Book report: Working 5 to 9: How to Start a Successful Business in Your Spare Time (Emma Jones)

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If you need a new career direction but can’t give up the day job, or need to earn a little extra cash, or wonder what to do now your eBay store isn’t quite as lucrative as you’d once hoped, then this is the book for you.

At its heart, it lists 50 businesses you can start up in your spare time, each one featuring one or more entrepreneurs already in business in that area. There’s a real mix of industries here, from the traditional professional – accountant, lawyer, translator – to the new – image consultant, personal development practitioner – and occasionally, the frankly bizarre – yes, rare breed pig farmer, I’m looking at you.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the list is heavy on the retail side, with eBay sellers, web retailers, giftware makers and sellers, clothing and jewellery designers and party planners all featuring. If you’re currently an eBay seller looking to expand beyond or move off eBay, there are plenty of ideas for you here, and they don’t all involve the traditional dicotomy of “get a website and an Adwords account, and pray” or “wish there were a marketplace as effective as eBay”. In fact, if you’ve fallen into self-employment accidentally because of eBay sales, this book will really open your eyes to the huge number of alternative ways to self-employment that are still open to you.

Once you’ve chosen your spare-time career, the book has an invaluable section on ‘Next Steps’. This covers tax and registration, which will be useful to those newly self-employed – and choosing a website provider and using social media sites, which should be useful to everyone.

This is a beautifully produced book, written with wit and a twinkle by the lovely Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation. It will be of most use to those new to self-employment and still seeking a direction, but even to those of us who’ve been working for ourselves for a decade or so, it has plenty to offer.

8 Responses

  1. Yawn, if one needs a book like this, should one really be in business.
    Another one of these self help books you can buy in the charity shops in a years time.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read despite what old dogs who judge books by thier covers and who can’t possibly learn new tricks say.

  3. My advice would be to learn the way that it’s been done in the past and do something completely diferent!

  4. My advice would be to listen to as much advice as you can, and take what seems relevent to you. And largely, to ignore the advice of those who dismiss books without having read them. The biggest thing this book has to offer is ways to think differently about doing what you love doing anyway. If you can take something *that you’re already doing* and turn it into a way to make cash, that sounds pretty close to perfect to me.


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