The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Each month I enjoy getting Jack Schultz's enewsletter. Jack spoke at our annual meeting a few years ago and is an eternal optimist who believes in the power of entrepreneurship. I found his current edition especially uplifting. In it he cites a great editorial by Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com).
The Truth About Unemployment -
the economy really isn't as bad as you may think
Have you started to feel as though the media has nothing else to report on except the economy, bickering politicians and unemployment? That if they couldn't inject fear and negativity into your life with their gloom and doom reporting, they wouldn't have a job at all? I don't think you're too far off base. We've been listening to how bad things are for so long, we've become too afraid to try to improve things ourselves.
The fact is, our economy is no longer in a recession and hasn't been for some time. It's true, the recovery has been slow, and lots of folks are still out of a job. Many have lost their homes. But that kind of thing goes on even in a booming economy. Over 90% of people are still employed. That is pretty good! I'm not making light of the fact that some people are struggling; I'm just putting the situation in the proper perspective.
The cruelty of unemployment is that it steals part of your dignity. When you want to earn money but can't find a job, 9.1% unemployment means nothing to you. You are either 100% employed or 100% unemployed. Either way, you can't let "the economy" become your destiny. People win in every "economy" because of the choices they make. If this is your first "bad economy," you may not know that many great companies and great careers have been born in the necessity of tough times. If you or a loved one is unemployed, it could become a blessing in disguise if the result is a small business or a new career choice you might have avoided in "good times." I have met people all over the nation who are having the best year of their lives because they chose not to participate in the "bad economy."
These are men in their garages starting their own mechanic shops. It's the next Mary Kay Ash writing up a business plan for new products she's just created. College students who are developing "the next best thing" in their dorm rooms as you are reading this. This is reality!
So think about your skills and interests. How can you leverage those passions into something you enjoy doing every day while earning money for it? If you haven't lost your job but dread going to work, maybe it's time to fire your employer and go in a new direction. When you have a game plan for your money and career, you will have a sense of empowerment because you aren't a slave to the lender (or employer).
Employers will start hiring when they believe their businesses will grow again. They aren't hiring now because many of them are still paralyzed by fear. They've lost hope. People who continue going about their lives in normal ways (without being irresponsible and buying stuff they can't afford) believe in the future. It's called hope.
You can have fear or hope. It's your choice.
I choose hope.
We choose hope as well - if we all carry around a positive attitude it will make a difference for our Valley. DM