All Long Beach Public Libraries Have Free Wifi

Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Public Library. 

Long Beach recently made another “Best Cities” list: AIGA’s best cities to work as a freelance graphic designer.  Indeed, we are a city made up of spaces and support for the new gig economy, with thousands of locations in Long Beach offering free wi-fi, including all public libraries.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the gigging workforce is not just made up of college students.  It’s business people just like us: high school principals with side gigs, part-time nannies, skilled immigrants improving their English skills, and even fully employed professionals who also work as moonlighters.

Young Long Beach Entreprepreneur AveryThe trend is clear (and it may be one that is scary to hear): in just a few years, one out of every two of us will be part of the gig economy, whether it is to supplement a traditional full-time job or just on the side, for extra spending cash.  Personally, I am already there: I hire freelance labor online for my day job and am an Airbnb* Superhost on the side.

But, as popular as the freelance sphere has become, there are probably a lot of you who haven’t yet dipped a toe in the water–on either side.  So, here’s a little bit of helpful homework, designed to get you up to speed on the latest and greatest in the new marketplace.

Go ahead and whip out your smartphone and download one, a few, or all of the apps for the following peer-to-peer marketplaces.  Many of them have free trials, discounts, and special offers just for checking out the service.  

Surely, there are a few errands, tasks, or chores you’ve been putting off.  Why not try out the freelance sphere to tie up those loose ends?  Or, you might even consider making a few extra bucks on the side as a tasker yourself.   

Start here:

  •* – Find a cool vacation spot or become a host by renting out your entire pad when you are away, or even just a room when you’re around.
  • – Find nannies, babysitters, and more.
  • DoorDash – On-demand food delivery from your favorite local restaurants.  
  • DogVaycay – Pick a local dog lover to care for your pup.
  • Fiverr – Find professional services, in over 120 categories.
  • – Hire and find jobs.
  • Handy – Book trusted home cleaners and handymen.
  • Lyft – Get taxi-like service or carpool locally.
  • OneDrive (Office365) and Google Apps –  A freelancer on the go needs to live on the cloud. If your kid is a LBUSD student, get access to the best cloud apps and storage FREE in Long Beach. All Long Beach Unified School District Students and Staff have access to Office365 and Google Apps for Education (GAFE).
  • Postmates – Get delivery from any store or restaurant in your city.
  • Sitter City – Find babysitters and nannies.
  • Skillshare – Take or teach online classes.
  • Task Rabbit – Hire pro taskers in your neighborhood.
  • Thumbtack – Accomplish your personal projects.
  • Uber – Get a ride from a local driver.  
  • Upwork – Freelancers do anything that can be done on a computer.
  • UrbanSitter – Find babysitters and nannies.
  • Work Market – An on-demand workforce management system.  

It’s natural to be resistant to change, but I think you’ll find that once you start using these kinds of apps, there’s no going back.  I now regularly rely on local help for deliveries, rides, odd jobs, caregiving, and a whole lot more.

If nothing else, when you’re an entrepreneur, you really must know what’s happening in the competitive landscape.  And, trust me, it’s pretty incredible.    

I’ve used several of these apps and websites myself, but certainly not all of them. So, I’m relying on you to tell me how it goes.  Once you’ve had a chance to download and test one of the apps above, be sure to leave a comment below and report your results!

* Olga Mizrahi will be speaking on the gig economy at AirBnB’s “festival of hosting” called AirBnB Open LA in Los Angeles on November 19, 2016