As I have often mentioned in previous articles, through my journey as an entrepreneur, I have learned to observe and learn in everything I do….
Yesterday, we were out for a convertible ride, and as we were passing through small villages in out of the way places, I couldn’t help but notice all the small businesses being run by residents in small villages. Almost every building in each small village, as well as the houses, had a business sign out. It reminded me of “the way it was” before the industrial age. Everyone had their own small business and were very self reliant. People then did not rely on corporations or government to provide for them. Locals supported each others business, and it created a community.
I believe this is becoming more important to people again. We see this in small and medium sized towns. People wanting to support their local merchants. In talking with many in the millennial generation, I have found it is important to them to support local people in business, and many go out of their way to do that, which is wonderful! All types of local businesses, farmers markets, etc are part of what make a community, a community. A loyalty is built in reciprocal business.
Another consideration is, we live in a very changed world. No longer are people working at a job for life, retiring and being looked after. Many are finding themselves needing to continue working past 65 due to economic challenges over the last few years. A challenge for those in this age group is being hired at their age. What many forget is the vast amount of knowledge and experience, interests, and hobbies they have gained over their working lives. There are so many directions a person like this could take to start some type of business for themselves so they are not a victim of age discrimination, and are creating a self reliant financial future for themselves.
There are many people that work more than one job. Many millennials hold 2 or 3 jobs. This is an indication the individual is not afraid to work and are willing to do what it takes to earn a living. What most just don’t consider is taking that time and energy you are using for the side jobs, and put that time and energy into your own start up. It doesn’t have to be a big business idea. Think about how much you are earning at the side job, and ask yourself what you could do instead to equal or exceed that income in some type of business of your own. It isn’t a lack of opportunity for self employment that stops people from taking this step. It is a lack of belief in themselves, and a lack of creative, solution oriented thinking. Why “sell” your hours to an employer for minimum wage when you could start building your own future in a business that you actually enjoy. Remember, you are either building YOUR own dream, or working to build SOMEONE ELSE’S! If you are willing to work, why build someone else’s? The ONLY job security there is today, is building your own security.
Downsizing has affected many that never thought they would be affected. There are many professionals that thought they had a lifelong career with their employer. Downsizing isn’t the end of the road for these individuals. It is a FORK in the road, requiring creative thinking to determine what different direction could be built with the knowledge and experience you have gained. A question to ask yourself in this scenario is “my work and my experience is highly valuable to any employer…therefore it is just as highly valuable to my own potential startup….how can I utilize it to build my own business”.
Think back to the days when everyone had their own “shop”….the butcher, the florist, the vet, the baker, the seamstress, the shoemaker, etc., etc. Those people managed to create a living for themselves. They didn’t have corporations or government to “look after them” or provide “security”. They got busy and created it themselves, or they didn’t eat or have a roof over their heads. They took personal responsibility and found a way to create a living for themselves and their families. I have also noticed some of the most successful entrepreneurs are often people from other countries, that came here and DECIDED to take their skills and build a business and not wait for someone else to save them. This comes down to a choice….a choice to utilize your own human potential to build your future, instead of selling your hours to an employer that has absolutely no interest in your long term future.
The more people that realize and take responsibility to create their own work, the more self reliant and mutually supportive our communities will become. As I passed through these small towns, I got a feeling that everyone there seemed to be an entrepreneur. They wouldn’t have all their signs for business services out if they bought into the perceived need to only work for employers. These small town business people are demonstrating independent thinking, community support and self reliance. A lesson that anyone from any size town or city can learn from.