I love hearing about entrepreneurs who have succeeded in creating something out of nothing. Except that most of them didn´t really start out with nothing. When you did a little deeper they had financial help, or family support, or lived in the right place, knew the right people etc. I don´t want to take away from what they achieved, but I do want to highlight the fact that there millions of people throughout the world without access to those resources, who are suffering.
No, this is not a story about excuses for not making it big in the real world. This is a story about the fact that the world economy is changing and the world is not adapting to help those left behind. Let me correct that. It is not letting them help themselves.
Life used to be so much simpler. Not easier, simpler. You were a worker, or you were a boss. Some made the jump from the bottom to the top, but the lines were more clearly drawn then. Nowadays, with the growing liberation of women, the widespread use of the internet, and access to international markets, everyone has a chance to move up. Except that the majority trying to make the move from employee to employer or entrepreneur will get lost somewhere in the middle.
Some people are not technically minded.
Not everyone has a business mindset.
Some people do not have the confidence to be an entrepreneur.
Some people are struggling with issues like mental health problems or disabilities.
This doesn´t mean they don´t want to improve their situation. How do you do that in our modern world? By earning more money.
But what if you go over a threshold which means you will lose your benefits?
What if earning more means you have to pay more taxes which brings you back to where you were - or worse?
What if you don´t have access to credit to finance new equipment, new premises.
What if you don´t have a financial cushion to pay your taxes while you wait for payment from clients?
What if you don´t have the money to move to a new location for work?
Whether it is a country that has a huge black economy because it is so expensive to start working for yourself, or countries where farmers are punished for reusing seed, people are struggling. Struggling to get past the point of panic where you are never sure you will have enough money to cover everything you need.
Because the road to entrepreneurship or financial freedom is a slippery one. I learnt about the S Curve in an eDX course about global poverty and I remember thinking what a good graphical visualisation of the struggle it was.
You start at the bottom and want to make your way up to the stop of the curve where you would have some stability and financial security. That could be a house that is paid off, investments and a regular good income. The climb is steep if you don´t have a shortcut to get to the top and on the climb up there are many things that could send you toppling back down to the bottom. Debt, lack of resources, fluctuations in business....
So you have to keep on trying to climb that damn hill time and time again until you finally make it to the top. That journey will usually take time or money with a hefty dose of persistence.
Not everyone can afford to make that climb - financially, emotionally, or physically. Which is a shame. Spending money is where the power lies.