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on May 9, 2008
This book was pretty good. The authors have written a small business book that includes what most other startup guides or workbooks include that are packed with good content on the subject. However, these ladies have written the book specifically targeting young women or stay-at-home moms. The writing style is very similar to the book by Michelle Goodman entitled "The Anti 9-5 Guide" (ISBN: 1580051863).

Interestingly "The Boss of You" is endorsed by Ms. Goodman and it shares the same publisher as Ms. Goodman's book. And we learn from reading the book that the authors and Ms. Goodman have become friendly while writing the book. If you liked Ms. Goodman's book, then you will like this book, too - I'm pretty sure.

This book is full of questions a wanta-be entrepreneur needs to ask when trying to conceptualize a startup and get it up and running. In a way this was a workbook as well as a guide. Early in the book there are exercises that the authors want the reader to complete in writing. I thought that was wonderful. They cover the following topics quickly and well:

1. Business goals
2. Success
3. Identify your strengths (and weaknesses)
4. Identify your product and/or services
5. Identify who you are going to sell to
6. Figure out your costs
7. Create an appropriate and good name for the biz
8. Jot all this down in some sort of a plan

I would have liked the book more if it had gone more heavily into home-based businesses and Internet marketing. It's my hunch that those topics are on the mark with the target audience of this book. I also would have liked to have seen a discussion of a formal business plan. I know the authors say there probably is no need to write a formal plan, but they do indicate some sort of plan is a good idea. By providing a brief overview of a formal plan the reader could put together a "some sort of plan."

The authors talk about having formed a partnership when they started their Web design business in 2000. And they talk about the importance of having a written Partnership Agreement. But on the back cover of the book the name of their company has an INC at the end of it. So did they start a partnership or did they start a corporation? The book doesn't say much about Choice of Legal Entity - either theirs or the options available. I personally would recommend that readers consider a Limited Liability Company (LLC)instead of a mere partnership. And for the multi-member variety of LLC I would highly recommend creating a written Operating Agreement which is much like a partnership agreement.

I loved the little sidebars in this book. And I thought the book was well outlined. However, it came across a little wordy in the beginning for me when it was clear the authors were trying to create a certain feel for the book and cater to young women and housewives. That just was not my cup of tea. But the book is packed with good real life experiences and words of wisdom from two ladies (and others) who have successfully started their own small business. And, as a result, I have to recommend this book to wanta-be entrepreneurs as a small business book worthy of being purchased and read. 4 stars!
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on September 29, 2008
I started my own publishing business in 2006 and am wanting to recreate it. I came across this book at the library and have been amazed by the way it has opened up my relationship to my business. The authors avoid business jargon (actually, they pleasantly mock it) and present their information and exercises in simple language. I believe that has been the key, for me, in reveling in this book.

This is the first entrepreneurial book I've read that wasn't about me trying to fit myself into a bunch of business jargon. It allowed me to ask "How will I take these business aspects of myself and present them to the world?" The book still leads me through the process of creating a business, but I would have to say, it internalizes the process. A few years ago, I did the business plan, set the goals, researched the markets, etc, and while that was useful for organizing my mind and timeline, somehow, it removed "me" from my business. What business calls "branding", the authors call "personality" and with that simple language, it clicked for me.

