The collaboration economy is a socio-economic system built around the idea that sharing human and physical assets is better for both individuals and organizations. This system is gathering a lot of momentum today, mainly because of the rise of Internet-based businesses and a shifting economic climate.

The sharing of goods and services is becoming easier and faster. Barriers to collaboration among people and organizations are crumbling. This opens up a wealth of opportunities for creative and enterprising individuals and heralds the beginning of a “Golden Age” for network marketing.

Collaborative business initiatives are creating millions of micro-entrepreneurs who understand the power of the sharing economy. This will make it easy for people to transition into network marketing as in essence it is guided by the same principles as the collaboration economy.

Network marketing is all about connecting the right people to products and services through relationships they trust. This meshes well with the collaboration economy because you share what you know and have with others, who will in turn share what they learned or got from you with their own circles and organizations. This creates a snowball effect wherein people create a sustainable economy among themselves.

The mega-success of companies like Airbnb and Uber shows how network marketing and the collaboration economy fit together. These companies have built their businesses by tapping into the natural tendencies of consumers to share things online. They offer a platform where people can connect and share their goods and services with other consumers. It’s community building and social engagement at its finest. Another advantage of this platform is that it cuts out the middleman and lets the market regulate itself by allowing people to network directly with each other.

The collaboration economy and network marketing tap into the power of word-of-mouth advertisement. We are more likely to buy a product recommended by a friend than one seen on TV. Technology has made it easier for consumers to connect with each other through social sites, chat rooms, and forums, and the opinion of their peers or friends matters more than any advertisement. A creative network marketer can utilize this to create conversations online about his products, services, or other offers.

In a nutshell, combining the principles of the collaboration economy with those of network marketing is the future of business. Few entrepreneurs understand this connection, but more will, sooner or later. As more businesses integrate Internet and mobile technologies, consumers will have more say in the creation, production, and distribution of the goods and services. This encourages even more sharing and collaboration, and conditions people to embrace network marketing. People will start to see the value of our opportunity to create their own sharing economy with residual income.

EVAN KLASSEN has been an active network marketer since 2008 and built international teams of over 20,000 distributors in 23 countries. A bestselling author and inspired entrepreneur, he is spearheading a movement in network marketing combining high tech and high touch.