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The Gig Economy

Today's Start Something, Columbia! radio show on 100.7 The Point featured three super stories about The Gig Economy and a ton of hot links.

Here are the Show Notes:

April 17, 2018

Theme for the day: The Gig Economy

Gig Economy workers represent 34% of the workforce

Independent contractors and short-term workers

Some famous examples: Uber and AirBNB, which have both employed individuals through the app and in some cases are “side hustle” or the thing-they-do-in-addition-to their job, but in other cases, are cobbled together into a “full time” effort.

We heard from:

David Hood, sports journalist with

Greg Hilton, serial entrepreneur and all-around great guy from SOCO coworking space in the Vista and Bull Street, a community for freelancers and creative professionals.

And this week’s 1 Million Cups presenter is Paulette Cunningham of Phenomenal Communications.

Segment 1:

This week at 1 MC -- Paulette Cunningham of Phenomenal Communications. Paulette is a FastTrac graduate and has a background in politics and education. Her latest venture is 10 years in the making, and about 4 years full-time engagement. Welcome Paulette!

Link to Paulette's presentation at 1MC.

Segment 2:

Topic of the week -- The Gig Economy

Definition: “an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.”

Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40% of American workers will be independent contractors; things driving this shift:

  1. Mobile workforce

  2. Digitization or the software-enabled work environment where people jobs become more specialized because the general work is being automated;

  3. Financial pressures on businesses hiring people just for the work they need done

  4. Millennial generation tends toward shifting jobs faster and more frequently than generations past, so companies are protecting themselves against costly investments

  5. An improvement of work-life balance for the freelancer, a more frequent requirement of workers now than in years past

These are not just specialists, a recent report by McKinsey found that knowledge-intensive industries and creative occupations are the largest and fastest-growing segments of the freelance economy

Walking away from the certainty of the traditional economy, for the uncertainty of the gig economy.

David Hood -- caller from Greenville @ 9:18: Full-time Senior Writer for, Clemson's largest website, since 2008. Before that, David spent 18 years as a full-time sports journalist with the Greenville News, covering the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and college teams across the Southeast.

Larry Alton’s article on “Why the gig economy is the best and worst development for workers under 30”

  • 91% of millennials say they want full-time, traditional employment

  • Gig work is great for opportunities, flexibility, and experience

  • Gig work is not great for student loan debt, getting a mortgage, or saving for retirement

  1. Know thyself: what do I love to do and what comes to me naturally?

  2. Know your target audience: what desires, needs and wants can you address or fulfill better than anyone else and who are the people who have them?

  3. Go to market -- build social media, digital presence, and all the other marketing pieces you’ll need; also networking, sales cycle, and actively prospecting.

Segment 3:

Four things you need to thrive in the Gig Economy:

Productivity -- you’re only as good as the work you’re doing; you’re not a consultant without clients, you’re not a writer without published words; you have to be prolific -- keep producing. Sustaining productivity can be hard without a boss over your shoulder. Here are four things that can help:

  1. Get a PLACE -- somewhere to do your work. Places that are dedicated to work. Think fighter pilot cockpit.

  2. Routines -- get into habits of work, habits of productivity; just because your time is yours doesn’t mean work doesn’t take time. Keep a schedule, follow a to-do list, have specific tasks for specific times of day.

  3. Purpose -- “Purpose creates a bridge between their personal interests and motivations and a need in the world.” Knowing what you’re meant to do gives you the resilience to overcome setbacks and lulls.

  4. People -- find a tribe, folks you can spend time with and relate to, independent workers are prone to loneliness if they don’t make time for networking, outreach, and fellowship.

Talking to Greg Hilton of SOCO @ 9:35

Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp, in Rework, suggests selling the bi-products of the work you’re doing; in this way, we’re all as startup founders in the gig economy. We’re selling the things we’ve learned, earning money on the side hustle, being the chefs with the eye on the big empire, and the make-ends-meet strategy of “bi-product sales.” I learned to run twitter chats and pre-schedule tweets, we sell that to our communications clients; Jodie and I are both workshop presenters, we sell the tech we use as part of the workshop experience, the various “parts” of the workshop as a la carte service items in our communications practice.

Segment 4:

Events of the week – 1 Million Cups Columbia meets Wednesday, April 18th at 9 a.m. at the Richland Library on Assembly Street. It’s a free event for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, just like this radio show.

Find the Point! Another weekly meet up, this one on Thursdays and for 100.7 The Point listeners, hosted by Kasie and Shane Sweeney of Swampfox Radio. This month we’re at Arabesque on Divine, a cool little hookah bar that’s not only locally owned, but owned by a female entrepreneur. That’s 5-7 p.m. on Thursday.

Final Sign Offs: Next week we’ll continue The Gig Economy conversation with some creative entrepreneurs – musicians, writers, and graphic designers who freelance to advance their art.

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