If you’re like most people, you’re interested in leading an enjoyable life. If you share even more in common with most people, you’re interested in making more money. Let’s face it: Money problems are something the majority of people face, and even when you’re making enough to survive, there’s always the allure of being able to accomplish something even more fulfilling, with a bit more dough.
However, it can seem like making money or starting a business is even more difficult than it used to be. And on one level, this is kind of true. But on another level, it’s never been easier (or more worthwhile) to get a business started. But in order to stay in the game long enough to truly be a business, change lives and make some cash, the new economy of ideas must be embraced.
Old Versus New
Let’s back up for just one second before we dive into the meaty stuff. The idea economy isn’t exactly “new”, but for the majority of people who have the desire and ambition to get a business going, it’s definitely still fresh. Exchanging ideas as goods and services, instead of the thousands of other products the world has known for much longer, is an enthralling opportunity.
Over the past 100-150 years, most of the developed world has been used to the “industrial revolution economy” – in other words, an employment system where individuals are monetarily compensated in exchange for their time as they produce some kind of service, product or task for a company. The world has seen large firms and small businesses, but one thing has been increasingly pervasive: The scarcity of time and money has thrust its way into the working class.
Little by little, growing numbers of people have become discontent with this scarcity, and rightly so. Before 1971, money in the United States was real money. In other words, all printed money was backed by gold, giving it real value. When you spent money and exchanged it for another good or service, this was as close as it got to real bartering.
Money Changed In 1971
When Nixon took U.S. money off the gold standard in 1971, money became a currency, and its value has steadily dropped ever since then, because more and more has been produced. Any time more of something is produced, the value plummets. Just look at cars, many homes and pieces of artwork. Hundreds of examples of rare or exclusive (and therefore highly valuable) items in all three aforementioned categories can be found, because given examples in each category are regularly produced with value aforethought.
When people grow dissatisfied enough with something, they typically look for or build a new solution. If you can create primarily intangible products and services and enact a new economy on them, you can in many ways leave the old one behind. Enter the new economy of ideas. (Remember; “new” is relative here, because certain individuals and groups have been engaged in the new economy for years.)
For the typical American that relies on a job for their paycheck, it can be daunting and downright painful at times to learn about how to approach the new idea economy. This article seeks to break down the fundamentals of the idea economy, and how anyone can figuratively and literally profit from it.
Ideas Are The New Economy
Alright, we’ve talked enough about the changing pace of things; let’s dive into what ideas actually are, and how they can improve the lives of humans. An idea is a nugget of possibility. There are good ideas and bad ideas.
Obviously the good ideas are what improve the world, and that’s what you should be aiming for. Ultimately, the best ideas are translated into action, and receive enough reinforcement to bring about better results in the world.
Ideas can be used as “currency” in the new economy, because ideas can be productized and applied to other businesses. In other words, one business or venture can benefit from the ideas of another. Ideas are ways to help other people (and occasionally yourself) patch up broken spots.
Most importantly, ideas provide opportunity for freedom and expression. The light bulb was a new way to increase productivity and time for enjoyment. The Internet was a new way to bring people together, store information, disseminate information and deliver products and services. There are hundreds of new ideas around the corner; all we need to do as a global society is enact the discipline necessary to bring about good results from them.
Information Products Are The Future
Info products are, in many ways, hybrids of two types of economic vehicles: The desire for info from an expert, and a commodity that is easily transferable and readily consumable. Hundreds of information products are already being made and thousands more purchased every day, and this trend will only swing upward.
An info product is convenient because it can be highly customized to the end user’s experience. Examples of info products are eBooks, audio recordings, online courses, videos, membership sites, interviews and podcasts.
Now Is The Time To Become An Expert
All of that being said, there’s no better time than today to become an expert. The best part is, you likely already are! But hold on. You’re probably saying something like, “Hey Brad, my friends have never labeled me an expert, and I certainly don’t consider myself one!” The truth is a bit more gray.
When taking the concept “expert” at public face value, most people equate that with a college professor, an esteemed medical professional or perhaps a popular entrepreneur. In other words, someone who has spent the vast majority of their life pursuing one corner of the world, so to speak. Reality tells a different story. In truth, everyone’s an expert, because expertise is relative.
Where Are You An Expert?
For example, if you love gardening and have been recreationally growing fruits and vegetables in your backyard for even five years, you know tons more than someone who shows passionate interest but is just starting. Obviously, this is even more true if you’ve been gardening 10 years or longer.
Utilizing this knowledge, everyone (in accordance with their hands-on experience and longevity in their given field) is an expert to most other people in the world. As another example, I’ve been drumming for close to 17 years now (most of my life). I’ve taught drums in formal and non-formal settings, as I’m able to provide reliable information for people who are presently dipping their toe into music. I’m positive the same scenario is true for you, give or take a distinct field of expertise.
There Are No Excuses For Following Your Dreams
There is more opportunity today than there ever has been in the history of the world combined. If you want to profit from and cash in on the new economy of ideas, you must start today. It’s true that seemingly every year there are more business opportunities than the last year, but this is no excuse to get lazy. Those who succeed are those who give themselves no other option.
Grandparents of today could have only dreamed of the freedom, fluidity and empowerment that comes from today’s entrepreneurial and technological landscape. You have to utilize the freedom you’ve been given, or it will pass you by unannounced.
Begin Developing Your Ideas And Creating Products Today
The time to act is today. Those who live the life of their dreams are the ones who recognize that today is the only day they’ve got. So how do you actually make money from the new economy of ideas?
Simply begin creating info products about what you’re already an expert on. As long as you’re passionate about it and committed to seeing it through, you will be able to reap the harvest of what you’ve already planted.
Sometimes it takes longer than expected, but if you commit to the long haul, there’s always an opportunity to use what you’ve already created. Once you’ve built some products that can serve a market, start bringing it to them. Share what you’ve done with your niche and openly receive feedback.
Get out there and make your dreams happen!