Beyond Faith and Reason in the Great Recession

Today, I’ll be covering the fifth dimension of consciousness, the highest dimension on my five dimension scale.  While other maps of consciousness exist, what I find interesting is that they all share a common description of their highest state.  Whether you call it the fifth dimension of consciousness, Nirvana, connecting with Source, or being one with the Holy Spirit, the experience of It is the same.

All of the major world religions align on this point, especially within their mystical traditions.  While it’s more openly embraced within the eastern traditions, it also exists within Judaism (the Kabbalah), within Islam (Sufism), and within the Christian traditions (contemplative prayer).

While the experience of the state is the same, the way each of these religions introduce people to this state varies quite dramatically.  In the Jewish tradition, it is revealed as part of a detailed and structured study.  Within Sufism, students must have a dedicated teacher, and adhere to a strict moral standard.  Within Christianity, it is not widely known among the followers, even though it has always been a part of the historical tradition.

Unfortunately, there are no simple techniques you can follow that will guarantee you a fifth dimension experience.  There are, however, some that appear to help.  One common technique is to quiet your mind to the point of silence – a very difficult thing to do.  Those that are successful, however, are only prepared for the ego loss/union, not guaranteed access to it.

Some have questioned the value of this discussion, and the wisdom of describing a hierarchy of consciousness.  They have expressed concern that people would simply attempt to achieve the highest dimension, without the preparation required in other traditions.  Or that people would miss out on their journey, by focusing on a destination.

My goal in this discussion was to describe the landscape of consciousness in as simple a way as possible, so that people at least know that these states exists, and get some idea of the options they have for their own life journey — especially given the realities of the Great Recession.

With more panics and awakenings likely ahead, what today is a frenzy over whether we can build a mosque near ground zero, tomorrow could devolve into civil unrest, international conflict, or even a world war.

Higher states of consciousness can help. Through the fourth dimension, people can learn how their minds work, and accelerate the awakening process.  Through the fifth, people can come to know Yahweh/Allah/God as one and the same, and avoid those who incite wars and extremism. Through the experience of the fifth dimension of consciousness, the distortions of faith and reason no longer drive behavior.  Instead, they are replaced with a knowing that comes through direct experience.

Until next time …

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of
ConceptGrinders.com
, a Rapid, Proof of Concept service.

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Finding Your Purpose in the Great Recession

In my last post, I proposed a road map of higher consciousness based on five progressive dimensions. My goal was to describe the entire spectrum in a simple yet comprehensive way, so that people could more easily navigate to the higher states.  While the first three states are known to all (sleep, dream, and awake), the fourth and fifth dimensions are not.

Today, we’re going to discuss the fourth dimension.

Just like being asleep is unlike dreaming, the fourth dimension is unlike being awake.  Some people call this state “The Witness.”  It describes the detached observation of ourselves in action.

The first time people attain this state, it changes them on a fundamental level.  Not only will they experience first hand how their mind works on an unconscious level, they will also learn how The Witness can help them enter and benefit from all of the other brain states that are available to them.

When people first start entering this state, they are often surprised to learn that their actions are not always consistent with who they really are.  They may find that their actions are driven by old memories, emotions, or physical sensations (see this recent Time magazine article on this topic).

By entering this state on a regular basis, we are better able to understand ourselves and others, and it gives us a better way to change our behavior and actions.  The result is an organic change that comes about without conscious effort.  While the changes may be automatic, the consequences of the changes can take time to integrate.

“Know Thyself”
— Socrates

While it’s not hard to attain this state, it’s not automatic either.  Most techniques are based on repetitive activities designed to distract the mind, or focused activities designed to quiet the mind.  Some examples include:

  • meditation
  • dancing/spinning/rocking
  • prayer (chanting, contemplative)
  • light & sound machines/floating/ganzfelds
  • gazing into mirrors, candles, obsidian

Some people have asked why I proposed five dimensions, instead of 6, 7, or 36?  The fourth dimension was chosen because 1) it’s a higher order state of consciousness, one which encompasses all other brain states and 2) it’s consistent with the teachings of the religious/wisdom/mystery traditions.

