Last year I helped my daughters – ages 6 and 7 – setup their first e-commerce store. They sell stuff they make – bracelets, paintings, and virtual pictures they make on their iPad. Well, they don’t actually “sell” them, but they market them and are learning about commerce, the business side of creativity, and fundamental skills that I think will help them thrive in a constant changing global economy.

When I look at “how we work” now and how we’ll work in the future, I think there are some fundamental changes that are starting to emerge:

  1. You will control your own financial situation
    There is no such thing as guaranteed pay in a tough economy. You can’t count on your employer, which means you have to count on yourself. Get your linkedin profile updated, because networking and looking for work will become a constant activity, not something you do every 5-10 years.
  2. We will work on projects, not for companies
    With the replacement of pension plans for 401k’s our whole economy traded in long-term loyalty for both employers and employees for short-term commitments based on immediate results. As “employees” we should embrace this change. It makes us all free agents which means our short-term salaries will be determined by the market and our track record.
  3. We will have more than one “job”
    As we shift our focus from company- and career-centric to self- and project-centric, we won’t work in a serial fashion from project to project, but will be starting new projects as others wind down, or working “part-time” on several concurrently. Already we work 24/7 with cell phones constantly connected. We’ll just get better at spreading our time to always have a project in progress.
  4. Creative skills will be king
    Everything that can be commoditized or automated will be. Therefore there will be a higher value on everything that is unique and in limited quantity.

Which is why you should setup an online store now: earn some money, start a “side project”, and learn new skills.

How to create an e-commerce website

It’s not as hard as you think. In his interactive guide “How to Build a Profitable ECommerce Store“, Andrew Youderian outlines everything you need to do to get your store setup – from setting up a business to figuring out what to sell, how to find suppliers, and how to market your products. Below is an introductory video by Andrew explaining many of the core concepts.

Setting up an e-commerce website is inexpensive, easy, profitable, and will help you build skills for the future whether you’re 30, 60, or not yet graduated from grade 3.

Check out Andrew Youderian’s guide in the Business2Community guides section and launch your store in 2013. When you do launch (or if you already have a store), please post it in the comments below and I’ll check it out.