• Fifteen Things to Do to Make Jumping into Freelancing/Self-Employment Financially Successful

    An acquaintance from my previous career wrote to me recently asking about the steps I took when I made the switch to working at home: It’s official: I’m ready to get out of here. I’m tired of working here and I have a lot of people lined up to hire me for home catering and …

  • Review: Who’s Got Your Back

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or entrepreneurship book. It’s no secret to long-time readers of The Simple Dollar that I loved Keith Ferrazzi’s first book Never Eat Alone. I thought it was a brilliant discussion of how to network ethically in the modern world by building real, valuable …

  • Review: Craft Inc.

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity, personal development, or entrepreneurship book. Discover your passions and make a living from it. It’s an idea I talk about quite often on The Simple Dollar – and it often gets pooh-poohed by people who believe strongly in work-life separation, that you should do a …

  • The Power of Transferrable Skills – And Six Areas to Work On

    When I was in college, the vast majority of my classes were effectively training for a career in research and scientific data management. Seven years after graduation, though, I find myself drawing instead on the transferrable skills I picked up in other classes: public speaking, writing, leadership, information management, and so on. To put it …

  • Review: Rich Like Them

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Rich Like Them by Ryan D’Agostino follows in the tradition of The Millionaire Next Door and The Difference: it interviews a large group of millionaires in order to figure out what traits they have in common. Rich Like Them takes this tactic and runs …

  • 50 Side Businesses You Can Start On Your Own

    In the past, I’ve discussed how it’s a good idea to spend your spare time dabbling in entrepreneurship: it fills your time with something that you choose (and thus you enjoy) and sets up a potential long-term revenue stream. I also discussed how I got a side business going myself. Since then, lots of readers …

  • Some Thoughts on Working from Home – One Year Later

    One year ago, I began my journey as a full-time writer working from home. Prior to making that leap, I worked full time in a research lab with a small, rather tight-knit group of people and I spent my spare time (when I could find it) working on The Simple Dollar. After a year and …

  • Some Thoughts on Starting a Side Business in a Down Economy

    Spend less than you earn doesn’t just mean cut back on your spending. It also means striving to earn more income when you can, because the real goal is to maximize the gap between your income and your spending and then use that for a greater purpose (saving for your goals). When the economy is …

  • The Secrets to Entrepreneurship? Or More?

    Earlier this week, I stumbled across an October article from Inc. entitled Street Smarts: Secrets of a $110 Million Man. The article carefully outlined ten essential tactics that underlie any successful entrepreneurial endeavor: 1. Numbers run a business. If you don’t know how to read them, you are flying blind. 2. A sale isn’t a …

  • Should an Entrepreneurial High Schooler Go to College?

    Andy writes in (I touched up his grammar just a bit): I’m a high school senior. Over the last two years, I’ve built a very successful lawn care business in my neighborhood that filled up my entire summer this year. I will make about $35K this year and I can make a lot more once …

  • The Entrepreneurial Drive (Or Lack Thereof)

    Whenever I write a post about careers, I usually receive a few comments or emails from readers who are heavily involved in entrepreneurship, chiding me for writing an article that wastes people’s time. “I’m an entrepreneur, and such articles are a waste of time,” they’ll say. “The only real way to get ahead is to …

  • Review: Young Bucks

    Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book of interest. Writing about kids and money is a fairly sticky topic. I’ve read several books on the topic and only bothered to review a few on here. The best one I had read so far, David Owen’s First National Bank of Dad, was really …

  • Review: Honey, I Want to Start My Own Business

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity, personal development, or business/entrepreneurship book of interest. When I look at my life, it becomes quite clear to me that if I ever wanted to start a small business (and, no, I don’t quite consider my solo writing gig to be a small business, although big …

  • Review: Seven Years to Seven Figures

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity, personal development, or business/entrepreneurship book of interest. I like Michael Masterson’s books. In the past, I’ve given high marks to three of his works: Automatic Wealth, Automatic Wealth for Grads, and Ready, Fire, Aim. Because of my enjoyment of his other books, I decided to look …

  • Review: Ready, Fire, Aim

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity, personal development, or business/entrepreneurship book of interest. One topic that doesn’t get nearly enough coverage on The Simple Dollar (or on other blogs as well) is entrepreneurship – the transformation of an idea and a passion into a full-fledged business. It can be a splendid way …

  • My Entrepreneurial Inspiration

    Since quitting my “real” job to become a full-time writer, I’ve heard many rather negative comments from friends and family who seem absolutely shocked that I’d quit a stable, solid-paying full time job to hide in my home office every day. The comments went all over the place, ranging from a general idea that I …

  • Review: Built to Last

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. About a year ago, I began to really look at The Simple Dollar as the beginnings of a small business – likely one that would only ever have one employee (me), but a business nonetheless. I proceeded to dive into a big …

  • Encouraging Young People to Be Entrepreneurs

    When I was young, I was a budding entrepreneur. In the late 1980s, one could easy get forty cents a pound for aluminum, so I adamantly collected cans. I provided garbage cans for neighbors to toss their empty cans in, then I would go on a route and collect those cans, adding them to my …

  • Building a Foundation: Ten Things To Do First If You’re Looking At Starting Your Own Business

    I’ve had the opportunity to launch two successful small businesses in my life. Because of this, I regularly get emails from readers who are quite excited about starting their own business. They write out their plans to me and send it on, hoping to get some feedback on their ideas. What I’ve found, though, is …