They can’t fire you… YOU QUIT!
Congrats, and welcome to the YouEconomy, the growing movement of passion-pursuers, free time-framers, dignity-defenders and money-makers. In an era when the relationship between employer and employee has changed from a paternal one to a transactional one, those who embrace the YouEconomy are ahead of the game.
Related: Introducing the YouEconomy
As SUCCESS defined these bold pioneers in our special 2016 report, the YouEconomy is made up of the growing global network of people who are taking the future of work into their own hands. They’re sharing resources and technology, taking gigs through job sites, creating freelance businesses and innovating methods of generating income. Folks in the YouEconomy are applying their experience in new ways, learning new skills and tapping into endless resources for training and support. They’re designing their lives, carving out time for family and building professions based on their individual purposes. Along the way, the friends they’re making, people they’re meeting and places they’re seeing are enriching their lives beyond what they thought was possible.
They’re living the way they want, doing the things they want and making as much money as they want in the bargain.
So it was about time SUCCESS devoted a column in each issue to you—a column written by someone in the YouEconomy, for someone in the YouEconomy and about the YouEconomy. Check back each issue, because we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know for solo success, right here.
But first, for anyone still on the fence, sticking to what feels familiar and comfortable (at least for the moment), let’s see if I can convince you to take the leap.
Decentralization and You
If you’re watching the economic news lately, you may have heard the term “decentralization.” Basically, this term applies to the transfer of decision-making power from a central authority to local or individual authorities. That means that instead of one big organization or government making a decision for smaller organizations, the smaller ones have the power to make their own choices.
So how does any of this apply to your opportunities in the YouEconomy?
The YouEconomy is made up of the growing global network of people who are taking the future of work into their own hands.
The YouEconomy can be seen as a form of decentralization. Individuals, rather than being tied to one company or corporation for 25 years and dependent on the organization’s fiscal care and responsibility, can now exercise decision-making power themselves—and with far greater ease than ever before. Imagine that you are your very own corporation. Just like any multinational conglomerate with multiple revenue streams, many of them leveraging one another, you can build your personal business in a way that works for you. In fact, your approach to the YouEconomy should be varied, because it reflects your personality and interests, which surely are varied, too.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to completely quit your job to have decision-making power. In fact, part of the beauty of the YouEconomy is the flexibility to create the kind of income diversity that works for you and your family.
For some, that looks like a full-time job with a corporation and an Etsy shop on the side. For others, it looks like multiple task jobs with Uber, Lyft, and TaskRabbit, while working a part-time job at a restaurant. And for still others, it looks like a home-based business in social selling (also known as direct selling or network marketing) that allows them to grow financially and provide opportunities for others. Social selling can be a great option for people who already have well-established networks, such as church affiliation or community groups, or for people looking to expand their social circles.
The YouEconomy is empowering, individual, and flexible. It can be centered around your own philosophies and goals.
Building Recurring Income
Let’s discuss one of the biggest fears holding back a lot of people from taking the leap and joining the YouEconomy—the fear that business will dry up, or that they’ll face long stretches without income.
It’s a justified fear, because it could certainly happen if the proper processes to create steady work aren’t put in place. Freelancers, coaches and consultants love the freedom and flexibility they find in the YouEconomy. But a common complaint is the tendency for feast or famine when it comes to projects. One day you’re landing three new clients and the next you’re staring at a barren pipeline. So how do you create stability in the midst of the unknown? Here are some ideas for the innovative solopreneur:
- Recurring Service Packages: If you are a graphic design freelancer for hire, brainstorm a recurring service you can offer to clients at a lower price point. A coach might offer monthly check-in calls at a discount for those clients unable to afford the higher-priced coaching schedules. And a consultant could create a package of commonly requested services at a slightly lower fee than they’d be priced individually. The idea is to discount the package slightly as an incentive to clients who will see the value in a long-term commitment, and to make the term commitment part of the deal so clients receive the package only if they agree up front to stick with it for months at a time.
- Memberships: A slightly different take on the recurring service package is this concept, where you offer clients steady services and information on a monthly basis for a set fee. Your service offerings and information delivery all happens on an online content platform like Kajabi or Rozuku, so you don’t have to create an elaborate website. And the energy and time you spend creating resources for one person benefit all members, providing you with a scalable and predictable source of income.
- Calendar Demand: Most clients have a timeline in mind for their projects. The problem is, they often wait to reach out for help until the last minute and are ready to start right now! To offset this feast or famine tendency, try posting your calendar and publicly sharing when you’re booked well ahead of time. That way, as your clients start seeing your calendar booked two, three, or even six months in advance, they’ll reserve your time earlier. That translates into a project deposit paid farther out in front of the work you’re doing and a more evenly spread revenue stream.
Innovating small ways to create predictable income might not seem to have a lot of impact on your profits at first, but during the famine times, those little bits will add up to a lot more peace of mind.
So, are you ready to jump into the YouEconomy? There’s nothing to hold you back.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of SUCCESS magazine.