Earlier this year, the Las Vegas Sun ran a brilliant piece by Tom Breitling which began, “The economic news is relentless. Home foreclosures. Teetering mortgage companies. Tottering airlines. Brands that once rode high are going bankrupt. Job losses. Dangerous levels of public and private debt. If we’re not in a recession, there’s no denying that our economy does not feel good, which means this is not the time to be paralyzed in front of the TV. Look at the world in a new way, and build value for the future. Which, the way I see it, means it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur.”

I thought of that yesterday when I was recording a podcast and was asked about self-employment in turbulent economic times. I responded to the question by saying that the people who will come through this chaotic period most gracefully are those who are creative problem-solvers, who are flexible, who are willing to be frugal when it’s called for, who are wise enough to know that every  difficult situation also contains opportunities. I went on to say—which I’m sure will come as no surprise— that the people best fitting that definition are entrepreneurial thinkers and doers. 

It also is obvious to me that those who are going to experience the least upheaval are those who run lean operations. I’m not the only one who embraces the Small is Beautiful business model, of course. One of my favorite books—with one of my favorite tities—in the past year is Seth Godin’s  Small is the New Big. Godin talks about the advantages of running a one-person operation that he’s discovered for himself. Then he shares a wild array of ideas and examples of thriving small operations. 

The articles were gathered from his blog postings so are mostly quite short. Although this isn’t a how-to book, it’s filled with examples of why-to. There are plenty of delightful stories of tiny businesses who are exceptional and all sorts of miscellany that just makes for good reading. 

I love this book because it can be read in fits and spurts—or in longer doses while waiting for a flight or when some entrepreneurial thinking is needed. I also love seeing the reminder that Small is the New Big sitting on my bookshelf.

I think you’d enjoy having it in your library, too.

How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable? ~ Seth Godin