Gig Economy Mindset

August 17, 2020
gig economy, mindset, john riley project

Do you have a job that sucks the life out of you?  A job that never fulfills you and instead feels like a grind?  It can be crushing to wake up every day dragging yourself to a job you hate.  You might ask yourself “Is that all there really is?”  or “Does it really have to be that way?”

The answer is no.  There is tremendous opportunity in the economy now more than ever.  The internet has created tremendous opportunities to showcase your skills and connect with people that can help you earn more money and have fun doing it.  It is all about mindset.  It is about training your mind to see problems to solve and opportunities to capitalize upon.

Whether you are currently employed, unemployed or running your own business, the Gig Economy Mindset can be a radical shift in the way you see opportunity around you.

First of all, what do we mean by the Gig Economy?  In the world today, this is mostly represented by side hustles or temporary work.  The gigs discussed in the news are often driving for Uber, Lyft, or Door Dash, but gig work is so much more than that.  There are gigs freelancing doing project work for clients.  There are gigs as an hourly consultant working in-office or remotely for clients.  There are gigs for specific projects that clients require. There is an endless number of opportunities where the gig worker provides their services directly to the customer, not simply as an employee but instead as an independent contractor/entrepreneur.

The upside of gig work is phenomenal.  Gig workers are empowered by having more control over their work-life balance, ability to accept or refuse work for any number of reasons and often make 2x, 3x or more than a regular employee doing that same job.  Gig workers are no longer “working for The Man” and getting squeezed by their boss.  Instead they are working for themselves and having greater control over the source of their income.

The Gig Worker Mindset is all about identifying opportunities, solving problems and hustling along the way.  It is a way of putting yourself first and seeking innovative ways where you can benefit.  It is about pursuing Win-Win outcomes with those around you.  It is a completely different mindset.  It is the opposite of a job that is a chore where you punch in, watch the clock, punch out and repeat the same endless drudgery day after day after day.

The key elements of the Gig Worker Mindset are:

  • Search for Opportunities. See where people have needs and identify problems that exist.  Always be on the lookout for unsolved problems.
  • Propose Solutions. Sometimes solutions come from an innovative approach that has never been considered.  Other times solutions come from simply taking the initiative, hustling, and getting it done when nobody else will.
  • Collaborate with Your “Customer”. Whether your customer is another business or your boss/employer, work cooperatively with them to ensure you are solving problems that are important to them.  Seek Win-Win Outcomes where you both can shine.
  • Embrace Flexibility. You will need to constantly adjust your perspective and evolve as the economy and your customer evolves.  Do not remain stuck looking from a single vantage point.  Keep learning.  Keep building skills.  Your nimbleness will be an asset.

Anyone can adopt the Gig Worker Mindset.  Whether you are already a small business owner, an aspiring entrepreneur, a person with a valuable corporate job or an entry level worker at a small business, the Gig Worker Mindset can reposition you to have more success, earn more money and achieve greater fulfillment and self-esteem doing it.

Back when I was working a corporate job, I found that viewing my employer as my customer purchasing my services had completely changed how I envisioned my work.  My goal was to always show value to my customer, solve their problems and position myself for greater rewards.  I would do the job assigned, but then look for ways to innovate and improve the outcome in order to create a Wow! experience for my customer (my boss).

 Sometimes in the corporate world, other employees will sneer and say you are trying to kiss your boss’ ass.  Some will try to discourage you or think you are crazy for putting in the extra effort.  But these co-workers do not have the Gig Worker Mindset.  They are stuck in the My Job Sucks Mindset and will remain stuck there until they become enlightened.  Do not listen to them.  Ignore them.  They will only drag you down.  You are on a quest to improve your life, not theirs.

My experience is when corporate employees go above and beyond their job description, it is typically very well received by the employer or boss.  But the primary job must be satisfied first.  It is important to have alignment with your boss of your intentions to make sure you do not go outside your lane or create disruption in other areas of the business.  The goal is to not just meet but exceed the expectations of your customer (boss).

In the corporate world, this leads to an obvious justification for pay increases.  It also leads to enhancing your personal brand which can open up doors for promotions with greater pay and authority.

Always be on the lookout for opportunity.  It may be a moonlighting gig or a side hustle.  It may be transforming your hobby into a money-making operation.  It may simply be doing the work you do as an independent contractor rather than an employee.  Or it can be a shift in mindset as a corporate employee where you can add greater value for your employer.

So, what are you waiting for?