Just Over Broke (J.O.B.) In Today’s 2007 Economy

February 26, 2019
February 26, 2019

By Farrah Gray

Recent findings from The Bureau of Labor Statistics (a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor, which collects and distributes data about the current job market) report unemployment rate increases to 4.5%.

We often forget that behind every statistic, every number, there are real people, trying to keep body and soul together.

Labor Department findings indicate small employment percentage increases nationwide.  However, these minor increases represent little real movement in the job market or additional “food on the table” for people who remain unemployed.  Research suggests that African-Americans most typically suffer from the downturn, and the income gap is not narrowing.  Current unemployment numbers are staggering.

The idea of building a “personal economy” around a job is naïve and obsolete, especially when one believes that the job will provide a permanent means of earning a living. This misunderstanding can lead to personal and economic collapse.
I meet many individuals at events around the country, who classify themselves as “unskilled” or “semi-skilled” because their jobs require limited technical skills, yet those same individuals make renovations on their homes, repair their cars, service appliances for friends, and mend toys for their children.  These skills far exceed those required on their respective jobs.  In short, it is ridiculous not to utilize the wealth of untapped abilities and vocational interests that one already possesses. I have contended for years that the best way to explore these “beyond-the-job” skills is to provide opportunities to use them in a self-employment enterprise, where one’s earning potential is vastly increased..

The sky is the limit for the earning potential of an entrepreneurial enterprise. A person working a job for an hourly wage may quickly increase their earnings through self-employment. No matter how good a salary is, it usually isn’t open-ended, where potential earnings as a self-employed person are virtually limitless.
In short, financial potential is much greater in a personally run, smaller business than in a salaried job.

Naturally, success in self-employment requires tremendous effort and we all know that there are risks involved.

As an entrepreneur, I appreciate how difficult it is to transition from the workplace to being self-employed.  If individuals are accustomed to working for someone else, they’ve learned to take instruction and follow other people’s rules and regulations. They are seldom recognized for taking initiative.

In becoming self-employed, one must assimilate new concepts and ways of doing things.  They must learn a great deal about people, and how to successfully penetrate the marketplace. Very often, these kinds of skills and insights differ greatly from what it takes to fulfill the requirements of a “J.O.B.” position.

Being successful in business requires a realistic understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. You must be willing and able to take honest look at yourself.  This self-assessment should include (but not be limited to) what you have learned or done on prior jobs.  As I have indicated, many persons possess a wide range of skills developed outside of the workplace.  Persons who may perform simple job tasks (such a drilling three holes in plexiglass) can be found at home on weekends rebuilding an automobile engine, refinishing furniture, making lamps, making clothes, and cooking gourmet meals.

I tinkered in the kitchen and developed the ingredients of a real, moneymaking business for producing and procuring over a million dollars in contracts selling “Farr-Out Foods Strawberry-Vanilla Syrup” as a pre-teen.

I hope that I can encourage those who are unhappy with their jobs or have lost jobs and lost hope. They should begin to look carefully at their own inner resources and strengths. There are so many hidden vocational skills and interests that people never seem to pursue.

It is time to rediscover latent skills and reactive old interests. Believe it or not, you have all you need to put yourself to work.  If you are seriously seeking employment in this current economy, why not consider hiring yourself?

Once the decision is made, it’s only a matter of working out the details.

I hope my forthcoming articles provide the guidance and inspiration necessary to help make this change possible.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author and award-winning fashion designer Farrah Gray has inspired millions around the world through motivational speaking, economic evangelism and the strength of his example. Gray is also an agent of social change. His partnerships include the Kauffman Foundation, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program, among others.