Rain Dancers and Puddle Jumpers

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s learning to dance in the rain.”

Storms are loud, thunderous events. They tend to send people running for cover—usually to a room equipped with a television that blares out warnings and displays endless radar images “pinpointing” the storm’s path, intensity and duration.

If you think of recessions as economic storms, you’d probably find the same to be true. A lot of folks ride out the downturn by hunkering down, seeking shelter and bracing themselves for the “impact,” all the while glued to the media pundits’ 24-hour analysis of economic indicators and reports.

And then there are those who decide to dance in the rain. In the midst of harsh economic conditions, they splash in the puddles.

Some of these are people who are struck head on by the storm, the shelter of their jobs destroyed by layoffs. They don’t board up their windows; they hang out a shingle. Others are existing business owners who can see dollars in the deluge. These “rain dancers” take advantage of opportunities to enter new geographic markets, innovate new technologies and products, or improve their current products.

Ever heard of these names? General Electric, Fortune Magazine, Revlon, Hewlett-Packard, Burger King, IHOP, Microsoft, FedEx? All got their start during challenging economic times. And all grew to become international giants.

Closer to home, the Kansas City economy is buoyed by businesses that trace their birth to recessionary times. The feature story of the May issue of our magazine is “Economy Down? Start a Business.” In it, we tracked down several of these area companies and asked them why they launched their businesses during an economic downturn, and what they learned from the experience to keep them on solid footing today. We can all learn from their insights.

Happy dancing . . . and try it without an umbrella.


About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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