"There has never been a better time to go it alone… It's extremely cheap to start a low-cost business venture. If you can open shop without debt and without investing a ton of time, why wouldn't you?" says Chris Guillebeau. Among his micro-business suggestions? Start a coaching business based on whatever your skills are. Simply create a website and describe your offerings.
Now, the backlash to that movement has begun. In her new book, Blind Spots, career expert Alexandra Levit argues that too many young people are getting swept up in the self-employment trend, and that the vast majority would be better off simply working hard and making the most of their day jobs. "Running a business is harder than it looks, and the idea that entrepreneurship is the best solution for everyone is a myth," she says.
Ellsberg says that even people opting for a Levit-style, conventional approach need to learn how to be creative and sell themselves in today's job market, which he calls being an "entrepreneurial employee." Says Ellsberg, "If you don't know how to sell yourself, you'll always be begging for a job…. Everybody does some form of marketing. It's called sending out cover letters and resumes … A job interview is a sales session where the product on sale is you."
Welcome to the new economy.
Corrected on 10/13/2011: The previous version of this story misidentified the website uncollege.org.