The world is changing. Millions of jobs are being lost due to automation.
In fact, according to a McKinsey study, an estimated 73 million jobs are going to be lost due to automation by the year 2030. You don’t need to look that far to see how the changes are already effecting the current economic landscape. In 2015, McDonald’s restaurant started implementing automated kiosks in their U.S. stores — they plan to have these rolled out in all 14,000 locations by 2020.
The fears of automation extend beyond the marketplace. In order to confront and offer counter measures to the onslaught of job loss looming; we even have a 2020 United States Presidential nominee whose campaign platform combats the issue with Universal Basic Income:
The redistribution of certain tax dollars (gained through a value added tax) as a basic citizen stipend of $1,000 to be used by the recipient with no questions asked in order to create monetary movement throughout the economy.
Like many modern technologies, there are both positives and negatives associated with these innovations. We see this with many of the things that have entered the marketplace in the last decade or so:
- Social media and its ability to keep tabs on one another through social messaging while simultaneously creating division and a feeling of isolation for its users.
- The ability for mega corporations like Amazon and the like to provide a consumer with an inexpensive and seamless buying experience while simultaneously providing its workers with substandard wages.
All of this brings us to the looming fears of automation and how that will strip away millions of jobs for hard working individuals.
But all too often when broaching this subject do we note the negatives of the technology. We often let fear get in the way of the opportunities that may lie in this encroaching technological and economic metamorphosis.
The jobs that are going to be lost with the onset of automation are jobs that are automatic in their own nature. They are monotonous, repetitive jobs that require mindless work that’s incompatible with creative human nature.
In this article, we’ll uncover how despite the looming fears of automation, it is actually a good thing. With the right tool set and strategies you can take this opportunity and develop an entrepreneurial endeavor with it.
How to Become a Badass Entrepreneur (In Today’s Economic Landscape)
I come from a small business family.
My grandfather, who was first generation American, decided to take a risk with his brother in the 1960s and go into business for himself and his family. They started a modest masonry business.
As things took off, he and his brother decided to part ways. My grandfather knew someone in manufacturing and in 1979 he started another business in metal finishing.
Straight out of high school, my father went work for him. In 1997, my father decided to break from his father’s business and started his own metal finishing enterprise.
The classic method of becoming an entrepreneur back-in-the-day went a bit like this:
You get an idea to start a business
You create a business plan of how you are going to actualize said business idea
You interview with banks in order to secure a business loan.
This business loan takes into consideration your operating costs, building rent, utilities, widget creation and all associated costs with getting your business off the ground.
You receive your business loan
You put yourself in debt to the bank and any other lender
You work your ass off to make a name for yourself
You have started a business — now you hope that you can sustain it
Sure, in that description, there are liberties taken. However, the overarching points of having a massive influx of tangible responsibilities (product, space and financial) make it hard to go into business for yourself. This doesn’t even take into consideration that 82% of businesses today that apply for a business loan are denied.
Compare that to today’s landscape where starting a business is as easy as:
Have a great idea
Use the internet to get that business idea out to the globe
Sell your idea
You see, with the automation of the repetitive job, the global economy is going to be looking for human creativity to solve its problems and fill its needs.
Let’s unpack the three listed steps above and how those steps can lead you to developing yourself into a badass that creates passive income…
1. Have a Great Idea
“Good artists copy; Great artists steal” — Pablo Picasso
Many people get stuck at this step (and we haven’t even left the runway yet) because they think that they need an idea that is completely and utterly unique in its essence.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In tomorrow’s economy, the marketplace isn’t going to be contingent on everyone creating the next Facebook or Twitter.
As we move away from automated and monotonous work, the need for communication and storytelling will create micro-niches of like-minded tribes and within those tribes you will be able to create self-sustaining enterprises that don’t require millions of customers.
Take for instance the idea of 1,000 True Fans, Kevin Kelly’s groundbreaking article on how moving into the future, a viable business can be sustained through the adoption of a product or service by 1,000 True Fans (fans that have literally and figuratively “bought-in” to a company or individual’s narrative and business thus creating repeat business whenever a new product or service is introduced to the marketplace).
The premise is simple:
You have a product that sells for $100 and you have 1,000 True Fans (as defined above). Those 1,000 fans buying a $100 product will lead to $100,000 in revenue. You can take it further by increasing the product price or the audience and the number of times you create, release and sell a product.
