Long-time readers know that I'm a HUGE proponent of developing multiple income streams as a strategy for career resilience. My ongoing work with people who have been laid off, often for YEARS, plus the research that I do for many of my projects has me more convinced than ever that the only path to success in the new economy is to be more entrepreneurial about our work lives.
To that end, I'm working on a couple of projects right now that I wanted to share.
The first is a project to promote youth entrepreneurship I'm calling Studio E. Through the website we're educating staff who work with young people in various programs, as well as young people themselves, about why it's so important to be more entrepreneurial about their careers and some of the skills and thought processes it takes to move in this direction. The video above is from an introductory webinar we did last week for Philadelphia youth development staff using Google Hangouts.
One of the things we're doing is a series of weekly activities called Try it Tuesdays. These are things you can do with teens to help them start developing new ways of thinking that build their entrepreneurial muscles.
Although this project is geared toward young people, it's something that all adults should be working on as well. And if you have kids, you should be checking this out and talking with them about how they plan to integrate multiple income streams into their career plans.
Another project I'm working on right now is called The Speedy Start-Up where we're facilitating 10 unemployed people through the process of starting up a small business. We're doing this in a group to maximize sharing and learning and to minimize the isolation you can feel when you first start exploring the self-employment route.
The idea is that we will take them through 12 weeks of structured activities that help them formulate their business idea and then get the business up and running within that 3-month period. There's a huge emphasis on action and learning from implementation, as this is how most successful entrepreneurs get through the start-up phase.
We're also emphasizing the need to launch with a "minimum viable product" rather than getting mired in perfectionism (a big problem for a lot of people), as well as strategies for minimizing your initial investment. I find that a lot of people get stuck thinking that they need to invest a lot of money in getting started, which is simply not true for many, many business ideas.
Another thing we're working on is learning from your business--how do you follow what's working to create something that you didn't even know was a need in the market?
The project itself is proving to be a lesson in all of the things we're teaching in the course. I'm finding myself going through the same steps as our participants, which is a pretty interesting process.
Right now, I'm implementing this as a pilot for an organizational client. Eventually it might be something that we offer directly to folks who are interested, so I'll keep you posted on that.
The deeper I'm diving into entrepreneurship and the thinking that start-up folks use, the more convinced I've become that this is key to career resilience. It's definitely impacting how I approach my own work as I recognize how I've been using certain strategies for years without realizing it. It's also impacting how I approach coaching others as I find myself explicitly discussing this multiple income stream thinking and entrepreneurial mindset with everyone I coach.