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The most underutilized asset we possess is time.

We live busy lives. At the end of the day, week, month or year, we can easily grade ourselves by measuring the return on our investment of time. Time is our blessing. We should measure how we take care of ourselves and our families and how we contribute to the welfare of others.

The preceding are serious metrics. The more straightforward metrics are simply related to the amount of money earned, saved and debt incurred. When the latter metrics are not as desirable as we would like, we can choose to take steps to improve our situation. Because of the emergence and phenomenal growth of the gig economy, we have more choices than at any time in history to engage supplemental income opportunities that could potentially be life-changing.

Gigs do not require resumes, only a desire to work at something that provides value to others. New learning may be necessary; however, many gigs are intuitive. It does not require new learning to engage in a gig that offers an opportunity to use current skills and/or assets to create a financial return on the investment of time.

When we look at the four primary categories of gigs — transportation, service, selling and leasing — we find people from all walks of life engaged. Most of us have benefitted from transportation and service gigs, and the diversity experienced has been incredible. Men and women from all backgrounds and ages have provided me with service from transportation, fixing household items in need of repair, and delivering something I ordered. I once rode with a transportation driver who was a teacher on a break for a few hours. Another was a student working on a Ph.D. using underutilized time. I have also met moms who are working a gig while the kids are at school and highly skilled professionals working their gig with a goal to develop a new enterprise.

The primary thought to share is: Underutilized time is probably our most underutilized asset. Marketers within gig-providing companies can assume that there is always an audience that can benefit from the opportunity being presented. The challenge: present a choice that becomes the preferred choice of a vast prospective audience of gig explorers and seekers.

As we noted in the Ultimate Gig book and Ultimate Gig Planning Guide, over 50% of workers are predicted to be engaged in some form of gig work within the next few years, and up to 80% of all workers may be interested. Therefore, marketers do not have to establish interest; it is already there. It occurred to us that marketers who make clear distinctions that are easily understood when promoting their opportunities might help the prospective audience better understand how to use underutilized time in a creative manner that activates a financial return on the investment of time. The prospect does not need to be convinced that the compensation is fair or even better than something comparable. The audience needs to understand that they have underutilized time and how they can turn this asset into a value-added benefit by possibly connecting a passion, purpose, need or love (for product or service).

This thought and insight led us to see the value of selling gigs in particular. They can be operated in so many different ways. They no longer require a physical presence; it’s all about digital presence. We can buy cars we have never seen, even homes, via a digital presentation. If you have a product to sell, there are platforms like Etsy where you can market your products globally.

If you are looking for something to sell and the opportunity to create your own brand, there are companies like Shopify that specialize in providing all the support you need to launch your own eCommerce-based business. Because of the role technology plays, it is now possible to manage multiple gigs without conflict.

If you are looking to affiliate with a proven brand, it is hard to beat the offers direct selling companies provide. Direct selling companies that offer multiple categories of products actually offer multiple categories of gigs even though all products are under one company. Example: Different categories of products appeal to different types of consumers. By segmenting the selling focus by category, each category can be promoted more effectively, reducing the risk of consumer confusion and actually simplifying the appeal to prospective direct sellers. One direct seller may actually be working multiple gigs when adopting this type of thinking.

I thought about the many direct selling companies that I am familiar with that offer multiple categories of products. The independent contractors typically gravitate to the products they enjoy and benefit from the most; however, many of the websites we visited offer all products on one platform, which can be confusing to the consumer. The question becomes, where does the consumer start, especially the prospective consumer?

The common asset associated with all selling gigs is associated with the fact that all selling gigs are typically based on purchasing from a platform, no longer a store. The platform is live 24/7. Therefore, the gig worker can work 24/7. Underutilized time may be identified as morning hours, afternoon hours, the hours between specific hours, evening hours and even nighttime hours. Promotions can be targeted to specific groups and sent out at midnight or at 6:00 a.m.; the choice is up to the gig worker.

Most selling gigs reward for customer acquisition and also for influencing repeat customer purchases. Once the selling gig worker has acquired customers and repeat customers, momentum may activate due to the personal attention given to the customer by the seller, which may trigger referrals and more customer purchases. As the seller’s business gains even more momentum, the seller may be sleeping, but the store is still open….the eCommerce platform is live 24/7. Underutilized time (sleeping) now begins to be profitable.

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Wayne Moorehead With John T. Fleming

In this episode of Direct Approach, Wayne is joined by John T. Fleming, direct selling expert and author of the new book, Ultimate Gig: Flexibility,