Your own idea that you are going to turn into an enterprise can be within a number of niches:
- Self improvement/personal growth
- Personal finance (though be well versed in personal finance legalities)
- Physical health/exercise
- Diet & cooking
- Beauty and fashion
To be clear, it’s not the uniqueness of the idea that is going to set your idea into monetary-building-motion, it’s the way you share and tell that idea.
Millions of people are into cross-fit, but perhaps on a few hundred or thousand might be attracted to the way you share the ideas associated with the discipline. Same goes for many other areas of interest.
Let’s now take a look at how to get that idea out and to the masses…
2. Using the Internet to Get That Idea Out to the Masses
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
— Robin Williams
The internet is the epitome of game-changing technology.
While we’ve had the internet for many years, people are finally discovering the true potential of what it allows for us to do.
One of the biggest opportunities of the internet is the ability to connect like-minded individuals and groups with one another at extremely low costs and easy accessibility.
Through the creation of a website or through social media and internet forums, humans have the ability to find like-minded individuals engaging in discussion, discovering and examining their mutual interests.
The most viable route, considering the methods above, to becoming a badass that creates passive income is through purchase, creation and promotion of one’s website.
Consider your website as a modern day store front or manufacturing plant. It is your most valuable tool in becoming a modern day entrepreneur. In fact, new research notes that 87% of all consumers begin with their product searches online.
If you’re not online with your business idea and product or service, you’re not going to last in the future economy.
There are many avenues one can go with creating and hosting a site. The purposes of this article aren’t going to go into the specifics of how — on a technical level to do that — for more on that, check out this resource:
Once you have your site built and you begin to gain traction on the internet, it’s time to turn your site into a business.
3. Sell Your Idea
“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.” — Daniel Pink
As stated earlier in the article, the problems that are going to be solved in the future economy are going to require human ingenuity, spirit and creativity.
All of those human attributes are going to be shared through educating one another.
Did you know that national college enrollment has declined the last seven years in a row? While there are many factors that contribute to the decline in enrollment including:
- Lower birth rates
- Higher tuition costs
- Consolidation of enrollment to lower-acceptance rate Universities
One culprit is due to the ability of self-starters to be able to glean their education from utilities such as YouTube. With over 100 million hours of content being uploaded on YouTube every minute, it (and the rest of the internet) are turning into education machines.
This is where your opportunity comes into play…
Why put your content up on YouTube for the world to learn via your expertise and experience and have YouTube take home the spoils with the help of their advertisers?
In order to take home your piece of the pie in terms of your entrepreneurial pursuit, you’ll need to utilize the E-Learning marketplace and all of it’s available opportunities. E-Learning is an industry geared towards building educational content to audiences looking to increase skill share, knowledge, entertainment and the like.
Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projected E-Learning would reach $107 Billion in 2015 (spoiler alert: it did!). Currently, research indicates that the industry will triple in size compared to 2015 with an expected value of $325 Billion by 2025.
What types of educational products can you educate your audience with in order to solve their complex and creative problems the future will hold for them?
Can you see how this all starts to tie together?
The world isn’t what it used to be. Most of the time when people say this, they get fearful of what the future holds.
Millions of people are going to lose the jobs that they perform today — this is a fact.
But many overlook the opportunities in front of them. Take what passions you have and leverage that into a self-sustaining business, with little financial obligation needed to start it.
Starting a business that builds passive income can be done in three overarching steps:
1. Have a great idea
When you have an idea that helps solve a complex problem for a group of people, you have an enterprising business.
You don’t need to covert the world over to your idea. Using Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans idea — you only need to win over a small fraction of the population in order to make your idea a viable business.
2. Using the internet to get that idea out to the masses
When you utilize tools and modern technology, you can get that idea out to the public without the barriers (financial, distribution, inventory, etc) that stalled people from going into business for themselves in decades past.
This should be done through the ownership of your own site. With your own site, you create your internet store front.
Through your internet store front, you can utilize different strategies to generate traffic and build your audience base.
3. Sell your idea using various mediums
Once you have a platform from which to launch, you can use the growing industry of E-Learning to take your idea and form it into a product or service that will educate your loyal fans.
From there, there really is no limit to what you can create…
You can branch off and open up other businesses (create new websites in different niches) or build a personal brand and see where that takes you as an influencer or thought leader.
The choice is yours.
So stop being fearful of the future and start to see what opportunity lies on the opposite side of the same coin!