Back From The Brink - Happy New Year!
How many of your were watching the unfolding saga of the impending fiscal cliff versus the doings at your favorite New Year's eve activity? Was the drama riveting for you or were you left with that feeling you get when you have ridden the giant rollercoaster?
Each year, I make it a point to assess incrementally how much progress entrepreneurism as a movement has made during the past year. I have to say, although there was progress, the rate of progress was slowed by the circular uncertainty that enveloped the country pre and post election right up to the time we clicked over into a new year.
If you measure entrepreneurial things, there were continued activities with weekend startups, incubators and accelerators, and quite a few good ideas floating around. The resources available to entrepreneurs continued to increase. Crowdfunding, as a term of art, came in to the mainstream of our business consciousness during the past year. Entrepreneurism seemed to be on the rise.
Far be it from me to be the one to put a damper on the events of 2012, but as far as the climate for entrepreneurial activities, I have to admit it was a struggle. People were certainly put off as their priorities dictated and perhaps who knows how many ideas did not get their day because of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Insecurity, regardless of the way in which it impacts people, caused us to rightly consider the risks. Risks are generally, such as we teach in our B-school environs, are things to be eliminated, or at least considered carefully, against the rewards.
But I feel, and it is just my opinion, which is a gut reaction versus a statistical one, that it has became easier to find information than ever before. If you have questions, the answers are out there and if you do not find them, ask someone. For instance, the following Google searches yielded more information than you might assimilate in your lifetime.
Google Searches (January 2, 2013)
Startup - 142,000,000 results
Entrepreneur - 113,000,000 results
Entrepreneurship - 81,100,000 results
Entrepreneurial - 36,400,000 results
Entrepreneurism - 400,000 results (up from 75,000 a year ago)
What the words, as the Google results indicate, there is activity. Lots of it.
Fundamentally, 2013 has the potential to be a far better business year for those who embrace entrepreneurism. Why? Because more people are checking the web for how to, what to, and when to, than ever before. Got an idea? Validate it! There will be more events, startup weekends, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding activities than last year. There will be more people trying to breakout their idea from just an idea in to something that puts them on a path to accomplish something greater than had they just thought about it and did not act.
If you are sick of hearing about all the fiscal cliff and the other comic relief associated with our pastime of following political drama, then do something related to business growth and development. While you are achieving your dream and your goals, you will be in a better position to actually do things in this non-optimum environment, and gain a strong voice by joining the ranks of those millions of small businesses that cast their votes in each successive election opportunity. Actions my friends, unlike what we have observed with our own elected officials, speak far louder than mere words. 2013 can become your year. Grab the opportunity. Good luck, and a Happy New Year!