Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Self-Employment

The Unexpected Costs of Chasing Your Dreams [Infographic]

Many hopeful freelancers start their business adventure so they can take control over their time and finances. As a self-employed freelancer, you get to set your own hours and decide how much you make based on how hard you work. You can decide to pursue projects that interest you the most, and ultimately do your best work. The appeal of starting off on your own is the reason why a third of Americans are currently freelance.

If you’ve ever considered quitting your day job in favor for self-employment, you’ve also probably had a few reservations as well. While the work is more flexible, so is the income. There’s less security when it comes to benefits and salary, which can land you in hot water if you don’t have a solid savings. In addition, finding and pitching your own clients can be incredibly intimidating. The fact of the matter is that starting your own venture, whether as a freelancer or entrepreneur can a difficult process.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. With a solid plan for how you’ll make the transition financially, you can make the leap. To get you started on planning for unexpected self-employment expenses, Turbo created this helpful infographic. By making a few easy cuts, you can make your dream of quitting your day job a reality. Check it out below:

Via turbo.intuit.com: Read more of this post

How to Sell on Amazon [Infographic]

Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment

Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.

While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.

Red Stag Fulfillment put together a complete guide to selling on Amazon, but for those who are looking for an overview of the process, this is a good place to start.

Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps

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How to Become a Self-Publisher [Infographic]

Are you interested in self-publishing? Recently, this visually stunning infographic came to my attention. And it provides a lot of useful information, addressing issues such as challenges to overcome as well as benefits and key aspects of self-publishing. According to Moneypod:

Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly popular method for budding authors to get their publications noticed, especially if their writings have been rejected by publishers in the past. However, it can be a tough start to your career and can take time to perfect.

If you’re an aspiring author, take a look and see if the following information helps with your planning.

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A Personal Note & Sober View of Online Business Headaches: Reputation Management & Cybersecurity

The benefits of online businesses have always been clear to me (e.g., the freedom and flexibility, the broad reach to potential faraway customers, etc.). However, recently I noted some massive issues online business owners face – reputation management and cybersecurity.

Internet mobs can destroy someone’s livelihood for years, and an unpopular or misconstrued Tweet (along with bad luck perhaps) can spark their wrath. Such missteps are related to innumerable topics – too many to list. So, I’ll visit the issue of bringing up politics in professional communications for business owners (but much applies to job seekers and employees alike) as I’ve previously discussed it from another angle.

Reputation management: Politics

Business owners must be wary of expressing political views in ways that don’t mesh with their customer base. I don’t know how often cases like this happen but one of my survey respondents wrote that merely unveiling your political affiliation can alienate customers: Read more of this post

Evolution in the Face of Adversity

For those who have an interest in marketing, check out this post for some essential wisdom and strategies for thriving in these volatile times.

Out of My Gord

First published January 15, 2009 in Mediapost’s Search Insider

I am an unrepentant Darwinist, which probably doesn’t surprise anyone who reads my columns on a regular basis. The whole topic of evolution and emergent behaviors in complex systems constantly fascinates me. As Steven Johnson pointed out in his recent book, “Emergence,”  the theme of patterns rising from complexity is  ubiquitous and could well define the 21st century.

The World is a Cruel Place – Get Over It!

One of the most interesting things about evolution is that the pace of evolutionary change picks up in the face of adversity. The more hostile the environment, the faster the wheels of evolution roll and the quicker we adapt. Of course, we do so in a pretty ruthless way. The weak get culled faster. There are no consolation prizes in this lottery. Winner takes all. Richard Dawkins didn’t call genes “selfish” for…

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To Live Differently – A Personal Manifesto

Recently, I realized that I’m coming upon 3 years of blogging about modern work-life issues and, particularly, remote work. With regard to the latter, I’ve repeatedly mentioned benefits for the environment, some employers, and some employees. However, I’ve yet to share my personal views and reasons for my insane dedication to this topic.

Some presume that I’m a lofty idealist, envisioning that everyone will be working this way in the future. On the contrary, I’m quite a realist and know that not everyone wants to. For example, some enjoy commuting for the hour or two designated to listening to their favorite podcasts. (Though, as I like to point out, one can still walk around the neighborhood for that amount of time and listen to a podcast before and after working at home or wherever one chooses to work.) Nevertheless, I’ve blogged incessantly to spread awareness of remote work as a real choice while realizing that individual preferences would, to some extent, assert themselves and determine who works remotely and the proportion of time spent doing so. Read more of this post

The Challenge of Telework Consulting and a New Direction for Me

During the course of blogging about telework and topics related to modern work-life issues, people who’ve recently connected with me have received the impression that I “have it made,” making a living doing what I love. This isn’t the truth, so I’m setting the record straight about my experience with, and understanding of, consulting in the area of facilitating remote work arrangements at organizations. Additionally, as I hinted about undertaking a personal YouTube content creation project in an earlier post, I’ll hereby provide readers with more information about this as I’ll be integrating it as new subject matter in this blog. Read more of this post

A Pictorial Representation of the Evolution of Work

Where we’ve been, where we are currently, and where we are heading as workers (pertinent to the United States in particular) as summarized in the image below. As indicated by the concluding remark, some things have a way of making a comeback. Emerging conditions necessitate and support people’s ability to act as free agents – this means cultivating a business mindset when it comes to your career. I’ll let this image tell the whole story. Read more of this post

Coping with Job Loss and Uncertain Times

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: ht...

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=CES0000000001&output_view=net_1mth. Prelim data for Dec 2009 and Jan 2010. Made with OpenOffice.org Calc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a previous post, I mentioned the possibility of a future in which a greater proportion of the population work as free agents (such as described by Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation). Although this is an ideal that I would embrace for myself, the picture isn’t all rosy as this also means fewer secure employment opportunities being available for those who want them. The days of having a secure job at the same organization for one’s entire work-life have declined indeed, however it’s become apparent that not everyone has made the adjustment in mindset. Furthermore, there are many who are ill-prepared for, and/or don’t welcome, the difficulties associated with more autonomy and taking a more entrepreneurial approach with their careers.

Apparently, there appears to be room for debate about automation being the cause behind the decline of jobs (see Robert D. Atkinson’s post – an explanation which, I’ll admit, is new to me). In addressing a transition to a more entrepreneurial way of life however, I agree with many of the recommendations proposed by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of Race Against the Machine. In this book, they listed changes to policies and societal infrastructures to support people as conditions necessitate a greater need to be one’s own boss – subject matter that I’ll cover in a future post.

For now however, I’d like to share some tips, videos, and articles that may prove helpful in putting you in the mind-frame to think about important steps to be taken if you happen to be dealing with job loss under these current conditions. Read more of this post

Freedom = Loyalty: Understanding the Self-Employed Mindset

Since the rise of the Industrial Age, the vast majority of the population have chosen to go with regular employment in order to make a living due to existing incentives (e.g., pensions, benefits, etc.). Since this trend has been the norm for quite some time, self-employment has become perceived as “the ugly stepchild” – something people turn to when they “can’t get a job.” It’s true that a good contingent of people are forced into this situation, however there are still many who purposely choose it. Are they crazy?

Often I’ve heard that those who prefer regular employment and those who prefer self-employment don’t understand each other. Indeed, it seems to be the case of different values, motivations, and fears. I believe this gap between those who have an employee mindset and those who have a self-employment mindset is encapsulated well by one of my favorite Aesop’s fables, “The Dog and the Wolf.” For those who are unfamiliar with this story, here it is in the video below: Read more of this post

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