On becoming an individualpreneur…taking control of your career

An individualpreneur is an individual who has a career based upon multiple income streams, part “institutional and traditional,” and part “entrepreneurial and aspirational.” In the past, the source of most individuals’ primary income was institutional from a full-time job in a stable enterprise. However, in the future most individuals will earn income from multiple sources both institutional and entrepreneurial, including full or part-time employment, consulting, freelancing, affiliate marketing, network marketing, and investments.

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The structure of the United States’ economy is changing rapidly. Because of the impact of information, telecommunication, and transportation technologies, the demand for traditional administrative, managerial, professional, and vocational employees is gradually decreasing. This trend can be seen through outsourcing on a global basis, elimination of layers of management, and automation of labor intensive tasks. Increasing government regulation places a burden on the cost of employment, making full-time employees less attractive. The result is a shift to lower income part-time service-oriented jobs.

Higher education in technological areas helps prepare individuals for the changing workplace; however, because of rapid changes in technology, any newly acquired knowledge and skills can quickly become outdated.

Relying on a career based on stable full-time well paying job opportunities is a thing of the past.

In the future, every individual will have to take responsibility for a career with multiple income streams coming from more traditional institutional channels that may vary over time, but also from more entrepreneurially-oriented activities as an individualpreneur.

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The sources of an individualpreneur’s income can include:

  • Employment income – either full-time or part-time, or in combination
  • Self employment income – as a sole proprietor of a small business earning income from the sales of products and/or services, and as an independent contractor earning fees for services rendered
  • Profit distributions from a business that generates income by leveraging the activities of employees
  • Residual income from activities such as commissions from referrals (affiliate and network marketing), rents, and royalties on creative work
  • Investment income from dividends, interest, and capital gains as an investor or limited partner

These sources may be interrelated. For example:

  • Profit distributions from a business as an owner may also include employment income as an officer
  • Profit distributions from a business as a partner or member of a limited liability company may also be subject to self-employment taxes
  • Income from sales of products and/or services associated with a network marketing activities

To be successful as an individualpreneur, it is necessary to have a combination of business development and operational skills, including the ability to:

  • See an opportunity and pursue it by developing markets, products and/or services, processes, and people
  • Lead, and to mentor and coach others
  • Follow, and to be mentored and coached
  • Manage processes
  • Be results-oriented, not just activity-oriented

A successful individualpreneur always has a “Plan B” to allow for contingency from under performing activities or unexpected events. Their Plan B is part of their Personal Business Plan. Also, they follow a people wellness program that:

  • Improves their personal, household, professional, and financial wellness
  • Enhances their personal and professional lives to be happier, healthier, and more vibrant
  • Addresses economic, environmental, health, lifestyle, and social issues that affect the way they live, work, and play

For more information about achieving a plan B through individualpreneurship, or participating in a people wellness program, contact us below:

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How to be your own marketing manager

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Delivering memorable speeches and presentations

The effective delivery of a powerful speech or presentation is just as important as the underlying message. An audience may be convinced or persuaded by a poor presentation if the message is sufficiently compelling. However, an audience is more like to be entertained, informed, convinced, or persuaded if the speaker is likable, engaging, and not annoying or irritating. It is essential for a speaker to be remembered positively if they want to build future relationships with an audience.

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Speeches are given to larger audiences with whom the speaker may not necessarily have a relationship; presentations are given to small audiences where the speaker does or wants to have a relationship.

A successful speech or presentation is a package of words and techniques that deliver entertaining, informative, convincing, or persuasive messages to an audience memorably. Whereas the words must be chosen carefully based upon the wants and needs of the audience, the effectiveness of the delivery is as much based upon physical skills, content organization, and handling of questions and answers.

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Physical skills:

The physical delivery should be on point and time with no distractions.

Establishing eye contact one person at a time creates a two way communication channel that draws the audience in and reduces nervousness:

  • Gives the appearance of control
  • Establishes thought patterns based upon audience responses

Coordinated voice and gestures enforce messages:

  • Vocal projection and animation – changes in speed and tone emphasize points
  • Physical animation – gestures emphasize points and project enthusiasm

Stationary feet project confidence:

  • Establish a central position and posture
  • Use gestures to control nervousness
  • Walk around to the audience or to visual aids

Podiums create a barrier effect and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary:

  • Don’t touch
  • Use big gestures when behind them

Content organization:

Extemporaneous content should describe stories and incidents, either prepared in advance or composed on the spot, that is delivered without a script or notes.

Prepared content should be organized to inspire the audience. Scripts work best for speeches to larger audiences and for formal presentations where precision is essential. Notes should be used as a guide:

  • Collect thoughts by point and then address the audience with eye contact
  • Don’t read verbatim
  • Use pauses to make the points more distinct

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Visual aids support spoken words:

  • Keep simple
  • Visualize the verbal messages
  • Use blanks for pauses
  • Explain the highlights then the details
  • Use up to seven bullet points that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive, with up to seven key words per point

Lighting and music must not distract but can change the mood of the audience:

  • Relax and soothe
  • Stimulate

Questions and answers:

Asking for questions engages the audience. The speaker should clarify when questions will be invited – throughout or at a designated point before the summary and wrap-up. For large audiences, questions can be submitted on cards, but must be treated fairly.

Use questions as an opportunity:

  • Acknowledge the questioner and thank them for their insight
  • Restate the question back the the audience – rephrased to help frame or clarify the original
  • Respond rationally and unemotionally
  • Relate to the material

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A successful speech or presentation is not accident. It requires knowledge of the background and expectations of the audience to whom thoughts have been prepared and translated in words that are delivered memorably.

Delivering memorable speeches and presentations requires understanding the personal styles of the audience.

 

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Using communication styles that entertain, inform, convince, and persuade

Successful entrepreneurs and executives understand the power of effective communications – the ability to entertain, inform, convince, and persuade. Whether for recruiting, job assignments, selling, or mergers and acquisitions, negotiations cannot have a successful outcome unless these four communications styles are used effectively to reach closure.

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Effective communications are essential for building both personal and professional relationships with others. First impressions count so it is important to choose words that others can relate to quickly.

Every industry and function has its jargon. For example, talking to bankers about interest rate sensitivity, to product developers about time-to-market, and to manufacturing enterprises about overhead costs builds rapport. Salespeople prefer words that convey energy and excitement; medical practitioners prefer words that suggest care and well being; accountants and attorneys prefer precise language; and technologists prefer words that convey solutions.

Because people often make decisions on emotion, and then justify them rationally, it is essential to use motivational language. Whereas ultimately that means using persuasive language, the entertaining, informing, and convincing styles are useful for raising emotion.