Upon entering the fourth dimension, people suddenly realize that they are not their mind.  Getting in touch with their true intentions, enables them to uncover their true purpose along the way.  By gaining control over their mind, they are also preparing for the greatest benefit of all — access to the fifth dimension of consciousness.  Next time, we’ll talk more about this as we discuss Nirvana.

As always, thanks for reading, and comments welcome.

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of TranzServices.com,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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Tranzitioning, and the Five Dimensions of Consciousness

Some people may be wondering why this blog is talking about consciousness, and what it has to do with navigating the Great Recession.

When I was in my 20’s, I took a summer off, and by myself, back-packed throughout Europe.  Leading up to the trip, many of my friends would ask me if I had any fear about traveling so far from home, to places where I didn’t know the language, without anyone traveling with me.  I didn’t.  I had several cousins who had made this journey previously, and I had read about the thousands of others who were traveling this way as well.

Needless to say, everything was going fine:  the departure, the flight, the arrival, going through customs.  When I finally walked out of Heathrow airport, however, I lost it!!!  I completely freaked out, wondering what the hell I was thinking, having no idea of what to do next.

After I settled down, I got out my trusty “Let’s Go Europe” book, and read the section on London.  It guided me to a Tourist Office, where I made reservations and got directions to a local youth hostel.  When I finally arrived, I met dozens of  fellow travelers who had stories of their own to share.  It was an awesome start, to an awesome trip.

The point of my story is, it might never have happened if 1) I didn’t know it was possible, and 2) I didn’t have a guide to help me along the way.  In today’s post, my goal is to describe a destination that is not well understood in our society, one with a huge potential to help people with their tranzition through the Great Recession.

The Destination

Just like my trip to Europe, it’s a lot easier to take a journey when you know that a destination is possible, and when you have guide that can help you along the way.  Transformative states of consciousness are such a destination.

Within almost every culture since the beginning of history, higher states of consciousness have been a part of their mystical, spiritual, and/or religious traditions.  Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions share this history, as do the Buddhist, Hindu, and Pagan traditions.

Within each of these traditions, higher states of consciousness have been described, along with various techniques designed to get you there.  While hundreds of these descriptions exist, there appears to be only two that are shared across the board as fundamentally transformative ones.  These states are so profound, that they are often reserved for worthy recipients, and only revealed through a formalized process.

Clearly, not all states of consciousness are equal, with two that are especially important within the historical traditions.  Further, these two states are progressive, meaning that one is usually taught as a gateway to the other.  Conceptually, these higher states can be thought of as part of a progression of consciousness that follows the sleep, dream and awake states that all people share an awareness of.

To avoid confusion on these points, I’ll use the term “dimensions of consciousness” to describe the five major states of consciousness as shared by the world’s traditions.

The Five Dimensions of Consciousness

Dimension Description Example
1 Unconscious Sleep
2 Subconscious Dream
3 Conscious Awake
4 Dual Consciousness The Witness
5 Non-Dual Consciousness Nirvana


(Just like no amount of reading could prepare me for my walk out of Heathrow,
no amount of words can sufficiently describe the experience of  transformative
states of consciousness.  Please let me know if I can make the following clearer)

The First Transformative State -  The Witness

While everyone is aware of the first three dimensions of consciousness, a smaller percentage of the people have ever experienced The Witness.  In The Witness, you are outside of yourself, watching yourself in thought and action.  It is an awareness of your mind and body, from the perspective of your soul (or spirit, based upon your tradition).

You may have had this experience before, but not recognized it for what it was.  Many people report this as a result of a near fatal accident.  The good news is, it’s pretty easy for most people to achieve this state quickly and consistently, with a little practice and a little patience.  In addition, it’s a valuable tool for breaking memes, and tranzitioning the Great Recession.

