Blake Mallen and the Gig Economy

Blake Mallen, who co-founded ViSalus, is an entrepreneur who capitalizes on trends. 36 percent of U.S. workers belong to the “gig economy”. This means that 57 million workers are independent contractors for temporary assignments. This economy is growing quickly compared to the traditional U.S. worker. Studies and trends show that this number will only continue to grow. Authorities expect this “gig economy” to grow and reach 43% by the end of 2020.

The “gig economy” is hot, but not a new idea. In the 1950s, baby boomers used their skills and worked for themselves. Some research firms have identified this returning trend’s growing momentum beginning about 10 years ago. But five years before that, Blake Mallen started to question his career path. He wondered if what society and people told him he was “supposed to do” was what he should do. He noticed that many people, especially millennials, were searching for a career path with more opportunity and freedom.

Blake Mallen teamed up with a business partner, Nick Sarnicola. These two designed platforms to promote this “gig economy explosion”. The brands created have equipped over 300,000 entrepreneurs to build their business. Anyone can create this business in spare time or part-time. Then, it can become a full-time job.

Vi was the original company that Blake Mallen co-founded in 2005, which proved the “gig economy” real. Mallen says, “If you think about it, direct sales were the original side gig; it is just not what people called it decades ago”. This began the shift away from traditional corporate or factory jobs that people went to college for and worked hard to get. When founding this new business model, Mallen and Sarnicola understood that it was not the traditional business model that “turned off” many young people. It was the lack of any “cool factor” with no innovation.

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