This is a book targeted for women business owners, but it is not exclusive to them. It presents an organic, feeling approach to creating a business, and that is exactly what was missing for me from all the other business start-up books I've read. I truly hope people can recognize that the approach this book takes with helping a person develop their business is a vital one - our current economy is demanding that we recreate how we do business and this book sets up an approach that gets it right from the start. The authors show how I can be a business-owner and be happy, and they do it without a lot of hype.
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on June 5, 2008
Having started my own business "accidently" - one contract led to another, led to another and before I knew it I was juggling clients - I hadn't done a lot of the planning they discuss in the first half of the book. So despite already being up and running, reading this book was a fantastic opportunity to bring some clarity/structure to what I was doing. Its so easy when you are self employed to never turn down work and The Boss of You, really helped me identify what work is good for me and my business to be doing, and what stuff I should be trying to phase out of. I help businesses plan and develop their own communications. A lot of my clients are new businesses and haven't necessarily done all of the thinking/planning that Mears/Bacon walk readers through - it was helpful to be given a framework to help my clients do that on the way to identifying what their messaging is. And, the book was a refreshing departure from what I call the "cod liver oil" business books - good for you but yucky. Nice to be able to enjoy something that was good for me. The humour was greatly appreciated.
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on November 17, 2009
Step-by-step advice on how to start your own business in a readable style. Although the tone gets annoying in parts ("those darling high heels you bought for client interviews are now a business write off!"), I found this book to be full of priceless tidbits and an easy, fun read. While definitely geared toward the "professional" (us waitresses have such a hard time finding relevant business advice), I found it more relevant than other business books I've found that seem like they were written for business majors or people who are trying to make a gajillion dollars. Recommended. Highly.
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on October 27, 2008
This book starts out by breaking the rules of "business books" and yet shows readers why they must pay attention to some of the rules of business. In Chapter 2 the authors stress the need to have a real plan and help readers answer two extremely important questions: What Are You Selling? and Who Are Your Customers? Using their thought provoking exercises is a practical but fun way to determine what your product/service is and where & how it fits in to the consumer world. I stress this in my book (Capitalizing On Being Woman Owned) and have to bring it into all my workshops and client consultations about marketing research for Woman Owned Businesses because women business owners usually have not done it and that makes research frustrating and wasteful instead of beneficial.

The Chapters on Financial Scenarios, Setting Up Shop, Hiring People and Customer Service are full of down to earth and very practical advice.

This might not be the best book about starting and running a business for ALL women. It's a little geared toward consumer based businesses instead of business-to-business types. The style may be a little jarring for other than Gen Xers.

By their nature books on starting and running a business are somewhat general. On a generalness scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being most general) this book is about a 6. But the advice and exercises are very applicable to most business types. You would have to find a book on your specific business type to do any better than "Boss of You."
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on February 17, 2010
Now, I am really into reading business books. It's one of my most favorite things to do in the whole wide world. But the very first one I read, still to this day, had the most impact on me. I am totally, forever, and always in love with this book for its humorous and complete insights for women creatives trying to bring their dreams to the world. This book gave me the courage, strength, know-how to go out on my own, quit my 9-5 and follow my dreams. I really can't say enough about this true gem. It's got advice from just starting out, to staying in business, and everything in between. These ladies are my heroes and I'll forever be changed by this book. Thank you ladies!!
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on December 3, 2015
I bought this book for myself...and then my budding blogger friend....and then my mother. This book helps any want-to-be self employed woman know the exact processes and steps to formulate her business in a well articulated way. It's not too full of terms you won't know or understand, so it really speaks to anyone just starting out.
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on August 22, 2008
This book is perfectly titled and is a great resource. It's concise and smart with real examples and good exercises. It is helpful especially if you have your business idea in mind already. If you still need to decide on a business idea, come up with a couple before reading this.
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on July 16, 2008
Congratulations to Emira and Lauren for writing this excellent book. I am half way through, and reading it seriously: I am reading a couple of chapters at night, and going back and answering the questions by day in writing. I plan on starting my own PR business, and this book has become a bit of a "manifesto" for me. What I love most is the basic, practical advice it offers, along with the encouragement. It's positive and reassuring, yet direct about the pitfalls of making mistakes with your business.

Next, I love the feminist subtext of this book: that us women deserve to be paid what we're worth, and I loved the urge ("We beg of you, close the wage gap between men and women!") to price ourselves appropriately, and not modestly.

"The Boss of You" is hitting me on a few levels, inspires me, and is giving me courage to get my ducks in a row for the eventual launch day (still a ways off - but definitely in the works).

I really hope the Oprah producers come across this book and get these two rockin' chicks on the Oprah show. Talk about "living your true life" - and earning a living while doing so - !

When meeting a graphic designer to work on my logo, she kept grabbing the book and flipping through it and said, "okay. I really have to get this."

I encourage anyone (men, too) who has a dream of starting a business to get this book. My only wish is that it was edited to remain Canadian in the spelling, but this is a superminor quibble.


Liz Parker
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on February 17, 2009
Great book, If your looking to go out on your own, Male or Female. I would say add this to your collection. I bought this for my wife and I couldn't put it down.
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