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Going Solo - Becoming your own Boss

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Going Solo - Becoming your own Boss

New opportunities for entrepreneurs & Consultants

==================================

 

A growing number of people are fed up with the corporate world, and want out. Many have pursued that path and felt there was something missing.

 

"Why should I help somebody else run their business, when I can run my own?"

 

This thread - and others to come - will explore ways that people can "go off on their own", and build their own businesses.

 

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CONSULTING - A more flexible way to make a living

 

Today, with unemployment rates hovering at 10%, and all our worries about the job market rooted in the moment, we are in danger of failing to see an important longer-term trend: More Americans are working as consultants or freelancers, either having given up or been forced out of the salaried world of 9 to 5.

 

It's a trend that began after the economic downturn of the late 1980s, as many laid-off professionals became consultants. Then it seemed temporary, though, tied to bad times. Evidence now suggests that this is our new economic condition. Today, in fact, 20% to 23% of U.S. workers are operating as consultants, freelancers, free agents, contractors or micropreneurs. Current projections see the number only rising in coming years.

 

The implications for the American workplace are profound. Imagine one in four workers, of all collars, working on a contingent basis. Whole career paths and professions have shifted from stable full-time jobs with definable career ladders and benefits to almost completely contingent work forces that shift from project to project.

 

We can rightly bemoan the loss of security, the shifting of economic risk from institutions to individuals. But crying foul will not change the circumstances that many Americans find themselves facing. Righteous indignation will not turn back time. We can, however, better prepare ourselves for the future.

. . .

Think Long Term

Too many freelancers see their condition as only temporary—one that will go away as soon as economic conditions improve. It's just a stage between jobs, they figure.

 

Some of them may be right. But the odds are that most are wrong. They're going to be on their own for a long time. So freelancers need to think in terms of the long haul, preparing for a marathon, not a sprint.

 

Understand: This isn't easy. Many of these people have known only 9-to-5 jobs, and it can be scary to think of freelancing as all there will be.

 

Scary, but necessary. Because if a freelancer views the condition as temporary, it's almost a guarantee that however long it lasts, it won't go well. Unless you think about it as a job itself—requiring time, investment, thought—you won't get much of a return. Waiting for business to find you is not something successful consultants do. Clients know a halfhearted attempt when they see one.

 

One recent consultant in the financial-services industry told me that the day he was fired, he got a new set of business cards, launched a basic Web site and got a new cellphone for business. He already had a home office and had started making lists of contacts. He knew that he might be consulting for many months, and he decided to prepare for it as a profession—not something he would do on the side to get by.

 

/more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405...0293220092.html

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Some Tips: Teaching & Joining Networks

 

At first, it sounds counterintuitive to train others to do what you do. After all, you're creating more competition for yourself in the very community in which you work. But teaching offers four big positives for consultants.

 

First, it provides some income, though admittedly not much. Second, it's a way to network, because sometimes students can become clients or lead to clients. Third, the teaching looks good on a résumé, giving consultants credibility in the marketplace and a way to stand out from the crowd. And fourth, if you're going to teach somebody the latest skills, you better have those skills yourself. So teaching forces consultants to stay current and sharp themselves.

 

I talked to one consultant who is an expert in change management. He teaches in a continuing-education program for a local university, and says it is time-consuming and pays poorly. But he says that when companies are looking for a consultant, they often take the fastest route: They search for someone who is teaching at an area college or university, figuring that person must be reputable.

 

So, he looks at his time teaching as the equivalent of advertising. In addition, he says, sometimes his students go back to their companies and are in a position to hire a consultant. And he gets the call.

 

Join a Network

The image many of us have of the lonely consultant toiling on his or her own is touching. And dated.

 

Most successful consultants are in a network or community of consultants. These networks are important sources of new clients; most consultants, in fact, say they get as many clients from these networks as they do from client referrals. What's more, an increasing number of consultants share work, taking on bigger projects that require more hands. In this way, teams of consultants can function like a small boutique firm.

 

One former public-relations vice president, now a crisis-management consultant, shares an office with three other consultants. They all operate on their own, but she says in many ways they also function as a traditional office. She even refers to them as a "federation."

 

Recently, one of her office mates was consulting for a company that was concerned about the possibility of a minor scandal. So her office mate recommended her as a crisis-management consultant. She was hired. And while the scandal blew over, the company now will come to her in the future if they need crisis public relations.

