Free Agent : The Independent Professional's Roadmap to Self-Employment Success book cover
1st Edition

Free Agent
The Independent Professional's Roadmap to Self-Employment Success

ISBN 9781482258813
Published February 12, 2015 by Productivity Press
173 Pages

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Book Description

There is a seismic shift underway in the employer/employee relationship that is redefining the nature of jobs and careers. Sole proprietors and independent contractors now represent more than 20 percent of the workforce, and that number is expected to reach nearly 50 percent within the next 10 years.

Despite the proliferation of people engaging in freelance and contract work, however, the path to success is not always easy. Free Agent: The Independent Professional's Roadmap to Self-Employment Success details a pragmatic action plan to help you succeed in this new skills marketplace.

Supplying practical strategies to help you get ahead of the change and become an in-demand resource with a steady stream of income, the book describes how work is changing and what is driving the growth of freelancing. Next, it explains how to get your new independent venture off the ground, how to find your first client, and what you need to know to avoid common pitfalls.

To transition successfully from employee to free agent, you must have a plan to avoid the pitfalls and a support team to give you the expertise on complicated topics such as business structure, contracts, and accounting. This book is your guide to successfully navigating the transition.

Detailing the tools and practices that will enable you to succeed as a free agent, the book includes case studies and interviews with those who have already made the transition. The book concludes by describing how to optimize your new freelance work style to make the most of your time and energy, so you can focus on doing more of what you love.

Table of Contents


The Roots of Workplace Change

The Drivers of Change
     Factor 1—The Great Recession
     Factor 2—Employer to Enemy
     Factor 3—The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) 
     Generational Factors
A Case Study of the New Model

How We Got Here


Making the Transition from Employee to Free Agent

Setting Up Your Business

Your Professional Team
Corporate Structure
     1. What Business Are You In? 
     2. Who Do You Work With? 
     3. How Will Your Business Income Impact Your Taxes? 
     4. How Does the Business Structure Itself Protect You from Liability?

Finances and Accounting
Bank Accounts
Tracking Mileage and Expenses
Invoicing Clients in a Timely Manner
Stay on Top of Accounts Receivable

Paying Taxes

Insurance and Risk Management

Risk 1: Becoming Unable to Work
Risk 2: Lawsuits

Pricing, Proposals, and Contracts
     About Your Company
     Scope of Work
     Pricing and Terms
     Contracts, Agreement, and MSAs (Oh My!) 
     Nondisclosure or Confidentiality Agreements

Getting Your First Client

Networking and the Art of Getting More Clients


Optimizing Your Independent Career

Co-Working and Connecting with the New Community of Independent Professionals

Building a Brand

Delivering a Great Result

Balancing Independent Work and Life
Rest and Recharge
Connect with Other Independent Professionals
Keep Improving Your Technique
Make Time for Family

Challenges and How to Overcome Them
The Dry Spell
Stretching Yourself Too Thin
Bad Clients
Scope Creep

References and Notes

Appendix A


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Katy Tynan is a free agent. Working where people and technology come together, she provides strategy and operational guidance to high-growth organizations. Katy is currently engaged in a variety of activities including consulting, writing, and speaking. She is passionate about how the world of work is changing, and how individuals, businesses, and educational institutions need to adapt to the evolving landscape of flexible work.

Prior to her transition to being a full-time independent professional, Katy was part of the leadership teams of several successful startups including Thrive Networks (acquired by Staples) and Winphoria Networks (acquired by Motorola).
When she is not helping solve business and technology problems, Katy can be found traveling, kayaking, sailing, or reading. Katy, her son, and her dog live near Boston, Massachusetts, and she is a proud graduate of UMass Amherst.