Entrepreneurial-types often start small businesses because they think they will have to work less than if they were employed at a job. Then they build a business that feels just like a j-o-b. But the more daring question is “is work even necessary?” It’s a trick question, of course, but one that begs exploring in today’s uncertain economy. Tim Ferriss played with the idea in the The 4- Hour Work Week (you don’t really think he “works” 4 hours each week, do you?). But definining work today is much different than it used to be.

Juggling multiple freelance roles at once or working in serial careers (One Person/Multiple Careers) makes you more fiscally nimble than someone in a 30 year corporate career. You are essentially a personal brand, or hired gun, in the corporate world, especially as more large corporations have come to rely on contract workers versus permanent employees to fill gaps. Or you can be a hired gun in a broader sense.

The two books above will help you develop a plan that includes having multiple streams of income, including leveraging blog content and other writing, creating other passive sources of income, running a variety of micro-businesses, and working in a series of freelance positions. All of these combined with living frugally can equal a more enriching life and offer more protection in an economic downturn.

So. Is work necessary? Of course. But the definition has been forever turned on its ear. Work a few months, take a month off, let your content earn you money while you relax in the house you bought at auction while you lounge on your used sofa from craiglslist. YOU are far more in control of your future than you ever were.

By the way, here is a thought-provoking article that further fuels the debate about higher education. Would you have taken $100k to quit college?


by Steven Schlagel