Macs are expensive. Let’s just go ahead and admit that right away. Yes, they’re the best computers on the market, and each new Mac includes useful software like Mail, Safari, TextEdit, and the iLife suite for no extra charge. But many consider certain high-priced software packages—specifically, Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, although the list doesn’t end there—to be so standard that they’re practically required purchases. Indeed, when people ask us about switching from a PC to the Mac, one of the first questions usually is, “I’ll have to rebuy Office, won’t I?” Not necessarily.
Enjoy yourself. For most of the self-employed, a bad day of freelancing beats a good day in the cube farm. The life cycle of a business idea can be a beautiful thing to behold. From the “Eureka!” moment when you discover what it is you want to create, to the moment you get a nice, big, fat paycheck for selling your creation, getting a home business up and running can be a wonderful, empowering experience. But if you think it’s just a matter of getting the right gear, you’re wrong. All the gear in the world won’t help you break the shackles of working for The Man if it’s used incorrectly (or costs too much). Indeed, the keys to success are the soft ingredients: the best Mac applications, the best online services, the best practices for making a go of it alone. We offer a six-page primer on establishing financial self-determination—with your trusty Mac by your side.