December 11, 2008

Cleaning House

On my way to work this morning, the AM radio talk show I was listening too was bemoaning the news that another local company was “releasing” 500 workers from its ranks.  At first the news was upsetting because I feel bad for anyone who loses their job, particularly around this time of the year.  It was also a double shot of reality as I found out yesterday that one of the local flower shops in my neighborhood was going out of business after many years of service.  For the first time, I am seeing the very real effects of a down turn economy.  You may have a brain seizure when I tell you that this is going to be a good thing… in the long run.

I was a high school senior the year Yellowstone National Park caught fire in 1988.  I remember returning a few years later to see for myself the absolute destruction that this fire wrecked on that beautiful park.  I truly believed that in my lifetime, Yellowstone would never be the same. As it turns out, I was both right and wrong.

It’s been 20 years since those fire raged in 1988 and even today the scars are painfully visible.  Amazingly, it has rebounded better than I ever thought possible.  It has been well documented that even though the tremendous heat from those fires consumed anything and everything in its path, it also forced the pine cones to loosen their grip on seeds tucked neatly inside and in essence re-fertilized the soil again.  Wildfires are Mother Natures way of cleaning house.

Depressions, recessions and down turn economies are also wildfires in a sense.  They cause a lot of destruction.  Businesses are forced to evaluate, cut back and streamline.  Profitability values are assigned to products, services and painfully, employees.  Despite this, I strongly believe that these painful choices are a good thing in the long run, even a GREAT thing  Follow my logic here.

It has been well documented that more millionaires were created from the smoldering ashes of the Great Depression than almost any other time in American history.  Like the wildfires of Yellowstone, it’s a painful, somewhat expected and amazing phenomenon.  When you take an average American worker, pull the rug out from underneath them and then hold their feet to the fire, something magical happens.  Inevitably many will choose to take fate into their own hands and become entrepreneurs. 

I predict that some of the greatest inventions, products and services that we will see in the next five years will be born out of this current economic down turn.  We are seeing many of them at Funding Universe right now and many of them will tell you that it took this boot to the shorts to find the courage necessary to TRY.  If you happen to be an unfortunate casualty of the current economic crisis, I am truly sorry AND excited for your circumstance.  I challenge you to seriously take a moment to ponder your situation and do some soul searching to see if there is an entrepreneurial spirit in you.   Is this your time?  If it is, feel free to contact Funding Universe to see what we can do to make your dreams a reality!  Friends, this is a GREAT time to be alive!

Joel Nielsen is a Venture Consultant at Funding Universe.  His email is