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    Entries in Great Recession (1)

    Tuesday
    Jul032012

    Do the Hustle.

    Image: Kodomut - Flickr

    So I just heard another story on the radio regarding some more, less than ideal, economic indicators. I have to say, I’m a little over the whole whodunit mentality with this type of thing. Americans are staring down the barrel of yet another year of “painfully slow” growth, after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression…and people still seem to need someone to tell them why that’s the case. The problem is that all the people who are supposed to have the answers, simply don’t.  I’m talking about your state politician up for reelection or whoever is going to be sitting in the White House next year. I’m talking about the expert economist or think tank representative that is giving the interview I just heard or her counterpart penning a guest editorial for Slate or HuffPo as I write this. I absolutely agree these people should have the answers. That’s what we count on them for. That’s what we pay them for. That’s why I take time to watch their talking heads. But what do we do when their answers no longer suffice?

    When all they have to offer in explanation is blame?

    Blame the Republicans. Blame the Democrats. Blame the President. Blame the Opposition. Blame Europe. Blame globalization. Blame the taxes. Blame the welfare state. Blame the 1%. Blame the 99.

    What if the problem isn’t that we can’t find where to place blame? What if we can’t find the culprits…because that is entirely the wrong mindset to have?  I believe the reason for the continued economic stagnation goes deeper than blame.  If you’re still here, I’m assuming you’ll indulge me, so here goes:

    Similar to familiar arguments about “uncertainty” keeping people and businesses on the sidelines, I would take it a step further and apply that to the entire world. We all are living through an unprecedented time in human history.  Not only are old walls and business models being shattered on a daily basis, but those in relative infancy, built to replace them, are finding themselves like so much roadside detritus in the same ditch.  The problem, the reason, why people and companies are uncertain right now is… (wait for it)…because that’s exactly how everyone else feels…everywhere. And that is completely and understandably normal.

    We shouldn’t expect to be able to keep up with the continued technological, environmental, and sociological change around us anymore than I should expect to catch every last raindrop when I’m gazing skyward in my yard with my mouth open.

    But I do know how hard it’s raining. And that’s something.

    What I’m trying to do is demonstrate the validity of this natural waiting period after the world-wide economic shocks in recent years.  When you take the long-view of where we are and where we go from here, you soon realize that you can’t see very far around the next corner, and that’s okay. But that shouldn't keep you from taking a calculated risk. Really the only deficit that matters right now is that of will and the time spent waiting for new minds to come online - the minds that are agile and adept enough to traverse this new future. This is my Reveille to the youthful minds and the “been there, done that’s”.  It’s called hustling. If you aren’t doing it, you should be. If you used to, but feel like you don’t have to anymore, think again. If you just can’t, find someone who can. Task them with finding more like themselves.

    In a world of ever increasing dynamism, you need the dreamers, the darers, the doers who can navigate the current.

    We have a slow recovery because there is a “new normal” setting in and, like everything else these days, it’s unprecedented.  Unfortunately, it’s not going to be the static status quo that we are all used to, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.  Manufacturing, healthcare, education, communication, and innovation itself are all in the process of being disrupted, and that isn't going to change.

    When the only thing certain is uncertainty, you can choose to hide from it or you can embrace it.  Opportunities abound…if you have your eyes open.

    Do the hustle.

    "In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer