by SJ Barakony | Featured Contributor
‘Lean in … it’s growing daily.’
As this blog goes live, we find ourselves on a chronological cusp; it’s not just A New Year’s Eve/Day: it marks an entirely new decade!
The 2020’s will bring us untold innovation which’ll make us do double-takes; one trend, though, that we can better understand since it’s been growing since ~ 2008 ?
A > It has multiple monikers: Gig / Sharing / Youpreneur.
All = synonyms for an independent workforce which’ll continue to improve day to day life, so long as we don’t stoke fear, assume, become too comfortable, or let corporate entities dictate the narrative.
Here’s a fundamental Q:
How can we entrepreneurs be trailblazers for our peer generation, those older, and, yes, younger, for this economic paradigm?
Gigs are Great
We’ve likely heard, or know someone who’s a ‘side’ hustler; this person’s also a side ‘gigger’. She’s pursuing gig economy income, driven not by trading units of time for currency/dollars & cents; rather, via representing a product/s, service/s, &/or sharing her specialized knowledge in/to the marketplace, earning $$ in return.
This infographic offers a flyover, showing how many ‘gigs’ are available, just via smartphone apps.
Yet, there is far more at ‘work’ here: Entire new business models have, and will continue to be formed. One recent example? Click here.
The back to back [ ‘blue’ & ‘white’ collar ] industrial ages shall continue to be supplanted by gigs, although it will necessitate re framing, challenging 20th century assumptions, & being willing to exchange calculated risk for more time & financial flexibility.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars . . . the house . . . the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
― Diane Mulcahy, The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want .”
Sharing = Collaborative = Interdependent
‘Share & share alike ..’ – weren’t we told this by a doting parent(s), or maybe a primary school teacher at some point?
However, as we aged into adulthood, and started our business(es), we might’ve forgotten this sage advice. We either learned how to be dependent ( ‘employ’[ee] – to be used (utilized)) , and/or that we had to be a cowgirl, & do entrepreneurship all by ourselves, as an in-dependent.
Not so fast! Sharing economic models enable us to rebuild trust with our peers, be inter-dependent, and find/leverage ways to collaborate & partner with others.
This visual is worth many words.
Multisided Platforms / ‘Matchmaker’ Economics
This new economic era is restoring and flat out creating new sparks of creativity that were lost in the very linear, centralized, & hierarchical industrial ages preceding it.
This terrific post will make you think; next time you grab your smartphone & search for an AirBnB, you’ll look at this research in a fresh way.
Matchmaker (‘ing) is worth trillions – it squeezes inefficiencies out of conventional producer/seller→ consumer/buyer bilateral relationships & builds bridges. It is beyond intriguing & sits squarely in this new [ec]-onomy.
What’s a “You” Preneur, anyway?!
YOU ‘re worth far more than a rigid, pre-defined wage, salary, or compensation package. Shouldn’t your pay be aligned with the absolute value you deliver to your clientele, & not based on the usage of space & time ( = occupar / occupation ) ?
Most, if not all, entrepreneurial minded people reading this would say ‘absolutely!’
Thus, we’ve 2 words fused together, creating a combo which richly reflects the spirit, heart, & mindset of this new economic model: YOU + [entre] preneur.
There are 5 (‘for the hand’) root issues which stand in the way of ‘giggers’ & ‘youpreneurs’ ‘sharing’ more & building a stronger entrepreneurial edifice in the 2020’s:
- Our 125+ year old schooling ( not truly education ) tracks, ‘K-12’
- Fear ( cynicism, unhealthy skepticism, & negativity )
- A completely broken political system
- The incumbent hierarchies
We can hurdle over the first by focusing on self-directing our education & loosening the grip of credentialed degree signaling ( esp if we have staff ); next, we can win out over fear by being faithful & focused; thirdly, how about turning towards local elections to drive grassroots transformation upwards to state/provincial &/or national/federal offices?
Fourth, be wise to what the ‘status quo’ says, and especially does. Often times, they’ll attempt to buy influence through the deeply flawed politics of today. Don’t let them; put your trust in your own small business & those of your peers. Lastly, don’t rest on your laurels or read your own press clippings. Always strive to sit in a learning zone.
Future = Free: IF we Choose
Many step up to ‘be their own boss’ ; yet, the promises heralded in transition tend to be lost in the haze of working harder, not smarter.
Freedom is such an overused word; for the purposes of this post, let’s frame it this way: It’s having many conscious choices always available to match with our most irreplaceable asset, time.
The ultra flex & portability available in the gig/sharing economy is there for the taking. Lean into it!
Let’s ‘future’ proof …
… your business(es).
Be unique & willing to unlearn what you were taught in a conventional classroom about economics & entrepreneurship.
A dozen things I’ve learned about …
Mutual Aid Societies & the Gig Economy
Summing up …
- A major milestone is upon us!
- A fundamental question …
- Multiple monikers
- Multisided & matchmaker
- 5 challenges
- ‘Future’ proofing
Thank YOU for reading!
SJ Barakony is a serial entrepreneur, futurist, & connector.
He lives in Ohio & is the Founder of Service Before Self Leadership: An Educational Solutions Provider.
He offers four highly customizable solutions to encourage families, individuals, faith institutions, & business owners to create & cultivate lifelong learning cultures in our homes & workplaces.
He’s been a guest on an educational podcast; been interviewed for an online small business community; is a guest blogger for Innovate NA; and has been an invited speaker five separate times for HECOA.
He believes strongly in youth & social entrepreneurship: He continues to serve two chapters of the YEA program (student mentor, mock judge, ad hoc consultant ) & has co-facilitated a session of the SeaChange Accelerator program.
He serves as the TDD for Cleveland & Columbus (Ohio) for the H7 Network.
He also recently became an educational advisor for Tessr.io, a startup in the exciting world of blockchain/cryptocurrencies that will be establishing a cutting edge educational foundation.