Why Australia's unemployment issue is everyone's problem
Queensland Nickel closed along with the slowdown of the mining industry and the slashing of public service jobs - all have taken their toll on the city.
When I embarked on bringing the North Queensland Entrepreneurs Conference to Townsville, I was first thinking about doing it in Charters Towers. With Outback Queensland having over a 13% unemployment rate, the town could sure do with a few hundred people visiting the town and spending money on hotels, food, gifts and visiting the towns tourism destinations. I changed my mind because if you are going to do good for a town you want for everyone to be rooting for its success. A negative sentiment to anyone doing anything positive seems to play out by a few louder spruikers who troll social media - and when you are looking for a positive outcome for something that has already got everyone down, that's the last thing you want to see.
Opening my eyes up to what is going on in Townsville has been a real shock. Once prosperous business owners are struggling to pay the bills or have closed their doors. With Queensland Nickel closing, it broke the bank, however, many of those who lost jobs were at least brought a ray of sunshine with other business leaders and the sporting teams trying their best to keep their spirits high. What no-one took into account is the existing people who can't get a job, and were never on the high salaries someone working at Queensland Nickel may have been on. It was bitter-sweet for them and I have heard some of their stories, which has been interesting and a huge eye-opener.
I look at my business and we continue to grow. This year, we will once again double our revenues, with no sign of any changing tides. I have imagined what I would do to help North Queensland businesses and when we had 5 to 10 Instagram positions available, I first went to Charters Towers Facebook pages and posted it. The job required self-starters, so it had to be people who were willing to follow things through. In the end, we decided that after a troll became unbearable and we wouldn't subject people employed by Marketing Eye to that unacceptable behaviour. When I look back at that today, I know that was the right decision, but in hindsight I should have moved it to Townsville. I am sure there are 5 to 10 marketing graduates that would welcome the opportunity to work for a marketing agency and hone their social media skills.
Those jobs were for an international company that we work for - and the fact that they can be done from any place that has internet access is a good reminder to everyone that you can have a business that is remote online.
When you are thinking about the doom and gloom of unemployment, as I have done - think about what you can do to change the outcomes of places like this. This problem is everyone's problem and we never want to be in a situation as a country where we are struggling to ensure that people have meals on the table. Unemployment causes more crime, mental illness issues, health issues and in general a society that finds it hard to see the forest through the trees.
Ideas that anyone can do to make money:
- Sell jams, muesli or any other food that is delicious, nutritious and is in high demand
- Knit beanies and sell them on eBay
- Make the best hoodie in the world, or best Tshirt, or best something....
- Start a website
- Write a blog and sell advertising once you have gained momentum
- Build a great following on instagram and become and influencer
- Learn how to do social media and sell these services to any company whether it's in Australia or overseas
- Suitcase covers so that handlers don't ruin your suitcases
There are so many things you can do - but your idea is what counts. Think about what you can do, and if it's a good enough idea, then others will want to invest.
All you have to do is believe.