Mobility is Currency


Fred Perrotta

I've already written about why the manufacturing jobs aren't coming back and the opportunity for remote work to provide a way forward. Today, let's take it one step further.

Mobility is currency.

If you can't move to where the opportunities are or take advantage of them remotely, you're screwed.

Is your town slowly rotting from the inside like my hometown is?

You have three choices:

  1. Move to a city that's thriving and work at a company that is too
  2. Find a remote work opportunity to virtually take advantage of opportunities outside of your geographic location
  3. Start a business

None of the above are easy and all have major roadblocks.

If you didn't go to college or haven't been able to build skills throughout your career, you may not be qualified for #1 or #2.

Finding an affordable place to live in #1 is difficult, especially in coastal cities, as the result of years of bad housing policy and NIMBYism.

In #3, you may have to start an online business and serve customers outside of your town in order to make enough money to get by.

Despite these barriers, staying in one place, waiting on the "jobs fairy" is an economic death sentence. Having a mortgage in one of these abandoned towns is like being shackled to a sinking ship.

Mobility is currency.

Like time, mobility is hard to measure in aggregate and easy to squander. It's also precious.

As our friends at Teleport say, "Free people move."

If you don't have freedom of movement, you are not free.

Note: This post was written before Trump's "Muslim Ban" and is only more true now.

I'll skip the James Altucher, don't buy a house spiel. Freedom of movement isn't about owning versus renting. It's about optionality. Owning a house isn't an encumbrance if you can sell it or, better yet, rent it out on Craigslist or Airbnb while you travel or relocate. Optionality turns an anchor into an asset.

Mobility is the new wealth. Without real or virtual freedom of movement, your economic opportunities will be severely limited.

What's restricting your freedom of movement? What's restricting your opportunities? Most importantly, what are you going to do about it?