The Gig Economy

Sweat rolled down my back as I walked behind the tractor while shaking dirt from the large garlic bulbs. It was a hot, dusty road to financial freedom.

We’d switched from growing ultra perishable strawberries to growing sturdy, dependable garlic. In theory we’d make a decent living.

As I pulled the garlic, I noticed small holes in the white outer skins. Uh oh. Some pesky bugs got to our garlic before we did.

The crop was rejected by the grocery chain that we’d hoped to sell to. We were left with a large crop of unsold garlic. The life of a farmer.

Rather than give up, my husband re-packaged the garlic by peeling off the slightly marred outer skins. He then put the bulbs in individual mesh bags with an eye-catching marketing label. More costs, but our whole crop sold.

The grocery stores clamored for more, leading us to sell garlic for others.

An entrepreneur was born.

America needs entrepreneurs. And thanks to the new “gig economy” nearly 4 in every 100 Americans are experiencing the freedom and independence of having their own Internet business—everything from offering rides or their homes, to selling handcrafted wares, original music, self-authored books, and so much more.

While the bricks and mortar businesses stand to lose some revenue, it’s a win-win for Internet businesses that directly connect providers with recipients. 

If the Internet had been flourishing back in our farm days, selling our garlic directly to consumers would have allowed us to keep more of our hard-earned cash. 

Even though the gig economy is still relatively small, the expanding economic opportunities could be an entrepreneurial game-changer. It's exciting to see how the new gig economy could truly benefit the big economy.

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