I’ve talked before about the perpetual whitewater of change in business–the fact that no matter how fast we paddle, the current will keep rushing past us. And I am no exception to that rule. So, I wasn’t entirely surprised when I started seeing an interesting trend start to swell all around this blog I write for small business owners: the rise of the freelance economy.
Gone are the days of the stereotypical freelance writer. Today’s freelancers are everywhere–from Uber drivers to high-powered corporate consultants. No longer is there shame in having a “temporary” job; all jobs are temporary, it seems.
The numbers are already staggering. A survey performed by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk (back in 2014, I might add), found that a whopping 34% of the U.S. population qualify as “freelancers.” With new trends come new terms, of course, leading many journalists to start calling these professionals “on-demand workers.” Below, Mary Meeker of KPCB tells us who they all are.
How exactly did this happen, you might ask. The answer is twofold: millennials entering the workforce and the proliferation of smartphone use. Workers entering the force today have little expectation of permanence; there is no more “company man.”
From my perspective, these on-demand workers are the ultimate small business owners and entrepreneurs, making their time a commodity that’s available to the highest bidder. Thus, I’m officially expanding my vision of who the Chunk Of Change reader is. So, shop owner, service professional, and inventor, meet your new neighbor: the independent contractor.
Welcome, Task Rabbits, Upworkers, Fivrs, Postmates, Doordashers, and Uber and Lyft drivers! You’ve officially joined the ranks of entrepreneurship by becoming your own small business. As such, you’ll have to adapt and evolve in order to stay on the cutting edge. Luckily, there’s no better place for the small business owner to stay sharp than the Chunk Of Change blog.
So, stay tuned, indies. I see you. And I’ll be talking about you…a lot.