 

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Successful salespeople claim that it takes multiple interactions with a prospect to make a sale – at least five is not uncommon. Unsuccessful salespeople usually give up before they have reached the threshold required to close. Many interactions are required to build trust, which is based upon communications and the accompanying actions.

Large transactions between enterprises, such as long-term contracts, or mergers and acquisitions may require field trips and site visits over multiple days. These events require discussions and presentations in meetings, and over breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Eventually the parties meet across the table to negotiate the deal. Minimizing the amount of face time with counter parties reduces the risk of something being said that is out of place. So face time should be reserved to those situations where messages can be powerfully transmitted with anticipation and deliberation.

During negotiations, the parties must never be off guard, and all language to entertain, inform, convince, and persuade should be chosen carefully by understanding the needs of the audience and their backgrounds. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what motivates an audience and what it aspires to – their industry and functional backgrounds provide clues.

It is important to understand whether the audience prefers the “analytical” approach (findings followed by conclusions followed by recommendations), or “bottom-line” approach (recommendations based upon conclusions based upon findings). “Process-oriented” people, such as accountants, attorneys, and engineers, usually want to build the case, whereas “people-oriented” people, such as those in entertainment, health care, and sales, usually want to get straight to the point.

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The four communications styles can be used to inspire the audience accordingly:

Entertaining style – appropriate as an “ice breaker” at a formal meeting or presentation:

  • Start with an example of a relevant event or situation, made humorous if possible
  • Describe images of the event or situation in vivid words, using poetic license if appropriate
  • Relate to personal experiences with examples
  • Make a transition to the current event or situation
  • Make relevant points of comparison
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important point

Informative style – appropriate at larger “town hall” style meetings:

  • Start with an example of a relevant event or situation
  • Describe images of the event or situation with vivid words
  • Discuss what the complicated the situation, what the problems were, and how solutions were reached
  • Make a transition to the current event or situation
  • Talk about the presentation – give an overview
  • Discuss complications, problems, and potential or actual solutions
  • Be fact based, using examples where possible based upon observations and experience
  • Summarize key points
  • Talk about the presentation – what it was about
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important point

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Convincing style – appropriate for smaller meetings where the audience needs to be convinced of an idea or condition in order to modify behavior:

  • Start with an example of a relevant event or situation
  • Make a transition to the specific idea or condition
  • Answer the “why?” – initial benefit statement regarding the idea or condition
  • Answer “what is it?” – a summary of the idea or condition
  • Answer “what’s in it for the audience?” – benefits of the idea or condition in detail
  • Describe the rationale of the idea or condition with facts, statistics, and metrics
  • Respond to objections as suggestions
  • Summarize the idea or condition
  • Call to action – describe the behavior modification as a consequence of convincing the audience
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important point

Persuasive style – appropriate for small meetings where the audience needs to be persuaded to do something based upon an opportunity or threat:

  • Start with an example of a relevant opportunity or threat
  • Make a transition to the specific opportunity or threat
  • Answer the “why?” – initial benefit statement regarding the action required to respond to the opportunity or threat
  • Answer the “status” – what is the current situation, and what complicates it
  • Answer “what is it?” – describe the problem
  • Answer “where does the audience want to go?”- describe the alternative solutions
  • Answer “how does the audience get there from here?” – use either the “analytical” approach or the “bottom-line” approach supported by facts, statistics, and metrics
  • Respond to objections as suggestions
  • Confirm the opportunity or threat with the recommendations and the principal benefit
  • Call to action – describe what the audience must do
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important recommendation

Every individual operates within their own world from which they perceive events, situations, ideas, conditions, opportunities, and threats. Their personal style determines what they aspire to and what inspires them. It is important to understand the personal style of each individual member of an audience so as to use a communication style that gets results.

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Serial entrepreneurship, multipreneurship, individualpreneurship, and the self-reliant career

Serial entrepreneurship, multipreneurship, and individualpreneurship are related concepts. Serial entrepreneurship is a practice whereby individuals start mainly upwardly mobile enterprises, and eventually move on to other new ventures when a change occurs. Multipreneurship is a general term used to describe individuals who pursue multiple upwardly entrepreneurial and/or lifestyle business ownership initiatives. The individualpreneurship discipline includes activities for developing and managing multiple sources of income, including employment, entrepreneurship/business ownership, and investing, without losing focus on any. An individualpreneur builds a sustainable self-reliant career by establishing the mindset of behaving as an enterprise.

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A serial entrepreneur is an individual who starts mainly multiple upwardly mobile enterprises and moves on to the next, either when a new management team takes control, or if the enterprise becomes lifestyle in nature. Because serial entrepreneurs have experience with multiple enterprises, they tend to be bigger risk takers than those that have started only one enterprise. As a consequence, their experience better positions them to respond to problems and to avoid failure over time. Many have learned from past mistakes. A serial entrepreneur will typically always work for themselves, and employ others.

A multipreneur is an individual who pursues multiple upwardly mobile and/or lifestyle business activities as a portfolio, either serially or in parallel. These activities can be within one business, such as new product and/or service line extensions, new product and/or service lines, new markets, or new business units; as new related or unrelated businesses; or as varied careers. A multipreneur may move from being self-employed to being employed by others to being self-employed again.

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An individualpreneur is a focused multipreneur. The term “individualpreneur” is derived from the term “individualprise,” which in turn is derived from the term “individual enterprise.” The notion of an individual as an enterprise is based upon the practice of all income sources on an individual’s tax return being actively managed as a portfolio. Thus, individualpreneurship is a “top-down” mindset starting with the summarization of employment, entrepreneurship/business ownership, and investing activities as driven by multipreneurial initiatives. Each multipreneurial activity may be event or opportunity driven.

Multipreneurs (and hence individualpreneurs) include solopreneurs (individuals who work alone), webpreneurs (those doing business primarily on the internet), and can be employed working for others in parallel or between their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Because a married couple can file a joint individual tax return, the notion of individualpreneurship extends to both husband and wife (and their dependents as appropriate). This is notion is consistent with the concept of families pursuing many income generating activities during the agricultural age, such as farming, glassmaking, metalwork (smithy), needlework (weaving), stonework (masonry), and woodwork (carpentry).

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Thinking and behaving as an “individualprise” helps an individual perform better, not only as an entrepreneur/business owner, but also for an employer, especially in an executive capacity. This is because they understand the concepts of income generation and expense, asset, liability, and capital management. They should also have a broader understanding of legal, finance, human resources, information technology, business development, and operations activities. For visionaries in the corporate world, intrapreneurial capabilities are also important for enacting and responding to change.

