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Working for Yourself Is the Future

by Eric Lumpkins

The days of complaining about having to work a typical 9-5 “rat-race” job will soon be over. All of the people who complain about corporate jobs and having to deal with a boss can breathe a sigh of relief and be hopeful for the future, because the future is trending towards working for yourself and being your own boss in a field that you enjoy.

The Historical Trends

In the year 2000 there were slightly more W-2 employees than there were independent contractors, it was nearly even. Today independent contractors make up almost two-thirds of America’s economy, while only one-third are traditional employees. We can see this in the number of W-2 and 1099 tax forms filed. Even through the housing bubble, financial crisis, and enormous government intervention in the monetary system and economy, one clear thing we can see is that independent contracting is a rapidly growing portion of a changing economy and that traditional employment structures are antiquated and losing ground. There is a clear and fast-growing trend of working for yourself.

Transaction Costs

Thanks to transaction costs becoming incredibly cheap, the ability to reach new markets and to connect individual-level suppliers with consumers has grown exponentially. Before the internet, services similar to Airbnb existed, they were called “knocking door-to-door looking for someone willing to rent out a room.” Clearly, though, going door to door is time-consuming, inefficient, lacking in information about market prices and substitutes, and potentially more dangerous.

With the internet and digital middlemen such as Airbnb, numerous people wanting to rent a room can instantaneously find numerous people looking to rent out various rooms at various prices. Technology is rapidly lowering the cost required for markets and exchanges to exist, to introduce consumers and service providers, and to make massive amounts of information about marketplaces easily accessible and usable.

What This Means For You and Everyone Else

What this means is that with a smartphone, with technology, anybody can start a business and gain access to international customers and markets. This means that low-income entrepreneurs creating and selling trinkets, jewelry, art, or anything else to local tourists, can now also start an online business and find individuals who would love to buy their products. Workers can now use the internet to branch out and find new clients.

Connecting with potential customers and potential workers is easier than ever with transaction costs being so low. A business no longer needs to box itself in with one good, well-rounded full-time worker, instead it can find the perfect contractor for each specific job and specific need. This means more and more highly unique and specific niche markets can come into existence as these fringe subcultures easily and rapidly find each other.

This means that it is easier than ever for you to offer value to others. You can create a presence online and instantly begin producing content and offering products and services that can change the lives of people all around the world. You may need to invest in technical and creative skills, and you may need to fail and try again a number of times in order to hone your craft, but never before in the history of mankind has it been as easy as it is now to instantly connect yourself with customers, producers, and markets.

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