In the U.S. alone, 15.8 million people are currently participating in direct selling, and each brings his own motivation to pursue the business opportunity. A recent survey conducted by MBO Partners, a platform that supports independent consultants, provides some insight into what is driving America’s independent workforce—be they freelancers, self-employed or independent contractors.
The third annual State of Independence Report reflects an in-depth survey of workers spanning all age groups. At one end of the spectrum are millennials, who tended to describe themselves as freelancers, creative professionals or temporary workers. Mature respondents, on the other hand, were more likely to describe themselves as consultants or self-employed workers.
The number of independent workers has grown by 10 percent over the last two years, and the report projects that by 2020 about half the U.S. workforce will have engaged in independent work. Participation on that scale could occur in part because independents—25 percent according to the study’s findings—hire other independent contractors.
Taking into account all age groups, the average participant had been working independently for over 10 years—and that number is likely to grow. On a 10-point scale, 64 percent of independents rated their satisfaction as very high (8-10), and 20 percent rated it a 10. Of respondents who identified as self-employed or business owners, only 16 percent and 9 percent, respectively, expressed any interest in pursuing traditional employment.