For many jobs, there is a lifecycle from value-added to commodity work over time. As jobs become commoditized, they are often outsourced to scale providers who perform the tasks at lower cost. Thus, to keep the economy healthy, it is necessary to provide for capital formation in new innovative enterprises that generate new job opportunities as the old jobs erode. Both serial entrepreneurs and multipreneurs who see and pursue multiple opportunities for innovation help keep the economy healthy. Typically for every one innovative job generated by an entrepreneur, there are many infrastructure and support jobs generated, either in the same enterprise, or in related.

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Those seeking employment positions where such a lifecycle exists must recognize that a job search is a marketing campaign just as a business would adopt. Therefore, it must be treated as such by the job hunter if a satisfactory result is to occur. Thinking as an enterprise, the individualpreneur is more likely to achieve a satisfactory result in a job search because they are aware of the need to add value and promote it as such in the marketplace. Individualpreneurs appreciate the benefit of business relationships and networking, and the value of referrals.

Individualpreneurship is a discipline for building an individualprise for a sustainable self-reliant career. Sustainable means being able to continue over time, either by developing, enhancing, or maintaining the current state, or by changing it. Self-reliant means having the confidence to exercise one’s own judgment so as to be able to continue over time in a career – endeavors of achievement in both personal and professional lives.

As a multipreneur, an individual is willing and able to consider new and emerging opportunities as existing ones mature and decline. As an individualpreneur, they focus on those opportunities that offer the best likelihood of sustaining a livelihood over time.

Individualpreneurship embraces the enterpriship disciplines of entrepreneurship, leadership, and management, which apply to every individual in business, whether as an employee, as an entrepreneur/business owner, or as an investor. In the corporate world, leadership and managerial capabilities, and especially the ability to communicate effectively, are essential for advancement through the ranks.

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Changing trends in enterprises, entrepreneurship, and employment

Changes in the structure of trade and commerce suggest that knowing one’s individual competencies is essential for success in both entrepreneurship and employment. All individuals involved in entrepreneurship or seeking employment must understand their strengths and weaknesses so as to be able to take advantage of opportunities in marketplaces and to respond to threats accordingly. This article addresses industrial transformation, industry structure, and challenges for employment in the future.

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Industrial transformation…

Before the industrial revolution, families sustained themselves through farming and other trades and crafts including carpentry, cloth production, and metalwork based upon proximity to sources of materials and supplies. In this context, the term “trade” refers to an occupation. Because such activities could be performed at home, and often augmented farmwork, families flourished in cottage industries. In this system, the family was the enterprise – manufacturing products in a workshop at home. Merchants brought raw materials to homes and would take finished products to markets. Entrepreneurs and agents would “put out” work to these workshops, which were in effect their subcontractors.

Journeymen were craftsmen who had completed apprenticeships, such as in carpentry or metalwork. Journeymen traveled between local communities with the right to charge a fee for a day’s work accordingly. Apprentices were new practitioners who entered programs to receive training for their careers while working.

As the industrial revolution progressed, work was transferred from homes to factories when the required machinery became too large or expensive. Production moved from a decentralized to a centralized system, creating employment opportunities for laborers in factories.

Initially the “put in” system was used, where workers were treated as subcontractors within a factory and eventually became employees. Factory working conditions were often harsh. Labor movements were founded to fight for workers’ rights, from which today’s employment and labor laws have evolved.

As the economy shifted from family to commercial and industrial enterprises, employment opportunities grew. Entrepreneurs provided the innovation to start new enterprises in new or existing markets, with new products and/or services, from which new industries evolved.

Enterprises were established that had an identity in their own right separate from their individual founders and owners. An enterprise is an undertaking for prize or cause. Business entities such as partnerships and joint stock companies emerged over time, and eventually the concept of a corporation was developed – a legal entity that exists separately from its shareholder owners.

Trading took place in marketplaces. In this context, the term “trade” refers to buying and selling. A market is a set of potential buyers (prospects) and/or actual buyers (customers) and potential and/or actual sellers (suppliers) who are motivated to execute transactions. Motivated buyers have the desire, want or need, authority, and resources to demand and purchase a product and/or service. Motivated sellers have the desire, want or need, authority, and inventory to supply and sell a product and/or service. A marketplace is where buyers and sellers can meet to execute transactions. Street marketplaces were common in towns along sidewalks or as squares and covered buildings, and still are popular in many places around the world. Financial transactions were conducted in bourses or exchanges where contracts representing financial instruments were traded by dealers and brokers.

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Through improvements in manufacturing techniques, such as production lines and automation, the scale of units produced increased dramatically. Through improvements in energy, transportation, and telecommunications technologies, reach extended into new geographic markets for acquisition of materials and supplies, and delivery of end-products.

Chains of suppliers of raw materials, manufacturers and distributors, merchandisers (wholesalers and retailers), and end-consumer customers emerged over time. Some enterprises decided whether to make or buy materials and supplies on a case by case basis. Others became “vertically integrated” by owning and controlling most or all aspects of their supply and demand chains to make hand-offs between processes more efficient and effective. Tremendous wealth could be generated for entrepreneurs participating in chains that created value through both sales and production activities.

Governance, administrative, and operational disciplines emerged as enterprises became larger, creating the need for managers, supervisors, and staff. As a consequence, executive, administrative, professional, technical, vocational, and clerical jobs were created. As such enterprises became stable sources of employment. The word “firm” was used to describe them – suggesting the notion of steadfastness. This term is still common today, especially for professional services partnerships such as accounting, architectural, consulting, engineering, and law firms, where trust and integrity are important factors.

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Through acquisition or merger, enterprises can become “horizontally integrated” – offering the same products and/or services in different markets. Through horizontal integration, enterprises can gain economy of scale and become corporate “giants.” The world’s largest enterprises have gained scale by doing the same thing in multiple geographic markets around the world, although offerings may differ slightly through varying customer demographics and local practices.

In many industries, such as construction, energy, financial services, and manufacturing, there are a few very large global players that have grown mainly through acquisitions and mergers, and a large number of very small players that serve local markets almost exclusively. Joint ventures are also common that share risk, resources, and expertise.

Not only did the construction industry contribute to the growth of economies by building infrastructure, but it participated in globalization trends through the development of large enterprises, such as Bechtel, Halliburton, Black & Veatch, and CH2M Hill, that have worldwide reach.

Construction activity flourished with the development of residential, commercial, industrial, and corporate real estate. Through the use of prefabricated and modular buildings, the construction and manufacturing industries became interrelated.

Energy production and manufacturing activities globalized, driven by the aerospace and automotive industries, with such enterprises as Royal Dutch Shell, Honeywell, and Ford. The financial services industry has globalized with such enterprises as Barclays, HSBC, and JP Morgan Chase. Globalization was necessary not only to achieve scale, but also to serve global customer enterprises. Global financial services enterprises may be able to better manage risk than those only serving local geographies through their ability to move resources between and within multiple markets.

