What will it take to succeed in this economy?

by Neil Moncrief on December 1, 2008

It’s 6:15 am on a freezing cold morning during the Thanksgiving break. As I write this, I’m sitting in the Aquatic Center at a local university watching through a glass wall as my 14-year old son swims the freestyle on the other side. He decided a couple of months ago that he would pass on cross country and basketball, two sports he’d toyed with in the past.  Instead, he wanted to focus on swimming, an activity he’s enjoyed for at least a dozen years. So here we are at this ridiculous hour, when all his friends are still in bed. I’m enjoying seeing him want something so badly that he’s willing do whatever it takes to succeed.

not my son, just clipart

Except for the occasional sound of the coach’s whistle, it’s quiet where I’m sitting.  I started thinking about everything it’ll take for my son to be successful… early practices, weight training, listening to coaches, and then putting it all together when it counts.

Lately, I’ve heard some business owners wondering out loud what it would take for them to be successful in this economy. We’ve just elected a new President, and no one knows for sure how his policies will affect business owners. If you believe the news, we’re spiraling into a terrible recession. The government is bailing out (or buying up) the big banks left and right. But my clients, the small- and medium- size business owners that drive this nation, haven’t seen a penny. And, for the most part, my clients like it that way. The just want to be left alone to… to do what?  To keep getting up early, working hard, and laying it all on the line every day.

I told my son a few months ago that swimming for his high school team would be the hardest thing he’s ever done, and there would be days when he’d hate it.  I knew that from personal experience. To succeed will require that he keeps going, even when the deck seems to be stacked against him. It’s really just a matter of DECIDING that he WILL succeed. And once he has that determination, all that remains is getting there.

For the business owners out there, the answer is the same. But they already knew that, long before they ever spoke to me. You see, my clients are some of the hardest working men and women I’ve ever met. Long ago, they envisioned success, and I’m just one very small part of their formula. If I failed to deliver, they’d go elsewhere until they got what they needed. They have a determination to succeed, and everything else is just part of the process. My clients are like that, and so are most business owners across this nation. I consider myself privileged to know them.

For those of you doubting our country’s future, don’t. We’ll make it through this, but it won’t be because of the strength of our government.  It’ll be the determination of our people, namely our business owners, that keeps our economy moving forward.

UPDATE: Read my follow-up to this post and see how the story turned out.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Noreen April 23, 2009 at 2:01 am

Keep up the good work.

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