Be Your Own Boss - Start an Indie Business!

We all know our economy is changing.  Last night, my sister and I were discussing a friend's business, and she commented on how expensive it is for businesses to provide insurance benefits for employees. I could have told her that. It is expensive to have full-time employees, and many companies are turning to indie business owners or creative freelancers, instead of hiring full-timers, to get the job done.

Chicago radio station WBEZ recently hosted "Making Your Own Job," an event packed full of information aspiring indie business owners need to know as they jump into self-employment. Presenters shared their know-how on topics from taxes to pitches to business funding with the capacity crowd, and networking opportunities abounded.

I see indie businesses springing up everywhere.  Many "indies" turn to their passions to make their own jobs. Micro-entrepreneurs can sell products and services to a niche market — one that's sizeable enough now because of the Internet. This is especially true for artists and crafters.

Other microbusinesses are providing services to companies with a reduced workforce.  In fact, some freelancers are hired back as contractors from companies who laid them off in the first place. In these times, learning to be an entrepreneur is invaluable. It is the best business education money can't buy, and it helps you learn to think on your feet.

Indie business owners themselves often need the services of other micro-entrepreneurs and freelancers, and the opportunity to network and share resources with one another is a welcome one. The fact that the "Making Your Own Job" event was so well-attended affirms what we already know — there are many new entrepreneurs out there, and businesses and organizations are stepping up to meet the demand for entrepreneur education and resources.  

Those who participated in the BEZ event were mostly local to Chicago, but similar organizations can be found throughout the country. Participants included:

Law Project

Accion Chicago

Rockstar CPA

Independent Writers of Chicago

The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship

coLab Evanston

Illinois Department of Insurance

North Side Community Federal Credit Union

Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago

Freelancers Union

COOP Chicago

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