Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Betting the farm. One job at a time.

December 2003. Were you reading those job creation numbers?

It was a rough time. Biz was tanking in every sector. Only 1000 jobs created during that month in the entire United States.

One of them was Bill, the guy I hired to replace myself as chief peddler. We crossed our fingers, ignored the headlines, bet the farm and made one new job. December 2003. It was the one and only month I will probably ever be statistically noticeable in the macro economic numbers. We made 0.001 of the new jobs that month for the whole country.

The economy didn't seem to care, but Bill and I sure did. It was a turning point moment that was clearly saying, "Start your engines".

And that's my point. For start ups and small enterprisers the macro economy will always churn in ways we have no control over. That churning will rain millions of trickle down droplets on to you in perceptible and imperceptible ways. Like the weather, you and I have little or no influence over any of it.

Our opportunities are different and shouldn't be driven by the headlines. Problems are all over the place, even more so during bad times. However, problems equal opportunity, remember? Don't judge your opportunity or your contribution by what everyone says about your chances. They don't have your insight or your heart. They also miss the potential for creating smart, sustainable enterprises because they're driven by yesterday's numbers and their own fears.

Of course enterprise start ups can look scary. Everything can if you couch it in the wrong terms. But when things are dark there is also a great need for light. That's your opportunity, not your barrier.

From the outside looking in it probably appeared dumb to hire Bill. Every biz headline was awful. Storm clouds swirled.

What happened? The next year we had our best year ever. We damn near tripled our sales, with Bill leading the charge. It was a wonderful sight to see.

So, yes. That was me. 0.001 of the job creations for Dec. 2003. Remember? It's funny, but nobody ever called to say thanks.

Except Bill. And that's what really mattered.

It mattered to Bill. It really mattered to me.

1 comment:

Todd McKenzie said...

A great start up story proving that if you listened to the headlines and experts to begin with, you wouldn't have started your own business, so why start listening to them now.