Unleashing the Power of Underemployed Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors!

When I was a kid, my elementary schools (I went to four) and middle school had a book ordering program through Scholastic that students could buy paperback novels for cheap; these were the days of Apple Paperback Books (at, I think, fifty cents a pop), and so I had a huge library (for kid) of short chapter paperback books of the self-esteem building, problem-solving type stuff that was circulating in the heady Atari-and-Valley Girl days of the 1980s. And one of those books that made an impression on me was a little book (geared towards girls) called _Kid Power_ by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I was reminded of that fact when I was kicking around an idea with my housemates for the past few days of starting my own business someday because that’s the epitomy of the American Dream — owning one’s own business, being one’s own boss. After thinking about all the things I like to do and my prior work experience, and in thinking about all of my ubereducated friends who aren’t happy in their present jobs but have fulfilling hobbies in which they’d *love* to be paid for them, I thought of maybe someday starting my own job brokerage agency — not so much like a traditional temp agency but an old-fashioned agency in which I’d find freelance gigs — no matter what the gig be, whether it’s teaching, catering, sewing, cleaning, dogwalking, writing, music composing, music playing, illustrating, what have you — for those signed up in my agency. I’d provide the steady stream of gigs, manage their portfolios, make sure they get paid, and a corporate identity in which they can say “here’s my agency.” In return, I’d get a percentage of their pay as finder’s fee commission (maybe something as low as 10%). At first I thought this idea was pretty original, but then I rememberd two days ago that — DUH! This was the premise in _Kid Power_, a book that I read and owned more than 20 years ago, now long gone from my personal library (it didn’t survive the yearly “gotta find bookshelf space” cull many years back). Instead of adults with grown-up gigs, however, you had prepubescent kids (ages between 11-13) finding summer and afterschool gigs like babysitting, providing cookies for bake sales, catsitting, and easy lawnwork, all run by an 11-year old girl who originally started looking for gigs in order to pay for a bike that her parents couldn’t afford but found more work than she could handle and thus started asking her friends to fill in, provided that she got a sort of “finder’s fee” of 10% of their pay. Pretty cool premise for a kid’s book, huh! Anyways, this idea — a “Kid Power” for grown-ups — is exactly just that: an idea. I certainly don’t have the time nor capital to start such a business; after all, I have a dissertation to write! But it’s certainly something to kick around for the next few years, as I think there’s a demand for and a ready supply of the expertise, skills, and products coming from the talents of many people I know who would love to work on their own terms. And as the Internet and other connectivity appliances (like cell phones and fax machines) become more affordable for the future home businessperson, then I don’t think this idea will go away anytime soon for me.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in AVOCATIONS, Personal Wealth. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s