 

Beware, though: You don't want to cross a network. These communities of freelancers often have their own unwritten rules, and too often consultants find out about these rules only when they break them.

 

One network, for instance, had an informal rule about using only those in the network for all referrals. One software consultant ran afoul of that rule when he referred work to someone outside of his network, because he felt it required expertise that none in his circle had. Suddenly, his own referrals within the network dried up.

 

The lesson: With social networking and the constant contact of email and texting, word of a perceived violation spreads rapidly. While we assume there will be office politics in the traditional workplace, we should not be surprised that it exists in these networks. Freelancers are free from much of the 9-to-5 world, but apparently not the personalities of colleagues.

 

/more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405...0293220092.html

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Starting to feel the "weath effect", and in my early 40s, I'm quitting paid employment this year. If you can afford to, I think it pays to make the break; your wages are only going to diminish in real terms [there's more to life than work right]. And if the bulk of your capital is in gold, your savings will appreciate against assets you may want to buy in the future.

 

The challenge then is to avoid chipping away at your capital in order to live. A relatively simple and frugal lifestyle is the way to achieve this. You might want to start a small [lifestyle] business, with a minimal outlay of capital, stress and labour. Something like a mobile coffee shop is an idea.... no overheads and undercutting the conventional coffee shops. You may even be able to provide others with work while freeing yourself up for other projects [split the profits with a family member].

 

You could then also pursue a hobby/ interest and see where it goes. An interest I have is rammed earth architecture... do it for fun, make a few birdbaths and walls, and who knows, people may end up paying you to do something for them.

 

These small "business" ideas would really just provide some cash flow to cover living expenses imo..... personally, I wouldn't want to extend myself too much in starting a larger business with the aim of accumulating capital. The economic climate isn't right for it...better to capitalize yourself by buying/ investing in a mining claim... then spend the summer months of the year finding a bit of the yellow. :rolleyes:

 

Small and diverse projects would be the way to go imo.

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The challenge then is to avoid chipping away at your capital in order to live. A relatively simple and frugal lifestyle is the way to achieve this. You might want to start a small [lifestyle] business, with a minimal outlay of capital, stress and labour. Something like a mobile cafe, no overheads and undercutting the conventional cafes, is an idea. You may even be able to provide others with work while freeing yourself up for other projects.

Great point. RH !

 

Can you say something about the calculations you made to decide it was the right time for such a move ?

 

I hope that a new and improved GEI can be even more helpful to you, as you move into this new phase in your life.

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Great point. RH !

 

Can you say something about the calculations you made to decide it was the right time for such a move ?

 

I hope that a new and improved GEI can be even more helpful to you, as you move into this new phase in your life.

Talking about it with my Western colleagues, they, not surprisingly, think I'm idealistic and a bit of a "romantic" wanting to live a self-determined life [ideally a life of leisure]... and roaming about the countryside in the summer fossicking for gold [Koreans do not understand the appeal of this at all].

 

And while there is some truth in this, I'd say my motivation has been a more "rational" one centred on my macro-economic outlook. As I alluded to previously, it seems to make sound sense not to keep grinding away at the millstone... if you are already reasonably capitalized. Incomes are only going to be further squeezed, so why not make your own living.

 

I think there's also a bit of cultural baggage to work through in making these kinds of decisions .... something to do with the "protestant work ethic". :lol:

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Talking about it with my Western colleagues, they, not surprisingly, think I'm idealistic and a bit of a "romantic" wanting to live a self-determined life [ideally a life of leisure]... and roaming about the countryside in the summer fossicking for gold [Koreans do not understand the appeal of this at all].

 

And while there is some truth in this, I'd say my motivation has been a more "rational" one centred on my macro-economic outlook. As I alluded to previously, it seems to make sound sense not to keep grinding away at the millstone... if you are already reasonably capitalized. Incomes are only going to be further squeezed, so why not make your own living.

 

I think there's also a bit of cultural baggage to work through in making these kinds of decisions .... something to do with the "protestant work ethic". :lol:

Is that all you will do?

Will you drop out of the "global economy"? Or maintain some smaller enterprise within it?

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Is that all you will do?

Will you drop out of the "global economy"? Or maintain some smaller enterprise within it?

I don't want to "drop out"... more like live on the "fringe".

