Personal finance expert Laura Adams is releasing her newest book, Money-Smart Solopreneur, right on time for those who want to come out of this pandemic with an independent career.

11 minute read

During the 2007 recession, Laura Adams watched her co-workers get picked off one-by-one. Adams refused to fear being next. Instead, she offered her bosses a unique solution: work part-time to save the company money. What her bosses didn’t know was this move would help Adams become her own boss.

By working part-time, she could retain a smaller but steady paycheck and have time to work on her blog and the Money Girl podcast. It took time for her work to gain popularity, but the part-time job gave her a financial cushion she otherwise would have missed.

When she was making enough money in her own business, she quit working part-time. She became what she calls a “solopreneur” – an entrepreneur who starts a freelance business to support themselves and usually doesn’t have any employees working under them.

Since then, Adams became the author of nine books and audiobooks and her podcast has been downloaded over 40 million times. She works as a consumer advocate and spokesperson, having appeared in more than 2,000 live and taped interviews.

With her newest book, Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers, she answers all the questions you’ve been pondering before setting out on your “solopreneur” journey.

Laura Adams, MBA and author of “Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers.”

“I myself am a ‘solopreneur’ with no employees,” Adams told Debt.com. “I am truly solo.”

This book is for you if…

You want to use a side gig to pay off debt.

An unplanned side gig could go wrong and stick you with even more debt than you had before. Money-Smart Solopreneur will teach you how to do it right.

Adams dedicates a whole section of the book to finding your way out of debt while you start your “solopreneur” journey. Plus, she makes a good point: many people start their side gig or business in addition to their current job to start digging their way out of debt.

Adams also dedicates chapters to money management and automating your personal finances. Once you get out of debt, you’ll stay out of debt with her methods.

You’re curious about what it takes to start your own business.

Money-Smart Solopreneur isn’t a random article that will hype you up about working for yourself, nor is it a warning for everyone thinking of jumping ship from their 9-to-5. It’s a simple, informative look into the path of becoming your own boss.

If you have an idea for a “solopreneur” venture but aren’t sure where to start, this will give you an idea of what the process will be like.

You’re a freelancer looking for more direction.

Even if you’ve already taken the leap toward being a full-time “solopreneur,” this book can help guide you to a more stable financial life. You’ll know how to better manage your variable income, get your taxes right, and know whether you should incorporate by the time you finish reading.

Bonus: Get extras when you pre-order

Pre-ordering the book before its official release on September 22nd gets you more than just first-access to Money-Smart Solopreneur. Laura Adams is including three bonuses when you sign up:

Cover of “Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers.”

An extra chapter on thriving during coronavirus.

A free digital copy of Adams’ debt book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love.

Discounted, lifetime access to Adams’ most popular financial online course, Build Better Credit–The Ultimate Credit Score Repair Guide (access for $12.99, actual value is $95).

Now, you could spend thousands of dollars on an expensive course or even a business degree … or you could spend $21.99 on Money-Smart Solopreneur. Which one sounds like the money-smart choice?

You can find the preorder link and instructions for getting your bonuses here.

The timeliness of “Solopreneur”

Adams used an economic downturn to her advantage and started her own business. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating another recession, and similar opportunities may arise for you.

“Eighty-five percent of small businesses are what they call non-employee businesses. That means they’re like me – they don’t have employees,” Adams said. “That’s about 25 or 26 million people who have solo businesses, and I think that number is growing as we deal with the pandemic.”

Could you similarly take advantage of the current economy affected by coronavirus? Reading Solopreneur is a good way to start. But seizing an opportunity to create your own source of income can feel nerve-wrackingly risky. That’s why Adams’ book is so essential for both new and veteran freelancers.

When I read the book, I was surprised at just how much information Adams fit into such a short and simple book. As a part-time freelancer myself, I’m always searching the web to answer my random questions. The problem? I don’t know what I don’t know, so it’s difficult to find the information I really need.

Laura Adams puts everything in one place. I’ve been freelancing on-and-off for three years, and there was information in these pages that I still had no idea about.

She makes it much easier to mitigate the risks of becoming your own boss, building your confidence through detailed yet concise explanations of what it takes to run a solo business. I would have been much better off in my side gigs today if I had read this three years earlier.

