As LinkedIn and Instagram business use has spiked since 2017, so has the entrepreneurial porn we all consume.
Rise and grind, yo.
And check out this 4am smoothie I’m about to smash.
Because I crush 25 hours a day 8 days a week.
DO NOT MISS IT in my 25 daily IG stories.
It’s called Chapter 25/8. Isn’t that fkn sick?!
I came up with it last night. I’m working on the merch now.
But the 8 will be sideways. You know, like infinity?
Stay tuned. More in 4 minutes…
We watch all this closely at The Basis Point—as entrepreneurs ourselves, and as workers trying to understand our place in the new state of work.
On the spectrum of worker-to-entrepreneur I skew entrepreneur, but I’m close to the middle.
I was a good corporate soldier 20 years, love stability, but live for the hustle. I’ve always had side gigs but didn’t go all in until last summer.
Plus I love underdog entrepreneurs. The best work comes from playing like you have nothing to lose.
So in the state of work circa 2019—where “gig economy” is now a dictionary term and you must be an entrepreneur to survive—I believe there are 5 kinds of entrepreneurs.
Which one are you?
1. ARE YOU A SOLO ACT?
Solo entrepreneurs are the source of most entrepreneurial porn. And for those who are great at it, the hype fuels them to an eventual model. It’s super fun to watch when one takes hold and builds. We all love watching success stories. That’s why we all stroke our social feeds like so many derelicts.
Also I don’t mean for ‘solo act’ to only imply one person. Rise & Grind evangelism teaches us to build using the gig network and play off of each other, which means those who are very good at this can rise up and build lasting companies.
If that’s where you’re headed, think hard about your team building and financial management. Every bootstrapped venture uses gig networks to build over time, but if you’re not working toward a model to support core players, the gig network or the corporate teat will eventually lure them away.
And if Solo Act does indeed mean one person, more power to you. Tons of people find real money, freedom, and happiness from this. I mean look at the dude in the intro above. He’s crushing it and loving 61 minutes of every hour! I joke but I’m serious about the merits of being a solo entrepreneur. And if you do want to go deeper, see number 5 below.
2. ARE YOU ENTREPRENEURIAL, BUT NOT AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I’ve always been entrepreneurial, but only now am I an entrepreneur.
I learned this lesson more clearly than any other during this first year without a paycheck safety net. This is a critical question you must be honest with yourself about.
You salespeople especially, don’t fool yourselves on this one like I did.
Working for a big org, even if 100% commission, still places you within a construct where most of what you have to worry about is selling. You don’t have to build and run the whole machine.
Owning a role and owning the machine are worlds apart.
3. ARE YOU BUILDING A SCALE COMPANY USING CHEAP GIG LABOR?
This is the state of Big Entrepreneurialism now. Lyft started the current IPO parade for a generation of companies born post crisis that created the gig economy. We can hate on this rise of the new gig-labor-fueled companies worth billions, and there’s certainly chaos, politics, and exploitation to hate as a worker.
But I love services like Lyft as a consumer. And my dad started driving for Lyft as a supplement to a real estate career slowed by age and industry disruption, and it’s been incredibly helpful to our family’s financial situation. So I won’t draw a populist hard line on this. I’ve felt real financial benefit in my family which wouldn’t have existed without the gig economy.
The rise of these companies is why I believe the gig economy IS the economy now, and you must at least be entrepreneurial if not a full entrepreneur to survive.
4. ARE YOU BUILDING A SCALE COMPANY THAT LEGITIMATELY WANTS TO OFFER STABILITY?
There are lots of examples here, including huge VC backed startups worth billions, plus every Big Tech company you can name. Things for workers to hate here are “benefits” like unlimited paid time off, which is just labor cost control disguised as a benefit and you never feel quite comfortable taking time completely off. Also these companies follow a Blitzscaling mentality of grow and exit (via IPO or other deal) as fast as possible, which is too jarring for many people.
But they provide great livings and satisfaction for tons of other people, and the “exits” don’t mean the companies go away, so you can’t be blindly cynical here. Also there’s a huge amount of experience, resume relevance, and fun being involved in these light-speed companies.
Again, this is why I say you must be entrepreneurial to survive. These companies are setting the tone for the state of work across the rest of the economy.
5. ARE YOU BUILDING A BOUTIQUE COMPANY THAT LEGITIMATELY WANTS TO OFFER STABILITY?
VCs call this a “lifestyle company,” which is their dickish word for a profitable, stable company that won’t make them billions.
They and the rest of the startup world also often refer to smaller, profitable companies as “revenue funded.” I shit you not.
That means The Basis Point is currently a lifestyle company that’s revenue funded.
Or as we like to call it: A Business.
Ironically in this social entrepreneurial era, we don’t hear about just building and running a business anymore. Business must be smashed and crushed and videoed.
You know, porn.
But what if you could build something that wasn’t a solo act, didn’t require a ton of investors early on, and it made a lot of entrepreneurial workers as happy and stable as we can be as workers in this era?
You know, a business.
I do imagine it everyday. It’s a steady build from 1099 and gig network to W2 and benefits.
As Dennis likes to say: brick by brick.
“A Business” is now the underdog in the economy, yet it’s what entrepreneurial workers want most.
So I’m playing like I have nothing to lose, and trying to build something our team can rely on.
Rise and grind to infinity, yo…