 

As I mentioned earlier, I'll look at developing a couple of smaller enterprises ... but I reckon the less your economic profile is [in a period of wealth destruction] the better.... without taking it to an extreme. Having a small enterprise might actually serve to lower your profile... thinking taxes and state here.

 

In five years or so, I'd aim to buy productive property... an orchard, or a small farm. No hurry.

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The challenge then is to avoid chipping away at your capital in order to live. A relatively simple and frugal lifestyle is the way to achieve this. You might want to start a small [lifestyle] business, with a minimal outlay of capital, stress and labour.

 

One of the business ideas I've been working on and have launched now is a e-newsletter revolving around these very issues. Which ties in with other projects I'm developing for the near future.

 

I feel (and have always felt) it's important for sussed people to strive for their own way of being 'free' now.

 

This could mean starting another multi-billion pound business. Or just sitting with a picnic next to a babbling rhyn watching the sun cast shadows over the fields.

 

Either way, it's important to be or be striving to be 'independently financially wealthy' (whatever that means to you).

 

To be responsible for your own fate and willing to work towards realising your vision of how you want your life to be.

 

A lot of folk may say this is in some way 'unrealistic' or even 'idealistic'.

 

However given the common instability shaking it's way through human society, I'd say it was an utterly pragmatic viewpoint to demand of yourself that which you yearn for.

 

Good Luck.

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Talking about it with my Western colleagues, they, not surprisingly, think I'm idealistic and a bit of a "romantic" wanting to live a self-determined life

My experience tells me you need to be very careful who you tell of such plans until you get them to a certain level of fruition and thus self-sustaining.

 

For instance, I am currently in a traditional career-based mode of employment, PAYE, etc. Yet I harbour a smallish number of sideline ambitions, for which I am saving money and educating myself.

 

I've noted, however, that people - especially colleagues in the workplace, and traditionally in my family too - often tend to disregard such intentions as flighty thinking, as if to even consider breaking out of the 0900-1730 regime you MUST living in a bit of a dreamworld.

 

Not wishing to sound too "hippy dippy", but I find such negative energies actually quite disruptive.

 

So it's meant that I've made more conscious decisions about who I choose to tell about my sidelines!

 

I think there's also a bit of cultural baggage to work through in making these kinds of decisions .... something to do with the "protestant work ethic". :lol:

I often get the impression that we're meant to think it is GOOD to suffer in the interests of sticking with the system. Calvinist spiritual redemption, hey?!

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One of the business ideas I've been working on and have launched now is a e-newsletter revolving around these very issues. Which ties in with other projects I'm developing for the near future.

I feel (and have always felt) it's important for sussed people to strive for their own way of being 'free' now.

I appreciate your comments here, M.

Maybe we can help you knock the idea into shape here.

 

I am slowly learning a bit more about commercialising these web ideas, and I have new friend here in HK who has a successful book site:

 

Link: http://ebook88.com - I met her at a Google Adsense seminar

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...I harbour a smallish number of sideline ambitions, for which I am saving money and educating myself.

 

I've noted, however, that people - especially colleagues in the workplace, and traditionally in my family too - often tend to disregard such intentions as flighty thinking, as if to even consider breaking out of the 0900-1730 regime you MUST living in a bit of a dreamworld.

 

Not wishing to sound too "hippy dippy", but I find such negative energies actually quite disruptive.

I think you will find some supportive positive contacts here.

 

They may help you keep a positive focus, and maybe help in other ways here.

 

I am eager to develop this aspect of Networking on GEI, and I think the time may be right for that.

We have learned plenty from each other over the last many months.

 

I will be setting this up so once the discussion or a thread reaches a certain level of detail, it gets moved to a Member's Only section,

to make it more private.

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Nice thread.

 

Once upon a time there was a thread on GEI about writing a business plan, and it went into great detail. anyone know where it is? the search function is not helpful as they are very common words.

 

It might be a handy link for this thread/section.

 

:)

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I've noted, however, that people - especially colleagues in the workplace, and traditionally in my family too - often tend to disregard such intentions as flighty thinking, as if to even consider breaking out of the 0900-1730 regime you MUST living in a bit of a dreamworld.

 

And then this attitude allows them to resent you if, no WHEN you succeed! LOL people are strange creatures.

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I think you will find some supportive positive contacts here.

 

They may help you keep a positive focus, and maybe help in other ways here.

