Face it. Not only can’t we rely on employers to help us attain riches nor secure our retirement, we can no longer rely on them to help us earn a living wage.
While everyday workers have struggled to survive the “new normal”, employers have laid-off workers and performed acrobats to pass immigration reform. It seems the only thing the ruling class (Big Business, Republicans and Democrats) agrees on is the imperative to bus in millions of potential, low-wage employees. The reason for this urgency changes from week to week.
We believe this unanimity comes from a desire for businesses to contain costs at the expense of current, legal citizens and residents. Many of the ruling class rely heavily on cost containment. U.S. citizens are costly employees who erode profits and discount stock valuations.
This information makes it clear that to rely on someone or something other than ourselves makes us either indentured servants of banks or mice on running wheels.
Gone are the days of working for one employer from high school till retirement. Those days have been gone since the steal industry took a nosedive in the 70s. While employees still hold anywhere from four to six jobs in the tenure of their adult employment, employees can no longer assume each employment change will yield a $10,000 raise and promotion a la the high flying ’90s. Finally, for middle-Americans to try and get rich off of real estate lately has proven to be volatile if not erratic.
All hope isn’t lost, though. There is a solution. What’s necessary for American workers in today’s economy that views us as a liability rather than an asset? We need diversification of income.
Your income can be diversified a number of ways. One way is with additional jobs. Many employers have increased their number of part-time employees. Part-time employment brings more “free-time”. This free-time can be filled with more jobs. Of course, getting one job in this economy is hard enough. Getting two may seem impossible. Things have improved, though.
This is where self-reliance and ingenuity come into play. Capitalize on yourself. Monetize you. Turn a hobby into a money maker.
For example, do you watch your children while at home? Watch other people’s children for money while other people are at work. Child care is expensive. The right price will beat the competition. The law varies by state, but the maximum number of kids you can watch at any given time is six. Never let more than six kids on your property at one time and you’re golden (in most states).
Are you artsy or fartsy, a baker or candlestick maker? Make money making what you make. Cupcakes were all the rage, macaroons are taking their place. There’s practically a cupcake shop on every corner in Denver, and cupcake delivery trucks on every street. Who knows? Something you start in your kitchen may become the next trendy eat.
Do you know something? Are you a subject matter expert? Create a blog, educate an audience and get paid to advertise appropriate products and services, if not your own products or services, on your site. Write a series of eBooks based on what you know. We live in the Information Age. There are millions of people who want to know millions of things. Tap a market. Amazon and Smashwords make it easier to publish an eBook than it is to open a package of batteries.
If you have more than one interest or hobby or a combination, be a serial entrepreneur. This is what the Musks and Bransons do. This is why every pop star has a perfume, clothing and house-ware line. If you aren’t diversifying your income stream, you’re short changing yourself.
Don’t relay on Big Business or Big Government to take care of or even care about you. The U.S. started out as a land for independent people who sought opportunity and prosperity. Despite our evolution into a crony capitalist society, in some ways it has stayed a land for independent people who seek opportunity and prosperity.