What does it mean to be self-employed?

At BrazenCareerist.com Penelope Trunk and Ryan Paugh had another (almost) weekly webinar on career management: resume doctor, location independent, how to be a better blogger, so on. This time it was about self-employment, which touches on almost everybody's nerves. (They do pick interesting subjects.) Here is the summary of their messages.

To employ or to be employed

  • There is no shame in suiting employed life.
  • Self-employment is NOT a goal. Set a work goal.
  • If you are doing good as employee, test your water by doing side projects. If you can't do that well, you won't be able to handle self-employment.
  • You can try, and you can always go back to corporate life. It's not going to be a dead-end in your resume.

On marketing

  • Do or hire great marketing.
  • 80% marketing, 20% real work.
  • Random hook-ups does not hurt. Just try it as a marketing tactic. Don't be bad in bed, though.

Self-employment vs. Entrepreneurship

  • Self employed and Changing-the-world are different. The former is a one-person operation and comprises almost 90% of all entrepreneurs. The latter works in team and is actually about being funded.
  • It is very hard to find a fundable idea. (For Penelope) finding the right idea and team for funding took 3 years.

On ideas

  • There is no unique idea. It's all about execution.
  • People who don't tell idea are people who don't do anything.
  • Most entrepreneurs go through 15-20 ideas before they hit on one.

Am I ready?

  • The only question: are your skills/ideas marketable?
  • Don't think of yourself as woman. Men have all the power, no women did it all alone. Dress like women, network with men.
  • Once you think failure doesn't matter, it's much easier to start.
  • Be specific at what you are great. Nobody wants to hire non-experienced freelancer.

On time management

  • System for time management: most people work 100% of their time.
  • Have personal time to keep yourself from getting crazy.
  • Most entrepreneurs get up early. at 5am. And they work more hours than most people.

To keep on going

  • Declare what you don't do.
  • At the beginning, take whatever.
  • Be great at spending less consistently.
  • Have a structured, excellent package.