From wikipedia "Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large"
The fundamental resource that you can market is your own time, your very life. Never underestimate how precious your experience is, or how valuable your unique outlook is to others.
If you have any need of monetary wealth, and most of us do, you'll be marketing your time in exchange for wealth on some level. For shorthand let's call the ideal time/wealth exchange RITE, standing for Revenue Ideal Time Exchange. Somewhat analogous to Heat exchange the transfer will be from potential value from the individual, to perceived value by society at large.
I foresee a future where Adam Smith's views on the division of labor have evolved into something Henry David Thoreau would be proud of. Although far from religious, I have faith that there is a harmony between
- our individual natures and the benefits they yield to society
- and the common wealth of our society
If we follow the herd, our time is devalued and we're funneled into full time jobs that will pay us just enough so that we can maintain a meager existence. Most of these positions are fairly labor intensive and the system of these businesses have been designed to profit from your time. Chances are you'll be told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Assuming that your skill set is extraordinary or you work extra hard, you may find that society will value your time just fractionally more, giving you the opportunity to save minimal resources for the future or live slightly above the norm.
How does one market their time more effectively?
The key is to identify a profitable passion. For some it's trivial, for others it's much more complicated. The pursuit of your current passions is founded on the culmination of your life experience, and there are likely unknown interests in your future.
You must discover a connection between your
- passions: the pursuits of your true self, or what you would do with your time had you no need for wealth and
- what society has deemed (or will deem!) high value
One of the obstacles to this form of self discovery is identifying your fundamental interests. What activities of your choosing do you spend the most time doing? At least one of these must strike a chord within you. Now imagine how others would benefit from your expertise on this subject. Can you imagine a better product for this market? Can you better organize available information on this subject? Can you teach, coach, and interact with others who share this same passion? What are your strengths in relation to this passion, what will you need help with? Steve Jobs founder of Apple told graduates a few years back "You've got to find what you love".
In regards to "high value" information, the world wide web is providing a framework for free information flow. How will media and information be valued even a few years from now? I suspect the substance, organization, and free access to electronic media of all forms (music, tv, film, books & magazines) will be related to it's fiscal value. Information sites will prosper by allowing free access with ads, or opt in subscriptions to avoid advertisements (Seth Godin's the guru on this subject). Web zine articles and blogs (hopefully even pretentious inspirational ones) will help make sense out of the ubiquitous deluge of ever growing information available at our finger tips.
At any given time, even at this very moment, there exist numerous RITE methods for you to market your time. Out of fear of missing "the greatest" opportunity you may find yourself pursuing many paths but never getting over the hump in any one of them (much like myself). Trust in your instincts to aid in finding the RITE path for you, at the right time. And don't be afraid to ask for help from your mentors, friends, or even seek out advice online. The information is out there.
In order to succeed at finding and following a RITE, you'll have to pursue a hunch and a dream and have enough faith in your own judgment, and enough wits to modify your vision, to keep you moving. Fear not, once you are on this bold path, both your vital energy and conviction will gain in strength, propelling you towards a rich and RITE future.