The food service and hospitality industries have partially globalized, primarily through franchising, but the merchandising industry is still primarily local, although products may be sourced internationally.

As a consequence, industrialized societies have stabilized through enterprises that create employment from jobs that provide steady income streams for food, housing, health, education, transportation, taxes, and disposable income for entertainment and recreation. In effect, these enterprises finance the lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for many people.

The need for marketing and sales capabilities grew accordingly and media communications vehicles, such as magazines, newspapers, radio, and television, relied upon advertising revenue to cover their costs. Today, many websites rely upon advertising revenue to cover costs, and there is a gradual shift occurring from physical to electronic media of all forms as mobile devices become more popular.

 

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Industry structure…

Today’s economy is structured according to either market-driven or production-driven industries. An industry consists of a group of enterprises that share common activities, products and/or services and/or common methods of distribution.

In the market-driven approach, the economy comprises goods-producing and service-providing industries; in the production-driven approach, the economy comprises product-driven and service-driven industries. Goods-producing industries include: natural resources and mining, construction, and manufacturing; service-providing industries include: wholesale and retail trade, transportation (and warehousing), utilities, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and public administration. Product-driven industries comprise enterprises that manage inventories available for sale as primary activities (regardless of whether they transform them or not). Under this approach, the retail, wholesale, and food service industries are product-driven.

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“Commerce” is a more general term than “trade,” that refers to the buying and selling of commodities, merchandise, and services, and the associated warehousing, distribution, and transportation. Commodities are products that are indistinguishable and interchangeable with other products of the same type because there is little to no value added. Commodities include natural products such as produce, minerals, and oils. Merchandise consists of commodities and manufactured products for retail sale to consumers.

Consumers are users of products and/or services – both individuals and enterprises. Enterprise consumers are either entrepreneurial (in emerging or growth stages) or institutional (in growth or mature stages), and consist of sole proprietors, partnerships, limited liability companies, or corporations. Sole proprietors are natural persons, whereas partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations are juristic persons, meaning that they are non-human (business) entities having the same status as a natural person for legal purposes. Juristic persons may be considered separate from their partners, members, or shareholders, for legal purposes, although the distinction is not necessarily absolute. Juristic persons may enter into contracts, own assets, incur liabilities, and sue and be sued.

Commercial enterprises are involved in light manufacturing, merchandising, retail, and professional services. They are small to medium sized enterprises, located on Main Street, in shopping centers and malls, and in office parks. Commercial enterprises are typically narrowly held.

Industrial enterprises are involved in heavy and high volume manufacturing and related industries, such as in chemicals and energy. They are medium to large sized enterprises located in dedicated facilities, such as factories and refineries and are typically more widely held.

Corporate enterprises are large service providers in finance, entertainment, health care, and transportation, and include the administrative activities of industrial concerns. Corporate enterprises are typically widely held.

Commercial enterprises are major sources of employment in local communities for entry to mid-level positions. Industrial and corporate enterprises employ both unskilled and skilled employees, and are providers of professional career opportunities.

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From a governmental policy perspective, employment provides stability in the economy. An activity that is repetitious provides an opportunity for steady employment, such as food processing and service, and manufacturing in growth industries. Entrepreneurial and sales activities are more prone to uncertainty; in order to promote stability, the compensation of salespeople is incentivised to encourage results on an ongoing basis.

Government policy has also encouraged home ownership, which strengthens stability. For most people, their job provides their largest source of income, and their house is their largest asset; their mortgage and related expenses are a significant component of their monthly compensation. Home value appreciation is a creator of wealth for many families. However, the home as an asset can become a liability if it prevents the owner from relocating to a different geography to pursue new opportunities. In down markets, home values can depreciate to a point lower than the mortgages that finance them – a stressful and sometimes irrecoverable situation.

Challenges for employment in the future…

As industries mature and reposition, restructure, and reengineer as a consequence of changing buyer trends or competition, employment opportunities may erode, and current positions may be eliminated. Reengineering initiatives can lead to a strategic repositioning of an enterprise by changing its activities, pursing different methods of performing the same activity, or streamlining current activities to reduce costs. The application of technology can play a major role by creating jobs in new areas and eliminating them in others. Globalization trends have changed the cost structure of certain activities by outsourcing to providers who offer economy of scale, or to low cost production markets such third-world countries.

The consequence is that job markets have changed dramatically, and that old assumptions for employment have become invalid. The notion of working for one employer for forty plus years is no longer possible because industries, enterprises, and types of employment change quickly.

Even the methods for finding a job have changed. It’s not what you know, or who you know, but who knows you that matters. Finding a job is an individual marketing initiative, and many people do not have experience in promoting products and/or services, let alone themselves. However, if individuals cannot promote themselves, how can they promote anything else? It is essential to launch an individual marketing campaign and to keep it refresh an alive in order to find a job in today’s economy.

A marketing campaign for an individual begins in the same way as for an enterprise: by developing a strategy that addresses opportunities, threats, strengths, and weaknesses, and by setting objectives, goals, and specific action-oriented initiatives.

The process starts by an individual understanding the power of their own knowledge and skills – the personal, professional, technical, entrepreneurial, leadership, and management competencies that others will want to know and benefit from.

Effective personal and professional competencies are essential for gaining entry level positions in enterprises, and the initial promotions thereafter. However, the enterpriship competencies in entrepreneurship, leadership, and management disciplines determine long-term success from transforming ideas into value, influencing others to follow direction through influence, and applying resources to activities to gain results in both entrepreneurial and employment activities.

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Achieving Plan B through individualpreneurship – the notion of the individual as an enterprise

Individualpreneurship is an activity whereby an individual (the individualpreneur) behaves as an enterprise in their own right, and as such builds the individualprise. In effect, the individualpreneur is in business for themself. Whereas solopreneurs are independent professionals, individualpreneurs can have multiple businesses and can employ others. The individualpreneur develops multiple income streams from many sources. Thus the individualpreneur is better hedged against uncertain economic, regulatory, and social conditions than those individuals who rely primarily on one source of income.

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What is entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is a competency (set of knowledge, skills, and activities) required to start, develop, and assume risk for an enterprise. An entrepreneur is an individual who organizes, operates, and assumes risk for an enterprise with the intention of transforming innovative ideas in products and/or services for a profit.

An enterprise is an undertaking for a prize or cause. It is a group of activities intended to produce income organized for:

  • Profit as a business of any size and type: unincorporated or incorporated; one or many entities, of which one is designated as the “holding entity” in a multi-entity structure; and such that one enterprise can incubate another
  • A not-for-profit association, such as a membership group, public charity, or a private foundation
  • A government agency

When an enterprise is referred to as an entity, the reference is specifically to the holding entity, unless otherwise specified. The term “not-for-profit” is generic; the term “non-profit” means an entity that has been approved by a taxing authority as being exempt from income tax. “Not-for-profit” does not mean “not-for-revenue.”