The Second Transformative State – Nirvana

The second transformative state is also recognized by virtually all of the world’s traditions.  It goes by names like Nirvana, Transcendence, Christ Consciousness, Samadhi, One with the Holy Spirit, etc.  It is the moment in time when you are no longer separate, but part of everything that is.  It changes you on a fundamental level.

An even smaller percentage of the people have ever experienced Nirvana.  Those that have often report having had an epiphany, described as descending like a lightning bolt or spark of electricity.  Most traditions use The Witness state to help people prepare for Nirvana.  Achieving this state is not easy nor automatic, and can take years to attain.

We’ll talk more about Nirvana in future editions, but next time will continue to explore The Witness — how to get there, and what do there.  As always, comments welcome, and thanks for reading.  Until next time …

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of TranzServices.com,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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Panics, Memes, and Awakenings in the Great Recession

In a previous postings, we’ve covered panics in history, and the panic of 2008 (the one that started the Great Recession).   Last Thursday, we experienced another one, as the stock market went into free fall and plummeted almost 1000 points in less than an hour.

Panics are amazing things.  It’s when a group of people change direction in unison. In Socionomics, it’s described as the way people act together as members of a herd.  While this herd mentality is normally unconscious, it’s hard to ignore once it occurs.

Currently, it is believed that this panic was caused by automated computer trading systems. This is not surprising to me, since computer programs and herd consciousness work in similar ways.  Much of human behavior is done on a subconscious level, driven by little programs that have been learned previously.  The great thing about panics is, they allow us to look at what went wrong, and to repair or replace the faulty programming as a result.

I call these little human programs “memes,”  and those moments of repair I call “awakenings.”

While memes control our everyday behaviors, awakenings allow us to express our free will, and to learn new ways of being.  In the next edition, I’ll talk more about memes, awakenings, and the five states of consciousness.  Stay tuned, and as always, comments welcome and encouraged.

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of TranzServices.com,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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Tranzitioning Summary, Part 1

We’ve just finished reviewing the changes occurring in employment today, and the prognosis is clear — fewer full-time jobs with benefits, and more self-employment-like opportunities where people work for themselves.  Coincidentally, Intuit (the people behind Quicken) have published a well-researched and footnoted report that aligns nicely with what we’ve covered here (click to read Intuit’s Future of Small Business Report).

But employment is only part of the story.  The changes occurring in employment are simply a subset of the massive restructuring that’s occurring in the economy at large.  Driven by the credit collapse of 2008, we continue to see deflation as the prevailing driver of change, as the excesses that have built up over the last several decades are reset to the new reality.

In addition to jobs and the economy, the Great Recession is also changing people, and how they relate to established institutions and social norms.  Just like the prohibition against alcohol was repealed during the Great Depression, this time we’re seeing the war against Marijuana being reversed as well.  Other examples include the world-wide assault against the Catholic Church for crimes that had been ignored for decades.  We can expect more of the same.

Below is a graph that I created about 10 years ago.  It shows what the tranzition from the Industrial society to an Information society might look like.  While it’s clear that the old, industrial way of doing things is in decline, and it’s clear that the new, information driven way of doing things is growing, it’s not clear if the latter has surpassed the former.  In other words, we might not be exactly at the cross-over point yet, but we’re probably very close.

3rd Wave - Information Age

Tranzitioning, Part 2

With that as a summary, this blog will now change directions slightly to cover these changes from a more personal perspective.  As a result, more of my postings will be published from the first person perspective, and the comments are likely to be more controversial.  As always, your comments are welcome and encouraged.

Also as a test, I am reintroducing a product that I initially launched in 1994.  Given everything we have covered so far, this product should be more successful this time around.  It’s called Mindwaves Goggles, and it’s being made available in three versions:

  1. A “Do It Yourself” home version (practically free)
  2. A traditionally-produced, commercial version ($24.95)
  3. Custom designed, desktop manufactured versions (varies)

In closing, thanks for reading, and stay tuned — this blog should become much more interesting as we go.  Next time, I’ll be talking more about panics, and their relationship to awakenings.

