Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On a sound economy, hypnosis, beer....and a Blue Ocean

What a beginning for a post, eh?

First off, I do agree with President Bush's assessment that the economy is sound. But perhaps, not in the way that he either meant or in the way main stream media and public perception has interpreted his remark. While there are various definitions of the word "economy", I'm focusing upon the one definition that has demonstrated consistency throughout US history: one of Webster's variations is that an economy is "a system of producing, distributing, and consuming wealth".

Regardless of our present financial/economic situation....regardless if we're in a recession or facing deflation or a second depression---we as a country have not changed. Our total labor force has not decreased, our transportation systems are still in place, factories and office buildings have not been torn down, there is no sense of a pending revolution with rioting and blood in the streets, our people have not given up on the notion of wanting to make a living, our schools and universities are still open, the ability to utilize and mobilize our vast infrastructure of talent remains undeniably viable, etc. etc. This is why I believe we still have a sound economy; the very basic natural and human resources (that are in integral part of Webster's definition noted above) are still here. We have not gone anywhere. Do I believe that essential safeguards within the various financial institutions have failed us? Yes. Do I believe that self-serving desires of greed were a backdrop for our present situation? Yes. But sometimes, life's lessons can be hard and my hope is that we will all learn from this experience. A key focus on my road to DC is to recapture that "personal infrastructure" concept that I mentioned several postings ago (see Nixon Doctrine). This will be the key to our success. If not, we will only face harsher examples of loss of accountability in our domestic and foreign policy future.

It's time for re-tooling or re-booting perceptions as to what is truly important for us as a nation.

Possibly, the one key description of our economic system (if I had to encapsulate the idea into one word) would be "initiative". Our country was built on initiative which then directly translates into innovation. All of our companies and industrial giants were founded upon this premise. And again, this is our strength. It forms our core value system within the American psyche. Basically, this is just another example of the strength of our core economic base. We should be proud of this heritage and seek to understand that this concept is engrained within our communities and will continue to serve our nation in the rebuilding of our quite resilient market system. To the naysayers and prophets of doom that equate this present financial "meltdown" as a sign and proof of the moral and political degradation of American society, I would answer "Go to Hell". Now, more than ever, we need to appreciate and re-experience our sense of initiative, innovation and an evaluation of our own personal infrastructure values. Once we understand the interplay of these particular concepts, the US will regain its prominence and the ripple effect thereof into our communities.

My wife Beth Keil is a hypnotist and, along with her partner Anne Shuman Urban, is co-owner of Delaware Hypnosis Partners here in Wilmington, Delaware. A friend of ours, Theresa Piane Taylor recently ventured out as an entrepeneur and is establishing a business revolving around integrative nutrition counseling and I had recent contact or two with Christina Perozzi who has produced a blog called Beer 4 Chicks and is now in demand out in the Los Angeles area for her expertise on..well..beer but marketed primarily to women.

Why do I include these women in this particular posting? Because they represent the core values of American business initiative. Go back and re-read the first two paragraphs if you must but the take home message is--- these ladies made a decision to do something a bit different for themselves and, in having recognized either a niche market or underserved local market, have ended up producing for themselves a product and/or service that not only provides an income for themselves but added value to the community for which they serve plus the added value of ownership of a service that they believe in. This is an example of both initiative and innovation. While admittedly on a relatively small and local structure, these business owners are doing what they enjoy and are producing an income from the product of their desire. Their stories represent the resiliency and benefits of our system and I applaud these women for making the effort to succeed.

I realize that perhaps I'm running the risk of losing the reader of this posting secondary to the length of what I've written so far. I want to at least add one small detail in my evaluation of regaining economic success or for those people interested in developing a small business.

Read the book "Blue Ocean Strategy". Get it from a library, read the first couple of chapters at your favorite bookstore, whatever. Read the basic premise. The topics elaborated upon in this excellent business text is the answer to what I see is the rediscovery of business initiative.

[Yes, I know...I'm doing another "Egnor". An "Egnor", by the way, is the semi-forced request for you to do something that will hopefully educate and/or enlighten you. You may see this term periodically from here on out and definitely as the 2010 elections approach]

At the minimum, check out Wikipedia's entry for "Blue Ocean Strategy"---the generic premise and review of the book is sufficient from my perspective for you to further appreciate my personal realpolitik (I said this word will be seen again) on the future needs and goals of our American economy...plus doing so will probably add extra value for you if you decide to strike out on your own as a small business owner.

And, I will support you all the way from a domestic policy initiative.

I stand firm with my own words that initiative leads to innovation which leads to personal success/ownership which leads to a solidification of a personal infrastructure which leads to a stronger US market.

What an amazing win-win situation for all of us.


Preston said...

Jim, perhaps the word "sound" is too often misunderstood. I believe that our country is sound but the economy has been weakened. Yes, all what you say is true, but you fail to mention the government bail-out of banks, the failing auto industry, the rapid loss of jobs, and the fact that small businesses going out of business at an alarming rate. We may have a strong foundation, but the rest of the house needs a lot of work.

Jim Egnor said...

Hi Preston,
Thank you for your response and I suppose that the specific definition of economy that I was referring to should have been a bit clearer. I added some material to the posting and the initial paragraph describes the particular interpretation I was using. All of the negative economic realities you mention obviously are of concern and represent a failure in both application and stewardship of the various components of our market system. Thsi particular posting was not meant to be a forum on these mis-applications. Trust me...you'll be reading much more about "the rest of the house" in future postings. Thanks for alerting me to my lack of definition with this article.