Episode 14 – Old paradigms of employment are vanishing.
In this episode, Marc interviews Taylor Pearson, entrepreneur, and author of The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5. Inc. Magazine just rated The End of Jobs as one of the Top Three ‘Start Your Own Business’ books of 2015, and a ‘Top 25 Business Book’ of 2015. It has sold tens of thousands of copies, and it has been translated into Chinese (simple and complex), Japanese, Korean, and Thai. A Wall Street Journal bestselling author and entrepreneur James Altucher, said of it, “Entrepreneurship is not a choice you can make at your leisure. You have to jump on the train, or lose your chance. Now is the time, and Taylor’s book describes exactly how to do it.” His work has been featured in media outlets, including Business Insider, Inc., and Entrepreneur. A former Brazilian Super Bowl Champion (It’s not what you think!), Taylor has lived in Tennessee, Alabama, Argentina, Brazil, Viet Nam, Thailand, San Diego, Texas, and currently, in New York.
Marc and Taylor discuss how Taylor wrote an important book on online entrepreneurism, what he means by the end of jobs, and how your job will change. They discuss the vital importance of learning new skills — not by paying for them, but by earning them through experience. New skills bring new earning opportunities, and new markets to grow for your future.
[2:40] Taylor is from Memphis, Tenn. He attended a small college in Birmingham Ala., studying History and Spanish. He worked as a medical interpreter, and taught English in Brazil. He started listening to podcasts on entrepreneurship, and online businesses. He returned to Memphis, and started working at an online marketing agency.
[4:00] At the agency, he did SEO and project management, managing fulfillment and clients. He moved to manage an e-commerce organization in San Diego, working with a web marketing team based in Southeast Asia. He moved there, to run the team. The owner also ran a community for online entrepreneurs. This was a new exposure for him.
[5:40] Taylor published The End of Jobs about the new life script the Internet enabled. He borrowed the title from, “The End of History?” a 1989 essay by Francis Fukuyama, who proposed there were no remaining viable competitors to liberal democracy. Taylor proposes the institution of traditional jobs will end, much as communism will end.
[7:48] Taylor had attended a conference of the community of entrepreneurs, held in Bangkok, Thailand. At a breakfast, the discussion was how to explain the new career path of online international entrepreneurism. Taylor moved the conversation into a book intended for Millennials. He is pleased to learn that Baby Boomers take to it as well.
[9:34] Marc is working with a client now, looking for a problem for him to solve. The goal is to start a business. Some Boomers are, of necessity, entrepreneurs, with too little saved to retire, and no job offers. Two thirds of all small businesses are owned by Baby Boomers, and they’re ready to sell but not to retire. So, they start a new business.
[11:16] Taylor’s book cites three reasons he believes we are at peak jobs: communications technology, the rise of machines, and the abundance of credentialization. As an example of tech, this podcast is held over free Skype, recorded inexpensively, and will be uploaded for anyone in the world to hear. Compare to radio.
[12:34] There have been huge decreases in cost to talking with people around the world, creating global access to the labor market. Companies no longer need to hire locally. All that’s required is an Internet connection. Vietnamese programmers fluent in English are excited to work for $1K a month. Their grandparents worked in rice paddies.
[15:11] We underestimate how quickly jobs are being outsourced or automated. Not only manufacturing jobs, but now knowledge work is being performed by AI. An AT&T study in the early 80’s proposed 100 thousand cell phone users in 2000, not the 100 million that really used cell phones in 2000.
[17:58] We’ve stopped thinking of higher education as an investment, and started thinking of it as a must-have. But, for two decades, the salary value of the degree has been going down across every industry, while the cost of it has been going up. The lines have crossed for a lot of professions, such as JDs and MBAs.
[20:33] Taylor discusses the concepts of Mediocristan, and Extremistan. Most people heightwise, financially, etc., live in Mediocristan. Outliers — the very short, the very tall, the very poor, the very wealthy — live in Extremistan. Most people work in Mediocristan, they don’t improve skills, don’t work on side projects, and get laid off — and it’s too late.
[24:43] Costs and risks to entrepreneurism are much, much lower than they were five years ago. Playing it safe is the new risky. Taylor talks about stair-stepping to entrepreneurship. Chinese companies will take purchase orders for $5K, if you want to sell physical products. Start to experiment, and learn inexpensively.
[27:13] Taylor talks about Rob Walling, who was in a C-level position at a construction company, and started side projects, like an ebook with plans for a duck boat. That taught him about SEO, WordPress, and managing customer support. The more he learned, the bigger his ideas, and using cash flow, he bought a software firm and more.
Mentioned in This Episode:
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