So, you’re finally ready to be your own boss. Before you take the plunge, though, make sure you know what you’re getting into.

1. First, decide whether you want to make money or lose money: There are two types of businesses: ones that earn profits, and ones that hemorrhage cash nonstop. Before you open up shop, it’s important to think long and hard about which kind is right for you.

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2. Tell your current boss that you’re done being his goddamn puppet: Before you can be self-employed, you have to quit your current job and tell off your boss right to his stupid, smug face. Maybe he’s happy as a cog in the corporate machine, but not you—you’re done being a sheep.

3. The world could always use another boutique cupcake shop: Our country has a desperate shortage of cute, small bakeries that sell artisanal cupcakes for $4.95. If you’re trying to decide what kind of enterprise to devote your life to, making fondant-topped cupcakes is not just a business; it’s a noble and necessary public service.

4. You might have to sell one of your guitars signed by John Denver: It isn’t cheap to start a business, and, unfortunately, selling an autographed guitar from your collection may be the only way to raise starting capital. Don’t worry, though—if your business takes off, you’ll soon have more of John Denver’s guitars than you can fit in your memorabilia room.

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5. Take a few hours to memorize this graph of supply and demand:

Every successful entrepreneur knows this graph by heart. Whenever you’re unsure of what to do as a business owner, trust in the graph and follow its teachings.

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6. Call up the IRS and say, “Let the games begin”: Every small business always has the IRS breathing down its neck, and it’s this thrilling cat-and-mouse game that makes life worth living. Whether your business thrives or the IRS shuts you down, you’ll appreciate the intellectual challenge of taxation. The IRS agent sent to destroy you will be your enemy and rival, but in a way, also your truest friend.

7. Don’t invest all your profits with Bernie Madoff: At the moment, Bernie Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in prison and not running an investment firm, but if he ever gets released and starts soliciting money again, look out. Even if he promises you a really good rate of return, at this point his credibility is completely shot. It’s just not worth the risk.

8. “Business” is not pronounced “bweez-ness”: The correct way of pronouncing it is “biz-ness.” If you tell a customer, “Welcome to my small bweez-ness,” you’ll likely immediately go bankrupt and lose everything. Avoid this mistake and your business should soon become a household name!

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