Success and Free Enterprise
The Great Recession has been long and painful. Things appear to be getting better, but the decline in unemployment is not due to job creation alone. Many displaced workers have become discouraged in their search for employment and have stopped trying altogether. But given that success and free enterprise is the lifeblood of America (and that unemployment insurance has an expiration date), where can a person truly go?
While economic crises are never welcomed with opened arms, they certainly have a way of igniting the entrepreneurial spirit! Many disgruntled professionals have gone on to experience success and free enterprise. History shows time and again that invention is a cure for economic hardship.
How Success and Free Enterprise Helped Build America
The Reconstruction Era, for example, gave birth to a slew of inventors and businessmen who contributed to America’s renaissance and industrialization. Among them were men like Thomas Edison, Granville Woods, and Christopher Latham Sholes (who was the subject in another column I wrote). The same is true for every subsequent recession. The Great Depression not only spawned a number of small businesses and repair shops, but also produced the “Golden Age of Aviation.” And in 2009, business start-ups peaked for the first time in 14 years, with over 500,000 new businesses created each month.
How Success and Free Enterprise Helps People Today
Business creation is just as encouraging as job growth, but remaining optimistic is difficult when your bills begin to pile. I can personally attest to this. In 2009, I experienced a stint of unemployment that lasted an entire year! It was a season of drought, filled with trips to the Department of Labor, constant benefit appeals, and lapses in unemployment insurance.
I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I revised my resume, or went on job interviews that proved to be fruitless. For two months, I gave up searching for employment because nothing seemed to be working. I was distraught and wondered if my condition would ever change. It took a stroll down memory lane to help rekindle my entrepreneurial spirit.
As far back as I could remember, I had always had some sort of business on the side. By the time I was 26, I had already incorporated in the State of Georgia under the name Hubbard Digital. It was now time to do something with it! My plans to invest my working wages in it had changed, but I was determined to reach my goals no matter what!
Hubbard Digital was open for business! I began aggressively marketing my company and attending different seminars so that I could network with other small business owners. I spent my downtime reading trade journals and sharpening my skill set. The first breakthrough came when I was granted financial aid through a stimulus passed by President Obama during the first year of his presidency. I used these funds to obtain my technical certificate in Advanced Web Development. After months of constant networking and fine-tuning my craft, I landed my first major contract with a Metro Atlanta shipping company. I’ve won a number of other contracts since.
Recessions teach us that nothing is for certain—not even a speedy recovery. Accepting these facts, whether employed or unemployed, creates a sense of urgency at all times. This current recession will pass like its predecessors (some argue that it’s already over), but the important thing is to learn from it. America was founded upon free enterprise and creative thinking, NOT job stability. The value of innovation and hard work has always been the driver of the economy, and it will continue to be forever.
I encourage you, Dear Reader, to channel your own entrepreneurial spirit!
This is your Monday Unleaded for the week of August 4, 2013. Have a productive week!
Song of the Week
Breaking My Back (Instead of Using My Mind) – Lou Rawls