The creation of the sharing economy has created a whole new line of work that was out there before but is now easier to find. What the technology of apps has done for people is open up a world of jobs that existed before, but within a limited communication field (essentially it was a who-you-know kind of world), and made them known to everyone that knows what app to find them with. Uber, Favor, and TaskRabbit have all created this new movement of microearners which has now made everyone their own microentrepreneur now. The great thing about all this is the apps let you decide when you want to work and when you don’t so you never have to worry about keeping a regular schedule. The downsize to that way of making money is if it is your only source of income then you will need to use those services as much as possible.
The sharing economy has created a whole new line of businesses (true entrepreneurs are always looking for new problems and solutions) that help independent contractors manage their time and money using sophisticated analysis tools. A typical Uber drive might believe they are making $25/hr but after taking into account idle-time, driving to pick-up and drop-off, and filling up on gas that $25/hr might actually turn out to be only $5.50/hr. There are services available now to help freelancers determine how best to use their time and which services offer the best return.
If I was working in this kind of economy I would want to know what my real hourly-wage is compared to what the company tells you. That $14/hr job working for Favor at night for only two-hour shifts might actually be only $8 bucks after you take into account how much running around you do and waiting for the next job to come in, especially if you have to drive to areas where demand is the highest but far from where you live. That would defeat the point of taking on a job like that in the first place. You would actually earn more working at McDonald’s next to where you live then having to drive a long distance just to earn $14/hr for two hours.
Managing Your Temporary Job Work
The great thing about the world of startups is that there is always an entrepreneur out there who is looking to solve a problem. In this case the problem is determining what your real take-home pay is compared to how much time you spend using apps like Uber and Favor. Many of these apps offer tools for their employees to use to help analysis their own behavior but the problem is that they are biased and do not take into account many other factors. Why should a company build a app that would show the true return on a contractor’s time using the company’s app? They won’t.
In order to solve this problem you need a third-party app that is not biased in these matters and that is where an app like, SherpaShare, comes in. The app is able to connect with the following services in order to help you determine your true hourly pay – Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Sprig, Doordash, Spoonrocket, SideCar, Postmates. How the app works is that you connect it to the app you use and it will automatically take the data from the app such as, mileage, idle-time, daily income, routes, and more. There are other manual things you can add to the app but what makes this app so unique is that it clears up any foggy business about the industry that you might have after using some of these apps after awhile. Many people wonder why they are not actually getting the fare they were promised or why they have to meet so many conditions in order to get the bonuses they were promised but in many cases they might actually be earning less once they factor in taxes and company fees.
The challenge with all this is that people can not file any compliant for adhering to wage laws because anyone that uses these apps for their main source, or supplement source, of income is classified as a contractor. This means the companies do not have to meet any minimum wage state law requirement. A driver who wishes to complain that the hourly rate he was promised was actually less cannot do anything about it because he did not fully understand all the terms and conditions. This is where an app like SherpaShare comes in and clears all that up. After a week or two of using both apps the employee has a good idea of what their real hourly rate comes out to. The app will also provide information on where their best fares came from based on the neighborhoods they were in so if they want to improve their hourly rate the app can help them do that.
Where are the Jobs
The sharing economy is something that many people are using to bring in more money because the cost of everything is going up everyday. In one article I wrote about, the cost of food is going up, I said that in order to survive in the next ten years you will need to double your income to stay at the level you are now. Many people do not know what options are out there in the temp job world except the ones that get the most media attention like Uber and Airbnb. In order to make money off of those you have to either own property or have a car that is fairly up-to-date for people to want to ride in. This is where a new line of business is popping up, one that helps temp workers determine where to find the quick and easy jobs.
The website Peers provides an online tool that lets you find which services provide you with the best options available for making money doing what you are good at. How the site works is by letting you select what you have to offer and what skills you bring to the table which also allows you to filter by what you enjoy doing. Then the website provides you with a list of options based off of each category of service and then you can go in and create profiles for people to find you. The great thing about such a service is that you don’t have to go out searching for all the different temp-work websites out there because they bring it all to you based on what you provided.
