Sunday, September 17, 2017

Defeating the Job Terminator

In a video report titled New Worries About Robots Taking Jobs we learn that there is a significant concern about machines taking jobs, with more than 3 out of 4 teens saying that they're concerned about having a successful career because of automation and global competition. A study conducted by Jr. Achievement USA unsurprisingly finds that the same number of parents have the same concern. 

Much of the worry surrounds the new gig economy. A gig economy (also known as a sharing economy) is a labor market that is characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. 
“The labor force that we recognize today won’t be the labor force of my 8-year-old daughter.
Everywhere I go, when I talk with to academics and business people, the theme of the radical pace of change emerges. Technology is driving innovation, which in turn is driving massive change in our labor force.
In just three years, by 2020, a whopping 43 percent of the U.S. labor force will be freelance, up from 34 percent or 53 million last year. The gig economy will be a reality for my daughter, and I wonder if that’s going to be a good place for her to earn a living.”

There is a growing chorus of warnings that a future workforce must be newly skilled for a new economy, but we are already here. Our entrepreneurial future is now. That is not to say that it is too late to prepare, but let’s be honest with ourselves and face this problem head-on so we might quickly get to a solution. The stakes are high – our current incomes and economic health depends on our ability to not only act quickly, but to also act correctly.

Those who possess these new skills are already in high demand, and there simply are not enough of these new economy workers to meet the current demand. New skills must be developed to meet the needs of employers, and quickly!

Aren’t students being adequately prepared to succeed now?

Sadly, the answer to that question is a resounding, NO. The author of the article above suggests:

“We need to re-invent the way we teach, not just in schools but in the wider world outside.”

I emphatically agree, but this begs the question, “How?”

The challenge we now face is discovering how to best prepare the new workforce for an already changing economy, so we might quickly do so. As an entrepreneurship educator myself, I’ve reached a definitive answer, and I’m happy to elaborate.

Interestingly, the answer is found in Jackson Pollock – an American painter and major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. Pollock is well known for his unique style of drip painting that launched him to fame in 1949 following a four-page spread in Life magazine that asked, "Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?" 

In a recent article titled “What Makes a Jackson Pollock Painting Worth Millions?”the author aptly argues:

“…a striking aspect of his work is that it is abstract. To put it another way, it requires anyone who accepts and or “likes” it as art to accept what was once a radical premise: that ideas are more valuable than skill. In the American model, progress starts with ideas and if you have a great one you are going to own a factory (or today an internet startup) not work in one.
The Philistine modern art haters of the fifties who would look at a Pollock in a magazine and say, “My kid could do that” missed the point that Pollock was a “genius” who had changed how things were done because he had a new idea of how to do things: he replaced the brushstroke with the drip.”

At first glance, this narrative about Pollock might easily be overlooked. It serves as a wonderful example of supply and demand – one that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Yet upon closer inspection, there is something more. An examination of how Pollock’s work became the underpinning of our modern art movement and grasping the full magnitude of his enduring influence can tell us a thing or two about how to best prepare people in an already changing economy, or rather recognize the current error of our ways so we might reach the correct solution sooner rather than later.

Historically, we have taken the simple approach of identifying key skillsets that ensure a student’s success in the economy. In other words, we asked what skills workers needed, then trained students in those skillsets through colleges, universities and vocational schools. Students then graduated from these institutions prepared to go to work, and lived happily ever after. It’s no secret that this scenario is no longer our reality. 

Employers are (and have been) telling us that our workforce is not adequately prepared, especially in this new and changing economy.

Students work hard to graduate, only to later find themselves woefully unprepared to meet the new needs of our new economy. Our strategy of developing skills in our workforce simply is not working any longer.

Students aren't being trained to be successful in a gig economy, where value is found in ideas and idea development. Students are still being trained to meet the needs of an old economy, where value is found in process areas. 

“Go to school, get good grades and you'll get a good job.”

The previous was the guide I was given when I set off to school, as so many before me have. Today, the landscape has changed dramatically. That pathway is no longer a straight line, and certainly does not come with the guarantee that it once did. Our new challenge is found in guiding today's students to a different path that will help them realize their true value in the marketplace, so they can find personal fulfillment and enjoy healthy incomes.

The entrepreneurial skillset is needed more now than ever before, as we find ourselves in a time and place where entrepreneurs are needed on both sides of the economy – Those who can take the lead in developing ideas and launching entrepreneurial companies, and a workforce that understands how to work with entrepreneurs in small businesses and small teams that focus on ideas, rather than physical product development and assembly lines. 

Training students in entrepreneurial skill-sets accomplishes the goal of preparing students to lead in idea development and to become the workforce for our changing economy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Marketplace Exchange of Talent

C.J. Meenan OFBV Network

The marketplace is where we exchange talent. As a younger man, I mistakenly thought that entrepreneurship was restricted to those who build big companies, but I soon discovered that there’s more to it all than just starting and growing a company. While most view the marketplace as a mere exchange of goods and services, I view it as the exchange of talent.

The marketplace is a forum where we can share our talents in a manner that improves other’s lives as well as our own.

The entrepreneur has many labels, from unique visionary to risk taker. While these labels may be accurate, entrepreneurs are also people who enjoy sharing their gifts. We’ve all been given talents, and some feel called to express them through entrepreneurship.

During my 25+ year career as an entrepreneurship instructor, I’ve helped thousands of folks develop their skills and improve their lives through entrepreneurship. Through it all, I’ve become convinced that we all have an entrepreneur inside of us; the challenge finding a way to express it. 

