Self-employed

Working for oneself is not quite the same as being self-employed.

I have a job working an eight hour shift.  I have rights, tea breaks, paid annual leave and a certain measure of job security. Which to me is the difference between working for myself and being self-employed.

I made that choice.

I get a paycheck deposited into my account every month, as well as the time I need to build my hosting business as and when the mood takes me.  Giving me the independence to pick and choose what I do and the clients I interact with. I do not have to compromise. I do not have to get myself into situations I am not comfortable with. Which is what working for myself, means to me.

It is that financial independence that makes all the difference.

Self-employment on the other-hand is quite the opposite. Seldom offering one the freedom to make choices. You are committed, tied down, responsible and it doesn’t ever get any better until the day you sell.  Every new business grows to the point where one has to start making compromises. Uncomfortable decisions that follow one after another, subject to the demands of clients as well as staff, unreasonable demands on ones family time.

Nightmare stuff.  For what? Retirement?

At what cost? Been there ,done that and it makes more sense to keep plugging away at what I am doing. Growing an income and a business I can run from anywhere offering hosting services, quality targeted traffic and showing whoever is interested how to do the same.

Home Based Business

A home based business, no staff, no rent, minimal overheads. Sound too good to be true?

Anything but.

It’s possible. It’s practical.

A recurring monthly income one can build in whatever spare time is available. No special skills – Just another of those hard sell internet scams?

Anything but.

It’s ” The sharing economy”. Or more to the point what the sharing economy should look like.

The economic model which is defined as a peer-to-peer based activity acquiring, providing, or sharing access to goods and services that is often facilitated by a community-based on-line platform.

Nothing new.

It has already been done. Those in the know are talking about it. Debating,  twisting and turning the concept this way and then that. But there are still lots of missing pieces.

“The implications of the sharing economy — part of what has also been termed the “gig economy” — have of course been hotly debated in the news media, and the research world has been steadily weighing in with deeper analysis. One central area of argument relates to whether the sharing economy is simply bringing more wage-earning opportunities to more people, or whether its net effect is the displacement of traditionally secure jobs and the creation of a land of part-time, low-paid work. It’s a debate that continues to develop and play out, forcing reporters to weigh competing claims that vary in tone from boosterism to warnings of the new economy’s dark side.”

A debate that is as open ended as it is pointless. Same old, same old. Just a different guise.  Sharing in name only. The missing bit is recognition of the need for an alternative. An different approach, an alternative attitude, a different result.

A need to go back to basics and to develop the internet as a virtual information resource. A communication tool that encourages more and more people to question, to explore and open doors to new opportunities.

 

Community building

Once we recognise that we can make ourselves useful  sharing our experience and know how. Simply offering to share information we know something about.

The next step is to start organising, networking and building communities.

Gateways to information, real information, useful information. The sort of information people are looking for.  Answers to the questions we all have. Virtual information offices, word of mouth networks, local knowledge and know how.

There is nothing complicated about this. There is nothing new about any of this.

The concept is as old as time itself. But the advent of the internet gave rise to the what is often referred to as the Sharing Economy. Although sharing is in word only. We have allowed the opportunities to really share to slip through our fingers.

We allow the traffic that is being generated by our activity and need to communicate to be used and abused by the unscrupulous few. We have allowed the value that is generated to enrich those to whom it does not belong.

Online start ups

Google still  professes to “do no evil” and despite the obvious encroachment of commercial advertising into the search results, it is still possible to get a small homemade web site to rank for competitive key words.

Which is all that one needs.

That is besides understanding that  we can. That there is an urgent need to do something to stem the rising tide of disinformation and the dumbing down effects of mass communication.

To recognise that we are being exploited, manipulated and abused simply because we are too naive the understand that there is an alternative to all the crazy talk and outrageous fibs.

Anyone can get onto the net.

Anyone can generate an income for themselves simply by making themselves useful. Simply by offering to share information they know something about.

 

 

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The Challenge

Power tends to corrupt  and absolute power corrupts absolutely 

Nowhere else is this more self evident than on the internet. We have evolved to a point where most of the resources on the web is now under the control and in the hands of the few. Concentrations of enormous wealth and power where there is little or no oversight and accountability.  In the absence of checks and balance, corporate greed and abuse is unrestrained, unpredictable.

But we only have ourselves to blame.

At the same time, there is the opportunity to do what has never been done before.  The opportunity to compete. The tools are there. Freely available. There is nothing stopping us from challenging the dominance of these global multinational interests.

We just can’t see it.  Not yet anyway.