Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Burgeoning Self-Employment

Self-employment really seems to be climbing. I mean, I know that small businesses are taking over the economy, but I also think that self-employment is a huge part of that.

The hard and fast statistics are that small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) generate 2 out of 3 new jobs every year. This has been the case for the last five years.

That means that small business are growing, in terms of employment, TWICE AS FAST as big companies every year. Do the math and you realize that it won't take but a few more years of this before the big companies (50+ employees) will just be empty shells with advertising, brands, and marketing but nothing inside.

Neat, huh? Think of that type of economy. No big companies to speak of. Just all us self-employed geeks and geekettes churning the economy.

Business book authors have been calling this a million different names. The networked economy. The next economy. Small is better.

Look at the drudgery of big company life these days. Layoffs imminent. Job security out the window. Even companies that have promised pensions to their employees are renegging on that promise. No big company has the resources to supply pension funds and, even worse, health insurance, to their retirees.

So why join a big company again? Job security? Nope. Career advancement? Nope. Might as well start a new company when you graduate from college, eh?

I just did a series of talks at a local elementary school for their "career day." At the beginning of each talk, I went through the audience and asked each kid what type of business they would like to start. Most of them responded with something.

A car repair shop.
A beauty salon.
A law firm.

I loved it. I've promised myself to never again ask a kid what type of "job" they want when they grow up. Now I only ask "what type of business do you think you'll start?" I love the creativity that comes out when I ask that question.

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