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of TranzServices.com,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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The Rise of Desktop Manufacturing in the Great Recession

In the last post, we talked about the changing nature of markets and marketing in the Great Recession.  This time we’ll focus in on one of the results of these changes:  Desktop Manufacturing.

In the old days, it could cost upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 just to create the custom molds and dies required to produce an item in a factory. Then you had to cover the costs associated with prepping the manufacturing line to produce your item.  As a result, your up-front costs could easily surpass $50,000 before your first item rolled off of the line.  To make the effort worthwhile, you needed to produce a large number of items to spread these fixed costs around.

Today, you can get small runs of custom manufactured items for less than $100.  How?  With two new technologies that can run on your desktop: Laser Cutters and 3D Printers.  Both plug into your computer like a normal printer, and both are available for as little as $1000.

A Laser-Cut Lamp Design
A Laser-Cut Lamp Design

Laser cutters take sheets of materials (plastic, wood, ceramic, metal) and use a plotter-like, motion-controlled laser to cut and/or etch these materials based on a digital design.  3D printers use a similar plotter-like, motion-controlled print head that deposits a small layer of plastic as it moves.  Then, once one layer has been printed, the entire process is repeated at a slightly different elevation.  Layer upon layer, plastic is deposited in a digitally-defined pattern, until a 3D part is complete.

Today, both of these technologies are being used mostly by hobbyist and early adopters, and both are undergoing rapid adoption and enhancement.  One project is even pursuing an open-source, community-based model to expand rapidly world-wide.  It’s called the Reprap, and its main claim to fame is its ability to self-replicate.  In other words, you can use this 3D printer to make the parts required to make another 3D printer.

The Reprap, Self-Replicating 3D Printer

The Reprap
Self-Replicating 3D Printer

To support Desktop Manufacturing, new methods of matching manufacturers, designers and consumers has also arisen.  For example, if you like the lamp above, you can order the complete kit from a desktop manufacturer, or you can buy the digital design from the designer, at a site called Ponoko (also check out Etsy).  This is a win-win-win for all parties involved, and highlights several new employment opportunities:

  • For Manufacturers – If you like working with your hands, and have as little as one thousand dollars to invest, you can get in on the ground floor of this new trend and start your very own desktop manufacturing service.
  • For Designers – If you like designing things, and have a little time to learn some new tools, you can start your very own design business.  Since the result of your efforts is a digital product, it is highly scalable.  Should one of your designs go viral, you could just as easily sell millions of your design as you could sell one.

Bottom line, these innovations are drastically changing the manufacturing landscape, and creating new job opportunities in the process. Next time, we’ll explore a new product that’s available in three versions:  home-made, factory-made, and desktop-made.  As always, comments welcome.  Until next time …

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of TranzServices.com,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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The Rise of the Micro-Niche in the Great Recession

We’ve been discussing how the Great Recession started out as a massive credit collapse, resulting in a deflationary cascade.  With declining wealth, incomes and revenues, people and corporations have had to embrace some extreme cost-cutting measures.  As a result, the significant advances in technology over the last couple of decades are now being deployed in ways that are drastically changing the employment landscape.

Employment is not the only aspect of our economy that is being affected.  The very nature of markets, and marketing, have changed as well.  This can be seen in the decline of newspapers across the country.  As a business broker, I used to advertise in the local paper.  About 5 years ago, the response to my print ads fell off a cliff, while the response to my online advertising started to take off.  I believe this is a direct result of the rise of the micro-niche.

Going back several decades or so, virtually all marketing was mass marketing.  You advertised on TV, radio, or print, to a very large audience.  This made sense if you were selling a mass-consumer item, but it also made it difficult to market niche products or services.

Then, technology started to allow a more focused type of marketing.  Direct mail and telemarketing, while costly, allowed targeted messages to a targeted audience.  New cable channels and magazines segmented viewers into smaller, and more consistent audiences.

