was growing up I felt like I had 4-5 standard options that were considered respectable and "realistic" choices. I hope my kids pick something that really moves and excites them.

3-17-11, 1:23pm
Wow, this is fun! I have the coffee-shop/bookstore fantasy too. I don't really want to run it but I would love to be able to GO there...maybe every day.

Float On, I was drooling at your description of the property with church, house and hall....how lovely! And perhaps how fortunate that you are not impulsive.

The Black-and-White cafe made me laugh; I think the menu would be a fabulous idea. Would even make a good email joke, you know, a visual one, the kind that people send from work when they are supposed to be, yep, working.

Keep 'em coming...someone will latch onto one of these and make it happen!

3-17-11, 6:13pm
How about a funeral home with solar panels as the headstones each having a tiny engraving of the persons name etc.? No?

More realistically sure I've wanted a coffee house or a B&B, I've wanted to be employed in installing solar panels (on houses not graves) etc..

3-17-11, 6:26pm
I always loved to dream these kinds of things up, and I still do. That's why I like people like Barbara Sher (Wishcraft) and Martha Beck (The Joy Diet) so much. They don't stop at "wouldn't it be nice if" but slowly, logically move through concrete steps to have more of these kinds of things in our lives. I do three of them now: I only work for nonprofits at one, I'm a librarian at another, and I help people build organic gardens. Who says they have to stay in daydreams? :D I also adore perusing this site (sometimes for hours) looking for ideas that I can start here --- oftentimes they are begun in Europe or far away, but the idea is transportable: http://www.springwise.com/ideas/

3-17-11, 6:30pm
How about a funeral home with solar panels as the headstones each having a tiny engraving of the persons name etc.? No?

I laughed at this: http://www.springwise.com/lifestyle_leisure/rosettastone/

Float On
3-17-11, 7:25pm
Who says they have to stay in daydreams? :D

We've put all our energy, time, and money into living my dh's dream. I'm hoping that sometime there is time to live my dream too.

3-17-11, 8:32pm
Sending you hugs and strength to find a way to live yours now, Float On. Even a part of it to tide you over. Dreams need nourishment. ((( )))

3-18-11, 7:22am
Native plant nursery - probably with an emphasis on medicinal plants. I'm actually starting to work toward this now, but it will be a slow process.

3-18-11, 3:23pm
Oh man, this is a wonderful thread. Like walking outside and breathing the fresh air after being stuck in a windowless office all day. Thank you, everyone.

3-18-11, 4:19pm
FBI Special Agent - AKA Dana Scully :-)! Or maybe a secret agent - La Femme Nikita? Mata Hari? Emma Peel? Honey West? Agent 99? Jenifer Gardner or Angelina Joilie in anything :-)? When I was in the Coast Guard, I did alot of law enforcement and loved it. I even got a BS in Criminal Justice with the intent of working in the federal law enforcement field when I got out. But I lost most of my hearing in the service so couldn't do that. Went back to school for another field (environmental engineering) and worked as a govmint environmental compliance officer instead. Fun and interesting job but always wished I could have done something more exciting and wild.

Zoe Girl
3-20-11, 12:10pm
We've put all our energy, time, and money into living my dh's dream. I'm hoping that sometime there is time to live my dream too.

I understand, I love my children dearly but I have about 5 years until I can start focusing on some of my dreams part time. It will happen because I work very hard and am stubborn as a mule, but it seems like a long time.

3-20-11, 4:32pm
I saw a picture of this place in a magazine several years ago and it actually brought tears to my eyes. It just took me a bit of digging because I couldn't remember the name of the place, but I found it. It's the Morrison Center in southern Maine, and they work with kids and adults with special needs. I'm strongly drawn to the Seedling Program, where adults with multiple handicaps work in a greenhouse raising and selling plants. I think I would LOVE to do something like that!

3-20-11, 4:58pm
I want to be Prince Armitage Ranjit Dakkar, in his second career.

3-20-11, 5:45pm
I think I'd like to be a funeral planner. Sort of like a wedding planner, but for funerals. Both my parents died in the last couple of years, and I think I've become quite good at it.

3-20-11, 6:19pm
If I had to do it all again, I would do something with my artistic talents - perhaps a book illustrator or an architect. I also love old/older houses and think about how to renovate them...way too much. I like fixing uup stuff and reselling too. Today I read a story about a middle-aged man who quit his white collar job and now puts food gardens into people's existing landscapes and I thought that sounded fun. Ideally, I would be very wealthy and live in a beautiful natural environment like the Colorado mountains that I could share somehow with others less fortunate - I dream of ways to give away money where I could witness a positive outcome.

3-21-11, 4:37pm
If I could start all over again, I would go to cooking school and also complete a program in small business management. After that, I would also start a tea house that featured local honey and jams.

The other thought was to start an Inn for Introverts. I am not sure how this would look. But, it would be geared toward single men and women or folks who just want to go away by themselves for a few days. A lovely place that served breakfast, lunch and tea but did not emphasis talking and mingling at all. A place where you can take quiet walks, read or swim in a warm lake.

Kathy WI
3-21-11, 6:09pm
I always thought it would be cool to have a miniature golf place, one of the really nice ones like they have in tourist towns, with nautical theme landscaping, waterfalls, etc. I had the perfect location picked out on a hill by the river. I actually mailed a survey to a bunch of miniature golf places in the Midwest to see if it was a reasonably profitable business and found out that it's not, unless it's part of a bigger park with go carts and other stuff, and the season here is so short. But I do think it would be a fun business to own because everybody is happy when they're playing putt putt.

