Self-Incorporation: Me, Inc.
Redefining Self Incorporation
Whether tethered to a platform or working as an independent consultant from home, many independent employees (or gigsters) from my personal observation view their work as a “job” not as a business. But these are not jobs in any traditional sense of the word because they are genuinely on their own in terms of their schedules, income, benefits, and futures. Their work is entrepreneurial in nature. As such, they must view themselves as small business owners or entrepreneurs. They are essentially a “Me Incorporated” and need to strategize and think accordingly. The rules of upper management and corporate entities need to be applied.
Like a large corporation with an HR department, a CEO, CFO, CMO, etc., all overseen by a Board of Directors, the independent employee has all those needs to be filled. The only difference is scale. It is a ‘one-man (woman) band.’ While the type of work and market may vary, the goals and purpose are always the same. As a corporation seeks to maximize profits (revenues minus costs), an individual seeks to maximize income and minimize expenses (in terms of outlays, time, and effort).
Redefining Teamwork With Work Entropy
In a traditional workplace environment, directors direct, management manage, bosses drive us, and fellow workers encourage us to secure customers and satisfy the goals set by directors. In other words, it is a team effort. When adversity comes, the team pulls together and helps one another push through to “right the ship.” An individual can easily be overwhelmed with bad news, and the ship can sink.
People and tools are the essences of a support network that is crucial for any company and, in particular, the vulnerable entrepreneur. Failure faces any entrepreneur who ventures out with no network and is unprepared for adversity, and quitting becomes almost inevitable.
As an individual today, there are several tools available to support an entrepreneur’s business. Platforms like Upwork or Uber are like marketing teams who secure customers while tools like Work Entropy provide independent contractors direction in efficiency, cost-effective decision-making, and profit analysis.
Friends, family, and for-hire professionals (accountants, consultants, creatives, lawyers, etc.) can be team members who can lend support and direction. In the end, it still falls on the individual to have the right attitude and mindset to be successful.
One of the great things about being an independent worker today is the access to so much free and/or cheap professional advice via the internet. A simple web search will capture a host of options for business/personal support.
- Web addresses and web site designing is available from sites like godaddy.com, logomines.com, wix.com or even hire another independent on upwork.com or fiverr.com.
- Legal advice from lawyers is a phone call away from such companies as Legal Shield, to whom you pay a monthly membership. Many local law offices offer advice over the phone or internet where you pay for each interaction.
- Likewise accounting, bookkeeping, and tax advice can be found online by contacting local offices.
- Don’t forget to use social media to not only help your marketing but also as a reliable source for referrals to professional services.
Entrepreneurs today have many tools at their disposal and they can be found in their computer. They can provide peace of mind in knowing where to find answers and advice, how to avoid pitfalls and provide knowledge that builds confidence and efficiency. Technology is an important member of your team.
Also establish relationships with local groups in your community such as churches, volunteer organizations, your childrens’ school, relevant professional organizations, and of course online social media. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Persistence With Purpose Conquers Adversity
We have all had days when we have wanted to quit because of adversity. The anecdote to quitting is persistence. Steve Jobs observed, “I am convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”
Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” In other words, hell (adversity) is not an end unto itself, It will not last forever, and persistence will often win the day. Sadly, all too often, people going through hell decide it is too hot and turn around and flee (quit). Albert Einstein commented, “It’s not that I am smart, it’s just that I stay with a problem longer.”
Some keys to growing in persistence that are commonly referred to and worth keeping in mind are:
- Clearly define your purpose.
- Make self-development a lifestyle.
- Have written goals and refer to them daily.
- Find someone to whom you can be accountable.
- Have a passion for what you do.
- Work harder than your competition.
- Assume there will be new opportunities and let them inspire you to act.
- Do not be shy about thinking ‘outside the box.’
These 8 keys require tools to keep you apprised of your progress and to assist you in making the many daily decisions that keep you headed in the right direction. One such tool, Work Entropy, shows you which decisions will make you money and which won’t. WE will reveal the costs as well as the rewards. By tracking your progress you will see where you need to pick up the pace, where you might need to alter the direction and to show you where there may be some potential setbacks. To do that you need tools to crunch the numbers for you. Your smartphone/computer is your toolbox.
Persistence is something that will help you be “bulletproof” in your business and make you less fragile as a person. Adversity, like gravity, can kill us or make us stronger. As an entrepreneur, one needs to make the paradigm shift from worker to “Me Incorporated.” Our next chapter will look at being antifragile.
With platforms like Work Entropy, now more than ever, the tools and information are available to help “gigsters” from every walk of life thrive in this new economy.