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Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works Paperback – March 18, 2010


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Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works + Start Your Own Business, Fifth Edition: The Only Start-Up Book You'll Ever Need + School for Startups: The Breakthrough Course for Guaranteeing Small Business Success in 90 Days or Less
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (March 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605501115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605501116
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melinda F. Emerson is founder and CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, an award-winning marketing video production company. She has created productions for such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Citizens Bank, and Comcast. In 2000, AV Video Multimedia Producer Magazine named Emerson one of the Top 100 Producers of 2000. In 2001, she was named one of the Top 30 Leaders of the Future by Ebony magazine. In 2002, the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce and Economic Development named her a Black Business Pioneer.

More About the Author

Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America's #1 small business expert. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works and the companion workbook Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 108 customer reviews
This book was a great help in understanding what it takes to become your own boss.
Valinda J. Miller
I recommend that anyone who is thinking about starting a business or is stuck and needs to grow their business - read this book - and then read it again.
Sonia Schenker
Melinda Emerson's book is truly a comprehensive guide to starting and succeeding at small business.
M. Parrish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

173 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Paul Fountaine on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm sorry, but could we please get a grip? Meet with venture capitalists?

It must be nice to sit atop this mythical throne, where we simply have meetings, created a logo (SERIOUSLY?), and buy CRM software and bam, we are in business?

This is beyond nonsensical. Most if not the vast majority of small businesses do not start with venture capital, nor do they need a logo or to purchase CRM software (FYI, here in 2011, there are perfectly good FREE CRM systems available like ZohoCRM to mention just one).

What passes for a 4 star book now a days is stunning.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Sonia Schenker on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
In 2009, after losing my "paycheck job" as a result of a cash strapped economy, I struck out in search of options and advice to start and run my own business. Not interested in having another boss, I sought to turn my office support skills into a viable, profitable business, where I would be the primary decision maker and pilot of my own financial future. While the internet and mobile tools can ease the way for some startups, I quickly learned that sustainability is a whole `nother ballgame.

I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, primarily for copy editing, and found myself nodding along with Melinda Emerson's straightforward and easily followed approach to launching (or growing) a small business. Emerson's words mirrored my own reality - in which I wear multiple hats, must have a strong support system and enough money to get through the early months (possibly years) until profitability is achieved.

My greatest take away from this book is - there is no easy street when you become your own boss. But, with solid planning, smart decision-making and industrious persistence, success and financial independence can be achieved.

I recommend that anyone who is thinking about starting a business or is stuck and needs to grow their business - read this
book - and then read it again.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By T. McCue on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
From the earliest parts of Melinda's book, she pulls no punches. For the person thinking about starting a business of nearly any type, she gives sound advice. How many people have told you -- "Just start your business... Your passion will drive the results..." or some such nonsense. Sure you need passion and raw energy and persistence, but you also need some money, some savings, so Melinda says "Don't quit your day job... yet..." She doesn't just say start. She says PLAN. Get your life together first, then start your company.

Melinda's advice is full of common sense or I should say Uncommon Sense as it doesn't seem near as common. I've started several companies and I wish I had this book before taking off for points unknown. The book also includes some links to good free resources from the author. After many years in business for myself, there are things I definitely knew, but just as many things I never considered. I would recommend this book for those friends who have "Start My Own Company" stars in their eyes and need to know the truth - which is positive and negative. It's hard work, but rewarding work to own your own business. Two chapters stood out for me: Chapter 8 on Niche to Get Rich because I believe that the tighter your focus, the better your business. Chapter 18 was helpful because I deal with small company owners and their websites and how they approach and sell to a customer. It offered some good reminders.

Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Melinda's work via her #SmallBizChat (a weekly real-time chat on Twitter) program and have heard her share a lot of her advice "from the trenches" so I'm a bit biased because I've seen and heard her help people, including myself. But unlike many reviews, I wasn't paid or encouraged to say positive things. Melinda Emerson's book gives useful and smart tips any biz owner can benefit from reading.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan F. Behlke on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As has been mentioned in other reviews, the idea that you would meet with venture capitalists well before launch is almost comical to me. I'm going to take this complaint a step further. There is ZERO discussion surrounding the possibility of bootstrapping your business. If the premise of the book is to keep your job until you plan, organize, launch, and evaluate results, one would think that bootstrapping would be a key element to ensuring your safety net. Why she would tell you to make sure you have enough capital to start in one breath, then break into using your home and retirement funds as collateral seems like patently bad advice.

Also, this book seems even less relevant if you plan on opening a retail business. A lot of the advice in this book revolves around putting together solid presentations to show clients. If I'm selling auto parts, clothing, or candy bars, this step is a giant waste of time.

There should be some standard advice on where and where not to spend your startup money. There are surprisingly few authors out there that fail to hit on some very simple ideas. For example, if you're opening your own auto repair shop, you probably don't need to buy brand new chairs for your waiting room. There are plenty of used furniture wholesalers or auctions out there that will save you about 80% of the cost. Unless you are going into higher end retail or business services, there should be serious thought given to where to effectively cut corners and where to spend the extra money.

This book wasn't all bad, however. There are several useful resources mentioned within the book, and the summaries and essentials sections were for the most part relevant to most businesses.

In summary, if you're opening up a retail or restaurant location, I'd skip it. If not, then skip the baloney about meeting with VCs.
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