Career

Become Your Own Boss With Help From The Sharing Economy

Many of us have a dream of being our own boss, whether that’s by starting our own company, being able to control our workload, or being able to choose the hours we work.

Many of us are pulling of that dream, too. Australia has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship amongst developed economies, with entrepreneurs and startups being the largest contributor of new jobs and innovation in Australia between 2006–2011, creating more than 1.44 million jobs.

To become your own boss, you don’t need to come up with the next Netflix. It can be much easier than that. It can be as easy as signing up with one of the many sharing economy platforms – think Uber, Airbnb, or Airtasker. With roughly one in six Australians aged over 18 having an Airbnb account, 54,000 Uber drivers across the country and 2.4 million riders using the Uber app, the sharing economy is big business.

If you want to take control of your working life, you could try one of these platforms. It could be a side hustle to begin with, or you could take on a combination of roles. Whatever pays the bills. The pay might not be great to begin with, but you’ll become your own boss. And who knows, maybe after you get the hang of it you’ll rake it in, like one Airtasker who earned more than $170,000 in a year.

#1. Become an independent courier

Sure, Airtasker may be booming, allowing people to earn a heck of an income from odd jobs. But if you have your own transport, you could sign yourself up to become a courier through Zoom2U. You’ll be able to choose the hours you work (so you could start around your old job) and you select the jobs you take on. Start by accepting your deliveries and organising your schedule to meet customers deadlines and expect payment at the end of the week.

#2. Become a travel host

If you own your place, you can offer it for rent on Airbnb – either the entire place or just a single room. You can also provide a temporary home on wheels to travellers coming to your hood by making use of your idle RV or caravan by renting it out through Camplify. In the time you’re not holidaying, create your listing on the site, choose your seasonal rates and hiring rules and availability. Feel like a boss knowing that you have total control in all hire requests.

#3. Become a part time pet sitter

Sharing economy pets

Do you want a pet but aren’t allowed a doggo in your apartment? Then spend time with other people’s pets – as your job! You’ll become your own boss, and it’ll be like having pets as employees. Delightful. Being a professional pet sitter through Mad Paws, where you can care for your neighbourhood’s furry friends. This is a job with guaranteed flexibility and freedom allowing you to be full time, part time or just a casual carer over the weekends.

#4. Rent out your spare space

If you have extra space, it’s worth embracing Spacer, a platform which allows you to rent your that space to those needing extra storage. You could earn a few hundred bucks a month for allowing someone access to your spare room or garage. All you need to do is create a listing, set your price and rules, review prospective renters and then accept or reject your offers.

#5. Become a cook for your neighbourhood

If you enjoy your time in the kitchen and don’t mind cooking large quantities of food, FoodByUs allows you to do that – for pay. Cook your cakes, cookies, muffins, pizzas, roast dinners or whatever the hell you like making, and sell it on the platform to cafés, restaurants or even just regular people who don’t want to cook for themselves. Accept an order, prep and fulfill customer orders provided from the platform, who will then deliver your creations to locals on your behalf.

It’s not so hard to become your own boss. Figure out how much time you can set aside for these activities (and some need next to no time) and make the transition from full-time employee to employer of one – yourself!


Georgie lives in Melbourne and enjoys live music, eating out and watching Will and Grace.