Facing the challenges of the “solopreneur” life

Of course, there are still myriad challenges associated with working for yourself. Adams addresses many of them through a series of personal examples and thoroughly researched how-tos. Here are a few major problems Solopreneur can help you solve.

Benefits

Severing ties with a full-time employer means losing your benefits package. In simple language, Adams teaches you how to build your own benefits package that continues to protect you and your family.

She also covers saving for retirement and the various accounts you can open for yourself without an employer. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you should settle when it comes to your benefits.

Taxes

Additionally, she reviews how taxes work for solopreneurs and how to avoid owing money when tax season rolls around. I knew a fellow freelancer who suffered from thousands of dollars in tax debt after not setting aside the proper amount of her earnings, so this was golden information.

“People will get very excited about new revenue and they are not thinking about taxes,” Adams says. “This is something that will catch up with you.”

Productivity

Illustration by Kira Rosemarie.

Adams also provides solutions for one of the most pressing issues for any freelancer: productivity. Without an office to go to every morning, many solopreneurs face a lack of motivation or focus, even if they’re doing what they love.

This book makes many suggestions for improving productivity in a home office, setting aside time for work and time for play, and setting boundaries with clients.

Sticking to your OMO (One Money Objective)

Many solopreneurs find it difficult to maintain focus on their money goals. That’s why Adams advises sticking to an OMO, or One Money Objective. “Your One Money Objective is this one overarching idea or concept that you are trying to achieve with your money,” she says. “I think that we really can get confused because there are so many things we’re supposed to be doing with our money. But your One Money Objective is something that you want to focus on right now, and so what it helps you do is make decisions.”

She encourages her readers – solopreneur or not – to think of their OMO whenever they make a financial decision. Then ask yourself: Does this action bring me closer to my goal? If the answer is no, you know it’s time to rethink the decision.

Watch my interview with Laura Adams in the video below to learn more about her new book.

Laura Adams is a personal finance expert author and speaker who makes understanding complex financial topics simple.  She’s hosted the money girl podcast since 2008, and we’re always happy to have her answer our readers questions on Debt.com’s Ask the Expert section.

So I just wanted to start if you could maybe give us a little intro. of yourself i have been a personal finance expert writer speaker podcaster since about 2007.  I started podcasting in 2008 and that opportunity kind of led to a lot of other things including writing books and doing PR as well.

It’s funny when you write a book, people expect you to go out and talk about the book and really promote it and realize i really liked it and kind of got into doing more PR.

What is it about and why is it important right now?

Yeah this is the new book “Moneysmart Solopreneur.”

It is really something that I created out of a lot of requests. I was noticing that a lot of people have been very interested in working for themselves. They’ve been asking a lot of questions about starting a business right now independent contractor doing a side gig in the on-demand economy.

It’s great for you. But it’s also great for anyone who also has aspirations to grow and maybe hire employees and answer questions like you know do I need to incorporate before I begin making money.

You know do I need a business bank account? What are all of the kind of administrative tasks that I need to be doing? When I talk about personal finance and business I like to keep it you know on a kind of a real basic level and kind of just lay it out for people in a kind of a tips based process of tip space format so they can know exactly what they need to do when they finish the chapter.

There are a lot of like important tips for solopreneurs. But I was wondering what you think the biggest money mistake a new solopreneur could make if you only had to pick one?

There’s so many mistakes. A one that i see often is people will get very excited about new revenue they’re they’re doing a new a new business. Maybe it’s you know something in the on-demand economy and a new opportunity that they started and they are not thinking about taxes.

This is something that will catch up with you you’re going to figure out pretty soon. When the next tax day comes along that you know you owe taxes that you may not have expected.

So this can catch a lot of new entrepreneurs. By surprise talking to an accountant a friend or family member may have somebody that they recommend that you use.

Figuring out what are my estimated taxes going to be for this year. What’s so tricky about it is that you have to estimate. You have to really guess you know what that income is going to be for your first year.

You may completely overestimate. You may underestimate. But the IRS does require that you make your best guess. At that the idea of focusing uh on your OMO your One Money Objective.

So could you talk a little bit more about that and how it fits in not only to people’s entrepreneurial plans but their debt plans?

Right so your one money objective is this overarching idea or concept that you are trying to achieve with your money. I think that we really can get confused. Because there’s so many things we’re supposed to be doing with our money. We’re supposed to be saving. We’re supposed to be looking at potential emergencies retirement saving for kids education.

