The shared economy of one may be a new phrase but its impact has been around for a long time.
First, a riddle…
“How can you throw an object so that it stops traveling away from you, changes direction, and returns to you without hitting anything?”
The Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is making an incredible come back with the popularity of some companies you may have heard of (AirBNB, Ubër, GoFundMe.org). While these companies are on the rise, they are using a concept on which communities have been built for millennia.
The idea is simple, bring your goods to a central location, take what you need, and make the rest available to those who can benefit from it. Of course, in a capitalist economy, we have to charge you for it. 😉
The Economy of One
We all have unique value built on our experiences in life. We have learned specific skill sets to build, survive, and thrive be it language, behavior, knowledge, or the ability to create and use the right tools. The challenge of developing the economy of one is that we must truly understand those skill sets, and master the needed accompanying skills, to project our true value in the world. When we do, we can truly live the lives we feel we deserve.
So why are we talking about this???
Let me share an incredible story about the SteelWorkers Union.
I was listening to a conversation from a guy who does some work with the SteelWorkers Union and he shared that he had learned something so simple, yet significant, from them. The union manages the pension fund for those that participate. Part of the responsibility is to find ways to grow the money that is paid into the pension fund by the workers. The most ingenious thing the managers of the pension fund do is invest the money right back in to steel work projects.
The SteelWorkers Union takes the money it’s members pay into their retirement and invests it in projects that will keep them working and still turn a profit. They are literally paying themselves all the way through retirement!
One to many; to one
The idea of one to many relationships is as simple as it sounds. One thing or person is connected to many other things or people. In reverse, the impact of many to one implies the influence of a bunch of things or people on one thing or person.
You can explore more on relationship models in the mighty wikipedia if you’d like.
In the SteelWorkers example above, each worker (one) is contributing to the fund that all of the workers benefit from (many). In the end, each worker will take an individual benefit from their overall contribution over time (back to one).
Are you starting to see how we are reshaping the shared economy?
Operate in a deficit
We live in abundance right now. We have access to everything we need from sustenance to information. The problem that we face most is in sharing the resource willingly and freely. So what Silas was explaining was that he tries hard to give more than he receives. And, even while giving freely to everyone, he focusses some effort on giving strategically to those he knows will benefit the most, and then encourages them to give as well.
Essentially, create a mindfulness of the sharing economy.
I believe when we put all of the things I mentioned together, something glorious happens.
When we can understand and share our experiences and subsequent skill sets freely and willingly by investing in the people and things around us, we can execute a one to many relationship that will only make us all greater. Remember, you are the catalyst of a one to many relationship and the beneficiary of a many to one relationship. You have access to everything that you need and there are plenty of people that need access to what you have.
Be mindful of operating in a deficit and foster a sharing economy around you.
This is what I like to consider the shared economy of one.
The answer is up.
But imagine if instead of keeping that thing to ourselves and throwing it up where only we benefit, we created a community of people willingly and freely sharing with each other.
Let’s be better; together.