Many workers can relate to the saying “The boss makes a dollar, I make a dime” and then they do lots of things guilt free besides work, on the company’s time. While a boss at a job is usually just another employee that may make only a quarter for every dime a worker is paid the profits are made by the owner. The owner can be either a person, a company, or a publicly traded corporation. After the pandemic, 4 million employees decided to leave their jobs to find better opportunities in April 2021 alone. There is now a severe worker shortage in the U.S. as employees want to get more of every share of the dollars in profits they create through their work. Workers want to be paid fairly for their productivity and time, they want to be respected, and they want a larger cut of the profits.
The profit margin for a business is the difference between the price of a product or service and the amount it cost to create it. The sale price of the item minus the cost of the materials, supplies, transportation, production facility and labor creates the dollars in profits. The business and the boss act as middlemen for the sale of your labor, time, experience, knowledge, and creativity. Owning the means of production put all the power in the hands of capitalists in the 20th century as a worker could not start a factory, newspaper, radio station, television station, or movie studio without first having a large amount of capital to invest. In the 21st century the barrier of entry into most businesses has been lowered to only needing a good internet connection and a computer. Other businesses involving physical items only require a fraction of what it once cost by using existing platforms.
Here are some examples of low cost of entry businesses.
- Bloggers can monetize their own writing replacing traditional print media.
- YouTubers create and monetize their own videos and shows replacing television.
- Podcasters create and monetize their own broadcasts replacing radio.
- Website developers create their own platforms replacing many businesses.
- Author self-publish their own books replacing traditional publishers.
- Singers post their songs on music platforms replacing record labels.
- Social media replaces the publicity needed from traditional media.
- AirBnB turns real estate owners into hotels.
- Turo turns car owners into car rental services.
- Video game developers can monetize their skills on Roblox.
- The blockchain decentralized opportunities in finance to create your own currency, contract, game, application, or token.
- Artists can sell their artwork through NFTs. (Non-fungible tokens)
- There are blockchain games that reward players with cryptocurrencies for playing.
- Shopify can be used to create an eCommerce store.
- Laser printers can be used to create woodcraft items for sale.
- 3D printers can be used to manufacture products.
- Anyone can open an online store with fulfillment by Amazon.
- An investor can buy stocks for $0 commision owning a piece of the means of production.
- An investor can buy stock and become a billionaire’s business partner for a low entry fee.
- A new trader can backtest their own systems on low cost software that use to be unaffordable.
These are just a few of the opportunities to monetize your skills and work directly bypassing the need for an employer. Monetizing your own work directly with customers is not easy as you must do the work of a business and your boss but by removing these middlemen you earn every dollar you’re worth.
If you do the work to build your own platform then “The boss makes a nothing, you make a dollar.”
For a deeper dive into this new way of thinking about work in the 21st century check out my book The Working Dead.