You have the potential to become a business. It sounds funny, right? But it’s true. It’s not just that you can start a business. No. You can turn your most valuable asset – you – into a business by becoming a micro-entrepreneur.
This isn’t a pep talk. This isn’t a pitch – only a statement of fact about the new job opportunities technology affords us. Especially, the so called sharing economy has thrown out the rule book and made it possible to earn money in easy, somewhat obvious, but until recently impossible ways.
As Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnB put it at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival, “We used to live in a world were there are people, private citizens, a world where there are businesses, and now we’re living in a world where people can become businesses in 60 seconds.”
And exactly how does a person become a business, you might still be wondering?
With Your Skills
There are an incredible number of channels online to begin marketing your skills and capitalizing on your talents almost immediately. You can propose to accomplish specific tasks for a set fee on PeoplePerHour.com, knock out small assignments of wide variety on Fiverr, or join the growing freelance workforce at Freelancer.com.
Sorry if you thought you’d get rich quick simply by being you. Sure it could happen, and good for you if it does. Most often the world still doesn’t work this way. But, if you’re keen on earning extra money or quite possibly a living, read on.
A growing number of platforms allow individuals to earn money by teaching their skill or trade to others. Sites like Craftsman Ave connect “teachers” with people hungry to learn in nontraditional, outside of the classroom settings.
Everyone has skills. Sell yours or teach yours to others.
Perhaps THE model for rethinking our everyday surroundings in terms of cash-generating potential is AirBnB. Through this service, ordinary folk book space in their homes much like hotel rooms. Great savings for travelers, a great use of neglected or valuable real estate for owners – look no further to see how industries can be turned on their head and how the average Joe can make money by doing little more than thinking unconventionally. Are you a concierge?
Turning the empty seats in your car into a hot ticket might still be a novel concept, a likely latecomer to hit the sharing economy mainstream, but companies are trying to build this kind of service. GetAround and RelayRides are two frontrunners in the peer-to-peer car rental business. So, if you can spare your wheels for a time or don’t mind a little extra company, there’s money to be made on open car seats.
Carrying extra luggage on an airplane and the cost of shipping are insanely expensive. If you have a hand free or haven’t maxed out your baggage allowance the next time you travel, it could be worth a fortune. TinyCarrier connects travelers with people looking to send goods cheaply. Still kinks to be worked out here as well, but this startup exemplifies the new opportunities that budding online marketplaces support.
It’s all about connecting. As each of us learns of these services, creates more similar services, and becomes part of sharing communities, there will be more and more chances to earn money by… well, doing what you do, being who you are.
The only question left will be: What kind of business are you?