The New Rules In Post-Covid America

Dear Reader,

In Phoenix, where Kim and I live, construction cranes litter the skylines as new office buildings and complexes have been popping up everywhere over the last two years. You could feel the excitement of growing suburbs and population booms rumbling through our city until it all just suddenly stopped.  

It’s hard to believe that in a matter of a few weeks, the landscape of how businesses operate flipped on its head, and the once-large business complexes filled with cubicles might be paid for, yet empty, for at least the foreseeable future.

Businesses have almost completely switched to a telework atmosphere after many state and local governments enacting a stay-at-home order. 

Businesses are now realizing that, for the most part, employees can accomplish the same amount of work from home, and at a much lower cost to the business. 

With the accessibility to technology that didn’t exist 10 years ago, it got me thinking about other trends in business you can expect to see for the remainder of 2020—now that the coronavirus has turned the business world upside down. 

Shift #1: Shift To A Freelance Workforce

It would be hard not to notice the growing workforce shift from traditional employees to a freelance model (aka, gig economy). According to a Gallup study from mid-2018, more than one-third of U.S. workers — or about 57 million people — are in the gig economy. And what’s more, it’s making people happier!

Just look at these stats:

  • Roughly 94% of self-employed workers believe their job is making a worthwhile contribution to the world,
  • 82% of freelancers and contractors are proud of their careers,
  • and 97% of contractors report being much happier than their permanent counterparts.

As I pointed out above, the majority of businesses have already implemented telework for their workforce and see the productivity levels remain at pre-coronavirus levels and I believe in an effort to save money during the crisis, they will push for using freelancers or independent contractors instead of full-time employees. 

What this means for you:

If you’ve been contemplating looking for a side gig to help make ends meet, pay off credit card debt, save up for investments you’ve been wanting to explore, or even to take your career in a new direction, then 2020 will be the year to make that happen.

If you are looking to become self-employed and leave behind your corporate job, you should be seeing many more opportunities of this nature available to you—and no, it doesn’t just mean driving for Uber or delivering Amazon packages. Freelance writers, designers, marketers, web developers, accountants, photographers and countless other skilled workers who enjoy their craft but no longer wish to clock into a traditional job each day may find that being an independent contractor is the solution they’ve been waiting for.

Plus, freelancing frees you up to pursue side businesses, like investing, more easily because you have control over your own schedule.

Imagine what you could get done if you weren’t locked into an 8-to-5 situation helping to build someone else’s dream!

Shift #2: Alternative learning credentials

A couple of years back, Jared Atchison of WPForms wrote: 

We’re going to start seeing a spike in employers that begin accepting alternative learning credentials.

Right now, many employers will list a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement, but I think a wave of employers will start accepting Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity and other online courses in lieu of traditional education.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this trend really catches on as a result of the crisis, due to most college campuses being forced to close with no reopen date set for the near future. What would the world look like if employers moved to a skills-based hiring model instead of choosing based on their degree or pedigree?

What this means for you:

In case you aren’t already familiar with how I feel about higher education, here’s a quick summary. My poor dad always told me the best path to success was to go to school.
My rich dad, on the other hand, didn’t have a college degree, yet he was very rich and successful. My rich dad said, “School teaches you to be an employee. If you want to be rich, don’t count on school.”

So if you are chasing after a dream, but don’t have a corresponding formal education, don’t let it hamper your forward momentum. There are many online courses you can take to brush up on the industry you’d like to enter and certifications you can pursue.

Shift #3: Consolidation of businesses

In case you need even more motivation to pursue self-employment, there will likely be a string of major acquisitions in the coming year. Just look at what happened in the last two years: In 2018, AT&T purchased Time Warner, the Walt Disney Company bought Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., and The Meredith Corporation acquired Time, Inc. And in 2019, United Technologies and Raytheon merged, as did Bristol Meyers Squibb and Celgene. I suspect after the dust settles, we’ll see more mergers between major corporations. 

What this means for you:

For starters, you could find yourself without a job because your role is now being outsourced to freelancers or contractors. And even if you retain your job, you could end up taking a pay cut, not fitting in with the new culture or your new boss, and having to learn new processes and procedures that make your job harder. That’s why there’s really no such thing as job security unless you work for yourself.

Shift #4: Eco-friendly and social causes take center stage

So you have a business idea? That’s fantastic! Does it have an eco-friendly tie-in? Does it have a charitable component or help a topical social cause? 

With so many people adopting a green lifestyle these days—from plant-based diets to reducing carbon footprints—you’re wise to jump on the bandwagon and tap into the growing customer base attached to it. Plus, you’ll be doing some good for the world, not just your own pocketbook. The same goes for businesses that give back to underserved communities, local artists and social causes that are dividing our nation. Of course, authenticity in your brand is key, so your motives for making a positive difference in the world need to be genuine.

What this means for you:

As you start to think of new areas to invest in, side gigs to start, or other ways to achieve your financial independence, look for opportunities to tie into the things that matter to millennials and our planet. Look for ways to have a positive impact on society and make a difference in our world. Consumers want to make more eco-friendly choices, so figure out a way to help them change the way they use energy, think about plastic or re-use clothing.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to planning for the future of your business, where you work, or how you plan to invest, you have to take note of the trends going on around you.

This pandemic shows us the world we inhabit after all this is over will not be the same as the world we have come to know.

Regards,

Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily

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Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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