As a discipline, a business delivers products and/or services to a customer for a profit. As an entity, a business can be:

  • Sole proprietorship (individual)
  • Partnership (pass-through to individuals): general, limited, or limited liability
  • Limited liability company (pass-through to one or more individuals as a partnership or as an equivalent to a “subchapter S” corporation)
  • Corporation: general with directors appointed by shareholder investors, and officers appointed by directors (“subchapter C”), pass-through to one or more shareholder investor individuals who may also be directors and officers (“subchapter S”), professional (pass-through to one or more individuals), or foreign

An upwardly mobile enterprise is a small-to-large enterprise focused on large market dominance (share being either industry-wide or in niches) with local-to-global aspiration in both traditional and non-traditional industries. It has growth potential from highly innovative people, processes, and products and/or services, and/or duplication of a business system. It is financed by founders and/or third-party investors (closely or widely-held) seeking capital appreciation, and potentially cash flow from dividends and/or interest, with medium to high risk.

An upwardly mobile enterprise may be founded by one or more entrepreneurs, who either become part of a larger management team as new investors come on board, leave to form another venture as serial entrepreneurs, or retire.

Upwardly mobile enterprises are the heart of Wall Street.

A lifestyle business enterprise owner operates an enterprise in a local community, and may also be the founding entrepreneur:

  • Either as an active owner-manager, making a living from its activities for their own lifestyle
  • Or as a passive owner-manager, with an active management team in place

Lifestyle business enterprises are the heart of Main Street.

A lifestyle business enterprise owner can be a sole proprietor, partner, member (and usually also a manager) of a limited liability company, or a shareholder investor in a corporation (and usually also a director and an officer).

An employee is an individual who provides services in exchange for compensation under an explicit or implicit contract for hire, whereby the employer (hirer) has the right to control what work is performed and how. An independent contractor is self-employed; the hirer has the right to control only the result of the work, and not how it is performed.

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What is individualpreneurship?

Individualpreneurship is a mindset for thinking about oneself as an enterprise, actively developing and managing multiple sources of income, and without being highly dependent upon any if possible.

Sources of an individualpreneur’s income include:

  • Employment
  • Entrepreneurship/business ownership
  • Investing

The individualprise represents the aggregation of all sources of an individual’s income. Gross income results from wages from employment, and from both revenues (commissions, dividends, fees, interest, rents, royalties, and sales) and from capital gains from both entrepreneurship/business ownership and investing activities. Net income (profit) results from gross income less the cost of revenue and the expenses required to generate it. The cash flow generated from net income generates wealth, which can be used for investing activities and supporting a personal lifestyle.

The broadest definition of wages includes all remuneration or compensation paid for services rendered by an employee, whether in cash or in other media including bonuses, commissions, and gratuities, based on piece, task, or time.

The need to develop and manage multiple sources of income arises from increasing uncertainty about economic, regulatory, and social trends.

For many individuals, the primary source of income is remuneration from employment, and the largest asset is their home (which is not income producing). Employment is an active form of income – in effect employees exchange time for money. However, the best forms of income are those that are residual and passive.

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Residual income results from an initial transaction at some time in the past for which an ongoing cash flow is received; passive income results from transactions where the individualpreneur is not actively involved.

Examples of residual income include enrolling members in systems where downstream commissions can be earned; selling items, such as subscriptions that are automatically renewable, or consumables where the ordering is processed by third-parties; and affiliate programs based upon referrals.

Examples of individualpreneurship activities include:

  • Having a full-time job
  • Having one or more part-time jobs
  • Being a trader on online auction sites
  • Being a trader in securities
  • Being a part-time real estate agent
  • Starting an upwardly mobile business
  • Owning a lifestyle business, such as a restaurant or a retailer
  • Owning a network marketing business
  • Managing a real estate investment portfolio
  • Managing a securities investment portfolio
  • Operating affiliated lead generation websites

The rise and fall of employment opportunities

Prior to the industrial revolution, families were in effect enterprises. Augmenting farm work with other trades and crafts, families flourished in cottage industries working from home, effectively as a group of individualpreneurs. Merchants brought raw materials to homes and would take finished products to markets. Entrepreneurs would “put out” work to families, who were in effect their subcontractors.

As the industrial revolution progressed, work was transferred form homes to factories when the required machinery became too large or expensive. Initially, the “put in” system was used whereby workers in a factory were treated as subcontractors, and eventually became employees. Labor movements were founded to fight for workers’ rights, from which today’s employment and labor laws have evolved.

As the economy shifted from family to commercial and industrial enterprises, employment opportunities grew. Workers could expect long-term employment opportunities as manufacturing demand increased. Through improvements in manufacturing techniques, such as production lines and automation, the scale of units produced increased dramatically.

Through improvements in energy, transportation, and telecommunications technologies, reach extended into new geographic markets for acquisition of materials and supplies, and delivery of end-products.

However, recent globalization trends have changed the cost structure of certain activities through outsourcing to providers who offer economy of scale, or to lower cost production markets. As a consequence of information and process control technologies, work has shifted from manufacturing to knowledge-based services. Technology can play a major role by creating jobs in new areas and eliminating them in others.

Enterprises have been impacted dramatically by these trends. For example, “big box” and online stores have had an impact on retailers on “Main Street” – but the savvy ones offer specialty products coupled with exceptional service. Even the local coffee shop is impacted by the price of green beans in global markets. Many manufacturers have downsized through strategic sourcing of components to scale providers, and in the construction industry, general contractors take advantage of prefabricated assemblies. As industries shift from manufacturing to knowledge-based, a major differentiator is marketing capability. Marketing capability requires understanding customer needs and wants, and responding with products and/or services designed for niche or mass markets, regardless of where the components are made.

The consequence is that job markets are dramatically changing, and that old assumptions for employment have become invalid. The notion of working for one employer for forty plus years is no longer possible because technology is changing the structure of industries and the nature of employment. Downsizing has become common, and it is a challenge for the education system to keep up with changing trends in the knowledge, skills, and technical requirements for jobs in emerging enterprises and industries.

The increase in consumer debt coupled with unstable employment opportunities has created stress for many individuals and their families, especially for those who are unemployed, face foreclosure on their homes, or even bankruptcy.

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What is “Plan B?”

The term “Plan B” is used to describe an alternative course of action in case the preferred or primary “Plan A” fails. For many individuals, Plan A is a combination of a good education leading to a well-paying job. This form of Plan A stresses individual achievement through successes in education and employment – failures are usually downplayed. However, changing trends in employment put pressure on most individuals’ Plan A, who may face downsizing or even their employer going out of business.

