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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Now Is the Best Point in Time to Become an Entrepreneur

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We’re in the middle of the richest time in human history. 

Half of the relevant industries and companies that we see now didn’t even exist just 10 years ago. It’s been transformative. Money moves faster now, and companies sell faster now.

And that wealth effect has transcended to millions of ordinary people globally have been beneficiaries just by standing in the wake of decentralized and digital commerce. 

But deep below the surface, there is much more that’s happening. Looking back after two years, the pandemic was the catalyst for a lot of personal and societal changes.

Related: The Key to Staying Positive in the High-Pressure World of Entrepreneurship

The impact of the pandemic

For professionals, the pandemic created a new movement initiated by the new work-from-home white-collar norms; this entrepreneurial class has formally splintered from the middle-class. For the motivated who wanted to start a business, they suddenly realized that it’s never been easier before in the history of humanity to start a business and generate revenue on your own. 

Yesterday’s entrepreneurs had to worry about operating capital, getting started, finding clients and customers. To bring a product to market was expensive and one failure could wipe you out. Today’s entrepreneurs can test messages, products and pictures on social media, get an immediate response and change course immediately. We see this with politicians more and more now, too. 

Today, it’s not about making a new widget. It’s almost all about owning your media. Case in point, one of the new entrants to NFL ownership happens to be hip-hop mogul Jay Z, and he got there by not being shy, nor by taking any company public. Well, yet.

Related: Understanding Cultural Entrepreneurship

The middle class has a resume. Entrepreneurs have a brand.

Media in general has been a tremendous wealth creator for most. Think about it: Owning your media is perhaps one of the easiest levers of socioeconomic mobility readily available to the poor and middle class. That’s very different than it was in the ’60s and ’70s. Back then, if you had a Ph.D. or an MD, that amounted to a much higher social status and that mobility was all but certain. You were a professional, and that meant there was a market for your specialized skillset.

Which begs the question: Does this new entrepreneur class have a different set of values from the middle class that is left working in cubicle still working for a salary? Certainly. Because the entrepreneur has a brand, which is a function of their value system. Their brand is their promise, and that is what drives the foundation for influencers today.

White-collar workers, on the other hand, don’t have a brand. They have a resume with limited skills that they’ve been pigeonholed into. 

Influencers today have a higher status amongst their middle-class brothers and sisters because they control and monetize their media. Like a business. If you have 3.5 million followers on Instagram, then you’re monetizing that at any and every available moment you can. The skills are in the salesmanship, marketing and branding. If you find a way to engage with people in a way that makes them want to pay you, that is a fundamental human transaction.

To these emerging and established entrepreneurs, the only math that matters is when it shows up in their bank account.

Using Web 3.0 as a proxy, it is easier to sell just about anything today than ever before. Decentralization finance and other innovative structures are only going to make this even easier. Kids today will not be compelled to work in an office environment unless compelled by their parents’ aspirational ego, because those kids will look at white-collar middle management jobs in corporate America the same way we look at coal miners back in the 1920s: frightened, muted but much more indebted. 

They say that there’s never a right time to start anything. While that’s true, today it’s never been easier to create your own leverageable brand or business.

Related: 4 Entrepreneurship Lessons You Won’t Learn In a Classroom



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