I came across Jyotsna Ramachandran‘s, The Home Entrepreneur show podcast recently on iTunes and found it quite interesting. It was then I knew about her book The Job Escape Plan. It is a step by step manual of how to start a home business. There is a difference between being a freelancer and a home entrepreneur even though both have the luxury to work from home. The former earns by the hour while the latter’s business makes money even while sleeping. This book is based on the author’s journey from a desk job to an entrepreneur. She speaks about finding meaning in her work and avoiding the mistakes first-time entrepreneurs tend to do.
Everyone’s definition of freedom varies. Some prefer a flexibility in time or location. While some just need a vacation to recover from a burnout. Not everyone wants to quit their job and start their own business. A fair bit of self-introspection is required to figure this one out. Besides if everyone became entrepreneurs, then who would work for them? Jyotsna goes on to bust many myths surrounding entrepreneurship such as having no time, money, experience and so on. The digital economy has made it infinitely easier to start a business as compared to 20 years ago. Sure starting a pharmaceutical company and an internet based business are different ball games, but it is still possible to start small.
Some of the business ideas pointed in the book are – blogging, podcasting, making youtube videos, Kindle publishing, Amazon physical products, Udemy courses and creating mobile apps. Jyotsna has profiled various entrepreneurs who have made a mark in each of these areas. They share their war stories, business models, how to get going and other insider tricks. The Q & A format keeps the narration brisk.
It can be noted that this book is more of a guide to start and run an internet based business from the comfort of one’s house. The only possible exception would be being a seller on Amazon. While it does involve internet expertise, but the crux of the business involves finding and sourcing the items to sell. Dealing with manufacturers half way across the globe in China is not always an enjoyable experience.
Creating and selling information products allows the flexibility to work from any location as long as there is a reliable internet connection. The section about preparing for the niche chosen is quite informative and gives the initial kick needed to step out of the comfort zone. The instructions about setting up a home business like managing a virtual team are similar to The 4 hour workweek by Tim Ferris. It contains detailed information to remotely manage a business and is quite an informative read.
Starting a business is tough because there a million things to juggle. If it were easy, everybody would do it. We can read a hundred books about entrepreneurship and startups but nothing works until we do the work. All said and done, a desk job is no way inferior. If you find satisfaction in it, then by all means continue. If you wish to escape the desk, know that the escape velocity is definitely lower now. So strap on your seat belts and get, set, go.