The Grey Chronicles

2009.September.13

The Rise of Business Ownership



Grey DayReading the Success From Home magazine, issued sometime a year ago, «The Grey Chronicles» came across an article by John Fleming (2008) explaining why direct selling business is booming. Fleming is a publisher and editor of Direct Selling News with 40 years experience in direct selling/network marketing industry.

In Fleming’s article, he explained the three reasons business ownership is on the rise by answering two critical questions: “What is causing this monumental cultural shift toward working for oneself? How has this entrepreneurial surge become so prevalent?” Three factors changing the landscape of how people make a living in the 21st century, are:


1. No Job Is Secure

“The days of staying with one company for your entire career (like your father did) are over. In these days of frequent layoffs and downsizing, even state and government jobs no longer enjoy this “secure” status. Budget constraints due to a lack of consistent tax revenue coming in (the money that goes to pay for these jobs) have forces many of these people to consider other job opportunities.” [Emphasis added.] (Fleming, 2008).

Annotation : In the series of posts regarding Loyalty and Integrity, this blog, «The Grey Chronicles», already addressed the discontinuity of employment vis-a-vis the “I’m a company man” phenomenon of previous decades, although remnants of the latter are still present in some Asian manufacturers, particularly Toyota, among others. A summary in the preceding postscript of that series also noted the disappearance of the paternal corporate model (Phillips, 2002), the rise of the idea economy and the decline of the industrial economy, the increase in individual prosperity, and the tenuous existence of modern corporations (Pink, 2001).

Personally, this writer saw the same phenomenon years ago when he started working for a steel company back in 1989. With the onslaught of the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crises, however, the latter company closed shop in 1999. Thus, for ten years a taste of some semblance of paternal corporate model was offered by the company complete with benefits and perks from birth to grave, as some of its rank-and-file would like to believe. The next four years, from 2000 to 2004, moreover, the temporariness of holding a job became the norm with monthly contracts renewable at the discretion of a liquidator selling off the latter company’s assets to pay its gargantuan debts. This writer was one of the few who were lucky enough to have served for sometime under the latter, while some because of the very nature of their support jobs had never tasted what it was like to be out of work for a while. The reduced salary this writer received from that monthly contract was augmented with the pay as a part-time lecturer in a local college.


2. Technology

“The computer and the advent of the Internet have allowed small-business owners to expand their reach for customers from a local business, limited to a certain geographical area, to a global enterprise almost overnight. The way we communicate today has little to do with where your office is located—millions start their own business right out of their homes. Even employers are seeing the benefits of having employees work out their homes.” [Emphasis added.] (Fleming, 2008).

Annotation : Amazon Bookstore started as a Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce company by Jeff Bezos in 1994, debuting on-line in 1995. The business model was an internet-based bookstore offering shoppers an on-line catalog to browse a selection of books, virtually preview pages like one would do in a brick-and-mortar shop, and with One-Click of a mouse, order the same thing based on carefully-written critical book reviews and customers’ review of the item and personal comments the service. Amazon became a global enterprise in less than a year. Today, Amazon, now a superstore, is not only selling books but almost everything from music files, CDs, DVDs, consumer electronics, clothing, grocery, magazine subscriptions, or even a pack of Tic Tacs. It now employs more persons than most brick-and-mortar bookstores (see also Wikipedia).

Similar to Amazon, eBay focused on the auction of things—seemingly insignificant, bric-a-brac, or junk to others, but a treasure sought by some collectors and connoisseurs. Originally known as AuctionWeb created by Pierre Omidyar in 1995 (see Wikipedia). In IBM-sponsored Global Innovation Outlook 2.0, 724,000+ Americans consider eBay as their primary or secondary source of income. The seller’s reputation capital is becoming a standard that demonstrates a high level of accountability and quality (IBM, 2006). Today, eBay is also a global enterprise.

With creation of the Hypertext Mark-up Language by Tim Berners-Lee, one of the Internet’s revolutionaries and mavericks, a web-based e-mail service called HoTMaiL created by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in July 4, 1996, American Independence Day, symbolizing “freedom” from ISP-based e-mail, note the capitalized letters paying homage to Berners-Lee’s language (see also Wikipedia). Before HoTMaiL, electronic mail (e-mail) service can only be used if an e-mail software is installed in one’s personal computer plus the required account subscription from a service provider. With an Internet browser and a user account, HoTMaiL offered the ability to access a user’s inbox from anywhere in the world. It was subsequently acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400 million, and shortly after it was rebranded as “MSN Hotmail”.


3. A Desire to Take Control of One’s Future

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

“For most middle-income Americans, living paycheck to paycheck has simply become a way of life. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki talks about the long-term effects of this kind of lifestyle. «Financial struggle is often directly the result of people working all their lives for someone else. Many people will have nothing at the end of their working days.» A new generation of entrepreneurial-minded people is reversing this once inevitable subsistence by starting their own business. They’re creating a better life for themselves and their families by taking control of their income and the way they spend their time.” [Emphasis added.] (Fleming, 2008).

Annotation : The above quote is true in the Philippines, as well. Kiyosaki (2000) uses the story of two men—two dads, his own father, a superintendent of education in Hawaii and who died penniless, and his best friend’s father, who dropped out of school at age 13 and became one of Hawaii’s wealthiest men—and their varying financial strategies illustrating the need for a new financial paradigm to achieve financial success.

Entrepreneurship in the Philippines is also on the rise. There are even management courses offered to learn the ropes. Franchises from foreign- and local-based companies are also almost affordable. Additionally, the government and a number of NGOs are also helping to jump start entrepreneurship in the Philippines by providing one-stop help in starting a business and microfinancing. The Philippines is also actively promoting the One Town, One Product [OTOP] program to support the proliferation of small-to-medium enterprises [SMEs].


Notes:

Fleming, John (2008). The Life You’ve Been Searching For. Dallas, TX: Success From Home, Vol. 4: 6. (June 2008). pp. 10. back to text: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.

IBM (2006). Global Innovation Outlook 2.0. New York: International Business Machines Corporation, 2006. p. 18. back to text.

Kiyosaki, Robert T. & Lechter, Sharon L. (2000). Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!. Business Plus, April 2000. 207pp. back to text.

Phillips, Ken (2009). Beyond Loyalty: Alternatives to Employment. Melbourne: Australian National University, 18 May 2002. pp. 393-396. back to text.

Pink, Daniel H. (2001). Free Agent Nation: How America’s New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live. New York: Warner Business Books, May 2001. 356pp. back to text.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts herein do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions. Read the full version of self-imposed rules for this blog: A New Year; New Rules. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Comments are moderated to keep the discussion relevant and civil. Readers are responsible for their own statements.

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