As I stare out my window observing another dark, dank Pacific Northwest day, I’m pondering the future of the middle class.
I’m wondering how close to the edge we are. How precarious our current situation might be.
I don’t own a crystal ball, so have no knowledge of a coming doom OR a new utopia.
But I did save a 1997 issue of Wired magazine with a feature article titled “The Long Boom.”
Everything would continue to go up, forever. Well, that wasn’t the case, and a certain sock puppet symbolized that epic Ker-thunk! The Dot-com bubble popped around 2000, then came 9/11. But the real fun didn’t start ’til 2008.
If there is a God, I think he threw us the oughts to prepare us for the craziness we are about to experience.
And that’s where we get back to my average Joe opinion, where I think we are headed, and why it’s a sorta “good” crazy.
The middle class anomaly hatched during the mid-20th century will soon be just that – an aberration. “The Traditional American Middle Class Family” will one day be the title of a Smithsonian exhibit.
But I’m not buying a zombie apocalypse kit or instructions for a doomsday bunker. No, on the contrary.
You? If you’re stuck in cubicle nation, or you’re bouncing around between jobs, or you feel anchored to some asshole of a boss, this might be the best time in the history of our pale blue planet to plan your escape.
I did this in 1995 and I’ve never looked back.
And guess what? I’m not rich. I don’t own a Bimmer (not that there’s anything wrong with owning one). I’m not even internet “famous.”
But I am happy, independent and free.
And to be honest, I’m looking forward to further downsizing, less debt and more reward through entrepreneurship and creativity. In fact, I often wake up at 5:00 a.m. because I’m thinking about the day and all the cool things I want to do.
According to Guy Kawasaki, the power has shifted from investors to entrepreneurs. Of course he’s right.
And Seth Godin is being extra special nice telling us all what’s coming. The model we’ve all grown to aspire to is slowly biting the dust. Investors and gatekeepers don’t wield the power they once did.
So, if you are feeling stuck, it really IS about time for you to plan your escape.
I’m not telling you to quit your job today and become some über entrepreneur. No, it really doesn’t work that way.
What I am telling you is something you already know. The factory model is long dead and those moribund gray cubicle walls will soon be sitting atop piles at the dump.
The signals are being sent to you. Traditional jobs are being replaced.
So taking your first baby steps towards something new and exciting is not just about giving it to “The Man.” No, it’s also about preparing for the inevitable.
The changes will not be so gradual, and they will be profound.
Maybe it IS time to truly embrace this amazing, empowering age.
Pick yourself, like wise Mr. Godin says.
Those guys that yelled, “You can’t have any pudding until you eat your meat” … blow them a kiss goodbye, ’cause those cheese puff eatin’ gatekeepers will soon be cheese dust.
You? You really DO have the power, and an amazing arsenal of tools at your disposal.
So, if nothing else, today, kill any self-limiting beliefs.
Delete “I can’t” from your vocabulary and figure out what your first baby step is going to be (for this new YOU age) to slowly, but surely plan your escape.
It might not be utopia, but there is indeed no better time to bust that golden move.
I’d wish you good luck, but you won’t need it.