Ross Felix got that chance last year when he was laid off from his job at a New York-based finance firm.
After doing some part-time consulting work, he's now trying his hand at starting his own firm, an online dating company.
Using $15,000 in savings and lots of swapped programing time, he's set up an online site he says will revolutionize online dating by allowing user feedback - kinda like how eBay policies its users.
The site isn't yet profitable, but he hopes to start making money by mid 2010.
And it's given him a taste of life working for himself.
"I like controlling my own destiny, I just didn't have the spare time before," he said. "Once you become an entrepreneur it becomes part of your DNA. I never would have done this without the recession."
NEXT: Chill time