The Personal Inc. Leader is the new “lifestyle entrepreneur” and a fierce exercise of introspection is our path to growth


We’ve entered a new era of living and doing business.

Evolved beyond an economy driven by machine factory work and empowered by the access to information through the powers of the interweb, we’ve advanced and are in the Digital Revolution.

Layer on top of this that by 2020, according to a report by Intuit, an estimated 40%+ of our workforce will be made up of contractors, freelancers and independents. These numbers don’t include people who already identify as entrepreneurs or business owners, making the group of us “doing-our-own-thing” folks even larger.

In the era we’re in now, we can more easily seek out the information to explore our curiosities, self-learn, and self-teach (thank you YouTube, Google, and so forth). The barrier of entry to start something that could in some way / shape / form become a source of income, is minimal or basically zero. All this makes side hustles, creative projects, and developing a “diversified work portfolio” an exciting and approachable path to financial and creative freedom that many are choosing (63% to be exact).

And while a bunch of folks around us are opting, proactively, to live the “diversified work life,” there’s also a growing number of people who are having to do so out of necessity. More and more corporations are replacing full-time roles with part-time ones or replacing roles all-together with automation.

Whether by election or because of external pressures of the changes around us, we are increasingly becoming entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial as a fundamental approach for living. Put another way: that 40% and growing number of us living the independent life are becoming leaders of our own Personal Incs., and we are setting a precedent for a new way of building a an economy in which achieving business and personal aims are mutually inclusive.


Let’s dig a little deeper on who the Personal Inc. Leader is.

The Personal Inc. Leader is someone who is building a product or service or a hybrid of both with the main aim of: fulfilling personal desires, emotional needs and financial gains, all together.

The Personal Inc. Leader overlaps with a traditional Startup Owner in having a business building mindset and she overlaps with the Freelancer / Independent in being motivated by freedom and flexibility:

The Personal Inc. Leader is an evolution of what we may know as the “lifestyle entrepreneur” or the “lifestyle business owner.” She shares with the lifestyle business owner a desire for a certain income and the creation of a certain lifestyle. Where the Personal Inc. Leader goes a step further is to root herself in a bigger mission, a larger-than-self aim. She’s in pursuit of a lifestyle, yes, and also, to transcend herself, to make a bigger, ripple-effect change in the community around her (and beyond).

It’s a powerful mindset, The Personal Inc. mindset, it’s one in which homing in on and channeling our individual strengths, motivations, feelings, goals, desires — a pursuit of fulfillment — is the fundamental building block to the venture, project or business that one builds. It’s equally invigorating that a growing half of us share this mindset or subscribe to this philosophy of growth. We are a part of a universal and evolving experience and shift in our economy.

With this growing half of us becoming Personal Inc. Leaders, comes both a boon in opportunity and a corresponding set of challenges. The opportunities are: creative and emotional fulfillment and more personal control over financial outcomes. As far as challenges go, there‘s actually only one main catch-all challenge: differentiation. With the growing number of us, we’re becoming a crowd and we, more than ever, need to become excellent at differentiating ourselves to perpetuate the growth we seek.

The awesome news, though? We already come differentiated. The fact that we are human with our own DNA, upbringing, proclivities, desires, motivations, strengths, experiences, and so forth, makes our task in differentiating less about developing those differentiators, but rather, a task in getting clear on and articulating what differentiators already lie within us.

The competitive edge for the Personal Inc. is the individual. More directly put, the competitive advantage for the Personal Inc. is YOU. Engaging in a fierce exercise of introspection with ourselves is the necessary step and ongoing act of self-awareness raising and self-articulating that needs to be done. When we are able to articulate to ourselves what makes us distinctive, we’re able to express that authenticity outward, breed trust from connecting with others from a place of truth and build a likeminded community that supports and fuels us to make the things we want to happen, happen.

Alison Gilbert