Posted by: Mike Whitmore | June 21, 2009

Creating Value, Building Hope

What excites me about America – builds my patriotism, invigorates my thinking, gives me hope in spite of the economic news – is the Spirit of America. America, founded on the principles of individual freedoms and limitless opportunity, was forged in the fire of adversity and of trial.

During the Revolutionary War we won against, arguably, the largest and most well-trained Army and Navy in the world at that time. Remember, America was not a world power at this time. The colonies were part of Mother England and allied to the Crown of King George III. Through inspired leaders and statesmen we built a republic designed to be for the people and by the people. What our founders designed and established came via sacrifice, determination and courage.

There were many other great trials in our history which forged America including:

The Civil War
The Industrial Revolution
World War I
The Great Depression
The Dust Bowl
World War II
The Cold War
The 1960’s
9-11 Attacks

America survived many economic cycles of boom times and recessions.

Now we’re faced with the toughest recession in decades. The media is rife with statistics and those numbers mean real people are affected by this serious economic slowdown. The causes were many, in some cases criminal, and fear grips even those who haven’t lost their jobs (yet). New regulatory legislation will impact all of us in higher costs of goods and services as business spend and develop systems to be compliant to these new regulations.

I was laid off in December and made it my full-time endeavor to find another job, but a thought came to me in the midst of this search. Rather than look for someone else to employ me, wherein I create value for an employer, what if I could create something of value myself or in conjunction with partners? I wanted to do something more exciting with my time than “job hunt” and I found an opportunity to be an entrepreneur.

I have found this endeavor MUCH more exciting to me than trying to find a “job.” In fact, since embarking on this venture the word job seems almost like a four-letter word to me. There’s an excitement every day and a different energy about work that I’m experiencing.

Bottom-line – I still need to put bread on the table and keep a roof over my family’s head and this is still a struggle. But it’s MY struggle on MY terms and if I succeed or fail at least I’m in the driver’s seat. I decide when to accelerate, when to slow down, when and how to take that corner, do I burn rubber or is it time to get out of the car and take the bus? All those decisions are mine and not decided by an employer.

There are risks, pitfalls, fears. (How fear holds us back from living is the topic of another piece.) But there is also the hint at something new, something fresh, something exciting and of my own creation.

I don’t write this to boast. Hopefully my experience can inspire others to also try and create value in their own unique way.

This idea of creation out of adversity and trial is the Spirit of America – it’s what makes her great. Even in these tough times, and I’ve been unemployed for several months, I feel there is hope for something of value, of something hopeful and you and I are the ones who will create it.

I have some ideas on how we can succeed and I’ll publish more ideas soon.

All the best,

Mike

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