06/16/2010 02:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Unemployment Makes Self-Employed a Necessity, Not a Dream


With over 26 million people either unemployed or under-employed, and many not having any real prospects of landing a job, a self-owned business may no longer be an option but a necessity! There seems to be little doubt that unemployment is going to remain high -- quite possibly for years to come. A good part of unemployment is said to be structural in nature with the skills and capabilities of many workers no longer demanded by the market. But lets face it, when the cash register quits ringing, the first jobs to go are those that business owners can't justify.

Threat of extended unemployment may very well force an explosion of self-employed and independent small businesses by disillusioned unemployed who will seek to go out on their own, not as a dream but a necessity. Factory workers are replaced by robots, middle managers forced by executives to do more with fewer people and business owners not willing to hire because of increased taxes, insurance cost and a lack of capital, the outlook for a job growth is dismal.

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and while the self-employment is not for everyone, neither is unemployment. I know because I faced the same situation many years ago, and rather than take unemployment benefits or a job I didn't want, I elected to start my own business.

When you are out of work you look at your options:
1) Take unemployment until jobs return
2) Take a lesser job than you are qualified for or a job you don't want
3) Start your own business

But how do you start your own business when money is already an issue and you have bills to pay? The same way you look for a new job. It's the same problem -- rather than spending money on gas to go on an interview, now you are spending money to sell yourself and your company.

Herein lies the real problem. We as a culture have lost our entrepreneurial drive to sell our products and our services because of free credit and an artificially created economy. Your new business could be a simple service activity in your neighborhood (lawns, painting, tree-trimming), becoming a 1099 contractor, an SEO expert, become part of a multi-level/direct marketing company, or an expert-consultant to the industry you just left. Whatever your new business, understand you will have to learn one skill more than any other -- selling.

Even economists who think unemployment will be high for five or more years believe those numbers will eventually return to normal levels. But ask yourself, what if this time, something's really different? You don't need an economist to explain the simplicity of the situation -- jobs are the primary way that purchasing power gets delivered into the hands of consumers -- consumers without incomes can't drive the economy. That equals no job growth.

Jobs will continue to go overseas until it is no longer cheaper to do so. Technology and automation will speed up replacing traditional jobs. I assure you this will be the longest period of unemployment we have seen in decades and self-employment will become a viable solution not just a dream. Will you work harder than ever before? I guarantee you will. Will you be scared? Absolutely. Will there be money problems? You have them now.

While necessity is the mother of invention, extended unemployment may prove to be the mother of entrepreneurship. If you elect this path you will become the boss, the secretary, the bookkeeper the sales person, the reason it works, and if it fails, the reason it fails. Those that don't want to wait for jobs will start their own businesses and learn everything about selling, as a necessity and a solution, not just as a dream.

Grant Cardone, NY Times Best Selling Author of If Your're Not First, You're Last