We all know the lousy stats -- unemployment still hovers above 8 percent, manufacturing continues to recede, unions are out of fashion, people are underemployed, and the two parties blame each other.
Is there a solution?
You bet, and in fact, it is already in full swing.
What if I told you there was a segment of the economy that is growing at a double-digit clip? Would that surprise you? I know it would surprise the Gloomy Gusses out there who continue to pontificate about how Bad Things Are Out There.
The segment? The Internet, in all of its forms. Whether it's e-commerce, e-business, or e-work, "e" is it.
Consider: According to Forrester Research, "After a healthy 12.6 percent increase to $176.2 billion in 2010, U.S. online retail sales are expected to reach $278.9 billion in 2015."
Or what about this: According to the Global Business Survey from the online e-work leader Elance (a company with which I do some work):
• 73 percent of small businesses are hiring more online contractors in 2012
• 84 percent of states are hiring online contractors provides an edge over competitors
• Respondents predict that 54 percent of their workforce will be online within five years
According to Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance, "These results are further proof that the online workforce is powering the economic recovery and support our prediction that 1 out of every 3 people hired in 2020 will be hired online."
Certainly I have see this in my own work. Whether it is the folks who write to me over at USA TODAY, or people who visit my new site, TheSelfEmployed. What I am increasingly seeing is that a lot of people have realized that the old model of working for a corporation and expecting that company to provide them with benefits has become, for better or worse, fairly outdated.
Instead, people are becoming their own corporations. They are taking their work and life into their own hands and going solo. These are the entrepreneurs, the self-employed, the freelancers, the independent contractors, the small business people. These are the dreamers. These are the doers.
If you have a lousy boss (and I had a few, as have we all), if you are bored at work, if you are out of work, if you have a crappy job, I invite you to join us. Just look at the Elance survey above -- people are hiring solo-preneurs in droves. People are buying stuff online in the billions. Work is out there. Money is out there. Freedom is out there.
Now, is it scary to start your own business? You bet. So start small. Take a reasonable risk, not a crazy risk. Do it at night, or on weekends. But whatever you do, do it. I bet that once you go solo and start your own business, you will never look back. You will make more money, have more fun, create more freedom, and have a great boss.
Self-employment is out there. It is the solution. Join the revolution.