Choose Challenge and Create Value


I’m scaring my capital-D-Democratic self these days, because I keep wanting to shake people up!  This instinct to grab people by the shoulders isn’t very compassionate, but I want to do it.  These are really difficult times; I know it first hand.  It’s not easy selling my valuable retreats to folks, when their travel and training budgets are as dry as the Sahara Desert.  This economy can be jarring.  I’d be darned mad if I’d been misled on a mortgage, had my job sold out to a low cost Mexican manufacturer, or been laid off as the pawn in a political struggle between medium-sized men with oversized egos and shrinking budgets.  And after being mad, I’d be scared about getting a job or a house or a loan in this environment.  But darn it, after getting a little comfort, challenge is sometimes what you really need to grow, and opportunities are there in this crazy (internet) world to build something new, something valuable and profitable. 

 Case 1.  Check out Some guy realizes there’s Obamamania out there.  And before Christmas he finds a way to fabricate flannel Obama-Jamas and sell them on the Net.  30 years ago could he have found a textile manufacturer?  Could he have figured out just how much inventory to buy?  Could he have found some chains to carry his stuff?  And if so, how long would all that take?  In today’s world, I’ll bet he was up and running in a day, with stock on hand in 2 weeks.  Inventory on demand.  Gaining credit with sales.  He didn’t need an office, a track record in textiles and apparel, or a warehouse.  If the guy had Skype, he wouldn’t even need a phone!!!!  And his business may be DONE in 6 months.  Caput!  But I bet he’ll find another opportunity.

Case 2.  A longtime entertainment writer got a buy-out.  He used some of the money to syndicate the same column.  Now he doesn’t have one buyer – the local paper – he’s got tens if not hundreds of buyers.  Oh, it’s precarious.  He doesn’t get one reasonably big check but many little ones, and he’ll be competing with lots of other formerly comfortable entertainment writers out there, but the point is he can access a national if not global economy.  And he’ll find new ways to deliver his stuff.  In challenge he’s finding opportunity.

 In the new world we’re in, it’s not about experience.  It’s not about girth.  It’s not about longevity.  It’s not about college degrees.  It’s all about value.  Each of us needs to ask: How can I add more value – whether I’m a laid-off-worker-turning-entrepreneur, or still a cog in a big (at least it’s big today) organization?  How can I help more people?  How can I give people what they want and need – and do it quicker, more personally, less expensively?  America – the land of political AND economic freedom – is primed for this moment.  But we have to say to challenge:  “Come on!  I’m on to you.  I’m not scared of you, cuz I’ve already been searching for opportunity, even when you were barely on the horizon.  Good riddance, cuz I’ve hated my commute, tolerated my boss, been under whelmed by my work, so now I’m going to do what I love and do it great, find out who needs it, and provide it for them.

Or, you can hunker down and hope somebody takes care of you, hope you can outlast the changes that are coming . . . faster and faster.  Your choice.

I say, the adventure is on!  Go

Lead with your best self!