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Be Great or Be Gone

September 20, 2011

Jon Lowder has a post from Mark Cuban up at his place called Bust Your Ass and Get Rich.

Here’s my comment:

I agree. Entrepreneurship is the sure antidote to the dehumanizing neoliberal globalized crony corporatism which employs so many of us making a living wage. Service jobs pay wages upon which one may in fact starve.

But as you and many others have found, there are good jobs to be had out there, usually working for smaller companies. And except for securing one of those positions, the only real alternative is to start your own.

Here, in Greensboro we’re losing one restaurant per week, while others are thriving. This economy has become a sharp knife which excises the Donatos and Jimmy Johns, but exposes the Jersey Mikes. The consumer has money and is willing to spend it. That they are becoming more discriminating is only natural. Those, like my wife, who can specialize and those who can perfect their models will prosper.

In a declining economy, it still may not be a zero sum game, but it does at times resemble one.

I had lunch yesterday with one of my few remaining customers. His business continues to thrive and he still enjoys running it. His employees enjoy a high quality of life in a down economy.

I am also the beneficiary of a successful small business and have witnessed firsthand how discipline and dedication still reign as determinants of success.

This year so far, I have worked for two horribly run companies and I’m not sure there are any valuable lessons to impart from those experiences. Personally, I have emerged from each, battered but unbowed. While this blog often focuses on the negatives of our existence, fundamentally I remain hopeful about the future. However, I’m more convinced than ever, like Mark Cuban, that happiness and good fortune lie in our own efforts.

One of the things I did discover during my fifteen weeks of employment is that I apparently possess an ebullient personality and a joie de vivre, when I choose to exercise it. As you well know, I also possess an anger which is frightening in its aspect. They are alas, two sides of the same coin. However, I seem to have the ability to make friends and influence people, and it is upon those strengths that I would seek new opportunities.

It has also been my experience that the world in general grows dumber by the minute, relegating competition in the marketplace to those who yet adhere to the tenets of excellence. In other words, the future remains bright for the right people and ideas.

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