Five Low-Cost Ways to Be Your Own Boss

Your community college is a great place to find these classes. Additional resources that can help: AssistU, The 2-Second Commute and The Virtual Assistant Coach.

The Fine Print

Depending on where you live, you may need a city and state business license to work as a freelancer (check with your regional department of licensing). Other than that, you'll just need a desk, phone, reliable computer and software, high-speed Internet connection, a Web site touting your services and a tax preparer come spring time.

That said, working for yourself is far more complicated than hanging your shingle and waiting for your inbox to fill up. Some recommendations:

Start your business on the side. Keep your day job and begin freelancing evenings and weekends; it can take several months to a couple years before you have a full freelance schedule.

Get some business training. Freelancing is 50 percent talent, 50 percent business know-how. Two fantastic resources with loads of free or low-cost classes: SBA.gov and SCORE.org.

If you have preschoolers, get a sitter. If your little ones are home, walking, talking and awake, don't kid yourself that you'll be as productive with them around.

Befriend other solo workers. Get to know your local freelancers -- they're your best resource for job leads. Join a professional association, visit the networking site Biznik and attend some freelance meetups.

This work is the opinion of the columnist, and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michelle Goodman is a freelance journalist, author and former cubicle dweller. Her books — "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube" and "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" (October 2008) — offer an irreverent take on the traditional career guide. More tips on career change, flex work and the freelance life can be found on her blog, Anti9to5Guide.com

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