Melinda Emerson’s “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months” book is the perfect go-to guide for individuals wanting to leave corporate life and transition to becoming an entrepreneur.
Now in its second edition, she covers everything that I had to learn very quickly when I was laid off in 2010 and subsequently decided to start my own public relations/social media/search engine optimization consultancy.
There are so many details to consider when opening a new business. Emerson guides budding entrepreneurs through the process with step-by-step instructions for considerations such as developing an effective marketing plan, setting a budget, and maintaining your business once it’s up and running.
As referenced in the book’s title, Emerson provides a countdown to business launch, instructing readers what’s important to do 12 months before you start, 11 months before you start, etc. — all the way up to go time.
I was initially skeptical of the “Get Your Financing Together” chapter, as Emerson suggests borrowing against a 401(k) in order to finance one’s life’s dream. The main problem with that approach is that readers of her book are looking to leave their corporate jobs, and a 401(k) loan becomes due shortly after leaving a company.
As I read further, though, Emerson highlighted this drawback as well as the other advantages and disadvantages of the various methods to finance a new business.
While the new chapter on developing a successful crowdfunding campaign is somewhat helpful, readers would benefit if Emerson had gone into the details of each site. For instance, she incorrectly notes that users of crowdfunding sites can choose up to 60 days to achieve their goal; GoFundMe actually has no time limits.
In the chapter on developing a business website, she also gets a search engine optimization guideline wrong. She writes, “a rule of thumb is to put no more than 250 words on a web page.” The reverse actually is true; a web page should have at least 250 words in order to provide search engines with relevant context.
Emerson references faith in a couple of instances, which is refreshing. After all, becoming an entrepreneur does require a leap of faith. That leap is made easier, however, with “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.”