Ready to Join the Ranks of the Self-employed?

What do you do if you have been out of work for 99 weeks, your unemployment is running out and you have no prospects? What do you do if you are 30-something, have two kids at home, and the thought of not having a flexible schedule bums you out? What do you do if you don’t like working for someone else and long to do be your own boss?

You join the ranks of the self-employed, that’s what.

In the past generation there has been a transformation of work that has enabled more people than ever to become successful small-scale entrepreneurs and join the self-employed revolution. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, websites, apps, hardware and software have made it so that any small business can look big and make money.

And it turns out that more and more people are in fact joining the ranks of the entrepreneurial class. Consider that Time Magazine recently said that 2012 just may be “The Year of the Entrepreneur”:

Jobs are in scarce supply, and underemployment is at an all-time high. Things look bleak. But, truth be told, there has never been a better time for individuals to start new businesses. Taking up entrepreneurship is now an extremely doable means to overcome unemployment and underemployment, and perhaps even get rich.

Whereas a traditional office or retail space was a necessity less than a decade ago, today, thanks to the rise of virtual office services and co-working spaces, working from home or Starbucks is the new norm.

But of course, all of this begs the question – how exactly do you do it? When someone decides to go the self-employment route, the process usually goes something like this:

I’m ready to start my own business because [I was fired, I’m out of work, I hate my boss…].

I finally get to do my own thing!

I am so happy that I am going to be [a web designer, graphic artist, florist, sales rep, etc.].

Uh, how are you going to get business?

The fact is, when people become self-employed, they may know a lot about the particular business they are going into, but more often than not they don’t know a lot about business itself. What do you do when you own your own business, or want to, and don’t know much about marketing advertising, insurance, taxes and the rest?

Let your fingers do the searching. You could go to The Self Employed, SBA.gov and SCORE. Those sites are just a few of the many amazing online resources available.

Congratulations if you too are joining the army of the self-employed. If you do it right, you are on the cusp of the new way of work, and hopefully you will have a blast.

Editor’s note: Steve recently started a site called The Self Employed. Find relevant articles, how-to videos, podcasts, forums, and special offers that are all deigned specifically for the self-employed. 

Loading next article