Forbes.com: ‘Exploding Freelance Economy’ in 2014

135168824_a23f67c327_sAre you a freelancer? I am, for the most part. This could be, or should be, good news.

According to a Forbes.com article by Jeff Wald, the freelance economy is “exploding.” All types of freelance work, by the way, not writing in particular. But there’s a definite trend in the United States: more work is shifting away from hired staff.

Wald’s report opened:

In 2013, the freelance economy continued to dominate the discussion about the way we work. One in three Americans (roughly 42 million) are estimated to be freelancers. By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the fulltime workforce. Independent work is becoming more common across all generations and the vast majority plan to remain independent in the coming year.

Wald went on to offer a few predictions for 2014. Among them, small- and medium-sized businesses are expected to lead the way in relying on freelancers and work is becoming more mobile.

For many people, freelancing or contract work used to be a temporary arrangement while in between jobs. Now it’s becoming a permanent way of work and life.

H/T: Jim Flowers

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Out to Lunch: Jim Flowers, VT KnowledgeWorks

This is the first “Out to Lunch,” which I hope will become a series.

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Jim Flowers.
Jim Flowers is the Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, “a regional business acceleration center serving technology-based enterprises at all stages of the corporate lifecycle.”

I met Jim several years ago after he arrived in Blacksburg. Our first get-together was for coffee at Starbucks on the main drag in Blacksburg. A few years later we had lunch at Panera in Christiansburg. On Tuesday, Jim drove all the way to Floyd (my town) and ate lunch with me at The Country Store. (Jim had a grilled cheese sandwich. I ate beans and rice.)

What brought Jim to Floyd?

We’d gotten together at three-year intervals, so I guess we were due. But there was a more compelling reason. Jim has taken a shine to golf. He is a 70-year-old beginner. The “geezer golfer” (his term) wanted to pick my brain.

I had a list of advice for beginners ready to go, but I learned during our lunch conversation that he already had a lot of the basics figured out. I was impressed. I did recommend a book, Extraordinary Golf: The Art of the Possible by Fred Shoemaker.

I guess I’ll see Jim again in 2016. Maybe sooner.

Coffee, Flowers and Moxie

Friday is a good day to meet someone for coffee. And by spending a few dollars at a Blacksburg, Virginia, coffee shop, I did a small bit to help the struggling economy.

The person I met — Jim Flowers — is also doing his part to help companies and the wider economy.

Continue reading “Coffee, Flowers and Moxie”