3-22-11, 12:40am
I'm interested in renewable energy and I love South America, where many people live without electricity. So, my dream job would be to get involved in bringing solar energy to small villages in South America. I've heard that there are non-profit organizations doing this.

6-10-11, 10:29am
I have many many daydream businesses...Here are a few:

I'd like to be able to take over an old abondoned school and turn it into a for-profit community skills school. Offer small classes in whatever people would like to learn be it playing guitar, foreign languages, how to balance a checkbook, figure drawing, baking bread, changing your automobile brakes, etc. Each class would be between $5-10 per session and anyone who wanted could offer a class. The teacher would earn 75% of the fees and the rest would go to the school. Additional revenue would come from the used bookstore/cafe selling any materials needed for classes along with reasonably priced daily soups and sandwiches. I would encourage a lot of repair classes and utilize repairing and recycling older equipment to be used at the school like refurbished treadmills for fitness classes in the gym and old wood lathes for woodworking classes.

I've also thought about forming an iced tea company. It would start with just a cart in the park selling 3-4 types of iced tea (Southern Sweet, Spiced Chai, Sugar Free Peach Tea, etc) and hopefully eventually work into a storefront that is both a tea cafe and where tea blends are packaged for restaurant use and sold to regional restaurants.

Another idea was forming an online DVD rental company specializing in gardening, food processing, crafts such as leatherworking, and other similar videos. Netflix doesn't offer these and very few are available anywhere else than buying the $40-50 DVD from the maker. I have a spreadsheet with over 700 individual titles that could be offered.

If only I had the capital to get one or more of these going. :(

6-11-11, 8:52am
In my dreams...
Incredible watercolor artist
Standup comedienne
Vintage clothing store owner
Gallery owner with very cool artisans for clothing, jewelry etc.
Rock Star
Children's book author
Super model
oh! and I know a guy who just was very creative and came up with ideas that other people turned into reality and made lots of $$...I'd like that job, please!
Man, I've had lots of big dreams. I'm 59 now so I guess that rules out supermodel...

early morning
6-11-11, 4:13pm
I'd like to own tourist cabins in the UP, preferably on Superior, and only get the kind of lodgers who liked old, simple places and didn't swipe things ;). Or - have a bed and breakfast in a lighthouse.

6-13-11, 2:07am
Creating and selling digital and traditional art, pearl jewelry and other creations. Writing (novels especially). And for that real big daydream urge, a shop specializing in the best chocolates from around the world.;)


6-13-11, 9:29am
There is an old dilapidated motor lodge here that I just know I could turn into a funky little motel or some sort of retro themed B&B. It even has the neon sign still. I sold some bedding on ebay to a woman who runs something similar I just thought that is the coolest idea ever. DH thinks its a horrible idea to even daydream about. His daydream idea is running a snow cone cart, no thanks!

Float On
6-13-11, 10:06am
His daydream idea is running a snow cone cart, no thanks!

There is actually some big money in snow cones! I know of a lady in KC who runs a snow cone cart out of a little vintage trailer, blends her own flavors with herbs and berries and does very well.
Another artist and I were talking at a show last weekend and talked about how we should get out of art and into foods. He has friends with traditional snow cones and they pull in $7000.00 a weekend average. Personally I'd like to do a crepes cart out of a vintage trailer but he told me that was still too much work -" like 'food art' and we should stick with icecream pops or snow cones - something simple".

Float On
6-13-11, 10:09am
Well, I found my perfect property. It has an old 2 story farm house, an old stone church, a hall, and various other little outbuilding on 5 acres. It would be perfect for a B&B, weddings, reunions, community theater, little concerts, art workshops. One building would be perfect for my husbands glass studio, and I think a few rail road cars added to the back woods would make neat little overnighter cabins.
But it's a little too far from a lake and I'd miss the clear streams of swMO, and it's just a bit too far from town to have a gallery store and the biggest hurdle (other than money to do all the fixing up that is needed)....... I just can't get DH on board.
So I drive by the property anytime I'm up that way and dream.

I drove by last weekend - still for sale.:(:|(

6-13-11, 12:47pm
I've started my dream business - I work part-time as a professional organizer. I would LOVE to be able to do it full-time. Too much debt right now, plus my FT job has the health insurance. Maybe when the kids are out of the house?

6-17-11, 12:13am
Oh, ice cream cart (or dessert cart of some sort) is high on the list. There's a restaurant in Phx that is famous but they DO NOT SELL DESSERT. And it's a shame! It's located right next to a little park and I am wondering why no one has started this....if there's a permit issue or what? I need to look into that because I could conceivably do it part time while I was working elsewhere.

Also was thinking about a traveling "Red Cross" but for pets. So many times in disaster areas people go to shelters but are forced to leave their pets behind or get separated from their pets. I just cannot imagine how traumatic it would be for me to have to leave my dogs and cat behind if I had to go to a shelter due to a natural disaster. Sometimes the local Humane Society/ASPCA takes them in, but I think it's often chaotic and sometimes really difficult for the owners to get reunited with the little fuzzy friends. If I had lots of time and money I would start something like a temporary ASPCA where the displaced person and pet are each tagged so they can easily be reunited when things settle down. Maybe an area for visiting your pet while you have to stay in a shelter or FEMA housing.

6-17-11, 6:20am
Antiquarian bookseller
Lighthouse keeper

6-17-11, 9:15am
I am lucky in that I use to work at my daydream job, it was a weaving store. All day long I would be working with wool, spinning, dyeing, carding, knitting, weaving and talking with other people who also had the passion. I still miss that job.

6-19-11, 8:43am
I have my dream job....massage therapist/reiki master....now I just have to open up my own place. Also, I will be renting out tables at craft shows to sell my paintings and knitted items.