Have you heard the term ‘The sharing economy’? It refers to individuals and organisations sharing resources to benefit each other. It is not clear where the phrase was first coined but it has a growing reputation and interest. Freecycle, Airbnb and swapping products are all part of the sharing economy which is becoming more and more popular. Renting out your driveway or houseswapping for holidays all come under the umbrella of the sharing economy. Have you ever tried these? Recently I heard that putting a tent up in someones garden is becoming a thing and a way to travel for less.
The advantages of this approach to living are numerous:
- Clearly the biggest advantage is the cost. The sharing economy reduces the cost of the service or product.
- It is better for the planet as we share resources and live in a less wasteful manner.
- It makes you feel good to know that you are saving money and being resourceful.
The disadvantage of the sharing economy:
- The only disadvantage I see is that it is built on trust. You need to respect other peoples resources especially if car or home sharing.
My wedding was fourteen years ago and we utilised this method before it had a trendy name! Our wedding cake was made by a friend and it was gifted to us, one of our flower displays was a wedding gift from a talented flower arranger. and the choir sang for free. We called in a few favours, things we were then happy to do for others when their time came. Flowers are a great gift and if your garden blooms use what you grow.
If you have a skill or a resource the sharing economy could work for you. Many list their resources online, either through dedicated websites or just by setting up Facebook pages and so on. It is another example of how the internet has impacted on the global work space. The sharing economy is booming and is an ethical way of living and has been adopted by those with a creative flair and those keen on environmentalism. Selling on or giving away your used goods is better for everyone and I think this has been seen in the rise of people happy to use second hand goods. Bloggers can really benefit from the sharing economy as they have the skills to work with others and also often run micro businesses to diversify their income. It is not about working for no money – cash transactions are often used think Airbnb. Bloggers can often work as virtual assistants, do web design, make media kits and the like. If you are looking for somewhere to advertise your skills People Per Hour is a good starting place. On a personal level I have always paid others to do the technical side of the blog as that is not where my skills lie – I prefer the creative writing and getting involved in brand collaborations. I have also worked as a tutor in the run up to exams and usedd my educational qualification and skills to give others some one to one exam support.
The sharing economy is booming – have you got involved in it yet do let me know in the comments.