How’s your recession going?

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

As we wrap up a rough year (for everyone) and head into 2010 I’m looking back and realizing that 2009 was a pretty good year. Have I lost my mind? Am I smoking crack? Perhaps. But it depends on how you define “good”. 2009 has been a year of revelation for me and there’s a few things that stand out as highlights in my ongoing education about business, friends and life.

For the record, I’m not one of those annoying “glass half full”, wake up cheerful, happy smappy types. Not that I’m a grouch, I just have a rather realistic view of life. Yeah, that’s the ticket. But the fact is, 2009 has renewed my faith in human kind in a big way.

By far the biggest lesson for me in 2009 has been that I’d be nowhere without my family and friends. It’s easy to say “It’s all up to me!” but the fact is our support system of people who believe in us is more critical than ever to our success. I’ve learned that there are people all around me who are more than willing to help when I need it. And in return, I’m happy to help them. Whether your business network, neighbors, friends or spouse, these people are your foundation. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help if you need it.

I’ve also learned that everyone has had a less than stellar year. Sure, when you ask “How’s business” most will respond “Great!” but I’m seeing that more and more often, this is more of a preconditioned response than a truthful answer. We are all seeing the effects of the downturn and we are all in this together (see above). It’s OK to occasionally admit it. Don’t go nuts, but share your situation with your friends and you’ll be surprised that they are feeling the same way. The only other question is “How can we help each other?”

I’ve also learned that Austin is full of abundance and strong people who make things happen. We don’t care about your stinkin’ economy. We’re Texans and we don’t play that game. We create our own economy – perhaps that explains why Texas and Austin in particular has not reached the depths of the recession experienced by, say, Detroit. It also explains why we are already climbing back up the economic cycle earlier and faster than everywhere else.

Everywhere I turn I find opportunity and everyone I talk to is seeing an uptick in activity. I can’t wait until 2010. It’s going to be one crazy good year. Just don’t tell anyone you heard that from me. I have a reputation to uphold.


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