Many people take the opportunity to sign up for anything they can get their hands on. Many Uber drivers also drive for Lyft at the same time hoping to maximize their time driving. In many cases though that doesn’t turn out to be the true because of how each service works, Lyft might only provide you with more work if you have a great rating and able to take a certain number of rides per hour. This is the challenge many of these services are up against – making sure that they are able to provide clients with contractors that reliable use their service. The worst situation is assigning a job to a contractor that does not have a stellar reputation for being on-time and reliable.
The best thing about Peers is that it provides a way for people to find all the companies that are starting to offer more jobs in the sharing community. Many people don’t know all the options available to them until they hear about them in the news or from a friend. You can take the time to sign up on all the services and see where that leads you but the downside to doing all that is you have to check the services all the time if you want to catch a job that is right for you. This means being on your phone/computer all the time so you can still earn enough money each week. That can get challenging and frustrating all at the same time when you have a family to take care of or you only have access to your car at certain times.
Living the Entrepreneur Way
The idea of being able to live your own schedule is the dream that most people want. The problem is they don’t teach you how to do that in school and the skills you learn in school might change in the next five years so how does one use a system like Peers and SherpaShare to help break away from the 9-5 routine? That is where Meetup.com, Skillshare.com, and Takelessons.com comes in. The power of these websites is something many people still do not understand. Freelancer and Guru tell you what kind of jobs people are posting so if you can learn the skills needed to get those jobs then you can start teaching people how to get those skills so they can apply for more jobs.
You bring people together in classes and programs by combing the power of Meetup.com and Skillshare and creating your own school of programs. Maybe your skill is selling or accounting or design; there are tons of people who need help improving their skills everyday in those areas so why not capitalize on it? Instead of taking an online course you can create “community programs” that let people network with similar minded individuals while also updating their skills. If you do this once or twice a week that is enough to start crafting a whole list of programs to put together. People want to stay-in-the-know and keep their skills up-to-date in order to keep their job or do their job better while also expanding their network. Your network is what will help you find your next job. The more people you know the more opportunities that come your way.
The option I presented might not work for everyone and if everyone followed that idea there would be a lot more classes out there and not enough students to go around. Another great way of following the Entrepreneur way is by taking what you know and putting it into a book. Amazon and many other sties now make it super easy to publish yourself. It just takes the time and discipline to sit down and write but once you manage to write out a couple of hundred pages you can start editing it and see what works and what doesn’t and then publish. Many public libraries put on local author events for meet-and-greets so you can market your book that way or partner with other local authors and put on your own events.
Creating Your Own Line of Work
The idea of an entrepreneur is that they come up with their own line of work that supports what they want to do. It is not an easy task to start off because the risks are high but once you get comfortable enough to get out there and start talking to people every week and putting together programs that benefit a group of people you can start to refine what you are really great at doing. The core essence of what an Entrepreneur does is they identify a problem and provide a solution to it. If you know that many people in your area need a certain kind of solution and you are able to provide it then put together something that brings those people together and make it all happen.
If what Uber and Favor provide is the kind of work you enjoy doing then learn how to improve on it and see where else it can take you. What many people don’t realize is that they can create their own micro-versions of these apps in their own communities. This makes it safer and easier to use if you know that the person driving you is a neighbor from three blocks over. Creating a teenage version of Favor for community members is a great way for teens to learn how to manage their time but also find the kind of work they want to do while also making money. There are lots of people who need help but don’t always feel comfortable letting strangers into their home, even if the companies do a background check, so why not create something that pairs people up with people they know who can help? A million dollar idea right there.
The important thing to remember from all this is that you want to maximize your time but in order to do that you need special tools to help you do that. These tools come in the form of apps, excel spreadsheets, online tools, and more. You have to determine what skills you offer that will help create a change for other people. If that change is found in an app like TaskRabbit, by providing quick and easy guidance to others in need, then you should think about building a complete website that also markets yourself as that. In the coming years you will start to see more books coming out about people’s experiences working with these apps and what they learned from the whole experience.
The Uber and Airbnb model of making money has changed how apps and companies charge for their services. More and more apps are following in their footsteps of determining the right pricing models that people are willing to pay. Any smart entrepreneur would know to take those same pricing structures and use them for their own line of work in order to get more attention.