What advice do you have for aspiring marketers whose end goal is to work on their own small web businesses? How should they learn/prepare differently from those trying to follow a more traditional career path?

as the saying goes, "do what others won't, to live like others can't."

those who follow a traditional career path usually spend a lot of time with friends, a lot of time in bed, and a lot of time on reddit.

pointing you in the "right" direction is tough but point you away from the wrong direction is easy. first evaluate how you spend your time.

a quick simulation is to imagine swapping schedules with a coworker. would your life be about the same? if so, you're not preparing to work on your own small business.