I see a world filled with entrepreneurs expressing their talents all around me. From the electrician restoring my lights, and baker providing my children’s muffins, to the auto mechanic repairing my car, all are expressing their talents through the marketplace, and making life better in so doing.

Talents are given to us to be expressed, not remain dormant, and I believe the world is a better place when we share our talents. One of the most wonderful ways we might do so is through entrepreneurship, which is why I share mine through entrepreneurship, in both teaching and doing.

Through written guides and video content, from the comfort of your own homes online and in the classroom, I wanted to show you how to unlock and express your gifts and talents in the marketplace. Open for Business Ventures exists for this purpose, offering dynamic workshops and multiple online courses for a variety of people. Every online course for beginners contains 20 entrepreneurial lessons and 40 concepts for new entrepreneurs.

I also wanted to connect entrepreneurs with one another for motivation, inspiration & encouragement because we must rely on the support of others more now than ever before. The entrepreneurial spirit and positive mindset is contagious. Open for Business Ventures exists for this purpose as well, having created the free online Entrepreneurs’ Community Network that anyone can join with ease. 

It’s my hope that you’ll uncover your gifts & talents and go on to express through entrepreneurship them as you read through each lesson and network with other entrepreneurs in our community. The lessons provide the basic understanding and skills required, while the community provides the motivational support to guide the path of your entrepreneurial journey, should you choose to launch your venture.

I’m confident that our tools will serve as a catalyst for you to unleash and share your inner entrepreneur!

C.J. Meenan
Instructor | Speaker | Author | Co-founder of Open for Business Ventures

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Social Sunday: Kopila Valley Children's Home & School

Social Sunday: Kopila Valley Children's Home & School, founded by Maggie Doyne 

Maggie Doyne set out to trek through the Himalayas after her senior year of high school & met hundreds of Nepalese orphans. She returned to NJ & raised money to build them a home: Kopila Valley Children's Home & School now cares for & teaches 300 children!

Visit to learn more about Kopila Valley Children's Home & School!

We love highlighting what entrepreneurs are doing for their communities, and many enjoy giving back! If you are an entrepreneur doing great things in your community, follow us and send us a note telling us more & we'll highlight you! To learn more about entrepreneurship, visit us @ and please join our free entrepreneur community network @ to connect with other entrepreneurs for inspiration and motivation!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday's Startup: Carousell

Carousell is a simple way to sell all that unused and underused clutter in your home!

Carousell Launches New Feature: "Carousell Groups"

Carousell, one of the largest mobile marketplace in Singapore, has just announced a brand new feature to all Carousell users called Carousell Groups.

Carousell Groups work very similarly to Facebook groups: you can discover various groups on Carousell and join those that might be relevant to you, and get notified when there are new listings within the group. Some examples of groups that Carousellers have set up include brand specific groups like “Apple Fans” and “Charles & Keith”, or even place and location specific groups like “National University of Singapore”.

Open for Business Ventures highlights a new start-up each Saturday, to help them gain exposure & show you all the different & new things that entrepreneurs are doing! If you’d like us to highlight your startup, simply follow us, send us a note telling us more & we'll do the rest! To learn more, visit us @ and join our free entrepreneur community network @ to be motivated and inspired by other entrepreneurs!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fun Fact Friday: Entrepreneurs are Most Generous

Fun Fact Friday: Entrepreneurs are the most generous!

According to a survey backed by Ernst & Young, and conducted by Australia’s Fidelity Charitable Gift Trust, 89% of entrepreneurs donate to charity and 70% donate their time as well. Companies that are led by an entrepreneur boast charitable giving that is on average more than double that of their peers who aren’t led by entrepreneurs.

Visit to learn more about entrepreneurship and join our free entrepreneurs' community network @ to be inspired and motivated by other entrepreneurs!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Clara & Lillian Westropp

Throwback Thursday: Clara & Lillian Westropp: Women’s Savings & Loan Co.

Along with a group of business and professional women, sisters Clara and Lillian Westropp founded and launched the first savings and loan run by women in the United States in 1922, Women’s Savings & Loan Co., just two years after women gained the right to votein order to educate women about money.  Though at a time when most banks had either failed, merged, or were acquired by the larger banks, Clara and Lillian Westropp saw a need to establish a bank that would serve the needs of women and saw the business quickly outgrow its original offices and move to larger quarters. By 1935, the Women's Savings & Loan Co. acquired a federal charter and was reorganized as Women's Federal Savings & Loan.

Visit to learn more about entrepreneurship and join our free entrepreneur community network @

"Everything that is past is either a learning experience to grow on, a beautiful memory to reflect on, or a motivating factor to act upon." ~Denis Waitley

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday's Wisdom: Connect With Positive People

Wednesday's Wisdom: Connect with positive, like-minded people! 

The entrepreneurial spirit as well as a positive mindset is as contagious as the negative. If you spend time with positive-minded entrepreneurs, you are bound to catch it. Feeling down & discouraged about yourself or even your ideas? Hang out with fellow entrepreneurs who will be more than happy to share some of their positive energy. Through our online educational support networks, entrepreneurs can connect with positive, like-minded people for continual motivation, inspiration & encouragement!

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." ~Milton Berle 
We share a bit of entrepreneurial wisdom each Wednesday with high aims and great expectations! Learn more about entrepreneurship @ and join our free entrepreneurs' community network @ to connect with positive, like-minded people!