What does the FIRE movement have to do with communities?
FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is a powerful motivator behind the “Great Resignation” trend.
COVID-19 shocked the world, shining a spotlight on some issues we made no time to deal with back when we were occupied with our pre-pandemic daily lives. Over a very short period of time, our lifestyle and work habits were turned upside down and inside out, revealing the unique experience of working from home, managing our own time, being around the people we love, and even increasing our profits.
Trivial things are no longer so trivial. Many of us lost friends or relatives to the disease. The world we used to know no longer exists.
Millions of people suddenly realize that the only unrenewable resource is their time, and once they realize this, they want to make the best of it by leaving their low-paid unrewarding jobs and seeking a remote or hybrid alternative that will allow them to manage their time and income better.
The gig economy that has been on a constant rise in the last decade just got a steroid booster shot from the post-COVID working class.
As I previously wrote, communities serve as their own ecosystem; a community of professionals is actually a marketplace of services and workers. Community members promote their services, hire other members for projects or gigs, and even find work or workers.
Unlike huge service marketplaces, the community building blocks are individuals with whom we have an affinity, including people we know personally or care about as peers. This can be a community of women freelancers, black business owners from the same church or congregation, designers from the same state, etc.
The Great Resignation leaves the economy with a workforce of people who still need to make a living but insist on working on their own terms. This workforce is your community of professionals.
How can you help your community members help each other? How can you do this while joining the creator economy as a community leader?
The first step is to understand how valuable your audience is for recruiters, companies, or businesses in the ecosystem. The second step is to find an efficient way to convert this demand into income.
As a monetization mentor, I work with many community leaders, trying to find the best way to bring value and make a reasonable income based on their targeted audience. I help them set up a career site for the community, and they usually start profiting immediately.
An interesting case study is that of a community of nurses, who were in very high demand during the COVID-19 outbreak. Initially, the community existed only on Facebook, but then the community leader built a career site with a job board, making it easy for hospitals to recruit nurses through the platform and manage the process. The community manager got paid for facilitating this process.
A community of game developers in Brazil is another interesting case study: the community manager built a job board and an index for his community, enabling gaming companies to recruit developers easily.
On these sites, community members can find work and accept projects on their own terms, tell the community what they are looking for and what their skills are, and offer other community members special discounts and prices.
If you want to help your community members get on board the FIRE movement and do so yourself, feel free to reach out.