By my definition, the New Yeoman is a self-employed person such as a plumber, coder, designer, trader, store-owner/keeper, artisan, mechanic, carpenter, family farmer, one-person law firm, book-keeper, small manufacturer, or private teacher/tutor. In short, any professional, tradesman, or craftsman that plies their trade for themselves. We look to others not for a permanent paycheck, but for a voluntary exchange of goods, services, and ideas. At times, by necessity, we may need to be employees, either in addition to our trade or in place of it, but our goal is always to be a New Yeoman again.
We choose our work, we enjoy it, and we’re proud of it. We know, care for, and talk to our customers. We are not nameless, inter-changeable people in large organizations. We live within our means, anticipate and prepare for lean years, and show humility in flush years. We are good citizens of our neighborhood, even when our neighborhood is virtual. We help others when they are unable to help themselves, but we expect others to work as hard and endure risk as we do when they can. We share our knowledge of the New Yeoman life with each other. We encourage and mentor others who want to become New Yeomen.
In short, the New Yeoman is what a good chunk of America looked like before the 20th century. Technology has been blamed for destroying the original Yeoman life at the end of the 19th century in America, but the New Yeoman embraces technology. Technology not only makes their work possible, but in many ways makes their work more attractive than that of employees in large organizations. In my humble opinion, it is an admirable way of life that is poised for a return in the 21st century.
At The New Yeoman, I will write about the life and try to be a good New Yeoman by sharing my experiences. My own New Yeoman life began in 2005. The details of it and my employed life before it can be found here.
Why The New Yeoman?
I’m a little late getting around to starting and posting to this blog, The New Yeoman. I’ve been too busy practicing the life rather than writing about it.
I was first inspired to build The New Yeoman by an article in USA Today about Mike Rowe. The specific quote was,
USA Today: You’ve said we need to look at unemployment numbers differently. What do you mean?
Mike Rowe: I mean that 12 million unemployed people doesn’t necessarily mean 12 million too few jobs. It could just as easily mean 12 million too many employees. Not too many people – too many people trained to think like employees. Fostering entrepreneurship is no less important than “Creating Jobs.”
I couldn’t believe there was not a follow up. This was a profoundly important point for everyone in the USA (and world-wide for that matter). No one owes anyone a job. People with needs for a specific skill or set of skills create “jobs,” temporary or permanent. Not only may the employers not need, or ever need, the number of “unemployed” people, but there may be a formidable disconnect between skills needed and skills possessed by the “unemployed.” I think we have a mixture of these two issues.
So why do so many “unemployed,” possibly “unemployable” simply wait for a job that may never come? Why not self-employment? There has never been a better time to be self-employed.
At The New Yeoman, I hope to describe the self-employed life and what it looks like in the hopes of encouraging a few more people to self-remove themselves from the “unemployed” line.