“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.