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Through necessity or choice, you may be asked to take control of your working future. I am sure you know of a relative or friend who has been downsized and you may be next. The concept of fighting for survival is as old as mankind itself. Even in groups or civilizations that had strong leaders, looking out for yourself was a necessary and important way of life. Then as now, it was a question of trust -- who is going to do the best job of looking out for you and your best interests.
As the door closes on the '90s, a multitude of enriching possibilities await those who are ready and willing to push forward into the next millennium. Because of changes in a new world economy, the dramatic downswing of corporations who manufacture their products offshore, innovations in technology, the demands of a more information-based service economy, we are undergoing the most significant change in the way we work and live since the industrial revolution.
These explosive changes are opening up new opportunities for the self-employed entrepreneur. Men and women who have been laid off due to downsizing, or are simply fed-up with the rat race, will be starting new urban-based enterprises in record numbers.
I think it would be a mistake, however, to think that all good paying jobs in the next generation will be related to technology. Your future as a self-employed entrepreneur depends more on your ability to fill a need rather than on your mastery of the latest technology and the purchase of the expensive electronic gadgetry.
Tried and true professions must not be dismissed as old fashioned. New approaches can revitalize time-tested ideas. Just ask any barber or hairdresser turned hairstylist.
What technology will do for the self-employed in all kinds of business endeavors is to grant them a level of respectability and perhaps even desirability. Consumers and clients of all kinds will start to realize that in many instances small can be beautiful. I suspect that clients will soon start to see the advantages of talking directly to a small manufacturer of service provider rather than account representatives or service managers or voice mail.
When you work for yourself you put the control of your work and, by extension, your life, into your own hands. You can choose your work hours. You can choose your work days. You can make a little money or you can make a lot.
As I said earlier, it's a matter of trust. Who will do the best job of looking out for you and your family? certainly not an employer whose principal interest is economics not people, or governments whose major objective is to get re-elected so they can waste more of our money. The likelihood of you being out there on your own increases every day.
The challenge of controlling your own time and your own business is not for everyone. That is surely fortunate, for we will always need those who prefer to work for others. But as time goes on, they can expect to have a variety of jobs with numerous employers. The days of the retirement party and the gold watch are over.
For those however, who have always yearned to run a business of their own -- for those who are willing to fight for what they want -- NOW IS THE TIME TO GET STARTED, even if only on a part-time basis. In these times it's cool to have a backup self-employment situation you can turn to. That's your own unemployment insurance policy. Hey, you never know!
Buzz Bezanson is a successful author and seminar leader based in Surrey, BC, Canada. For more information on his books and seminars, Buzz may be reached at 6432 188 Street, Surrey, B.C. V3S 8V1 Phone 604-576-4783.
Other articles by Buzz Bezanson:
Checklist of Opportunities
Plan of Attack Beats Lottery Schemes
Back to CRAFTLINK Taking Care of Business
Back to CRAFTLINK Professional Panel
Back to Meet the Get Creative! Experts