Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Generation Y, Generation Sell, Generation Me

Just as I thought might happen, I've been grossly neglecting this blog ever since I joined HubPages. I've posted a few things on there that I simply can't force myself to retype (because copypasting [and sometimes even typing normally] in Blogger results in horrible mutant formatting) here, as much as I'd like to, but I don't really want to be responsible for a small series of duplicate articles, either. That's not very interesting. Being seriously sick for 7 straight weeks with nothing to do and virtually nowhere to go was my primary motivation for joining HubPages, but being unemployed came in a close second. There are only so many ways for a person to make money at home legally, creatively and independently. I applied for a part-time from-home corporate retail financing job with GE, and throughout the interview I basically said whatever came to mind first instead of what I knew they wanted to hear because it felt exactly like being interviewed by the two consultants named Bob from Office Space - except they were both named Corey - and I knew from the beginning that I really didn't give a damn, though I'm sure I could do the job well. 

I've tried applying for a couple of online content writing and editing jobs that I also didn't get, and that's also not to say that I don't have another, much more interesting from-home job lined up and ready to start this week (which I do, yay) or that I have any illusions about being able to pay my bills producing content for a non-professional blog-like article website, but while convalescing and considering my immediate future plans, it occurred to me that creating a constellation of residual income points behind me seems conducive to eventually achieving total financial independence. I've always been interested in economics and investing, but when your only capital consists of a meager collection of state quarters pried desperately from childhood map, there's not a whole lot you can do in that arena. Especially when you literally need those quarters to help pay your bills next month.

The HubPages monthly payout point is a minimum of $50, and I still have over $47 to go (after like 6 weeks) before reaching that, but getting paid to write about things you find interesting is enjoyable either way, and consistently publishing articles that get a lot of Google search result views to hit that point is completely doable if you give it some time. When you're planning on spending the next few or several years working abroad and scraping by to pay off your debts as fast as possible (as well as save some money) and you're as frugal as I am, even fifty bonus dollars every two months sounds magically merciful. Plus I've already made more from clicks on my Hubs that I have from this blog since August 2010, so there you go.

Anyway, my little sparks of entrepreneurial spirit certainly aren't unique, and I often wish they were bigger and more gainful sparks based on an understanding of computer programming and social media trends, but occasionally selling stuff on eBay and Etsy for the last five or so years paid my credit card bill throughout college and usually afforded me meals, drinks and Goodwill finds when I wanted them. It's hard to think big when you're poor, but that's not going to stop me from achieving my ultimate goal of being successfully self employed. As it turns out, that's what most other people of my generation want, too.

Generation Y has largely been defined by narcissistic, entitled suburban white kids with laughably inflated views of their opinions and abilities, and while I agree with that completely, it obviously doesn't apply to everyone, just like any other sweeping generalisation. I read an awesome NYT article (posted below) that explains my generation better than anything else I've ever seen, almost exclusively in terms of hipsterism, passivity and entrepreneurism. These generational trends seem to stem primarily from cultural stagnancy, an inherent distrust of authority and of course, entitlement. I won't ramble on about it too much because it's really fascinating and well-written, but as much as I reject social norms and try to find ways around them, I guess I have to acknowledge that that in itself has become a large-scale normative social trend among people my age. My biggest idea for the future is one for a niche market small business I think people will be ready for in a few more years, but I don't talk about it because I don't want it to increasingly become part of the collective consciousness. That's pretty much the story of my generation, whether I noticed it before or not. But hey, whatever. "Work smarter, not harder" isn't even a motto so much as a life skill, so we'll see how it turns out. Either way, painfully boring soulless jobs that aren't immediately relevant to my interests can suck it.

The Entrepreneurial Generation