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Should this dentist quit her job?

Don't quit your day job ... yet. Or, at least wait until you talk to Carol Roth, a small-business advocate, "recovering" investment banker, and author of "The Entrepreneur Equation." In a new digital series, Roth takes on would-be entrepreneurs who want to abandon their careers for new small-business ideas. Here, she analyzes dentist Dana Fort, who, along with her doctor husband Brian, came up with tan idea for a "wiggle-free" diaper-changing station called the PooPoose. It's the highest rated baby-changing pad on Amazon.com but … should she quit her day job…yet?

Sometimes, it is hard to tell if a new business idea is a real passion or just a convenient excuse that you use on yourself as you try to find some escape from the day-to-day doldrums of life.

Passion or escape: That's what I was trying to get to the bottom of with Dana Fort, when it came to the PooPoose.

The PooPoose is a concave pad with a plush strap with Velcro that fits around the baby's midsection to hold him or her in place while changing the diaper. The pad sells for around $65 on Amazon.com. The average customer rating is 5 out of 5 stars and Fort says they've already sold 5,000 of them.



As many entrepreneurs do, Dana and Brian had an everyday problem and they thought that they could find a better solution. After having challenges restraining their own baby while they changed diapers, they used their medical-device knowledge to redesign the typical baby changing apparatus, having the straps go through the changing pad to eliminate the usual gap between the pad and the child.

But, Dana and her husband made a huge investment of time, money and effort in their respective dental and doctor practices. To do that, they had to have had some level of interest in those fields, so the fact that they both want to leave their jobs raises a red flag (or a neon sign) that there may be some professional commitment issues.

Additionally, the opportunity has other issues to consider. As someone who has worked with a significant other, I can tell you that there's a lot of risk in being in business together as a couple. Not only from a financial-diversification standpoint, but also from the toll that it can take on the relationship when everything becomes about business and the softer side of the relationship gets demoted in the prioritization scale.



Plus, in this risk/reward equation, PooPoose is a product, not a business. Not only is it a product, but it's a niche product and one with big turnover in customers since babies grow up and eventually, you lose mom as a customer. This means that PooPoose has to spend significantly to capture a customer and then, they may never buy from the company again. Without other innovations in the pipeline, this becomes a one-trick pony.

And speaking of product, while the company has worked to protect its novel design, I would be willing to bet that, with a few tweaks, a good portion of the product concept could be knocked off by a major company that has better financing and distribution.

So, for these successful professionals, I don't want both of them to quit their day jobs together.

I think Dana can consider a temporary leave of her job or pursue this product on the side, but her best strategy is to build it as quickly as possible to maximize the opportunity prior to getting knocked-off or perhaps, building it to the point where it could be sold to a major competitor instead who might be interested in a head start and awareness in the market.


If you're an entrepreneur looking to turn your hobby or "jobbie" into a full-time career, we want to hear from you. Email: AskCarolRoth@cnbc.com.