What it is and why it needs to change.

Steve Pruneau

What it is:  Jobs.  Traditional employment.

When we think of jobs, most of us follow the same rituals and habits.  Entrepreneurs, owner / operators of small business, executives at large companies: all of us need people to join us in operating the business and to do that, we hire people into jobs as employees.  There’s nothing that says it must work that way.  It’s just there aren’t many good alternatives at the moment.  So we keep doing it the same way.

For employees it’s a similar problem – there aren’t many alternatives to a good job.  We either want to get a job, stay in the job or get a better  job.  How else can we obtain economic security and sustain ourselves?

 

Why it needs to change:  Flexibility.  Expense.

Traditional employment is generally a bad proposition on both sides.

For the employer, hiring someone into a job means taking on a semi-fixed cost, a commitment to pay employees regardless of whether sales are up or down, regardless of whether the estimate for growth in customer orders and revenue actually turns out to be what we thought.  Yes, you could let employees go as soon as there is a dip in sales, but if your business has made it past the 3-year mark, you know that doesn’t work.

For entrepreneurs, start-ups, small business, this fixed cost problem of employment is a huge financial risk and is often what keeps businesses from starting or growing.  Many ideas never make it out of the mind.

For the employee, traditional employment is a bad proposition because it usually means you commit part or all of your day and work at the direction of someone else.  This is a modern form of medieval fealty to a master.  If you’re lucky, your work brings some intrinsic satisfaction, but you will still serve in a hierarchical organization.  For most employees, there are periods of boredom and flashes of excitement.  For many, it’s drudgery the entire time.  And of course through inevitable changes in the organization, all of us have served under some idiot or toxic sociopath who ruins what would otherwise be a tolerable situation.

If you are solo entrepreneur or an independent contractor, you have both sets of problems.  You must provide for yourself economically as an employer, regardless of whether you have clients.  And as an employee, you must do everything a traditional employee must do (perform work that satisfies customers) AND you must also perform functions that are handled by other departments in normal company: sales, billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable.

 

Traditional employment is still the best deal for employers and employees.  We would like a better alternative.

At Free Agent Source, we don’t like these choices.  We want entrepreneurs, start-ups, owner / operators to be free to focus on finding and serving customers.  Build the business.

We want people who work for entrepreneurs, start-ups, owner / operators to get the kind of professional employment experience that you get at companies on the “Best Companies to Work For” and yet have the freedom to arrange your work in ways that truly suit your life.

We believe when that happens: when we have flexibility for business, flexibility for employees, security for business – they know they have a steady supply of talent inputs, economic security for employees – they have what they need without being bound by traditional employment…

… when all of this comes together, we will see some amazing things happen.  We will see awesome new innovations, new economic value, growth.  That’s our vision.  That’s why we do what we do at Free Agent Source.

 

Steve Pruneau leads executives and business owners to solve the gap between variable revenue and a fixed workforce. He is the first consultant at Free Agent Source. As a founder, Steve engages the broader community of corporate clients, entrepreneurs, startups and consultants. He manages company operations and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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