OK we've all heard the news. Standard & Poor's downgraded the US credit rating from AAA to AA+. This marks a sad time in our history, as our credit worthiness in the eyes of the world has taken an unprecedented hit. The Republicans are blaming the Democrats. The Democrats are blaming the Republications. Americans are blaming both parties, and rightfully so I might add.
Whatever your political affiliation, or lack thereof, the bottom line is that we small and independent business owners are caught in the middle. But that doesn't mean we are helpless. In fact, we are more empowered than ever, if we choose to be, and it's not because the government's (or any other third party) got out back. We are empowered because we have each other's backs!
That's right! You have an unprecedented opportunity to bail your own self out of this mess, and help the economy in the process. Here are three reasons why this is the best time ever to start a business, or focus on solidifying and growing the one you already have.
- Human resources. By far the most amazing asset you'll ever have in your business is the support of your fellow small business owners. Yes, some things are confidential and some things are trade secrets, but that covers about 5% of what you'll need to be successful. Everything else is on full display on the Internet.
There is no successful business owner you cannot learn from because everything they are doing is somehow publicized online. There is no person you cannot introduce yourself to. There is no subject about which you cannot educate yourself.
If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and help yourself, thousands of your fellow small business owners like the ones at the INDIE Social site will roll up their sleeves right alongside you. I have never heard of this happening before anytime in history. And while I'm sure the trend will continue into the future, we're on the front end of it now.
It's your turn. The whistle is blowing. The platform is clearing. The train is ready to go. Get on board before it leaves the station.
- Technological resources. After people comes technology. You know it's true. You have a computer. You have Internet access. You can read. BAM! What else do you need?
There's nothing you cannot learn how to do. There's no recipe too hard, no social media tip too complicated, no teleconference too inconvenient for you to attend.
Take off your technology blinders and jump in with me. I know, I know — it seems like you'll drown at first. But just like when you plunge yourself into a chilly swimming pool, with technology as your friend and your fellow small business owners are your guide, soon you'll discover that the water's just fine.
- Universal acceptance. When I left my “real” job as a corporate attorney, everyone thought I was crazy. No one accepted that my choice might be the wisest one in the long run. Fast forward to today. I got the last laugh! Today, everyone I meet wants to own a business of their own.
Soon, the person who does not own a business, whether or not he or she also has a full-time job, will be the exception to the rule. In the near future, it will be expected that you'll have a sand box of your own. Call it a hustle. Call it a side gig. Call it your empire. Call it whatever you want.
Business ownership is the new black, and it's poised to save the American economy from itself. We can do it. We must do it.
That's the upside of the downgrade. At least, that's what I think.
Question: What do think?