Difficult times

When jobs are hard to come by, those who do have a job are motivated to do a better job. Before long, that leads to more jobs. When money is tight, people focus on getting more value when spending their money. Almost immediately, that drives innovation. When there is no money to spend on empty diversions, there is more time to spend on the real substance of life. That builds character, which in turn drives sustainable progress.

In challenging times are the seeds for moving beyond the challenges. In challenging times there is great opportunity. Hewlett Packard, the first technology company to exceed $100 billion in annual revenue, was started in 1939, at the end of the Great Depression. Microsoft and Fedex both were started during stagflation years of the mid 1970s, a period with high unemployment and runaway inflation, when oil prices quadrupled and the stock marked crashed. In 2008, Gary Beach calculated that 70% of the top ten Fortune 500 companies were started during a recession.

When enough people are sufficiently motivated, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. The greatest challenges are no match for the power of the human spirit. Many times, it takes difficult times to bring out the best in people. Yet when that happens, the whole world moves forward.

History has proven that over and over again.


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