control-your-futureStop for moment and flashback to the 2008 financial crisis which saw companies eliminate 9 million jobs.

For most of us, it was an awakening that we MUST to have control over our financial fate. 

We realized that employment security needs to be replaced by income security.

The good news is that the emotional and benefits links that tethered workers to large corporate brand-name employers is dissipating as a new generation of entrepreneurs look to develop their own personal brand.

One thing is clear: Whether it’s a startup like Airbnb or a Facebook that started in a college dorm room, small businesses drive the nation’s economy and are the greatest source of new jobs.

Technology, particularly the Internet, has leveled the playing field where SMALL is the new BIG.

Individuals can now control the means of production AND distribution with software and a basic on-line connection.small-is-the-new-bigCheaper, better technology has enabled the rise of small-business owners by dropping barriers to entry, speeding distribution channels and lowering overhead. The rise of the sharing economy, the growth of smartphone use and the accompanying app explosion have combined to drop the cost of budgeting, sales and product distribution to a level that is affordable by almost anyone.

Even online alternative lenders are making it easier for small businesses to borrow money. Square, the payments startup that is putting credit card readers at mom-and-pop stores across the country, is now is lending cash to businesses that use their system eliminating another barrier for business start-ups.

The rebounding economy, low interest rates, less expensive technology and the state of regulation a getting more favorable for new small-business owners. There’s never been a better time to go out on your own, initially as a side-gig and then as a solo venture.

In the past employment security was the enemy of greatness, because a steady paycheck seemed almost automatic for most workers and they weren’t motivated to focus on income security.

NOW is the time to build your own Internet ecosystem, because if you can do that, you’ll control your own economy.  It can be an on-line business or one that uses the internet to find and deliver something of value to clients or employers. The key to success is to build an ecosystem within your business, not just a set of products. That’s why you want multiple products or services and your own ecosystem of product franchises. Essentially you need multiple streams of income. Because when you have this in place, you create your own economy that protects you financially no matter how bad the real world economy might get.

Last night 50,000 people rented a room from a service that offers 250,000 rooms in 30,000 cities in 191 countries. They chose their rooms and paid for everything online. Hosts and guests were matched up by Airbnb, a firm based in San Francisco. Since its launch in 2008 more than 4 million people have used it. Airbnb is forecast to have $12.3 billion in bookings in 2016.

brian-cheskyShortly after moving to San Francisco in October 2007, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia created the initial concept for AirBed & Breakfast during an Industrial Design Conference.  At that time, they could not afford the rent for their loft in San Francisco so they made their living room into a bed and breakfast, accommodating 3 guests on air mattresses and provided a homemade breakfast. Today at age 35, Brian Chesky’s net worth is $3.3. billion, after being in business just 8 years. It all started with a dream to create his own economy that he scaled into a global business.

So often we see successful people and think how lucky they were. Yet, hidden from sight are the countless hours of effort and focus that made them a seemingly overnight success. Stop for a moment and think about how you can create your own economy. Think about having multiple streams of income tied to an infrastructure where products or services can be distributed on-line to multiple employers or clients.steve-jobs

The late Steve Jobs said, “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is: everything around that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Now more than ever, it’s time to create your own economy. All you need to do is what most people never do. Just get started.