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How to be Self-Employed in the “Big Society”

Making a job, not taking a job, means so much more than simply turning your back on employment and setting up on your own. It is more a way of life, a new distinctive multiple income stream lifestyle. It requires a new way of thinking, and not relying on big business or government to put our best interests first.

It entails the building of networks – local networks, where time is traded as a currency either in conjunction with or replacing more common monetary rewards.

Labour that is not counted as work or a job in the traditional sense, such as child minding, visiting elderly neighbours etc, needs to be included in government employment figures and compensated for appropriately, i.e. it must be recognised as real work and remunerated as such.


Being a Real Part of Society

Dr Guy Standing, who is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, proposes a “basic income” paid monthly by the government to all citizens of a nation that is equal to about half the income needed for a good standard of living. According to Dr Standing it is affordable and would more likely encourage entrepreneurship and aspiration rather than dampen it. The “basic income” has similarly been expressed as a “social dividend”, which would be implemented as an equal share of the profits generated in society and given to all.

Clearly this isn’t something that is in our control as citizens, but it is certainly food for thought and would empower every member of society equally rather than relying on a faulty trickle down mechanism favoured by governments.

Become Your Own Central Bank

Not relying on a countries currency is imperative, as they can be inflated severely and even fail altogether. Governments have the impulse to print money far too easily. They can do this because currencies today are not backed by anything, so they are not pegged to anything real other than each other. The urge is always to inflate out of a pending predicament, rather than looking closer at the real matter at hand.

Form your own personal central bank by keeping a proportion of money outside the central banking system. Gold and silver are nobody else’s liability; it cannot be printed and has intrinsic value, meaning it will always have a worth, unlike currencies which can go down to zero. By holding a quantity of wealth or savings in gold and silver you have the simplest way possible of counteracting long term fluctuations from currency movements in your income streams.

Skills Matter More Than Credentials

According to Charles Hugh Smith from individuals should; “Acquire skills not credentials”.

Skills that could be used to benefit oneself and that are also transferable within a community will be of greater value than many academic qualifications. He suggests Cooking, sewing, trades including joinery, bricklaying and basic personal financial skills…

Getting deep in debt to gain degrees and PHD’s should be avoided by the mainstream, and limited to the very narrow number of careers that actually require such high academic qualifications. Think, surgeons, doctors, airline pilots…

Huge numbers of students have been sold a lie that university will give them a fantastic high paying job. University is simple not needed for the vast number of people, so stock up on useable and transferable skills and ditch the overpriced, academic, false security blanket.

Continuing on from a previous piece written for Renegade Inc titled Make a Job Not Take a Job, (If you’re not familiar with the original article you can read it here; ), I want to expand on a few of the thoughts and issues it uncovered, whilst exploring a few deeper ideas.

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