Article by Amy Anderson
They can’t fire you — you quit!
Congrats, and welcome to the “YouEconomy,” the growing movement of passion-pursuers and dignity-defenders making money on their own terms. 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.
As SUCCESS outlined in a 2016 report, the YouEconomy is made up of a global network of people taking the future of work into their own hands. They’re sharing resources and technologies, taking gigs, creating freelance businesses, and innovating new methods to generate income. Folks in the YouEconomy are applying their experience in new ways, learning new skills, and tapping into new resources for training and support. They’re designing their own lives, carving out time for family and building professions based on their individual purposes. Along the way, they’re meeting new people, seeing new places, and 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.
Are you on the fence about the YouEconomy? Still motivated to stick to what feels familiar and comfortable? Let’s see if I can convince you to take the leap.
Decentralization and You
If you’ve been following the business press recently, you may have heard the term “decentralization.” Basically, this term refers to the transfer of decision-making power from a central authority to local or individual authorities. Instead of one big organization making decisions for smaller organizations, the smaller ones have the power to make their own decisions.
The YouEconomy itself can be seen as a form of decentralization. Rather than being tied to and dependent upon one company for 25 years, individuals can now exercise decision-making power for themselves — and with far greater ease than ever before.
Imagine that you are your very own corporation. 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 quit your job completely 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.
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. 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.
The YouEconomy is empowering, individual, and flexible. Your career 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 you don’t put into place the proper processes to create steady work. Freelancers, coaches, and consultants love the freedom and flexibility they find in the YouEconomy, but a common complaint is the feast-or-famine rhythm of projects. One day you land three new clients, and the next you’re staring at a barren pipeline.
How do you create stability for yourself in the YouEconomy? Here are some ideas:
1. Recurring Service Packages
If you are a freelance graphic designer, 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 higher-priced coaching schedules. 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.
A slightly different take on the recurring service package is the concept of a membership, where you offer clients steady services and information on a monthly basis for a set fee. Your service offerings and information delivery all happen on an online content platform like Kajabi or Rozuku, so you don’t have to create an elaborate website. The energy and time you spend creating resources for one person benefit all members, providing you with a scalable and predictable source of income.
3. Calendar Demand
Most clients have a timeline in mind for their projects. The problem is, they often wait until the last minute to reach out for help and are ready to start right now! To offset this 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 start reserving your time earlier. That translates to a project deposit paid further 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 now!