This is an important topic. And I think it is something that everyone needs to think about, because everyone across the entire world will be effected.
Retail stores across the U.S. and the world are shutting down. Big retail businesses are going bankrupt every year. That's because more people are buying online.
But even more, buyers have more options than ever before. Just about anyone can start their own business online. Everything will decentralize more and more.
Our family lives in the middle of practically nowhere, in the center of Texas: Waco, Texas. It's not a small town, but there are only 200,000 residents in the area. But it is not a booming economy like Dallas or Austin. The biggest employer is Baylor University (and even then, education is decentralizing, too - just look at how many online universities there are at such a much more affordable price). Yet more and more people are moving out of major cities and into rural areas where the land is cheaper and there is more creative freedom.
We couldn't live in the middle of nowhere where there are very few high-paying jobs unless we had businesses online. But because the internet is so ingrained into pretty much every corner of people's lives, it is now possible to start almost any kind of creative business from your home, online, with very little start up costs. So our family can pretty much move anywhere we want, and still have the same kind of work available to us - not relying on any particular local economy.
While there is so much opportunity in starting online businesses, the scary part is how fast retail and storefront businesses will crash. In the coming years, we will see more and more retail stores close, more malls go empty, and more people laid off. If you are someone who is working at a clothing store, or some kind of business which can be replaced by internet sales, you need to start looking for a new job or acquiring new skills that are based on mobile, internet and online technologies. Even more - jobs like truck drivers will eventually be replaced by self-driving cars. That's something that will likely happen in the next 10 years. The technology is here, but it will take some time for people to adapt to this shift. And companies like Amazon are perfecting the ability for drones to ship products right to your door from a local warehouse. Why go to the store and pick up basic necessities when they can come to you?
The economy is shifting at crazy speeds. I believe we are coming out of the "Age of Information" and into the "Age of Robotics & Art." Meaning that anything which can be automated will replace people who do simply jobs. And people will care more about all the options available to them, and purchase things from artists who create inspiring products rather than simply mass-produced items.
This is exciting news, though, for people who are creative and want to start a business online, sell on Etsy, or seek a new career.
It's also exciting news for people who want to create beautiful, experiential retail spaces. Places like Target & Walmart are boring and tedious to go to. But places which are fun and exciting, like a new Tea shop, Coffee Shop, or live music performance, are the places we will get to spend more time at. That's because we'll spend less time doing tedious things and more time enjoying life.
But only if you take advantage of coming changes that are likely to happen within the next few years.
Your dreams of starting a creative business are much more possible than ever. What's important is learning those skills of website design, online marketing, advertising, selling, building a business, and making products or places which inspire other people.
What are you doing to prepare for the coming changes in the worldwide economy?
Share your ideas in the comments below.