Monday, January 19, 2009

To Hope or to Act? THAT is the Question

Hi Gang! Sorry for the slack postings! I'm on the road in Georgia, so I've been busy.

I did make my first Valentine's Day run today (just in case there was different candy down here) and I got three different sizes of Reese's Hearts, chocolate bear Peeps, dark chocolate and milk chocolate peanut M & M's (they were on sale - buy one get one free, so...), some interesting looking marshmallow hearts, cherry flavored Three Musketeers Mini's (can't wait to try those), and dark chocolate Dove hearts with almonds! Whee! No camera, so I have left them in the truck of my car. If I bring them into this hotel room, I'll eat them all.

I also ate some peanut butter today - I am SUCH a risk taker! Salmonella, scmalmonella.

I will be reviewing these and who knows what other Valentine's Day treats. Yahoo! Life is good!!

And don't worry, the bloom and expiration date expose is still coming! Mars is nervous, I'm sure.

Right now I want to rant about something I saw in USA TODAY. It was one of those little polls they have off to the side of the stories. The question it posed to small business owners was, "Do you feel there is anything you can do to make a difference in whether your business succeeds or fails in the current economy?"69% said yes. But what shocked me was that 31% said no. What the hell? If that was how they responded, that 31% DESERVE to go out of business.

Take the words "the current economy" off that question. If you think you can make a difference in good times, why would you think you can't in tough times? Surely 31% don't believe they can't make a difference in their own businesses? Have their brains fallen out?

You can either lay down and "hope something will change to make things better" or "try new things to stimulate business." (Those were the choices in the USA TODAY poll.) Any time you opt to simply "hope something will change to make things better" you are being a victim. Why would you not try everything possible before you just sat around and "hoped"? Hope is never a bad thing - it is hope that has that 69% trying new things. But hope should start at home. Get off your own butt before you expect some secret external factor to come in and bail you out. (And I do mean bail out.)

Bail yourself out and you have security. You'll know what to do next time. You'll be stronger, more competitive, smarter. Let someone else bail you out and you rely on them forever (hear me, Big Three?). Do kids learn to walk because you carry them? No. They learn to walk by falling a few times and working like hell to say upright.

I know we can't control much, but I will NEVER believe that hoping is better than taking action.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic,"Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Do you want to be someone who dared greatly or someone who hoped things would change?

Roll up your sleeves, get in the arena! Your life, your business, your world is what YOU make it. That 31% should be ashamed.


diane said...

I knew I liked Teddy Roosevelt! Thanks to people like him (and YOU), I've stopped sleepwalking through my life and started paying attention to what kind of life I'm living. Thank you for the reminder!

Carl Weaver said...

Great post! Never underestimate the power or necessity of hope, but also understand that hope is inactive. If it doesn't give you the strength to take the next step, it is in vain or else all has already been lost.

Like my brother says, quoting a minister, you have to put feets to your prayers. Nothing will happen unless you make it happen.

Heidi said...

Amen, sister!
You are the BOMB.
And your BUSINESS is the BOMB.
And now I know why.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Denise Ryan said...

Thanks for the back-up, gang!! You all are the BEST!