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Yup. I've thought about what I'd do if I lost my job. Me and the rest of the world, I'm sure. These people in this article are a prime example of what happens in a free market capitalist economy. Work is hard to find right now so people start sticking to what they know and just running with their own business ideas. Or, using what they have learned from education and experience in the workforce to create opportunities for themselves. Can't find work? Make your own!!!
Part of the reason behind starting Calico Information Systems (previously Calico Technologies) was the fact that I can rely on my own skills as an IT professional to make my business successful. When it comes down to it, I can always rely on my self for employment. So, when I was just out of college and looking for work I told myself that I could make a living on my own if I needed to. Then, I started developing documentation and business models. Setting this all up on a budget of course, considering I had little to no income. The fact is, I'm ready and so are these people.
Always be prepared to lose your job and always have a backup plan.
Know how much your life costs - create a budget / expense report. Prioritize your purchases and investments. Read. Bounce ideas off people you know.
I was part of a startup once (not my own). Lessons learned there: don't get used and don't be the user. No one is happy being used and using people only makes them go away.