Self-Employment Resources 

Welcome  I have been "self-employed" in some form or another since 2009 when I was still in high school. I am always looking at ways I can make money, save money etc. I feel that we have to view ourselves as self-employed its just that at some times we get corporate sponsorship. I think that is a healthier way to see things than jobs for life when they wont be. My main business card is on the side here it was printed in 2023 and is not as burly as this pic makes it out :)

Other useful pages 

Other Pages ... I setup for where to Donate Things but also could be a good place to get things Free or cheap :)  

Page I added for Student Discount

Page I added for Shopping 

Page for  Get Food Get Health a food and Heath care and Heath insurance resource page 



Self-employment  & Philosophy

I set this page up as a general guide and resource... 

If you look at history of Humans we were always wanting to be FREE not beholden to a BOSS or government or other 3rd party that wanted to get in the way of them and their LIFE. Self-Employment owning your own business being an entrepreneur solopreneur whatever you want to call it is that ticket. It may not be for most people but it can be great for some. I push self-employment because I do not want to mange or control or be responsible for another human being either a child of my own or an employee. 


 Budget guideline


 Is it better to Net 100k working for someone else and doing their bidding or is it better to net 20k but living life on your terms?

With Self-employment everything would fall on you but you would have more say in what your day looks like when you start what you do when you do it etc... 

self-employment = self-discipline

Health care & Insurance in general 


  Get on ACA Obamacare plan. I am really glad that ALL people can get health insurance and that they Can NOT be blocked for pre existing condition that fat cat health insurers wanted to deny coverage for anyone who would use it.  

You can go on my Get Food Get Health page you can apply at www.Heathcare.gov


Accel Group

Business General Liability Coverage 

Phone: (319) 352-2880

https://acceladvantage.com/ 


Housing & Office 

With housing I would recommend live in something that makes you money. I like small multifamily homes (2-4 units)  I live in a duplex renting the other half out. Here is my page about my experience with owner occupied duplex etc...  If I had a business that needed a lot of trucks and tools and did not want to be harassed by a City (because cities hate businesses lots and like to play politics and pick winners and losers.)   I would live in a rural acreage and have some Morton buildings have lower taxes but it seems like a lot of millennials  like me are either living in vans (down by the River) or want an acreage so VAN life or acreages are both above market for their cost right now I feel like duplex and multifamily are going up in cost but not at the same rate.

Paying down as much debt and paying off the place would be best as that is the largest expense that most people have and liberating yourself that debt.  


 

The office is Dead long live the Home Office :)   

 

1st time home buyers can get subsidies and discounts if they know where to look here are a few options 

 Also 1st time home buyer program is helpful I had a friend that got a home with only 2k down with this program and the monthly cost was about the same as the rent they paid before. 

https://www.iowafinance.com/homeownership/mortgage-programs/firsthome-program/ 


They have one with 1st time home buyers for college students too but this is for union menbers only 3% down is needed 

https://www.firstfedcu.com/loans/mortgages/union-members-homebuyers-program 


If you want a single family home in Cedar Rapdis this is the way to do it.

https://www.cedar-rapids.org/local_government/departments_a_-_f/community_development/housing_programs/first_time_home_buyer_program.php 

Telecommunications & Tech

You will NEED some sort of Internet at your home base and on your person you can do this a few ways.


Cellphone... Always have 2 phones 

Your 1st phone line is considered your personal line so for that option you would want to get the Redpocket $30 a year plan.. So you could get phone service for just 30 this would be a good backup line and the idea line to use for your personal line. $2.50/Mo Red Pocket Prepaid Plan: 200 Talk 1000 Text 200MB you can get it only on eBay Link   This is how to write the most  off your phone bill.



2nd line is the business line and with that you could get whatever plan you want you could write off the whole cost of that line since its for business purposes and it would be the phone line that you advertise with.


Google Voice 

 I would recommend that you have the Voicemails forward to a Google Voice account that way its easier to check and you ever never capped with the amount of voicemails that you can get.  Google Voice is what I have used for business since 2009 I have changed prepaid phone providers dozens of times over those years but people can still reach me on my Google Voice line I am really glad that I have that line and that it has worked for me for almost 15 years. 



I know some people that only have internet on their cell phone because they are out and about doing work all day and they don't have anyone at home. that would be an option 


Cellphone and independent hotspot 

If it was just me at home and I did not need internet  to be ON ALL the Time for work I would just have a basic $100 a year or so prepaid cellphone with unlimited talk and text and 1GB of internet then I would use an unlimited data 5G hot spot


Calyx Hotspot 

The best deal out there spend $750 get Join the Calyx Institute after the 1st year its $500 each additional year for unlimited 5G internet. On the back end it runs on T-Mobile network. With the group being a 501c3 nonprofit you can write off all but $120. 


https://calyxinstitute.org/ 


Cellphone independent hotspot and home internet 

When you Need to BE ON ALL the TIME!!!

This would be me I have a traditional cable modem or HFC plant internet connection at home. Then I have my 16 GB of data on my AT&T cellphone lastly I have my Calyix Hotspot is this overkill most likely YES but is it worth it for me to have these backups and setup for now I would say YES!  



I like to buy Cellphones NEW and laptops and other tech used

The reason I buy cellphones new is that I use mine a TON and I want a good battery cellphone radios apps and OS etc... I only buy Android phones as I like the freedom that the phones offer that I can use F-droid and other app markets. If I was on a low budget but wanted something that would work well I would get a Motorola phone as that is what I used from the Razer till I got my Pixel 6.  I only buy unlocked phones as again those give the most freedom to change providers. 