But your one money objective is something that you want to focus on right now. So what it helps you do is make decisions. For instance, my objective is retirement.

That’s my one word. When I think about making a financial decision, I ask myself is it going to help me build my retirement? Is it going to help me build not only the income that i want to have in retirement, but help me retire on time when i want?

If the answer is no, that decision would not help you with your retirement. I know I’m not going to do it so it really does help you center and say okay let’s remove all the distractions and focus on this one objective at a time.

Yeah I like the idea of it. Bringing in your decisions because you have to be reminded every time: Does this fit with my goal? Or does it not?

I’ve seen all these one-off articles online about starting a freelance career or handling your side gig. But I’ve never seen all of this stuff in one place. So I’m always left with more questions than were answered in that article.

As I started doing a research for the book I was a little shocked that 85 percent of small businesses are what they call non-employee businesses. That means they’re like me: They don’t have employees they may use other freelancers or independent contractors.

But that’s about 25 26 million people who have solo businesses that’s a whole lot of people and I think that number is growing. As we’re dealing with the challenges with the pandemic. I know so many people have been turning to the idea of working in the on-demand economy or creating freelance work as either a brand new career or a way to make extra money.

You’re allowing yourself the opportunity to go after opportunities. See if they make sense and pivot make a change if they don’. But never really leaving yourself vulnerable at or at financial risk, right? That can be a lot of pressure.

You’re in the perfect situation to begin creating that safety net. To also have a side business or also make that leap eventually from the nine to five to the business.

So things like you’re talking about paying down debt at least down to reasonable levels, building up your emergency savings, you know thinking about setting up your retirement plans – there may be a little bit of credit card debt that you might you might leverage to you know buy some supplies or get started.

But in general i think paying down debt and not going into debt for business is a really stress-free way to begin a business and sustain it.

You also mentioned that putting debt into your budget before you even start is very important, which is something that we like to emphasize on Debt.com, as well.

Before you start anything, when you’re making any budget you should definitely put your debt payments in it. First, I really do believe in prioritizing debt from high risk down to low risk.

So when i talk about high risk debt I’m talking about typically consumer debt credit cards. Maybe you’ve got some very high interest payday loans, dangerous types of debts with very high interest rates.

Those you need to be aggressive to make sure that those are paid down aggressively. Other debts that are low interest lower risk such as a low rate fixed mortgage. Even a low rate student loan that you may have.

So there’s definitely a lot of strategy with debt as you know at Debt.com. That’s what you do. So I definitely encourage folks if you’ve got debt that you’re dealing with you know create a plan have a strategy first.

That may also make you feel more confident about starting a business. And starting a business and making extra money may also be a strategy to pay off your debt.

So it can they can really work hand. The final thing that I wanted to ask you was who is this book really for who did you write it for and could it benefit Debt.com’s audience?

How I think anyone who is interested in sort of stepping into the entrepreneurial world thinking about ways to earn extra income or they’ve already started  a business but they’re feeling like they’re really not handling it efficiently or they are not.

Let’s say using all the tools that they could. To be the best money manager possible. I think it’s for them I think it’s also for people who are worried about their future.

If you’re thinking gosh I don’t have a retirement set up you know I’ve got debt. Maybe I’m struggling with not having the insurance that I want to have because I left a nine-to-five job.

So I think there’s a lot of folks in your audience that could benefit and I hope you’ll check it out and it’s available for pre-order right now. It is so if folks go to my website at lauradeadams.com or to moneysmartsolarpreneur.com.

Then it’ll be for sale everywhere that finance books are available as of Sept. 22. So if you are looking for some additional resources, you can pre-order the book and also get my most recent book “Debt-Free Blueprint” maybe of interest to you if debt is a topic on your mind.

Giving away that ebook for free is part of the bonus package.

Thank you, Laura, for being with us today and talking about your new book.

Kira, this was great thank you so much. We really recommend that our audience gets a hold of it especially before just Sept. 22 for the pre-order.

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About the Author

Kira Rosemarie

Kira Rosemarie

Kira is a writer and illustrator specializing in personal finance. She holds a degree in studio art from Indiana University and is finishing up her MBA from Nova Southeastern University. She's worked with Debt.com since 2018 and is a certified debt management professional.

Published by Debt.com, LLC