Entrepreneurship, an idea whose time is now

Entrepreneurship, an idea whose time is now

Entrepreneurship | Judette Coward-Puglisi

April 9, 2009



Call me crazy but I am set to open a new business within the next three months. I know what you’re thinking. Judette must be nuts? The economy is in free fall. Budgets have been cut. Consumer confidence is low and no one in their right mind is spending a penny. But those are exactly the reason why my colleague and friend are opening a business centre, with two locations, if you please.

Its’ not called stupidity. It’s called innovation. It’s not called bravado. It’s called called calculated risk. It  is really about  two people leveraging complementing  skills, the talent of a cadre of free agents,  existing capital (two empty buildings, we own them) in high traffic areas to meet a demand.

I am joined by scores of other small business owners who are being forced to innovate to meet the new realities. The company that installed our  multi media boards recently  gave up their business location and  moved home to conserve cash, saving $15,000  a month in the process. A media company  furloughed its employees moving 5 of them  to  a 4 day work week  in order to conserve cash. Another  client held a  75 per cent sale on old stock to  access much needed  capital; she raised   $150,000 a month in the process.

If you own a small business, should you be nervous? Sure. Do you need  to wallow in the fear. No. There are specific strategies that I follow that buoy my attitude. I am not a slave to the headlines that scream the  quantity of jobs that are being cut. I  remain calm in the face of 24-hour cable shows playing on my fears and trumpeting every moment of the economy’s travails. I  read biographies of the entrepreneurs who made it through war, recession, depression, natural disasters and  more. They inspire a can do attitiude. Finally, I  exercise with a personal trainer.  Pushing my body to the limit helps to stretch my mind like a super  elastic band causing me  to think of  fresh expansive ways of viewing the world and  the space ofr my business in it. 

History gives great examples of the ebbs and flows of the economy and those that dared to dream.  16 of the 30 companies that make up the Dow industrial average were started during a recession or depression: Procter & Gamble, Disney, Alcoa, McDonald’s, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson.

A little over twenty years ago at the time when the United States had an unpopular president, was in the midst of the Watergate scandal and was at the tail end of an extremely costly war with consumer confidence at an all-time low.: Supercuts, Chilis, Cablevision,  Famous Amos cookies, Oakley and, oh, yes, a small company called Microsoft  were business ideas that flowered to life. Last week  over  breakfast at the Hyatt, clothing designer, Claudia Pegus,  told me her atelier  thrived during the recession of the 80s.

Being able to spot an opportunity and go after the dream  is the stuff that entrepreneurs are made of. Some of us draw up business plans, others are driven by an inner force and have a hard time taking no for an answer. Whatever the dynamic  we understand perhaps more than any other group, that economic cycles are a part of life. As the downtown aproaches we turn up our noses  to the passing wind, sniff the tales it tells and begin to cut back and save. As the downturn deepens, we innovate, work on new ideas and leverage our  skills set  in  ways that suit  the times. 

More than any other group, we understand that this recession is ‘normal’ in the cycle of things, and like a harsh, brutal hurricane, this too shall  pass.


10 thoughts on “Entrepreneurship, an idea whose time is now

  1. Truly motivating Judette, call on my services with your new business venture if necessary. I’m taking your advice and looking for the pros of the situation rather that being intimidated by it… Thanks for this…

  2. Yes Judette I think you are crazy but inspiring in the same breath. I have been thininking of doing something similar and reading this makes me think ‘why not take the plunge!’. so here i go and call me if you need anything to make this new venture a success

  3. Thanks for this. My motivations ebbs and flows so sometimes the little jolt of inspiration is needed. Best of luck.

  4. Best of luck Judette, although i know its not luck that gets you through. The motivation you share keeps your readers inspired. Thanks

  5. Truly inspiring post, Judette. Continue to be the face of optimism and hope in the storm. I do believe that ,now more than ever, we need to nurture that spirit of innovation that lies within each of us…and to keep our sails (our dreams, hopes, ambitions) lifted high, defiantly high, above the forces of negativity, fear, and uncertainty. As you said, this to shall pass.

    I wish you the very best in your future endeavours. Continue to inspire us all. I am truly inspired.

  6. beautiful…too many are being sucked into a vortex of negativity

    they say the mkt only understands 2 things – greed and fear

    glad to find another kindred soul who doesnt run with the heard.

    good luck in your new venture!

  7. Thanks friends. It’s not easy and this economy is for the brave of heart but I firmly believe there is opportunity we just have to carve them differently, price them appropriately and market them uniquely (I use social media).

    Good luck to all of us

  8. I look forward to your column every Wednesday in the Express Business. You are so motivating and you actually encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming an entreprenuer. Best to you on your new venture!

Comments are closed.