Barbara's Dream, continued:

My father always said I had more guts than brains, so the fact that I didn't know much about e-commerce and had no idea where to get money didn't bother me at all. Wildly enthused I started networking for assistance and I had two distinctly different experiences.

Storefront in OrtahisarFirst, I had wonderful experiences. Friends and neighbors cheered me on and put me in touch with friends who gave me lots of encouragement and directed me to sources of more information. Women who belonged to professional organizations said they'd approach them for funds. One foundation said it would look at the idea and give it serious thought. I even got some money! A small foundation whose ad I found in The Nation magazine gave me a $2000 grant, and my dear friend Jeff Z took out his checkbook and wrote a check for $5000 without a word. That was the good stuff.

But there were experiences that were demoralizing and almost stopped me. When I looked up foundations on the net I found that almost all of them give money only to non-profit organization Becoming a non-profit is a cumbersome and expensive project in itself, effectively weeding out one-person efforts like mine. I was directed to an "umbrella foundation" which takes 15% of any money you raise and runs your non-profit for you, but I ran into such weird personalities on the other end of the phone that I figured I'd find some other way.

And when a wealthy acquaintance who knows Turkey offered -- unsolicited -- to give enough money to launch the whole project I was bowled over. But as the months dragged on and all I got was questions and some really bad advice -- and nothing definite about the volunteered money, I soon ran into a phenomenon I've now been told is very common: many wealthy people become resentful that they've offered money and become quite unpleasant as they slowly back out. At first I was disgusted. Then insulted. But I'm 64 years old and have experienced enough in my life to respect the fact that I'm not immortal. So I made a couple of resolutions.

next: back into action...