978-1-85788-247-6 / 9781857882476

Spare Room Tycoon: The Seventy Lessons of Sane Self-Employment


Publisher:Nicholas Brealey Publishing



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About the book:

There are at least two major problems in working for yourself, by yourself. One is simply isolation. Most people in a larger work place, no matter how miserable, manage to give each other at least some support and succour; when working from home there is none of that. The other big problem is that, almost by definition, your business is tiny--to the point of being invisible. Which in turn means that while self-employment is the biggest trend in the world of work today, it is poorly catered for in terms of professional advice and support.

This is what makes James Chan's book Spare Room Tycoon so especially welcome. Chan, described as a "successful entrepreneur, speaker and pioneer on the workplace frontier" has run a small business from his home for over two decades so everything he says has the great advantage of having been written from direct experience rather than theory. Ok, so there's no hard accounting advice or tips on health and safety in the home place and the advice is strictly anecdotal. He covers softer issues like "balancing work and life", "building self-assurance" and "getting what you're worth". And he reminds you that though small, you still have to obey the rule of business: "it's not enough for the spare room tycoon to be a creator, a manager, sales person and a strategist. You must also be a brand. You need to let others know that you exist and that you stand for something meaningful."

Written with a light, folksy touch, Chan avoids the saccharine trap that seems to bedevil so many American authors of self-help books by adopting the persona of a particularly wise and jovial uncle rather than an over-optimistic fool. It's a useful and supportive read for anyone who works from home. --Alex Benady

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