More than forty million Americans choose to do contingent work instead of working as permanent employees. Twenty-three million of these are independent contractors—Self-Directed Entrepreneurs.
Yes - the contingent workforce is growing, fast! Forty percent of the workforce will be contingent by 2020, according to Staffing Industry Analysts.
We are becoming a workforce of personal entrepreneurs. Good news if you are passionate, skilled, knowledgeable, connected, disciplined, and adaptable. We have a new type of work/life option—chart your course, pursue your passion, leverage your strengths, collaborate with whom you choose, direct your education.
When I was in New Year City a couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a dozen people for my next book, "For the Love of Sales," and heard variations of this refrain, “I quit my soul-sucking corporate day job, and now I am doing what I love to do!”
With a healthy contingent workforce at their fingertips, companies have options, too. And they are shunning mediocrity in favor of brilliant talent. Who wouldn’t? Why settle for a competent but unmotivated worker with a stagnant skillset, when you can engage a specialist who is passionate about their vocation, possesses rich domain knowledge, and spot-on capabilities?
Threatening or exhilarating? That depends on each of us. To thrive in the new paradigm we must be on a virtuous cycle of learning-doing-growing. It is the path of Mastery: Beginner to Novice to Competent to Expert to Master. Of course, it’s easier when you do what you love; but it takes more than that. It’s a mixture of the Seven Elements that keeps the cycle of learning and growth spinning.
Three years ago, when I recognized what was happening in the workforce and I saw how Mastery happens, my life changed – I woke up to new possibilities for myself and for others. I pivoted from leading teams that placed contractors in jobs to helping companies create environments where Masters thrive and helping individuals design their lives so they can travel their unique path of Mastery.
This is how the Way to Mastery work/life course and app came to be, and why I wrote the book Hack Mastery. Yes, “I quit my soul-sucking corporate executive job* and now I am doing what I love to do!”
*Note: Not all corporate jobs are soul-sucking; most are actually amazing, but like everything in life; it’s what you make out of what you have.