Many people who lost their jobs in the recession have chosen to work from home to make extra money. Among the more unusual jobs out there are "phone actors." What does that mean? In two words... "phone sex." Believe it or not, a lot of stay-at-home moms are using their voices and telephones to help make ends meet as the folks at Staffcentrix are finding. The company helps people find work-from-home jobs. Its CEO spoke with CNN"s Don Lemon. Christine Durst is also the author of "Work from Home Now."
John Travolta and his wife are hearing lots of congratulations and some criticism recently. That's because actress Kelly Preston is pregnant at the age of 47. It generates the debate - just how old is too old to have a baby. Don Lemon spoke with two moms who gave birth after the age of 40 for their perspective.
Rick Horrow joins CNN's Don Lemon on Newsroom Sunday.
From Sports Business Analyst Rick Horrow:
Once again, the cycling world was rolled this week by former Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ doping confessions and allegations that seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong and other prominent cyclists also took banned performance-enhancing drugs. While Armstrong is now busy disparaging the charges and claiming that Landis has had a vendetta against him for years, if the allegations are eventually proven to be true, and if Tiger Woods’ all-too-similar fall from grace serves as a potholed roadmap, Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation and the thousands of cancer victims it aids each year could suffer more collateral damage than the wreck that caused Armstrong to pull out of the Tour of California on Thursday.
After Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996, beat it, came back to win the Tour de France in 1999-2005, and launched the Livestrong Foundation that begat millions of rubber wristbands and $325 million and counting toward the fight against cancer (according to the Livestrong website), he was hailed as a classic role model akin to U2’s Bono, one of the true good guys who rose above his chosen niche and celebrity lifestyle to positively impact millions of other people around the world.
But like Woods, there have been hints along the road that with Armstrong all was not exactly what it seemed. Although unproven, doping allegations have hung around Armstrong for years – even American cycling legend Greg Lemond, the Cal Ripken of the sport, has seemed to suggest that Armstrong might have been using due to the controversial medical staff he employed. And like Woods, Armstrong’s marital life hasn’t exactly been Ozzie and Harriet. The cyclist left his wife Kristin, with whom he has three children, for singer Sheryl Crow, and has since fathered two more children with other girlfriends.
Woods has recently been linked to shady Canadian physician Dr. Anthony Galea, accused of bringing HGH into this country to illegally treat American athletes. And enduring significant collateral damage from the golfer’s multi-mistress scandal is his Tiger Woods Foundation, which has benefited more than 10 million youths since its 1996 inception (according to the Foundation website) through grant programs supporting 100 charities annually, the Earl D. Woods scholarship fund which has handed out over $2 million in total, in $5,000 increments, and major annual fundraising events.
The Foundation’s Chevron World Challenge in December was without its host and major draw – and saw a sharp decline in ticket sales and corporate support as a result. This year’s Tiger Jam at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, normally held right around now, was summarily canceled in December – the last thing Woods’ image shapers want is him showing up at a sexy party in Vegas. (The 2009 event raised more than $1 million.) Woods’ glitzy October Block Party event in Los Angeles is also in question – ironically, Armstrong’s ex-girlfriend Crow was last year’s headliner. And while he has committed to play in a major Tiger Woods Foundation fundraiser, the AT&T National golf tournament beginning July 1, the telecomm giant dropped Woods as a sponsor in January and ousted the golfer from his role as host of the annual event.
These days, the athletes’ families, the millions who benefit from their foundations, fans of their respective sports, and the media are getting really weary of sitting around waiting for the other cleat to drop.
Rick Horrow is the CNN Sports Business Analyst and co-author of Beyond the Box Score: An Insider’s Guide to the $750 Billion Business of Sports
From CNN financial analyst Clyde Anderson:
I’ve been asked many times "what is a recession-proof business?" Well, we all know there are no absolutes, but it’s pretty clear that there are some businesses that appear to be more favorable than others when it comes to needs versus wants. When people are watching their dollars and trying to stretch them to the limit, buying decisions seem to change when it comes to certain things.
Debt Collection: It goes without saying that in tough economic times bills start to pile up and often go unpaid. While debt collection is not an especially pleasant business, it's one that generally does well during economic downturns. As an added bonus, you have the option of working out of your home as an independent contractor or working for a debt collection agency.
Healthcare Products: An aging population whose health is declining is going to purchase healthcare products and services —recession or no recession. And, with more health related products and services available than ever before, this is a business that is sure to thrive.
Mediator: In tough economic times, many people turn to mediators rather than attorneys to settle disputes simply because they are less expensive. If you're skilled at negotiating, this may be the business opportunity for you.
Computer Repair: Computers are a fact of life and so is computer repair. The good news is that a computer repair business doesn't depend on whether the economy is good or bad. If you are the go-to person when a friend's computer goes bust, then the computer repair business might be a good fit. It's also possible to join a franchise operation like Geeks on Call.
Internet Marketer: Many people jump on the website bandwagon without really understanding internet marketing. After all, what good is a website if no one sees it? Internet marketing is becoming more and more important as people comparison shop and purchase items online. That's just one of the reasons why it's a good business when the economy goes south.
Pawn Broker: Ok, not everyone is cut out to be a pawn broker, but pawn shops are typically businesses that do well during recessions. A pawn broker takes merchandise as collateral on a loan, albeit a loan with exorbitant interest rates.
Cosmetics Sales: This may seem like an odd business to start in a sluggish economy, but the truth is that cosmetics are an inexpensive way to let us feel good when times are not so good. After all, who doesn't want to look terrific?
Green Businesses: That could mean eco-friendly retail items, organic food or socially responsible coffee.
Thrift and Consignment Stores: Same philosophy as eBay – low-cost items are likely to sell well in a sluggish economy.
Car-repair shops: With gas prices high and the economy weak, people are liable to hang onto their cars, rather than trading them in for a new model every three or four years, creating lots of opportunity for automotive repair.
Virtual Assistant: Growing fast and becoming popular for those who want to run their own home business to get started – usually by doing the things they have done well in the past for prior employers.
Look for Clyde Anderson's Home School segments Saturday mornings in the 7 o'clock hour of CNN Newsroom with TJ Holmes.