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Jochan Smyth, Jr.
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Wow. This would appear to be the first book I've ever read on freelancing that is actually based on fact (and I have every freelancer book that exists in my library).
The most profound thought in the book is the "job security" thing: Henricks is a freelance writer, has been highly successful as such, and this is the way he sees day-job employment security, per se:
"'... Job security' is one of those phrases that, like `serious fun' and `exact estimate,' tries to combine incompatible concepts. The truth is, in general, there is no such thing as a really secure job ... Just ask the former employees of companies with longstanding no-layoff policies, such as IBM and Delta Airlines, who wound up getting laid off ... Let's consider the chances that I (Henricks), for example, am going to be laid off this week. In a typical year, about 20 percent of the people I worked for during the previous year stop working with me. Including brand-new customers I didn't work with a year earlier, I lose a client, on average, about once a month. So the chances I'll lose one this week are somewhere around one in four. But am I really insecure? Not really. Because after I lose that one client, I'll still have a dozen or so left. The chances may be good that a small measure of insecurity will visit me soon. But what are the chances that in one stroke I'll lose all my clients, the equivalent of an employee losing his one and only source of income? The chances are poor. It's never happened, or even come close to happening, and I don't expect it ever will ..."
Here's another quote:
"... Even more striking was the effect on my lifestyle. I've worked as many or as few hours as I deemed necessary. I attend virtually no meetings. My commute is measured in feet, not miles. I wear a tie so rarely that when I do, it often takes several tries to get the knot right. I've gotten paid for indulging my love of reading, as a book reviewer. I've been sent on fabulous travel adventures, all expenses paid. I receive, gratis, piles of high-tech gadgets from the companies that want me to consider their products in articles and books about technology trends. And I get paid to do all this. My lifestyle is part of, and is funded entirely by, my earnings as a **lifestyle entrepreneur** (a relatively new word in the freelance world)."
The general premise for Henricks' book is that freelancing - in whatever direction you happen to take it - does not have to be about starving to death (or worrying about paying the rent).
He details honorable freelance professions, entrepreneurship, and creating or purchasing small businesses - and talks about "joining the ranks of the 20 million American small and home-based business owners" that exist today.
He doesn't go into the mechanics of any particular profession - Henricks is a freelance writer - but his book isn't about writing. Rather, he talks about practical details that allow people to spend their lives doing something they enjoy outside of a corporate Dilbert-cubicle.
He talks about the business-stat Web sites that can fuel your business plan. The micro-business infrastructure. About "Picking your people" (if you need people). "Taming technology" (this is one of the most interesting twists I've seen yet on the subject of technology; a bit of a reality check). "Funding a lifestyle venture." "Recognizing your limits." "Growing without grief." "Forging ahead." And ... "Ending well." (The Ending Well section could very well be the most important section in the book, if you care about your family and what happens to them after your success.)
Henricks has written so many freelance articles about small businesses ... he can identify a small business model that will actually work.
To qualify that point, beginning on p. 103 he begins to list tables of information that contain examples of: Projected Cash Flow, Income Projection, and Pricing Your Product. Moreover, he goes on to characterize the tables with his knowledge of the basic, successful small-business plan: addressing profitability problems; identifying neat little tricks such as the "15 percent rule" (used for pricing services; p. 124); additionally tackling a tricky 80-20 Rule that involves the fact that "80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers" (how to turn that into more success; also on p. 124).
It doesn't matter if you're contemplating opening a small-scale cookie factory, purchasing a B&B, creating-from-scratch a local ironing service, opening an online store - or headed into the highlands to raise mountain goats -- Henricks' book is about successful small-business methods.
He also banishes work-at-home myths on everything from newspaper-advertisement/Internet "freelance business" scams such as the "$5,000 a Week Potential!" jobs; pyramid schemes; scams that require you to purchase inventory; and high-pressure sales tactics. The majority of these aren't freelance ventures. They're straight-up rip-offs.
If you've been toying with going full-up freelance for years, or a small-business idea, but are scared to take the plunge. If you have a keen desire or need to work out of the home. If you've heard or read about the "mystique of the freelance lifestyle." This is your "declaration of independence" (Henricks' words).
The book doesn't contain fluff. It's 230 pages packed with information about building a job around your home or lifestyle - and making enough money to enjoy all three.
It's a work of art. Valuable beyond words.
And ... you don't need to buy the "Pathfinder" as recommended above (unless, of course, you like your day job).