For others, Plan A is a combination of entrepreneurship and business ownership. This form of Plan A can result in failure. However, ultimate success in entrepreneurship and business ownership is often achieved by learning from mistakes and failures over time, and by building teams. Plan A for entrepreneurs and business owners may change from time to time as their ventures change. Eventually, many entrepreneurs and business owners finally get it right as lessons from past failures lead to successes. Many entrepreneurs and business owners become investors in other enterprises with a sense of “wanting to put back,” and often with a higher tolerance for risk than those who have, in effect, earned income in exchange for time.

The uncertainty of the economy, regulation, and social trends as evidenced by downsizing, high consumer debt, government debt and unbalanced budgets, and high unemployment has created the need for all individuals to have a strong “Plan B.”

An effective Plan B begins with the notion of an individual behaving as an enterprise in their own right – the individualprise. Whereas Plan A may provide a primary source of income, developing a Plan B means understanding opportunities for earning multiple sources of income and allocating time efficiently by prioritizing on the best. Executing a Plan B may allow an individual to keep their primary form of employment, but work on other income producing activities, such as part-time employment, home-based businesses (sometimes described as micro-enterprises), or investing in real estate and/or securities.

The income statement of the individualprise is the tax return – after all, if the an individual has multiple strong streams of income, taxes are likely to be an important consideration.

The basis structure of the Individual Tax Return (IRS Form 1040) applicable to both Plan A and B activities includes:

  • Wages
  • Interest (Schedule B)
  • Dividends (Schedule B)
  • Business income from sole proprietorships (Schedule C)
  • Capital gains (Schedule D)
  • Supplemental income from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, and subchapter S corporations (Schedule E)

150222.ups.3.bannerThe tax return offers clues as to opportunities for alternative sources of income; however, it is useful to separate the type of income from the forms of business, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations.

Types of income include:

  • Wages – all forms of compensation for full or part-time employment
  • Interest on investments
  • Dividends on investments
  • Capital gains on investments
  • Net income from active revenue generation such as commissions, fees, rents, royalties, and sales less expenses
  • Net income from passive revenue generation activities – primarily real estate rents and royalties less expenses

Types of business forms include:

  • Sole proprietorship and single member limited liability company – an individual that sells products and/or renders services, including as an independent contractor to hirers
  • Partnership or limited liability company – where an individual is a partner or member in an enterprise that shares profits, losses, and capital with others – the individual may be a general partner or member-manager, or a limited partner or member; a single member limited liability company is considered to be a disregarded entity
  • Subchapter S corporation – where an individual is a shareholder investor in a corporation that passes its profits and losses through to its shareholders – the individual also may be a director and/or an officer, and as such earns wages as an employee in addition to receiving dividends
  • Subchapter C corporation – where an individual is a shareholder investor in a corporation that is taxed separately from its shareholders, but may pay tax on the dividends received (thus is subject to double taxation) – the individual may also be an employee, and as such earns wages in addition to receiving dividends

Only individuals and corporations are legal entities, and as such, corporations have separate rights and privileges from their shareholder investors. Individuals are natural persons. However, a juristic person is a group of natural persons behaving as if they are a single group, such as in a partnership, a limited liability company, or an association. A company is a group of individuals that make up an enterprise regardless of business or legal form.

Entrepreneurs may start enterprises in any business form, but lenders and investors may require a specific form, and may place personal guarantees in individuals for contingent liabilities. Venture capital and investment firms may place specific requirements on business forms and management structure, such as being a Delaware subchapter C corporation. Thus a founding entrepreneur could become a shareholder investor in an enterprise that they are no longer in control of if an investor group brings in its own management team. Delaware is the preferred choice for incorporation for many investors because of its well established corporate laws.

Although self-employed individuals are treated as business owners through sole proprietorships, single member limited liability companies, and single shareholder corporations, they are unable to leverage their time unless they can delegate to trustworthy employees, or earn residual and/or passive income.

Individuals who are sole proprietors, partners, and members in limited liability companies are subject to self-employment taxes, and shareholder investors who are officers in subchapter S corporations are subject to employment taxes.

Achieving “Plan B”

There are many ways to develop and achieve a Plan B that has multiple income streams, and it is possible that one component may become the new Plan A eventually. Some opportunities result from converting a hobby into an income producing activity, whereas others result from leveraging professional qualifications and experience.

Examples of income producing activities include:

  • Part-time employment
  • Establishing a home-based business on a part-time basis, that has the potential to become full-time (lifestyle to upwardly mobile)
  • Earning fees and commissions from referrals through affiliate marketing relationships
  • Earning royalties and fees through writing and speaking engagements
  • Investing in real estate for rental income and capital gains
  • Investing in securities for interest and dividend income and capital gains

Businesses that require separate physical premises, inventories, and employees should be avoided as a Plan B because of the high overhead of carrying costs, insurance, payroll, risk of theft, and governance. Whereas the notion of owning a restaurant can be a dream to many, all too often such an enterprise becomes nothing but a nightmare.

Home-based businesses can take many forms such as buying and selling products on the internet or providing professional services on a part-time basis. It is important to note that home-based businesses are subject to licensing and zoning laws and regulations, and may be subject to property, sales, and use taxes, in addition to income tax.

Any form of revenue generating activity requires business development and marketing capability to create awareness and build relationships. The degree of selling experience necessary is a function of the type of business. These activities can be routinized through duplicable, predictable, and measurable processes that can be learned over time.

Some investing activities may require active trading to ensure that capital gains can be properly realized in up markets, and to prevent losses in down markets.

The best form of income is both residual and passive, whereby ongoing cash flow results from activity that occurred in the past, and for which little or no management activities are required in the present.

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An effective way to achieve a blend of residual and passive income is through a combination of sources from membership systems and investing activities as follows by:

  • Enrolling customers in membership systems where commissions are earned from ongoing sales of consumables, for which the ordering and distribution is handled by third-parties – this activity generates residual gross income
  • Investing the residual income in an investment portfolio that diversifies risk, and generates cash flow from interest and dividends – this activity generates residual gross income; the income is passive if the portfolio does not require active management through trading

Note: investing in real estate may generate residual income from rents; however active management may be required for finding tenants, negotiating leases, collecting rents, paying expenses such as utilities, and performing maintenance and repairs; investing in securities may require some trading to hedge from risk, and to take advantage of capital gains.

A shorter-term objective of Plan B is provide a hedge against Plan A as an alternative. A longer-term objective of Plan B is to gain financial independence – the state of having sufficient wealth to cover expenses required by a certain lifestyle. Wealth is achieved by having sufficient income producing assets and activities to generate a gross income that exceeds all professional, physical, and personal expenses required by that lifestyle. Wealth is a source of capital for future investment. It is usually advisable to eliminate debt in the quest to achieve financial independence.