Today, the Internet and other technologies allow us to advertise to very small, targeted markets, for very little money.  For example, using a “pay-per-click” (PPC) campaign, I can specifically target people who want to buy small businesses in Atlanta for pennies per site visitor.  I can buy a TV ad that is only shown to one little neighborhood on a local cable system, for a fraction of the cost for the same TV ad that goes out to everyone watching that channel.

The result is counter-intuitive.  It is actually easier and more effective to market unique product and services, than it is to go after any mass-consumer markets.  When combined with the other changes summarized in my last post, we now have a world where small companies and individuals can successfully compete with the big boys with unique products and services.

How big a market do you need?  It depends on what you’re selling, and your profit margin.  Let’s say that you desire an income of $100,000 per year.  You can achieve this milestone various ways, as outlined below:

Gross Income Net Profit Transactions
per Year
Example
$120,000 $100,000 1 Commercial Real Estate Agent
$10,000 $8,000 13 Marketing Consultant
$1,000 $800 125 Personal Coach
$300 $250 400 eCourse
$25 $20 5000 eBook

Bottom line, technology has made it cost effective to market to very small niches, and to customize products and services for these very small niches.  Next time, we’ll continue our discussion by exploring the customization of products for micro-niches.  As always, comments welcome.

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of TranzServices.com,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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How Technology is Driving the Massive Restructuring of Employment

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been exploring the massive restructuring of employment occurring today — how traditional, full-time jobs with benefits are disappearing, while various forms of self employment are rising.  Confirming these trends is this report by CBS News, indicating that one third of all people working today are  freelancing.

So what’s driving these changes?  In a word — technology.  Technology has changed the employment landscape in two profound ways:  It has virtually eliminated geography as a consideration for many jobs, and it has drastically lowered the cost for many services that only the largest firms could previously afford.  Let’s explore these two in more detail:

Technology’s Impact on Geographic Location

In the old days, only local telephone calls were free.  Then came deregulation, and long distance prices began to fall.   That was followed by the new cellular services, which allowed people to become untethered from their land lines.  Then came the Internet revolution, which brought a similar expansion of coverage to the transmission of data, at ever reducing costs, mirroring what had happened with voice communication.

Together, these changes have allowed people to communicate from wherever they are, at a very low cost, with feature-rich voice, video and data sharing.

Technology’s Impact on Costs

In the old days, it cost a ton of money to start a business.  You needed to buy or lease significant space to house all of your employees, plus you needed to purchase a phone system to support your staff, plus you needed desks and chairs and computers, etc.   Then you needed to hire people just to support the infrastructure you just bought.

When all was said and done, you could easily blow through tens of thousands of dollars just to start a small company.  On top of that, you needed to cover the ongoing monthly overhead costs associated with maintaining all of these business related assets.

Today, that entire paradigm no longer applies.  We now live in a world where geographic location is no longer a consideration, a world where every conceivable business activity has been sliced and diced and bundled and made available at a cost that anyone can afford. (this is one reason that many Venture Capitalists are not providing large amounts of seed money to startups these days.)

To get an idea of the scope and scale of changes we are talking about, here’s a small sample of services that have drastically changed due to technology:

Phone Systems – 20 years ago, I was a partner in a small firm that had about 12 employees.  It cost us over $10,000 just for the phone system we installed.  Then we added voice mail and an automated attendant (i.e. press “1” for sales, “2” for service), which cost another $10,000.  Today, those same features plus many more are available for less than $20/person/month.  By using a service like Phone.com, today’s company can hire people from all over the world, and have calls automatcially routed to them wherever they are via an automated attendant.

CRM Systems – 20 years ago, systems like these were out of reach of most small to mid-sized companies.  Those that had them used proprietary systems that were very expensive, both to install and maintain.  Today, through services like Salesforce.com and Zoho.com, you can get a full-blown CRM system for a low monthly fee.

