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TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER: Find out if self-employment is for you in 'It's Your Biz'

You're not going to do it anymore.

You're not going to haul your carcass out of bed at 5 o'dark in the morning, throw down some coffee and dash out the door so you can make it look like you slept at your desk. You'll no longer grin til your lips ache at a co-worker you never really liked. You will not ever play office politics again.

That's because you've decided to open a business of your own. You'll be your own boss from here on in -- as soon as you figure out how to get started.

In the new book "It's Your Biz" by Susan Wilson Solovic (with Ellen Kadin), you'll get usable tips from an entrepreneur who's done it.

Before you get too excited, though, first examine your motivation: Are you passionate about this endeavor? Do you have a "burning desire" and the right personality to build and maintain a good business? Can you work by yourself, manage time wisely, and take responsibility? Or are you a play-it-safe kind of person who's just looking for a way out of a bad situation? If your motivation leans toward the latter, you'll want to re-think entrepreneurship for now.

Still excited? OK then, take a look at your finances. It might be awhile before you get a paycheck, so Solovic recommends that you put things in order before taking the self-employment plunge. If you're having second-thoughts about now, she says that's good. It shows that you're "thinking carefully."

You might also want to consider dipping your toe in the waters by going part-time in the business you're considering. Start slow, do research, "test drive" things first, and begin with something you know. Oh, and be careful not to burn bridges by "stealing" time or resources from your current employer.

Write a business plan and remember the "cornerstones" of business and the "seven P's of business success." Know your business' purpose, your customers, and your competition. Don't waste money on things you don't need, but do learn to hire good employees, CPAs, and lawyers (no friends or family, please).

Above all, says Solovic, use MACS: "massive amounts of common sense."

At a time when workplaces are squeezing every possible energy molecule from the employees they have left, it's natural to dream about being self-employed. "It's Your Biz" might help make that dream a reality, or it might make you change your mind by sanely applying the brakes before you make a dreadful mistake.

Author Susan Wilson Solovic, herself a business owner, fills her book with caveats, straight talk, reminders, and common sense that serves to winnow out the determined from the dreamers. I particularly appreciated Solovic's thoroughness here: included in this book are points and tips that are important, but that many neophyte entrepreneurs might not have realized.

I think that, if you have the passion and see a need you can profitably fill, this book will get you started on self-employment. If you're ready to be your own boss, grab "It's Your Biz" and do it.

"It's Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss," by Susan Wilson Solovic with Ellen R. Kadin, foreword by Edie Weiner, copyright 2011 by Amacom, is 227 pages and sells for $22.95.