Monday, March 16, 2009

Yes, Virginia, there is some good news

The whole concept of has been shaken badly by the economic downturn.

My original idea was that there were a lot of reasons to continue working beyond normal “retirement age” – the value of one’s contribution, the personal renewal factor, the waste of talent from a sedentary retirement.

The need to keep earning money was there, too, but it was a very minor reason.

Things have changed. A lot.

Millions have seen a huge chunk of their retirement savings vaporize. Millions have lost their jobs – well before “retirement.” Millions have lost their homes.

The number of available jobs for anyone – retirees or anyone else – has shrunk drastically. Far more people are competing for far fewer jobs.

Is there any good news anywhere?

The answer is “Yes.” These dire forces are stoking entrepreneurial ideas and energies.

The New York Times reports that “(many) laid-off workers across the country, burned out by a merciless job market, are building business plans instead of sending out résumés. For these people, recession has become the mother of invention.

“Economists say that when the economy takes a dive, it is common for people to turn to their inner entrepreneur to try to make their own work. But they say that it takes months for that mentality to sink in, and that this is about the time in the economic cycle when it really starts to happen — when the formerly employed realize that traditional job searches are not working, and that they are running out of time and money.”

This wave of downturn start-ups is different from those in the past, said the Times. The biggest difference is that “the Internet has given people an extraordinary tool not just to market their ideas but also to find business partners and suppliers, and to do all kinds of functions on the cheap: keeping the books, interacting with customers, even turning a small idea into a big idea.”

I’m betting that you can turn your small idea into a big one. Give it a try!

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