Video Conferencing – Some of the early attempts at Video Conferencing required a dedicated video conference room plus a satellite uplink — very, very expensive.  Today, almost anyone can video conference from their PC with free software from Skype.com.  More sophisticated versions are also available from business service providers like Zoho.com.

Fulfillment Services – In the old days, if you wanted to sell a physical product, you needed to lease a warehouse, staff it with people who could pick, pack and ship your products, and tie it all together with software to manage the process.  Today, you can simply outsource this entire function to third party fulfillment companies like DotComDist.com.

Bottom line, today you can get almost anything you need for your business on demand, for a small monthly fee.  Best of all, these services are fast and easy to implement, and scale easily as you grow. Next time, we’ll look at how these changes are impacting the marketplace, and what you can do to capitalize on the resulting opportunties.  As always, comments welcome and encouraged.

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of BizPlacements.com, an Atlanta-based
Business Brokerage and Placement firm that helps people buy and sell small businesses and franchises.

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The Rise of the Virtual Startup in the Great Recession

As more and more traditional, full-time jobs disappear, more and more people will find work as soloists (freelancers, independent contractors, etc.).  As a result, a funny thing happens to companies:  they become much more dynamic and fluid.  Instead of spending a large amount of time and resources finding people with a perfect set of skills, contacts, and experience, companies can solve their immediate needs by contracting with individuals, small firms, and boutiques.

Consider the risk/reward profile of these two approaches.  When hiring a traditional employee, a company is making a long term commitment to pay an annual salary (plus benefits), to someone who will presumably be around for a long time.  That means the employer is betting that their new hire will not only solve their immediate needs, but that they will grow into other roles that will benefit the company over the long run.  For these reasons and more, the employer must be extremely cautious in who they hire.

When contracting with a soloist, a company is making a short term commitment to someone whose only role is to solve an immediate problem.  This allows the company to more easily bring in specialized resources as needed, without impacting their long-term financial obligations.  And while these benefits are available to companies large and small, it’s the smaller companies and startups that stand the most to gain.

The Rise of the Virtual Startup

All companies need, at a minimum, to take care of the basics:  marketing, finance, operations, sales, and accounting.  Typically, someone who starts a business will have a skill set that covers only about half of these needs.  The other half will need to be covered by a partner, employee, soloist or outside firm.  Let’s look at each of these in detail:

  • Partners – Finding a partner is much like finding a spouse:  they’re great when it works, and horrible when it doesn’t.  If you can find one that compliments your skills and is compatible with you on many levels, this may be the way to go.  Unfortunately, it is only after the “marriage” that compatibility issues often arise, and the resulting “divorce” can often kill the company that brought you together in the first place.
  • Employees – Hiring an employee can be the right thing to do, especially if the company is well funded or has already attained profitability.  If it is like most small startups, however, funds are too tight to commit to a weekly salary.
  • Soloists – Contracting with a soloist can be a great way to solve immediate needs.  Instead of hiring a full time marketing person for $100,000/year plus benefits, or hiring a PR firm for $10,000/month retainer, you can contract with someone for a short term project designed to get you to the next level.
  • Outside Firms – Today, outside firms come in two flavors.  Traditional outside firms are expensive, with old-style overhead costs that must be passed on to their clients.  New outside firms are cost effective, using unique combinations of technology and soloists to provide custom solutions.  Depending on the size and scope of the project, the latter can be the right choice for today’s startup.

Moving from Soloist to Boutique

This last point also highlights another career path for soloists.  In my last posting, we explored the range of opportunities available to contractors, from administrative type functions, to tactical projects, through strategic solutions.  Moving up through this spectrum is certainly one avenue of growth available to the soloist.

Other options exist as well.  Instead of moving from tactical projects to strategic solutions, a soloist could grow by expanding their client base (2xs the clients = 2xs the revenue).  Soloists can also grow by increasing their reputation and billable rates (2xs the fee = 2xs the revenue).  Sometimes, the solutions you offer will require more work than one person can perform.  At this point, you can grow by contracting with other soloists, and offering your combined services through a new firm or boutique.

