Maite Barón: Why 2013 will be the year of the New Entrepreneur

It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that life in the rat race is getting tougher.

Financial crises, squeezed markets, outsourcing to lower cost countries and mass redundancies that have seen 160,000 positions disappear since last year from major banks alone. But banks are not an exception. Redundancies are now the norm in many parts of the corporate landscape. British Airways is offering 'voluntary' redundancies to 400 senior cabin crew positions on both long and short-haul routes while Iberia plans to shed 4,500 jobs. In May, Hewlett-Packard announced that it would cut loose 27,000 employees between now and 2014. This all too familiar event has made corporate life a lottery.

 

Add in potential contagion from a wobbling Eurozone, and for many of us things could get even worse.

So, if you work for a big business or a large organisation, you're potentially stuck up a career ladder with its legs being sawn off beneath you. That means you can either wait for the fall, or do what many managers and executives are doing, and jump before gravity kicks in.

But they're not swapping one corporate job for another - far from it.

Instead, they're getting a grip on life and deciding to live it on their terms. They're becoming New Entrepreneurs - post-corporate employees who are setting up businesses that better reflect their dreams, aspirations and lifestyle.

So why will more and more join them in the coming year?

Well, if the fear of imminent redundancy, longer and longer hours working for someone else's gain, the daily commute, rail fares set to jump another 4% and fuel prices at near record highs weren't enough to create an exodus - there's the smell. Corporate life is far from a bed of roses and now it certainly doesn't smell like one.

The behaviour of bankers, the Leveson enquiry into press ethics, the tax avoidance schemes of global brands, have all helped generate a nasty 'whiff' around these organisations that's left many wondering, "What's coming next?"

As a result, values, vision and ethics are all set to become the new business currency, differentiating one company from another in a quest for competitive advantage.

In this respect, New Entrepreneurs can be ahead of the game, creating enterprises that not only work for them financially, but make the world a better place.

And as each of their success stories unfolds, someone else will ask, "If they can do it, why not me?" and the seed of another New Entrepreneur is sown.

But events, circumstances and a desire for the 'good life' aren't enough on their own to see the birth of this entrepreneurial generation. One more element is needed, and there's more of it around than ever- low-cost technology.

Cheap computing power, fast broadband speeds and the Internet, together enable anyone to start a business at little risk and with the potential for high returns. Take an idea, develop it online and you can be on your way to an empire for under £1,000.

And if you don't have the technical know-how you need, no matter. You can find it at sites such as Elance, where 170,000 freelance IT specialists and 115,000 designers are ready and waiting to create your app or build your website.

Using technologies like Skype, which recently saw 40 million users world-wide signed in at the same time, and you have the means to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Perfect for building virtual teams, briefing far-flung contractors and turning people and businesses into customers and clients, whether they're in Birmingham, West Midlands, or Birmingham, Alabama. Now the world really is your oyster.

So for the maverick worker bee, there has never been a better time to quit the hive and strike out on your own. And that's why 2013 really will see the rise of the New Entrepreneur.

Maite Barón is 'The Corporate Escape Coach™' and author of 'Corporate Escape: The Rise of the New Entrepreneur'. You can download your free copy of 'The 5 Keys To Help You Take Control Of Your Working Life™ at www.maitebaron.com.

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