A business owner asked me the other day when I thought the economy would turn around, as if I have some insights she doesn’t. I simply shrugged my shoulders in response indicating that I have no idea, which I don’t. Afterwards I wish I had responded instead by asking her what she is doing to turn HER economy around, how she is keeping HER own business afloat. What innovative ideas has she experimented with? What unique opportunities has she identified in her market niche? How has she encouraged and inspired her staff and employees to offer up ideas and try new things?
If you are waiting for the tide to rise to get your boat out of the mud, I wanted to say, you may be stuck there a while, just how long that will be no one can predict. And when the tide does rise again you may discover that the entire landscape has changed, changed by the inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs too busy experimenting and developing new products, services, and markets to be concerned or inhibited by the state of the economy. While you are waiting for the tide to rise, I should have warned, they are digging new channels so that when it does rise again the water will flow toward them instead of you.
When the business owner asked me when I thought the economy would turn around she seemed to think I might have some insights, which I don’t. What I do know, however, is that the economy never just miraculously turns around by some force of nature like the sun coming out after a thunderstorm. Rather, unlike the weather the economy is manmade, a collection of human endeavors, and it is through the collective efforts of human ingenuity that it will eventually turn around. Indeed it is the only thing that ever does.
So, the critical question is, what is the business owner doing to turn HER economy around? What are you doing to turn YOUR economy around? And what am I doing to turn MY economy around? When each of us focus our efforts on the solution to that question, that’s when the tide will rise again.