Does it have to be through the internet? If you want to start your own business, maybe try local services - such as pool cleaning, gardening, closet organizing, etc. Start small, maybe run a couple ads in the paper, door flyers, posting at the supermarket pin board.
The key is to make your first dollar, get your first sale. Then rinse/repeat. Stay humble and just focus on that first sale. Once you can get a couple customers, maybe start learning about SEO and local internet marketing to expand your client base.
As you continue to expand, hire someone to do the labor. Continue expanding. Once you do it once, it becomes pretty easy.
It's just a part of business, unfortunately. We try our hardest to hire the best staff - not just on credentials, but personality and how they'll gel with the rest of the team. But no matter what you do, someone will end up not working out.
The timing couldn't be worse though, huh. Black Friday? Right before the holidays. That's a tough one.
Eventually is the key word. Right now flash is very well accepted - companies have better things to worry about than writing in HTML 5 for the iPad. If you are focusing on businesses - I'd venture to say that less than 1% of your customers will have an iPad when visiting your website.
I still don't agree that eliminating flash is the way to go. Apple may not support it right now, but Android is growing rapidly and fully supports it.
It's ok to use it as a vast majority of most users will have flash enabled when browsing your site. It's also a good idea to have a placeholder available for users who aren't using flash.
But certainly don't avoid it.
Mass emailing to random lists is 10 years ago. Your best bet for modern email marketing is to develop lists of targetted contacts and carefully market to them on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.
Invest in pay per click advertising with a good landing page that asks for email address/name/etc... the long term benefits can be huge.