 

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
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Individualpreneurship – the discipline of the individual entrepreneur as an enterprise

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Individualpreneurship is an activity whereby an individual (the “individualpreneur”) behaves as an enterprise in their own right, and is fully responsible for both professional and personal income generation and expense management. The individualprise is the notion of an individual as an enterprise through multiple income streams from employment, entrepreneurship/business ownership, and investing activities.

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Individualpreneurship is not a new concept; it has its roots in agricultural societies where individuals and families worked the land and had other forms of income from crafts such as ironwork, needlework, and woodwork that became cottage industries in their own right. These individuals and families as individualpreneurs had multiple sources of income that provided hedges against poor harvests, and for the changing wants and needs associated with supply and demand of materials and supplies, labor, and products and/or services.

Entrepreneurs would “put out” work to individualpreneurs who were, in effect, independent contractors. In the shift from the agricultural age to the industrial age, operational work became centralized in factories and later, administrative work became centralized in offices. Practices were established over time, often with the involvement of unions, that have become regulated through labor and employment, health and welfare, immigration, and taxation laws and regulations at both the Federal and state levels. Such practices turned the notion job creation into a complex activity subject to a multitude of laws and regulations with risk of litigation and penalties for non-compliance.

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In the peak of the industrial age, one could expect to be employed by a single employer for many years, if not for an entire career, and earn many benefits as a consequence thereof aimed at retaining quality and/or loyal people. The cost of benefits, employment and unemployment taxes, and workers compensation insurance have to be added to the direct labor rate to determine the fully loaded rate. The labor rate becomes fully burdened when overhead costs such as equipment, facilities, supervision, supplies and utilities are added to the fully loaded rate. Fully burdened costs can easily be twenty to thirty percent more than the direct labor rate.

Some work may be performed by independent contractors, who are usually responsible for paying their own benefits, taxes, and insurance. However, strict rules apply as to whom can be classified as such. In general, the hirer of an independent contractor can control only the result of what gets done, but not how, when, or where. Many industries such as insurance, mortgage origination, real estate, and travel use independent contractors as agents to generate sales.

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In the shift from the industrial to the information age, the impact of information, process, telecommunications, and transportation technologies has had a profound effect on the workplace, and has enabled globalization. The impact is across the board in entrepreneurial, leadership, and management (enterpriship) disciplines, and administrative and operational activities such finance, human resources, marketing and sales, manufacturing and distribution, and merchandising.

Globalization enables work to be strategically sourced to best-in-class or scale (low-cost) providers for each output and related activities in the value chain. Taken to an extreme, it is possible to outsource everything except strategy formulation (planning and policy development, and performance measurement) and strategic marketing activities. Information technology reduces analytical activities, and process technology reduces operational activities. Naturally outsourcing becomes popular when fully burdened rates, including telecommunications and transportation costs, are lower from third-party providers than in-house, and/or when there is less risk, especially with respect to litigation. However, there are negative consequences to local economies when employers eliminate large numbers of jobs through outsourcing. Therefore, the community costs and benefits should be considered in an outsourcing decision.

The effect of technology, and the consequential globalization, is that the need for professional staff and vocational labor in domestic employers is reduced, and in some cases quite dramatically. The traditional assumptions regarding employment in fully vertically integrated enterprises that historically performed all activities “in-house” erode. Thus many individuals find it hard to enter or remain in the traditional workplace, especially when cost and quality gaps exist between employers and with third-party outsourced providers who perform work cheaper at the same standards.

In retailing, the large “big box” stores will continue to provide scale for commodity products and/or services at discount prices, thus placing pressure on their suppliers to keep costs low. Specialty stores and boutiques will continue to provide value-added and higher quality products and/or services at premium prices. Manufacturers of new specialized personal products and/services, such as nutraceuticals, are more likely to establish networks of independent marketing representatives and sales agents, leveraging the internet where possible, than employ traditional brick and mortar wholesale and retail facilities to keep distribution costs low.

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As a consequence, a newer kind of entrepreneur is emerging – the individualpreneur – an adaptation of the concept from the agricultural age. The individualpreneur has multiple streams of income from employment and/or entrepreneurship/business ownership and investing activities. The individualpreneur has to take full responsibility for their livelihood through these activities. For example, an individualpreneur may be an employee on either a full-time or part-time basis for one or more enterprises, and/or be an entrepreneur in the emerging and growth stages of an upwardly mobile enterprise, and/or be a lifestyle business enterprise owner, and/or an independent contractor in such disciplines as affiliate marketing, consulting, freelancing, and network marketing. An individualpreneur may retain employees and independent contractors in their own right for upwardly entrepreneurial and lifestyle business ownership activities, while working alone as a solopreneur and/or a webpreneur on the internet.

 

 

The notion of individualpreneurship arises when traditional employment opportunities erode but there is an opportunity for an individual to provide value-added services, or because an individual wishes to pursue an entrepreneurial activity that may not be fully sustainable in its own right.

Examples of individualpreneurial activities include working part-time for an employer while operating a retail business or restaurant; working full-time for an employer while building a network marketing business; and providing freelance technology services while performing affiliate marketing activities and selling articles, books, and seminars on the internet.

Individualpreneurship is particularly relevant for young less experienced people who are entering the workplace for the first time, and for older people who are perceived as being inefficient, too expensive, and out-of-touch with their younger peers in the marketplace. However, older people may have years of functional knowledge and technical skills expertise that is of value to emerging, growth, and mature enterprises, and can be leveraged on a consulting basis without the burden of employment costs.

Individualpreneurship is a discipline that anybody who is unemployed or under-employed can pursue if they have the passion or the need; usually opportunity is just beyond their comfort zone.

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The notion of individualpreneurship changes assumptions regarding benefits, insurance, and taxes, especially when individualpreneurs become service providers to prior employers as independent contractors. Hence, governments are likely to increase their enforcement of labor and employment and taxation laws as individualpreneurship, and especially independent contracting, becomes more common. However, with technology rapidly changing the paradigms of products and/or services and infrastructures, the life expectancy for particular types of job can be relatively short compared to the past.

As the economy continues to globalize and technology becomes more ubiquitous, more individuals will be faced with the need to develop their individualpreneurship knowledge and skills in order to be able to promote themselves in competitive marketplaces for both employment and products and/or services. In effect, this means understanding enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) disciplines, understanding personal styles, and being able to balance both professional and personal activities.

 

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
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Why Individualpreneurship?


