What was your New Year’s resolution? Mine was to talk to at least two different people every day about what’s happening in our economy and to explore opportunities.
It had gotten to the point where I was afraid to turn on the radio, TV, or open the paper. The news was just too depressing. So I resolved to reach out into my community and observe things first hand.
Since January 1st, I have met with and spoken to a lot of people in Arizona, across the US, and even abroad. And what I am hearing is encouraging. Yes, times are tough, but people are moving forward, innovations are happening, businesses are making changes to speed their recoveries, and investors are looking to invest in solid business plans. As I meet with friends and business colleagues, they in turn have introduced me to their friends…and I have returned the favor.
Here are just a few of the wonderful things I have uncovered in my search for opportunities…
- One of my friends was working with a company with a great new product and service concept. They were getting ready to reach out to investors and showed me their developing plan. I even got to make some suggestions. Hopefully, they will help this company raise their next round of funding. They have a great concept.
- I spent time with two executives in Detroit. One from GM and one from Ford. Some of the stories they shared were sad, but there were glimmers of hope as they talked about new developments and what those companies were doing to turn things around.
- A biotech researcher in San Diego was bubbling over with excitement when she shared news about a new development in the lab that could improve an long-standing medical process and ultimately save thousands of lives when it is brought to market. I told anther friend about it and he introduced me to the person I needed to meet to move the process along.
- A manufacturer in Arizona has created a new system to help restaurants be more competitive, improve processes, and save energy. Their business is growing by leaps and bounds.
- An architectural glass distributor in Michigan has taken their business global and not only grown substantially but has won high honors and awards along the way.
- Over the last weeks I have met with people looking to buy businesses and re-capitalize them, not just saving jobs, but with future growth… creating them. Oh, and they are finding the money for it too!
- Meetings have brought me in contact with incredibly talented CEO’s and executives who are looking for their next big project. They were not sitting at home or hitting the links. They were out there just like me, sharing their expertise, serving on boards of directors, mentoring others, and helping to get things moving forward again.
With all of these encouraging stories bolstering my courage, I was brave enough to open the newspaper again. And what did I find? Well yes, there was news of layoffs and filings for Chapter 11 BUT there were also NINE full pages dedicated to positive stories just like mine. Stories of business owners and individuals sharing how they too are staying ahead of the downturn.
I’ve made it though seven months of keeping my New Year’s resolution. I think I’ll stick with it. Wouldn’t you?
Thanks for stopping by. Stay Tuned.