Whichever growth path you choose, you will find that outside help may be required or helpful.  Knowing how to find and contract with other soloists is a great resource that can take you to the next level.  This in fact paints a picture of the new employment model, one where people are free to do the things that they like and enjoy, and free to get outside help for those things that they don’t.

We’ll cover this in more detail in future posts.  Next time, however, we’ll discuss how advances in technology can be used to support your self-employment and startup efforts.  As always, comments welcome, and stay tuned …

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of BizPlacements.com, an Atlanta-based
Business Brokerage and Placement firm that helps people buy and sell small businesses and franchises.

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Climbing the New Career Ladder in the Great Recession

Last post, we discussed how to get started in the new, self-employment-based careers of the Great Recession.  In today’s post, we’ll describe this in more detail, along with the career paths available in this new environment. To get an idea of the new career ladder, let’s explore a hypothetical worker who has reached the top of the traditional ladder, and show what it looks like to start over as a self-employed worker.

For this example, we’ll use a CEO of a small corporation who had worked their way up from a job in the mail room.  From there, this person moved into customer phone support, to inside sales, to outside sales, to sales management.  Showing great skill as a manager, this person was promoted to VP of marketing, where their strategic vision was recognized, leading to their role as CEO.

Now, this CEO finds that their firm has shut down, with little if any prospects for another CEO position on the horizon.  Instead of waiting for another CEO  job to appear, I have suggested that this person use this time to make the jump to the new self-employment model.

While it’s possible that this CEO could immediately find, bid on, and win a job that fully utilizes their CEO skill set, these jobs are going to be few and far between, and highly competitive.  Further, without a track record, and without any experience as a contract CEO, they are very unlikely to win these bids.  Instead, I have suggested that they take on a short-term, entry level position.

For this CEO, any job or task they have ever performed is a possible target job that they can pursue.  For example, they could bid on jobs involving marketing strategy, sales management, inside/outside sales, or even as an administrative assistant.  Further, they could also bid on task oriented projects, like writing a press release, or preparing a Powerpoint presentation.

Regardless of which job they decide to pursue, the goal here is to win a bid.  This will accomplish many things:

  • Bidding on a job is empowering.  Rather than submitting a resume to an employer who doesn’t respond, you will gain immediate feedback on who you are competing against, how your skill set compares to theirs, how competitive your bid was, etc.
  • Bidding on a job forces you to explore your skill set, and focus on jobs where your skills are particularly strong and/or enjoyable.
  • Bidding on a job forces you to better understand the needs of the person doing the hiring.  In a world-wide competition for jobs, would you rather pay $4 per hour to someone in India to write a press release, or $20 per hour to someone located in Texas?  If you’re going to pay $20 per hour to someone in the US to write a press release, would you prefer an ex-CEO without a track record, or a recent marketing graduate with four successful engagements in their portfolio?
  • Winning a bid allows you to experience a full cycle of working in the new economy.  This will come in handy when you’re ready to hire your own contract workers (to be covered in future posts).
  • Winning a bid is also empowering.  Once you make your first dollar as a contract worker, you’ll realize that your total income is under your control.  It’s simply a matter of growing your income to the level you desire.
  • After your contract is complete, you will have built up some credibility within the freelancing service you used, allowing you to better compete on your next bid.

Now, not everyone is a CEO looking to make the tranzition.  The good news is, regardless of your prior background, you can bid on any job you desire.  If you don’t have the credentials, or the experience, or face some other deficit, you can always lower your bid price to the point that someone will be willing to take a chance on you.  Even if you have to work for free, you are gaining experience, and building a reputation that will help you win your next job. (note: doing a short-term job for free is *much* less expensive than going back to school).

In future posts, we’ll continue exploring self-employment options, including those in the start-up arena.  As always, comments encouraged and welcome.  Until next time …

Tranzitioning.com is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of BizPlacements.com, an Atlanta-based
Business Brokerage and Placement firm that helps people buy and sell small businesses and franchises.

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