 

I am eager to develop this aspect of Networking on GEI, and I think the time may be right for that.

We have learned plenty from each other over the last many months.

 

I will be setting this up so once the discussion or a thread reaches a certain level of detail, it gets moved to a Member's Only section,

to make it more private.

 

I would like to see this on GEI, but in a section which only allows those over a certain number of posts to read it. I thought seriously about sharing my info via a blog/thread on GEI which I have been gathering over a period of time to help others. After consideration I decided that the information was likely to be devalued if all it required was for you to register. If you had to be active for at least 100 posts (not just short posts that didn't add value) then it would be sort of a reward for contributing to the community here.

 

Since I am on a benefit (sickness to be specific) and have little in the way of spare money I have been forced to seek out solutions that meet this criteria:

 

- full time income

- part time hours (medical reasons, but also long term a much better strategy) OR semi passive so I can build up to full time

- low or no start up costs (I have wasted around $10 K USD in the last year buying the wrong products etc so the info that I can share will save others from wasting their resources)

 

ATM I am progressing slowly but need time to make it work. Someone who was currently working a FT job could run rings around me :D if they had the same information.

 

I am also very isolated, partly due to the shame of being on a benefit. The case manager (welfare) is attempting to push me into a job I would be crap at assuming I could do it at all, and it would wipe any energy I had to try and achieve a better life, and clearly thought something meeting the above critera was impossible. What would he know - he got his training from the gov't agency that employs him. EVEN IF I was employed, due to the nature of my illness it would be PART TIME, like 10-15 hours a week and I would STILL BE SUBSIDISED BY THE GOVERNMENT. This is something that repulses me and I can see if I end up there it could well be like that for the rest of my life. Gosh, I hope not.

 

Social stigma from most is not good, but worst of all I just am not your typical beneficiary so I don't really fit in.

 

My goal is to buy a farm type property (gotta hurry) where my family can ride out any world crisis. Got to reach for it as it is a matter of survival.

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I appreciate your comments here, M.

Maybe we can help you know the idea into shape here.

 

I am slowly learning a bit more about commercialising these web ideas, and I have new friend here in HK who has a successful book site:

 

Link: http://ebook88.com - I met her at a Google Adsense seminar

 

Thanks.

 

I will take you up on that. And will drib an drab info as and when it occurs.

 

At present I am amassing subscribers via the following ways:

 

Google PPC - Got a free wadge of PPC so thought why not. Normally PPC and Search would be a bit slow for this kind of project. Tweaking as I go along. My Conversion rate is rising now. As with all Marketing, test and test again.

 

For all of 2010 I have been evaluating ESPs (Email Service Providers - Mass Mailers) and have tried out loads of them for clients and for myself.

 

I've now stumped for one and am going the whole PPC/ Squeeze Page/ Sign Up/ Autoresponder/ Follow Up route.

 

This is all processed by said ESP. I decided to just get on with launching the Mailer and get the website done as I go along.

 

Have found a company that can do me a subscription website as an on-going fee structure, replete with all I should need to host, manage and market said emailer etc. But for now I want to see how I get on with the route I'm taking.

 

Now need to make a holding page for the URL, so that I could at least host a sign-up form and some info there instead of deadspace. Will probably have to do this myself, as my 'do me a holding page and I'll help you make millions by Marketing your Company' style bargaining, has fallen on deaf ears.

 

(The Fools - I'll make the trains run on time!!)

 

I've also put aside a load of cash to buy suitable double-opted in lists to speed up the amount of willing subscribers. ESPs will tell you not to do this, but they are only thinking of themselves first, as they don't want to get done for Spam (SPAM CAN Act).

 

However if you buy double-opted in willing lists from a trustworthy mailing list supplier, then that will be fine. Have done this many times over and have always had a great response (depends much upon making a good offer to a great list, with well-though out 'creative').

 

My aim is 3000 subs by the time I send out issues 1, 2 and 3 (end of October 2010) - Have started from scratch with zero subscribers, but a persistent ever-nagging idea.

 

We'll see. This is about the umpteenth time of messing with this emailer etc biz.

 

That'll all link in later with Seminars/ Info Biz Products (Genuinely excellent ones that'll benefit their purchasers many times over) etc.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

Good Luck.

