“Go out and start something!” That is what New York Times reporter and best selling author Thomas Friedman is telling the country’s citizens these days as the global economy shows very little sign of recovery.
Never heard of him? Thomas Friedman is widely credited for introducing us to globalization. In his book, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century”, Friedman argues that the days of America being its own economy largely separated from the rest of the world is long gone, never to return. The Internet may be the single biggest driver of globalization as well as the amounts of goods we import and export on a daily basis. On top of that, looking at how world economic events affect the United States investment markets are proof that the economy is a world economy and no longer an American one.
In a recent CNBC interview, Friedman said that for those who are waiting for a giant corporation to move in to their town and hire hundreds or thousands of workers, those days are over. Because businesses are looking to the world to lower labor costs as well as larger companies increasingly using robots for manufacturing, American workers need to be more proactive. They need to “go out and start something”.
The way to solve the employment problem is for more workers who have skills that they used at another job or a hobby that is marketable to start a small business. If you’re a laid off computer programmer, start your own business. If you’re an investor who used to work at a bank, start your own wealth management practice and if you’re an ex plumber, start a small plumbing business. It’s ok to start small but as Friedman says, just start something.
How do you start a business?
First, form an LLC or sole proprietorship. It’s an easy process when you elicit the help of a business registration service. Some services offer these services for well under $100. If you form an LLC, it will protect your family’s assets should something happen to the company.
Second, pound the pavement for new customers. Do some free online advertising, reach out to old contacts, and find those customers. They’re out there and enthusiastic about hiring a good worker.
Last, do an incredible job. Good isn’t good enough. Your work has to be eye catching so those customers will recommend you to others.
Those three steps will get you started but the most important thing to do is to start. Don’t wait any longer. As Friedman says, “start something!” There’s plenty of help out there for you.