by Terri Schlichenmeyer | November 09, 2011
You’re not going to do it anymore.

You’re not going to haul your carcass out of bed at 5 o’dark in the morning, throw down some coffee, and dash out the door so you can make it look like you slept at your desk. You’ll no longer grin until your lips ache at a coworker you never really liked. You’ll never play office politics again.

That’s because you’ve decided to open a business of your own. You’ll be your own boss from here on out—as soon as you figure out how to get started. In the new book It’s Your Biz by Susan Wilson Solovic (with Ellen Kadin), you’ll get valuable tips from an entrepreneur who’s done it. 

Before you get too excited, though, first examine your motivation: are you passionate about this endeavor? Do you have both a burning desire and the right personality to build and maintain a good business? Can you work by yourself, manage time wisely, and take responsibility? Or are you a play-it-safe kind of person who’s just looking for a way out of a bad situation? If your motivation leans toward the latter, you’ll want to rethink entrepreneurship for now.

Still excited? Okay, then, take a look at your finances. It might be awhile before you see a paycheck, so Wilson Solovic recommends that you put things in order before taking the self-employment plunge. And if you’re having second thoughts about now, she says that’s good; it shows that you’re thinking carefully.

You might also want to consider dipping your toe in the waters by going part time in the business you’re considering. Start slow, do research, “test drive” things first, and begin with something you know. Oh, and be careful not to burn bridges by “stealing” time or resources from your current employer. Wilson Solovic advises would-be entrepreneurs to know their business’ purpose, their potential customers, and their competition and not to waste money on things they don’t need. You'll need to learn to hire good employees, CPAs, and lawyers (no friends or family, please!).  

Above all, says Wilson Solovic, use MACS: “massive amounts of common sense.”

At a time when workplaces are squeezing every possible energy molecule from the employees they have left, it’s natural to dream about being self-employed. It’s Your Biz might help make that dream a reality, or it might make you change your mind by sanely applying the brakes before you make a dreadful mistake.

Wilson Solovic fills her book with caveats, straight talk, reminders, and common sense principles that serve to winnow out the determined from the dreamers. 

It's Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss
By Susan Wilson Solovic with Ellen R. Kadin
Amacom, 2011
227 pages
$22.95 / $25.95 Canada