Get educated 


 https://www.score.org/ this is a great group lots of networking events and helpful people who have really helped me refine and grow my business.

I have been spring boarding ideas with this group for years. They are very helpful and life enriching. I have been running my own side business since 2009 and they have helped me with mentors and networking events as well as refining my thought processes on things that I did not think about. A great group to work with at a great price FREE :)


Kirkwood or community college  Continuing education options 

I have an Associates in business from Kirkwood I am glad that I got that it was a good time for all, not sure I got a ton of skills on that but I think it did help with networking and just an overall educational time. But I think just getting some skills at Kirkwood.edu with a shorter term class could pay off for a lot of people if you get the skills and knowledge to do things of value to society that can lead to self-employment  I have a Entrepreneurship Certificate and  have taken some IT classes such as CompTIA Network+. A lot of things can be taught on the job or self-taught but some formal education wont hurt. Paying 100K+ for an education just for the collage experience is not going to get you much ROI a lot people who graduate don't have any skills that the market would pay them for comparted to just working after high school or learning a skill or trade etc...  

 

Libraries and the Internet 

I feel that the Cedar Rapids area has quite an extensive library system. Especially the public libraries you can  reserve meeting space I have met with a number of clients for free at the library they also have a lot of databases  and other community assets.


for I have a student discount page predominantly for Kirkwood students.


Tools of the Trade 


What sort of tools do you need to get started? How much overhead what are your on going fixed costs?  Its only a few grand a year for fixed cost for my consulting business. It could be a lot higher for most businesses if they need lots of building space or a fleet of trucks etc... 


Office Staples

A table to work from a printer some pens paper etc... are all useful things to have.


Business Cards

I buy business cards at Staples I get them at about 1,000 cards at a time. You can see my most recent one at the top of the page.  I only buy very simple cards from them I bought a new set of cards for in August 2023 for $37.44 It came out to a cost of around 3 cents a card which is a good deal. I don't base my cards on flash and color and all that I am always looking at cost and utility. I did just add a QR code to this new set of business cards. I created my 1st business cards when I was in middle school at an entrepreneurship summer camp.  Here is a link to a blog post I did in 2017 when I branded my tech business as Technically Easier. I always go with cheap and simple I want it so people can read my contact info and the card is not too limiting in what I can do etc..  You can spend Big $$ on biz cards but I am not sure they would change the ROI that you would get from a simple cheap card. 

 

  https://www.staples.com/services/printing/  


Printers 

I like brother Laser Jet printers the MFC type ones I have only bought one black and white printer from them and its been a tank that I have had for over 10 years. If you need to print in color you can hit printshops or the library etc but its always good to have something that you can print off docs scan them sign them and get it all done with one device that is where this printer comes in. 



Transportation 

Depending on what you need to do you could be fully remote and not need a car if that is the case check out this... Guide living in Cedar Rapids without A car.

If you need a car look at a used fuel efficient car or utility truck or van its better to buy something that you can own out right cheap than go into debt for something that can get repo'd if times get though 

 When you use your car for you own business you can write off amount for 2023 IRS mileage rate now 62.5 cents per mile to lower your taxes.




If money is going good and you want to grow or upgrade look into section 179 

The total section 179 deduction and depreciation you can deduct for a passenger automobile, including a truck or van, you use in your business and first placed in service in 2022 is $19,200  https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/section-179.asp 




Tax Help 


I use Tax Act I am able to fill out the schedule C for business self employment side income etc schedule E for my rental income I think I paid under $120 last year and was able to get remote help and clarification on what I needed to do if you file before March you get a discount on your filing fee. 

https://www.taxact.com/tools/self-employed-calculator 


 I have more tax info on my low income page if your income is low and you want a tax break or help etc... 


Gym and fitness  


the MAC the best gym in the CR area.

You should also  check  this plan with the Iowa Farm Bureau for the discount plan

https://www.activeandfitdirect.com/  Its $28 a month with that discount always good to work out and say healthy a good place to network at too. 


 

Additional links & info 

  

One of the best book to read 

Small Time Operator: How to Start Your Own Business, Keep Your Books, Pay Your Taxes, And Stay Out of Trouble!

By Bernard B. Kamoroff Link 


Thou Shall Prosper Ten Commandments for Making Money by Daniel Lapin. One of the things in their that he advises is that we see ourselves as self-employed even when we work for someone else we act like we own the place etc..  Link 


I like a lot of the things Marty writes about and he has a lot of advise on Self-employment 

https://www.martynemko.com/article-topics/self-employment 

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-for-self-employed-people 

timeanddate.com set the time for when you will be done 


http://www.recipeforbusinesssuccess.com/

https://www.edcinc.org/resources/

https://iowajpec.org/community-programs-and-resources/entrepreneurial-resources

https://iowasbdc.org/

https://www.economicdevelopmentcr.com/ 

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/saving-budget/articles/2017-05-04/self-employed-10-must-have-tools-to-keep-your-finances-organized 

https://www.score.org/eastcentraliowa

https://arielesieling.com/blog/2015/useful-tools-for-the-self-employed-author


https://www.tinaja.com/ebooks/ismm.pdf 

https://jasonsavard.com/wiki/My_path_to_freedom