Your guide to self-employment success is here!

Being a solopreneur means you get to do things your way.

By Jeanne Yocum

Anyone who has tried self-employment quickly learns about its many benefits…and its many challenges. While being your own boss can be a fantastic career choice, this path is also fraught with perils. My new book, The Self-Employment Survival Guide: Proven Strategies to Succeed as Your Own Boss, published this week by Rowman & Littlefield, is filled with practical advice to help you through the rough spots so that you can fully enjoy the many good parts of self-employment.

The book is based on my nearly 30 years of self-employment as a public relations consultant and ghostwriter. In addition to my own experiences, I have had numerous clients who were self-employed and so I share what worked – or failed to work – for some of them as well. In addition, in “Other Voices” sections in many chapters you get advice from seven of my colleagues and clients, all of whom have all been self-employed for significant periods…decades in most cases.

Why I wrote this book

My motivation for writing this survival guide is that I have never seen a book that honestly described what being your own boss is actually like day-to-day. Most books I’ve seen on the topic are written by people wearing rose-colored glasses who never admit that self-employment can be challenging. Thus, they don’t provide advice on how to get over the roadblocks you might run into along the way. Another large group of books on the topic give advice on topics such as how to write a business plan, market your business, or take care of legal, accounting and tax matters. To be sure, these are important issues, but there is so much more to being self-employed than such books cover.

[amazon_link asins=’1538108712′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingin-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1a4c1004-3c2c-11e8-8afe-cbbc949de7fc’]What’s in the book

Each chapter of the book tackles one of the challenges that come with being self-employed and offers practical, proven coping strategies. The book is divided into four sections:

– Part 1 is about the immediate changes you face when you become your own boss…in many cases, these are issues people don’t think about before they hand in their resignations and hang out their own shingles. For example, have you thought about what it is like to suddenly be the one who is making all the decisions? Once you no longer a boss, you are in charge of every decision about how your business operates and what direction it takes. This can take some getting used to, and in the very first chapter, I offer advice on how to make this adjustment.

– Part II is about solving all the conundrums that come with working with clients and with fluctuating workloads. Last week I was interviewed by a podcast called “Clients from Hell.” Some of the issues covered in this section of the book seeped into that interview – like how to deal with clients who don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Either they pay you late or they don’t meet the deadlines you’ve agreed on so your deadlines slip and then they blame you. Or they repeatedly fail to plan ahead and thus every job you do for them is an emergency. I thank heaven that I realized very early on in my freelance career that it was okay for me to fire a client. In fact, that is one of the best thing about being self-employed. You decide which clients you’ll work with. You can fire a client who is troublesome and you can follow you intuition when you meet a prospective client who just doesn’t seem like they’d be a good fit for you.

– Part III of the book is about financial matters – paying the tax man, surviving cash flow ebbs, saving for retirement, dealing with deadbeat clients, etc. For some people, this is the hardest part of being self-employed so the advice here is particularly important.

– Part IV, called “Potential Roadblocks to Success,” begins with the first piece I wrote for this book. It’s a chapter called “The Double Whammy of Health Issues.” I wrote the first draft of this eight years ago when I faced yet another in a long series of retina surgeries that have put me out of commission for a while. Back in 1992, when I had my first retina surgery, the surgeon told me I shouldn’t work for at least a month. I did a good job of no laughing out loud when she said this. And I was back at work within days, not weeks, because it was the only choice I had at the time.

When you’re self-employed and get hit with illness or injury, you face that double whammy from the chapter’s title…you will have no money coming in and your cash outlay for the medical bills pushes your expenses up…sometimes dramatically so. This is only one of the possible roadblocks discussed in this chapter – issues that you should carefully consider before taking the leap into self-employment.

This last section also includes a bonus chapter that covered eight behaviors that you should avoid because they will stand in the way of your success when you’re self-employed. Again, this is advice I’ve never seen anyone put forward before but it is based on the long, long experience of me and my colleagues.

Whether you’re contemplating self-employment or already are working on your own, I am 100% positive you’ll find helpful advice in The Self-Employment Survival Guide. To learn more, including reviews of the book by publications and experts in entrepreneurship, simply visit this page. You can also download the first chapter for free there.


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The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover