Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: On the Web, Amateurs Rivaling Professionals by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published October 29, 2009

This is the age of the amafessional, when amateurs are rivaling professionals in opportunity, talent and the ability to produce quality work. It’s happening in virtually every field. In areas ranging from communications to medicine to simply making things with your hands, amafessionals are gaining in numbers and the ability to market their services.

Struggling amateurs used to want to become stars, and of course some still do, but this new phenomenon is different. Millions are participating just for the fun and challenge of it–-almost like running in a marathon. “Amafessionals” include both the amateur/professional hybrid and pajama professionals, who often work at home rather than the studio or the office.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Boss Nation by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published August 3, 2009

It’s a common lament in America that we spend too much time working for “the man.” But these days, more and more of us are the man.

According to the Census, more than 10 million Americans are self-employed, up from about 8 million in 1980. Even more telling, the number of “non-employer firms” — businesses with no payroll — recently topped 20 million, up from 15 million in the late 1990s. A lot of people with jobs also have businesses on the side they hope will become big enough to support them.

And so the term “boss” today applies to a lot more of us than ever before.

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