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The individualpreneurship discipline and the notion of an individual as an enterprise must be of interest to anybody who wants to:

  • Advance as an employee into a leadership and/or managerial capacity
  • Be self-employed as an independent contractor or freelancer
  • Be an entrepreneur/business owner by transforming innovative ideas into value by starting and operating an upwardly mobile enterprise that is focused on capturing large markets, or a lifestyle enterprise in local communities, such as a restaurant or a retail business
  • Manage their own investments

Individualpreneurship is a mindset for income generation for the fully-employed, self-employed, under-employed, and unemployed, whether working for somebody else, for themselves as sole-practitioners, while planning the next ventures, or just in-between opportunities. Opportunity is just beyond an individual’s comfort zone, and the individualpreneurship discipline provides the framework for capturing it.

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Individualpreneurship has its roots in the agricultural age when individuals and families had multiple streams of income from such activities as farming, metalwork, needlework, and woodwork. During the industrial age, the notion of full-time employment became the norm for many people in managerial, staff, and labor capacities. Labor and employment, immigration, and taxation laws, regulations, and practices were established to encourage academic and vocational education as the basis for career opportunities in stable jobs. These practices were extended to encourage home ownership by providing income tax breaks on mortgage financing and property taxes to stabilize the economy as a whole. The information age has changed many of the prior assumptions. Globalization is enabled through improved telecommunications and transportation technologies, and jobs have been eliminated through improved information and process control technologies, impacting managers, staff, and labor. The result is that the economy has become less stable over time.

In a global marketplace with differing laws, regulations, and practices in various jurisdictions, new markets can open for revenue for both existing and new products and/or services, and new sources can open for cheaper materials, supplies, assemblies, and finished products and services at the same or higher quality. As a consequence, off-shore outsourcing has become commonplace. Job markets have changed in the United States, with more emphasis on service delivery and “knowledge work” than manual labor than in prior generations. Knowledge work opportunities exist in many industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and professional services. Knowledge workers can perform planning, analysis, and design activities electronically, and transmit results to operations facilities around the world, such as construction sites and factories for fabrication and assembly. However, workers in foreign markets can develop the same knowledge and skills at potentially lower cost in many cases.

Globalization leads to consolidation of large enterprises between and within mass markets to create economy of scale through increased effectiveness and efficiency. Hence, over time there will be fewer large enterprises on a global basis. However, specialized boutiques continue to provide value-added products and/or services in market niches, with higher qualified workers. As a consequence, in the United States, markets are changing to more knowledge-based jobs, less manufacturing jobs, and more lower-paid service jobs over time. Both domestic and foreign outsourcing is becoming commonplace for commodity products and/or services to providers who achieve economy of scale by serving many customers in essentially the same way. The result is that many individuals who were previously fully-employed are becoming under-employed, or even unemployed.

However, information technology has made it easier for individuals to develop their own “nonemployee” businesses as solopreneurs such as offering professional services and marketing products and/or services of their own or others. Many solopreneurs work from home. Many individuals are becoming webpreneurs by marketing and selling products and/services over the internet with solely a virtual presence. Solopreneurs can be sole proprietors of their own lifestyle enterprises and/or independent contractors to others (as permitted by law). Over time, solopreneurs may add employees, thus becoming more traditional business enterprise owners if demand requires the additional labor.

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The trend towards a few large global enterprises and millions of webpreneurs was first identified by futurist Frank Feather at the beginning of the 21st century. Frank is also responsible for the phase, “thinking globally, acting locally.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 21.1 million nonemployer businesses in 2009. Nonemployer businesses have annual receipts of $1,000 or more across 450 industries, except in the construction industry, which includes receipts of $1 or more. Most nonemployers are self-employed and operate businesses that may or may not be their primary source of income. Of the 21.1 million businesses, 18.7 million were sole proprietorships, 1 million were partnerships, and 1.4 million were corporations. In 2009, these businesses generated $838 billion in receipts. In 2007, the number of nonemployee businesses peaked at 21.7 million and generated $992 billion in receipts. There were 6.0 million employee businesses, with $29.7 trillion in receipts, 121 million paid employees, and an annual payroll of $5.0 trillion. Less than 1,000 businesses had more than 10,000 employees.

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For entrepreneurs starting businesses as providers of new products and/or services, developing networks of independent but affiliated solopreneurs as marketing representatives may be a more effective way of building market share than traditional wholesale and retail distribution channels. The use of social media for electronic “word-of-mouth” marketing in conjunction with personal websites, webinars, and online ordering makes the use of webpreneurs as independent marketing representatives extremely attractive. These representatives earn commissions from sales and referral fees. If the product and/or service providers perform the bulk of the administration, the representatives can concentrate their efforts on marketing. The use of smartphones and tablets for email, phone, and text messaging in conjunction with personal websites, social media websites, and provider websites, increases the effectiveness of webpreneurs. However, no technology will replace the benefits of personal relationships and face-to-face communication. Marketing representatives may struggle at first as they learn new skills such as the art of persuasion, especially if they had been previously employed in administrative or operations capacities in the “corporate” world. However, being both “high-tech” and “high-touch” helps promote business opportunities.

The restructuring of markets and opportunities in the information age leads to the individualpreneurship discipline and the notion of an individual as an enterprise with multiple sources of income including:

  • Wages – all forms of compensation for full and/or part-time employment, or combinations of both (including as a founder in a “C” corporation)
  • Interest on investments
  • Dividends on investments (including as a founder in a “C” corporation)
  • Capital gains on investments
  • Net income as an entrepreneur/business owner from active revenue generation activities, such as commissions, fees, rents, royalties, and sales less expenses
  • Net income as an investor from passive revenue generation activities, such as real estate rents and/or royalties less expenses

Under employment and taxation laws, entrepreneurs/business owners can fall into one of three categories:

  • Founder employee of a “C” Corporation
  • Shareholder/officer employee of an “S” corporation (self-employed in mindset, but employed for tax purposes) receiving cash flows consisting of salary and capital distributions
  • Self-employed as a sole proprietor of a lifestyle business enterprise and/or as an independent contractor, as a partner in a partnership, or member in a limited liability company

Establishing the individualpreneurship mindset enables an individual to exert more control over all of their income generating activities, whether fully-employed, self-employed, under-employed, or unemployed.

The individualpreneurship discipline embraces the enterpriship disciplines of entrepreneurship, leadership, and management, which apply to every individual in business, whether fully-employed or not.

 

Understanding enterpriship disciplines is extremely important for success as an employee, as an entrepreneur/business owner, and as an investor. In the corporate world, leadership and managerial capabilities are essential
for advancement through the ranks.

In effect, individualpreneurship is a discipline for building an individual enterprise for a sustainable self-reliant career; that means having the confidence to exercise one’s own judgment so as to be able to continue over time in endeavors of achievement in both personal and professional lives.

 

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
The notions are promoted by its affiliate, TechKnowPartners, LLC.

Subscribe to the Enterpriship mailing list for information on entrepreneurship, leadership, and management of business and not-for-profit enterprises
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