The Evolution of Economy on Demand

According to the Wall Street Journal. “Ever since the 1970’s…Manufacturing jobs have been automated out of existence or outsourced aboroad, while big companies have abandoned lifetime employment. Some 53m American workers already work as freelance.

But now the sharing economy is evolving into something new. Freelance work forces and low transaction costs are giving rise to on-demand services and workers. If you look at most call centres nowadays you will find that sevices have been outsourced to India, for instance, because British companies are finding it harder to compete on costs.

I am constantly bombarded with emails from people in India offering me low cost computer and design services at rates which British people could never match by comparison. It doesn’t necesssarily follow that cheaper is always better, but it has resulted in some areas where traditional trades here in Britain which were once very well paid are now vastly reduced in terms of hourly rates to workers, and people are finding themselves putting in more hours for the same or even less money in order to keep their financial heads above water.

I remember very clearly that not so long back I had clients and contacts where it was the norm to pay models up to £1000 per day. Now I have one client who offers that as a ceiling on payment. So even models have to work longer and harder to achieve anywhere near what could be earned not that far back in time.

The other great force is changing social habits. Karl Marx said that the world would be divided into people who owned the means of production – the idle rich – and people who worked for them. In fact it is increasingly being divided between people who have money but no time and people who have time but no money. The on-demand economy provides a way for these two groups to trade with each other.

The on-demand economy is unlikely to be a happy experience for people who value stability more than flexibility: middle-aged professionals with children to educate and mortgages to pay. On the other hand it is likely to benefit people who value flexibility more than security: students who want to supplement their incomes; bohemians who can afford to dip in and out of the labour market; young mothers who want to combine bringing up children with part-time jobs; the semi-retired, whether voluntarily so or not.”

I have actually previously written one or two blog pieces where I have identified over many years in this business, and I think three recessions if my memory serves me correctly, that the model economy itself is divided into two camps. The amateur model who works for affordable rates from amateur and semi-pro photographers who are investing what they can comfortably afford from their full-time income to enhance their skills and aren’t looking to make a profit from what they do.

But realistically the amateur model trying to make a living from this will have to put in a lot of long hours in order to make it finacially viable at lesser rates per hour. Or the professional model (and when I say professional I mean a model whose profession, or sole occupation is modelling, without any other source of income) who achieves for far higher rates because the person or company engaging her has a higher budget because her or she may be commissioned, or making a direct profit for their work and the model investment has been costed in.

I personally have had models who achieved exceptionally high earnings and will continue to do so because after many years in this industry we’ve got it right and our goal is to work with those who are high achievers and very focused on accepting every single opportunity offered in order to reach their own personal targets for achievement.

The evolution of on-demand economy where I’m concerned is actually very good because the pro work is most definitely out there for anyone who is self-motivated to make it work and not allow any slippage to get in the way. Because once you have built it up it you really have to be on the case all of the time to keep driving it forwards. Especially in this line of work you need your fans and supporters far more than they will ever need you, and it’s a relentless task staying focused in order to keep the circle of shoots and fans/supporters engaged with you.

Take your hands off the wheel and you’ll slide off course only to begin the whole process again. But anything is achievable if you are prepared to keep your focus, see what you do as being a business which needs to make profits and keep those hands on the wheel. You get nothing for nothing in this life and you can only take out what you put in. Just look at the image below to see how a Ukranian rose from poverty to become a multi-millionaire and you’ll appreciate what hard work and persistance can do if you are one-hundred percent focused.

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