With the rise in platforms like Etsy, it has seldom been easier to start a business than it is today. Of the many trends currently seen in the economy, the rise in self-employment has probably done most to catch the public imagination. Stats suggest that there has been growth of around 30 percent in the number of self-employed people since 2000. In other words, that represents around 1 in 7 of the entire workforce.
Despite this boom in self employment, there is still a lot of unknown factors about the movement. What’s causing so many people to set out on their own? How big an influence has new technology been? Is the trend, generally speaking, good for the economy or not? Is the rise prompted by a desire for greater freedom or a forced consequence of the tough economic times we live in?
Those were some of the questions posed by the recent Self Employment Summit at the RSA, and while there was a degree of optimism amongst the speakers, there was also a healthy dose of reality. Entrepreneurs are generally less productive than their employed peers. They earn less money than them, and, of course, don’t enjoy the social safety net enjoyed by employees that include things like holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay and even pension provision.
What to Consider when Becoming an Entrepreneur
While it can be incredibly liberating, it’s important that people go into self-employment with their eyes open. The video attached to this post might give you some help and guidance. It features a panel of entrepreneurs from various stages of their career talking about their stories, their sacrifices and the risks they’ve had to take along the way. We hear about the setbacks they’ve experienced and the triumphs they’ve enjoyed. And, of course, we hear about how they wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
The panel features Adam Markowitz, the founder of Portfolium, Henry DeVries from Indie Books & Indie Books International, and Denise Bevers from Kindred Biosciences. The panel is chaired by Lee Ann Kim from the Pacific Arts Movement.
I hope you find the video useful, and I’d love to hear your experiences of starting up your own business or becoming self-employed yourself. Tell us your war stories in the comments below.
See Also: A Peak Into the Mind of Entrepreneurs