I’m Not Really Much of an Entrepreneur, Am I?

About two years ago, Ryan Paugh approached me about becoming one of the founding members of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

At the time, I had just left behind a permalance gig to focus on building my career coaching practice. Still, I was also juggling a number of writing and copyediting assignments, and singing at funerals for money. I considered myself more of a freelancer than an entrepreneur.

Despite this, I joined the YEC and tried not to compare myself to the other, more awesome members, such as the CEO of DISQUS, the founder and CEO of Klout, the CEO of Hootsuite, the co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo, and the founder of Threadless. I slowly grew into my entrepreneur identity. I created a more cohesive online platform, and brainstormed ways in which I could build out the Word Nerd brand.

Another year passed and I was interviewed by a reporter for the Atlantic, who was doing up an article on solopreneurship.

“Do you consider yourself a solopreneur?” he asked me.

“Absolutely,” I said.

Still, not a month had ever gone by in which I hadn’t experienced Impostor Syndrome. [Read more…]

Product Placement: Support Entrepreneurs… and Look Good Doing It

You may have noticed that, recently, I put a pretty, pretty new banner ad up in my sidebar for something called Sweat EquiTees. While I typically wouldn’t advertise for apparel on Freelancedom (despite the fact that “shopping for pretty things” is totally at the top of my my top 5 list of favorite hobbies), Sweat EquiTees is different. Their mission is directly aligned with that of Freelancedom, and with everything I’ve been trying to do with my career lately.

[Read more…]

Forget Grad School. Is Your B.A. Worth It?

I’ve commented on a lot of blog posts arguing the benefits of grad school versus real world experience. I’ve blogged about how I feel the best way to learn is by doing. But forget about grad school. Was getting your undergraduate degree a waste of time, too?

A fellow YEC member — Donna Fenn — recently shared info on the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship. Basically, those chosen for the fellowship have each been given $100,000 to drop out of college and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. In addition to the moolah, fellows will be provided with mentorship from the Foundation’s network of entrepreneurs, in addition to other resources.

I was intrigued by this story because, while I felt college was beneficial in helping me develop as a person, I didn’t feel as if it prepared me all that much for professional life.

What do I wish I’d learned in college?

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Do You Love Your Work More Than You Love… Love?

A typical evening in the Auteri household.

Shortly after getting married, I started seeing my husband a lot less.

No, he wasn’t having an affair.

I was.

With my work.

First, I started working nights at the New York Sun. I headed over there after finishing my day at Routledge, an academic book publisher where I was working full-time. Then, after securing additional hours at the New York Sun and getting onto my husband’s health insurance, I left Routledge, only to start an editorial internship at Nerve. I was exhausted, but I was also excited: I was finally pursuing the full-time freelance lifestyle I had wanted for so long, and I was hoping that the time I put in at Nerve would open even more doors for me.

My husband? Well… we barely saw each other. He was already gone by the time I woke up in the morning, and already asleep when I finally arrived home from NYC.

I was unhappy with the state of our relationship, but what could I do? It was my own damn fault. And within six months, I was able to match the salary I had previously been making in book publishing, and had also broken into a number of dream publications, including Nerve and Time Out New York.

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How To Juggle Multiple Careers

Over the course of the past 10 years, I’ve juggled on-campus jobs, part-time retail work, temp work, full-time work, freelance projects, and internships, all in varying combinations.

At first, in my earliest post-college years, I considered full-time work to be the obvious end goal and, for a time, was quite proud of myself as I moved up in the world of academic book publishing.

As my longing for more creative work grew, however, I determined that I could only find happiness as a full-time freelancer.

Now, as the New York Sun teeters on the brink of end times, and I find myself losing a main source of income that was more part-time than freelance (except for the 1099), I’ve been forced to consider that an all-or-nothing approach is perhaps not the best one for me.

And maybe you’ve come to the same conclusion. Perhaps you’ve read The Anti 9 to 5 Guide and One Person/Multiple Careers and are already masterminding the perfect balance of multiple income streams. After the jump, the types of income sources you should consider, and why:

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My 7 Favorite Things In: The Boss of You

Seal Press is a goldmine (I swear, they’re all I’ve been posting about lately) and, though the press is aimed toward women, many of their how-tos and handbooks are relevant to men as well. Which is why I don’t mind bringing up another one of their books, Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears’s The Boss of You.

After reading this book, I feel prepared to rethink and re-tackle the way the way I went about starting up my at-home business and, after reading the 7 things I love about this book, you’ll see why:

[Read more…]