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Have found a company that can do me a subscription website as an on-going fee structure, replete with all I should need to host, manage and market said emailer etc. But for now I want to see how I get on with the route I'm taking.

 

Now need to make a holding page for the URL, so that I could at least host a sign-up form and some info there instead of deadspace. Will probably have to do this myself, as my 'do me a holding page and I'll help you make millions by Marketing your Company' style bargaining, has fallen on deaf ears.

Have you looked at what Invision has to offer?

That's where the software and hosting for GEI comes from

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My experience tells me you need to be very careful who you tell of such plans until you get them to a certain level of fruition and thus self-sustaining.

 

For instance, I am currently in a traditional career-based mode of employment, PAYE, etc. Yet I harbour a smallish number of sideline ambitions, for which I am saving money and educating myself.

 

I've noted, however, that people - especially colleagues in the workplace, and traditionally in my family too - often tend to disregard such intentions as flighty thinking, as if to even consider breaking out of the 0900-1730 regime you MUST living in a bit of a dreamworld.

 

Not wishing to sound too "hippy dippy", but I find such negative energies actually quite disruptive.

 

So it's meant that I've made more conscious decisions about who I choose to tell about my sidelines!

Yes, I think it's a sad fact that most have settled on living within the parameters of a conventional society. Another sad fact is people generally prefer to see conformity in the behaviour of their peers. The negativity shown to those wanting to break out of the mold really reflects an insecurity; most have the same instincts of wanting to live a self-determined life, yet those instincts are repressed by either material circumstances, or the dominating ethic.

 

I often get the impression that we're meant to think it is GOOD to suffer in the interests of sticking with the system. Calvinist spiritual redemption, hey?!

Indeed. The democratic/ egalitarian ethic has a lot to do with this, which I guess suits the industrial age with its need for mass production/ consumption.

 

Long live the Queen. :)

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One of the business ideas I've been working on and have launched now is a e-newsletter revolving around these very issues. Which ties in with other projects I'm developing for the near future.

 

I feel (and have always felt) it's important for sussed people to strive for their own way of being 'free' now.

 

This could mean starting another multi-billion pound business. Or just sitting with a picnic next to a babbling rhyn watching the sun cast shadows over the fields.

 

Either way, it's important to be or be striving to be 'independently financially wealthy' (whatever that means to you).

 

To be responsible for your own fate and willing to work towards realising your vision of how you want your life to be.

 

A lot of folk may say this is in some way 'unrealistic' or even 'idealistic'.

 

However given the common instability shaking it's way through human society, I'd say it was an utterly pragmatic viewpoint to demand of yourself that which you yearn for.

 

Good Luck.

Wealth is an interesting concept. The dictionary defines it as an abundance of things. Now if money is only one thing... and a mere means not an end... then you have to ask when is enough enough [there might even then be more to go around... no, I'm not a socialist :lol: ].

 

I've always been fascinated by the ancient notion of the Good Life. A necessary part of this consisted in the possession of physical goods. But this was not considered sufficient... this was not the end, just the means by which a person was then freed to pursue other ends of their choice.

 

Though most are struggling to get "ahead" in life, there is a different kind of struggle for those who are ahead, which may even be more difficult. imo the challenge facing them is one of extricating themselves from a monetary culture.... to make money the slave to serve them in their life, and not the master.

 

 

Though you'd be wealthier in a more comprehensive sense, my suspicion is that you may even be wealthier in the monetary sense [a by-product].... if you pursued a more self-determined life.

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Since I am on a benefit (sickness to be specific) and have little in the way of spare money I have been forced to seek out solutions that meet this criteria:

 

- full time income

- part time hours (medical reasons, but also long term a much better strategy) OR semi passive so I can build up to full time

- low or no start up costs (I have wasted around $10 K USD in the last year buying the wrong products etc so the info that I can share will save others from wasting their resources)

 

ATM I am progressing slowly but need time to make it work. Someone who was currently working a FT job could run rings around me :D if they had the same information.

 

I am also very isolated, partly due to the shame of being on a benefit. The case manager (welfare) is attempting to push me into a job I would be crap at assuming I could do it at all, and it would wipe any energy I had to try and achieve a better life...

Sounds like you are facing some tough challenges with dignity, TB.

Good luck in that, and keep us informed of your progress. Use the resources here.

Sounds like you have plenty of experiences you will be able to share.

 

Can you say more about the type of business you are aiming to develop?

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