If you are contemplating moving from corporate employee to contractor/consultant/solopreneur, I have a very helpful new book to recommend.
It’s called Free Agent by Katy Tynan.
I met Katy a couple years back at a Mastermind group (you can read more about our meeting in chapter 3 of the book) and we immediately found a lot of common ground with our shared interest in self-employment.
The fact is, we are increasingly moving toward a “free agent” economy; and with the increasing instability of corporate employment, this kind of handbook is quite timely.
Here is one of the more telling pull quotes in the Introduction:
“Our education system was designed to train people in the skills they needed to become productive employees, not free agents. In addition, where support exists in higher education or through services provided by the government, it exists to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, rather than people who simply want to work as an army of one.”
I consider this book to be a valuable primer for those who want to venture out, and need a broud overview of the most important issues faced by any of us starting a business. Instead of making this an encyclopedic volume (which therefore no-one would read), Katy gives the reader just enough to know the issues, and gives pointers about where to go to find out more detail.
The book is also spiced up by many individual stories – tales of success and challenge that make the lessons real.
There are three main sections in Free Agent:
1. The Emerging Trend of the Free Agent Labor Force – a brief but interesting analysis for those who like to look at the causes of large-scale societal trends. I thought this brief section was worth the price of the book.
2. How to Get Started – 9 issues/challenges/practices that you definitely want to prepare for. The practical roadmap every free-agent/business-starter needs.
3. Strategies for Long-Term Success – how to work and survive in this new way of creating your own career path. Basic; but good advice.
Frankly, I think most business books are too long, by a factor of 30-50% – I like to see authors get to the point. This book is a quick read as opposed to an imposing reference manual.
If you’re thinking about going out on your own, and starting a business of some form, combining Free Agent with Carol Roth’s The Entrepreneur Equation would be a good 2-fold reality check. Definitely recommended.
Disclosures: I was provided a free copy of this book for review. Also, book titles above are Amazon affiliate links.