"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas
Who will turn this crisis around? We will. Who else? And how else but with innovation and entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurs: this is your time to step up to the plate. Hard as the times may be, you must remember, many, many great companies were born during recessions. And many others almost died in the midst of recessions but managed to survive through their founders' tremendous grit and resilience.
I am going to point you, in particular, to two stories in my new book, Entrepreneur Journeys (Volume One): Finisar and Concur. Read them, and find solace in the courage of their leaders. This series of books has been structured to be a scalable mentoring platform of sorts to help entrepreneurs find wisdom in the experiences of those who have been successful against all odds.
I also have a special message to convey to those of our readers who have experienced the misfortune of a layoff: do not give up hope. If you've ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur and imagined that you would, after all, like to be self-employed, this is your time. You have nothing more to lose. The job that held you hostage in its golden cage is gone. You are free. Free to try something new and different.
Listen to what Steve Jobs has to say about being laid off from Apple: "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." (You can read more from Jobs here.)
And here is how Rafat Ali found a job: he created his own.
Now, the best way to start a company of your own right now is to bootstrap. I have dedicated the first two chapters of my book to bootstrapping. In the recent roundtable here at ReadWriteWeb, I advised all of the entrepreneurs present to structure themselves in ways that permit bootstrapping, which means that capital-intensive ideas are out. You can listen to the roundtable recording here. I may do more of these in the future with ReadWriteWeb.
And I am also working on getting three more volumes of Entrepreneur Journeys out -- on Bootstrapping (Volume Two), Positioning (Volume Three), and Innovation (Volume Four) -- within the next 12 months.
Let's turn this crisis around together through entrepreneurship, through innovation, and through each of our personal, often unexplored capacities for leadership.
Read an excerpt from Mitra' book, Entrepreneur Journeys (PDF).