It is no secret that the way in which we work and do business has undergone Teutonic shifts in the past generation – from sitting at a desk to working anywhere, anytime (and that’s just for starters), the world of work is always changing these says.
It is no secret that the way in which we work and do business has undergone Teutonic shifts
And it is changing yet again:
Whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not, you are now an entrepreneur. This is true whether you are self-employed, work for a small business, are unemployed, are a middle manager, or are a corporate executive.
Today, we are all entrepreneurs (or better be.)
A little background for context:
Back in the 90s, work was still a fairly traditional experience; generally speaking, folks went into an office, started work around 9, knocked off around 5, and called it a day.
The advent of the Internet age began to change all that of course, starting with e-email. Seemingly overnight, spam became a significant issue and over-crowded inboxes became both the norm and the bane of our existence. Dealing with email meant that we started to work at odd times.
The good news though was that the Internet also leveled the playing field, especially for entrepreneurs:
- First, no longer did small businesses have to look small. Having a great Web presence meant that we could look every bit as big as our biggest competitor. For the first time ever, a small business could – really and affordably – compete with a big business.
- Additionally, this new e-conomy also meant that any small business could be a global business. It used to be that only the East India Trading Companies of the world could conduct business globally, but no longer. The Internet made it so that any business, no matter how small, could find customers and partners all over the world. This too was a radical shift for the better.
More broadly, not long thereafter, the combination of laptops, wireless broadband, and – just maybe – Starbucks, meant that people could work on the go. And work on the go they did. Employers and employees alike seemed to love the freedom that came with being unchained from the desk, mobile, wireless, free.
Little did we know it, but that wireless connection and those fancy new smartphones meant that not only could we work anywhere, anytime, but, too often, we were expected to work anywhere and anytime. (Who expected that? Mostly ourselves, but still.) On vacation with the family? Oh well, I can still check my email, right?
Just because you can work anywhere or any time, it doesn’t mean that you should.
The challenge of being able to work when, where, and how we want is that it puts the onus on each of us to draw a line. Just because you can work anywhere or any time, it doesn’t mean that you should. As such, one of the biggest work issues for people today is that finding the right work-life balance is a real challenge.
One thing you will also notice is that the main reason for these changes in the way we work has been technology. Technology has enabled us to do more, faster, cheaper, and often better. And this, in turn, this has helped fuel an entrepreneurial renaissance, especially in the tech world, but not just there. Today, entrepreneurship is the most desired strategy and attitude in business.
Once upon a time, big business was big. But no longer. Today, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial thinking are where the juice is. Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars of business. And, whether we are talking about Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg, whether it is Shark Tank (ABC) or Silicon Valley (HBO), whether we are looking at the hot new Kickstarter or the latest cool gadget and startup, entrepreneurship is where it’s at now.
What this means for you is that you need to think entrepreneurially too – about your business, your career, your path.
And so that is what we will be looking at next time – how to think like an entrepreneur for fun and profit.