In the past week, I have had more frequent conversations with entrepreneurs and others voicing some degree of hope in the economy and wishing for a decrease in the media's dire and dour coverage. For some small and mid-sized businesses, this is a time for belt-tightening and holding on. For others, it is a time to expand and grow. The latter group does not typically get much attention, but they exist and it can happen.
It has struck me in the discussions with companies facing this growth opportunity that there is a really cool chance here to create solutions. There are great people out there looking for jobs. There is still money looking for investing in right opportunities (it's just different than the drunken sailor investment strategy of the past). Some of these companies are "new economy" and have huge upside potential with investment and the right strategy and execution. Other companies are "old line" companies in industries that stand to do well in the downturn. For both, the business opportunities have remained largely the same. Now, however, there is the added "cool factor" of being part of solving a problem of unique proportions. Seriously, how great would it be to know inside that the growth of your business is putting people to work and providing a valuable product or service at a critical time? Forget about stimulus checks from the government! These are proven, lasting solutions.
Part of me right now is picturing the philosopher Chevy Chase in Caddyshack instructing Danny to "Be your future. Make. Make your future." But the bottom line is that there is a very real opportunity here. I tend to be a (sometimes too) pragmatic thinker about strategy and execution, but look at the big picture here and realize the impact you can have. Embrace the opportunity to lead your business and create solutions.
There are plenty of other ways to contribute as well. A movement is afoot this week, in particular, led by Duct Tape Marketing. The effort is simply "Make a Referral" Week. Please check it out and sign up yourself. Mobilizing entrepreneurs to support one another, this group is pushing its own grass roots stimulus. Brilliant! Social media avenues spread this like wildfire as well.
That's it for the pep talk this week. To be honest, it was largely a therapy session to remind myself to keep my eyes on horizon ... above the current fray. Now, go make your referral.