Archive for June, 2011

A few disturbing circumstances:

A number of my friends and colleagues have indicated to me that they have been laid off as a result of the so called Great Recession.

Statistics indicate fewer startups during this recession than in previous economic downturns.

There seems to be a mindset that everyone has a right to a job.


Now the good news:

Anyone who is capable of practicing a profession is capable of starting a business.  I should know, I was laid off in 1987 and started my current practice.  I was fortunate that I was advised at the time to join the local home builders association as a means of generating leads through networking.  In January 1987, I attended a meeting as a visitor and engaged in dinner table conversation which led to enough billings to pay my NAHB dues for life.  I joined within the next two weeks.  Over the next several years, I was able to provide professional service many builder/contractor clients.

Within a year, I joined CSI.  While I looked at my NAHB membership as a marketing tool, my membership in CSI enables me to increase my level of professional competency.  That said, I am aware of several individuals who have successfully leveraged their CSI networking contacts into work.

Since jobs are scarce, I still firmly believe that the way to get through tough economic times is to hang out a shingle.  One reason that this can take place is our ability to work anywhere in the world we choose, thanks to the internet.  We can work from home and reduce overhead to near zero.  There are several other benefits of working out of one’s home.  I realized that when I seemed to be against a brick wall unable to figure out how to do something, I would simply get up from my desk and go outside to mow the grass (or some similar activity).  Generally speaking, when I would return to my work in an hour or two, the solution to whatever problem I was trying to solve would jump off the page (now the screen) at me.  Self employment gave me the freedom to do this.

Another benefit of self employment was that I was able to make a decent living billing about twenty to twenty-five hours per week.  This allowed me to begin volunteering in the public schools when my oldest reached kindergarten age.  Twenty years later, I am still there.

So if the job market is tossing you lemons, make lemonade and start your own business.  You won’t regret it.


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I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon to see a recent edition of Virginia Living magazine while waiting for my wife to finish a task at the office.  What caught my eye was a real estate advertisement – subject property:  the Andrew Cooke House in Virginia Beach by Frank Lloyd Wright.  I first became aware of this Hemicycle house on Crystal Lake in an earlier edition of Virginia Living which featured an interesting historical article with some very nice photographs.  From that article, I learned that the house was designed during the 1950’s and was completed after the architect’s death.

The beauty of the ad, however, wasn’t the glossy apparition in the magazine, but was to be found in the website advertised in the magazine, http://flwrightbeachhouse.com .  This website features over thirty photographs of the house and a couple of what appear to be Wright drawings.  So, even if you don’t have almost four million to invest in a FLW original, at least enjoy the website.  Perhaps an investor with deep pockets and an appreciation of architecture will pick this one up.

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