Column: Your future is never certain, but…
According to my job test, I had to become a farmer or a journalist. I felt little for both. No, becoming a singer in a rock band. That was really all I could think of at the age of seventeen. And I didn't even have a band. I only went for an entrepreneurial degree, to at least have some kind of education. Twenty-one years later, Bloeise brings me back to the results of that professional test.
It was such a dull multiple choice test on such an outdated PC in a dusty room on a late Friday afternoon. You had to choose between four extremes every time. I took this job test and its results anything but seriously. Despite my curiosity and good grades for Dutch, I didn't see myself becoming a journalist anytime soon. Seems like a lot of hassle for nothing. Even when I started writing more and more – professionally – I didn't think I would ever be able to earn a living from it. I initially set up Bloeise as a marketing communication agency. The focus on content was purely pragmatic: content marketing was just the latest marketing trend. It wasn't until I was introduced to a client as a journalist by Emerce that I realized that the career test wasn't so crazy after all.
Sowing and reaping
A friend recently complained about his IT support company. A major customer had left and he had to lay off his two employees. Do you have plans? I asked. No, none. To which I explained how I always tap into multiple revenue sources. Multiple customers, different industries and types. Short texts and long texts. English and Dutch. Facebook and Google, but also link building via Fiverr. As an entrepreneur, it is a lot of seeding, testing and paying attention to what is going well. Just like a farmerI thought afterwards. Now a real farmer will soon explain to me that agriculture is all about specialization and intensification. And that's true, also in many online professions. But growing channels and online revenue, that's exactly what Bloeise stands for.
'Slashies' like to do a side hustle
Just a sidetrack. Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, seem to enjoy doing a variety of things. You can typically see that in their Twitter bio: travel / photography / foodie / model / driving instructor. So slashes. Driven by passion on the one hand and pragmatism on the other. Because the chimney has to smoke, but also do what you like. The Belgian The standard calls these side jobs 'side hustles': crazy activities that still earn you money. From baking vegan cakes, sewing wedding dresses to recreating pets with lego bricks and aquarium reviews.
Those side hustles are made possible by the internet: no matter how crazy your idea is, you can appeal to your own target group worldwide. And the crazier you are, the more likely you will have no competition. The starting point is that you discover a need, often in yourself, for which there is no solution yet.
Locking yourself in
I don't see myself becoming a singer in a rock band any time soon. There are already enough singers in the world, and actually it doesn't even seem that fun to me. I do enjoy making electronic musicbut especially for myself. That way I keep it fun for myself without obligations. What you are good at and can earn money from and what you enjoy doing are not always the same.
By building a business, you as an entrepreneur choose your own future. That feels like a continuous process to me. That's why I prefer not to lock myself in as a writer or marketer. Perhaps in two years I will mainly do service design workshops or give advice to accountants. It depends on my abilities and passions of the moment, just like millennials. Now I was born just a year earlier – in 1979 – so officially I'm X-generation, but I don't think age is that determinative. I think it's about the times we live in. Thanks to the internet, we have all kinds of new possibilities to shape your interests. But such a career test can still be astonishingly accurate. Maybe it's time for that vegetable garden.