by Megan M. on August 16, 2007 · View Comments (Projects) |

In the last eight years I’ve come across a huge amount of excellent entrepreneurial reading material, in which I am particularly interested (as you may know)! I get excited when a conversation turns to business theory, the how and why of starting your own thing, the energy it takes to manifest exactly what you need—it’s awesome. But for the most part, I’ve really skipped over the anti 9-to-5 bits. I didn’t really need them, and during the brief time they were pertinent I had other problems to solve.

It always bugs me that I skip things. I love taking in all this information, and skipping over anything feels like losing the whole picture. I remind myself (constantly) that a human being can only read so much in a lifetime, and that’s how it goes.

So I bet you can imagine how I felt when I found out, this week, that a friend of mine is thinking seriously of getting rid of her 9-to-5 job… and working from home. This is going to be fun, I think to myself! Suddenly, all those links and passages I’ve been skipping are relevant. I have so much catching up to do! Not only do I have a great reason to start paying attention, but someone will actually be able to use what I find—and I’ll get to watch what happens! I’ve been living the business-from-scratch dream, struggling to get it right with all the time in the world but no backup stream of income… and now I get to live the anti 9-to-5 dream, having the benefit of previous income, limited time and all, vicariously, through my friend! That’s what I’m so excited about.

I’m such a goon sometimes.

Anyway! I decided to make a list. These are the resources that seem absolutely pertinent to the start of any similar endeavor. It’s not very long, but I know that this handful of resources will help my friend (and maybe you, too!).

Alex Beauchamp, Girl At Play

When reading Alex Beauchamp’s blog, I always suggest starting at the beginning. I discovered Alex at precisely the right moment in my entrepreneurial development and reading about her creative genesis did amazing things for me. When you start from the beginning, you get to read about how she left her corporate career to be an at-home creative freelancer, and watch her build it from the ground up—it’s awesome, and she has some incredible insight. She made me feel real when I was starting Virtual Magpie again from scratch, and her ideas opened spaces in my brain that I don’t think I’d ever used before! She really makes you believe that “impossible” things are absolutely, 100% possible, and gives out a lot of tips along the way.

(While we’re on the subject of Alex Beauchamp, she also has an Amazon store I want to take a closer look at—I have typically gotten great recommendations from her, and her judgment is excellent.)

Michelle Goodman’s Anti 9-to-5 Guide

I found this book originally because Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon recommended it at Boss Lady, but it’s one of the things I never picked up because I was concentrating book-buying money on resources that were super-pertinent to my situation—and I’m not bucking a nine-to-fiver. Despite that, I’ve been coveting it, and Boss Lady is another resource of mine that always results in great recommendations.

I have a hunch that this is an excellent book for new entrepreneurs who are currently working regular jobs, with solid practical information about getting started. (If you buy this, can I borrow it?)

Besides all of that, Michelle Goodman keeps a blog on the same subject, and that’s bound to come in handy.

Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek

Okay—don’t let the title throw you. (In fact, if you can manage it, let it inspire the bejesus out of you!) This book is one of the best things I have on my shelf, and that’s despite the fact that it contained a lot of information that wasn’t completely pertinent to me when I read it—convincing your boss to let you work from home, for instance. The things Tim has to say are absolutely spot-on and anyone thinking of working from home should seriously consider the material in this book. It’s really good stuff, with actual instructions on how to get what you want.

Tim also has a blog that, as a chaser to his book, is delicious stuff, and all kinds of extra material. Dude. Read this book.

In addition to those, the Boss Lady resources section has a ton of great material. If you’re looking for more on the Impossible -> Possible front, Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxie Maltz is a freakin’ incredible introduction to remaking yourself and your situation, and Think and Grow Rich, though very money-motivated, discusses a lot of positive manifestation techniques (among other things). I also suggest The Renegade Organizer’s Guide to Paper Management if you do not already have a complete handle on your office space—she will start you off on the right foot. (If you are like the rest of us and are an organizational disaster, she will be your new best friend.)

If the whole idea has you just plain freaking out but you intend to do it anyway (you can do it!), I suggest How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie. I love you, Dale.

Er, so that’s it! I hope it helps!

  • pearlbeachlady
    Thank you for the content you have shared here! I have just begun exploring the option of escaping the 9-5 environment, or at least looking at the possibilities available out there. I have been working in sort of traditional type jobs for a while now, but have begun to realize that I am concerned about not using my passions to be more effective. These tools you have shared here will no doubt be useful in helping me to learn and develop along these goals!
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