After all the wonderful discussions at Saturday’s Un-Job Fair, I got thinking about this post from a few months back and decided it was worth another visit.

All sorts of folks are blogging about whether it’s too dangerous to start a business during our current economic challenges. Some of them have lengthy arguments against taking such a radical step.

I’m not sure where they’re getting their advice, but the Joyfully Jobless folks in my life are some of the calmest people around. After all, they’ve already demonstrated that they can bring an idea to life, understand multiple profit centers and consider themselves to be wonderfully flexible.

So what do the people who are doing it say?

A perfect example of what I’m talking about came via an e-mail message from Lisa Sellman, owner of Aloha Pet Care. She wrote:

I was just watching a little of the news about our poor economic times and how anyone could be ready for a lay off at any second. The expert in the field suggested that everyone get their contacts together because as one firm lays off another firm could be hiring. So even if your company looks good, any minute your life could change.

It was a story completely fear based. I kept waiting for the news to encourage people to start their own business and create their own destiny but not a word about that.

I am so glad that I started my own business four years ago and I am completely secure with my clients. Even in this economic times, my clients still completely need my services.

My new pet portrait business is going extremely well and I had my first art show two weeks ago and I am working on my comissions currently. Also, I have another art show on the 22nd of November as well as one in January.

It is very exciting to create my future and to feel safe and secure knowing that no one can take this away from me.

Thank you, Barbara, for encouraging entrepreneurs everywhere. Entrepreneurs Unite!

Entrepreneur Tom Breitling wrote a brilliant piece called The Art of Entrepreneurship. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever read about what it really means to ben an entrepreneur.

He says that a good idea is recession-proof. How come? “Entrepreneurial minds don’t stop thinking creatively just because the economy is hurting. This is when creative minds focus.”

(When you have a moment, do read his entire piece. You may want to print it out and save it.)

Seth Godin, the most popular business blogger on Earth, had a piece called Looking for a Reason to Hide. He ended his piece by saying, “Inc. magazine reports that a huge percentage of companies in this year’s Inc. 500 were founded within months of 9/11. Talk about uncertain times. But uncertain times, frozen liquidity, political change and poor astrological forecasts (not to mention chicken entrails) all lead to less competition, more available talent and a do-or-die attitude that causes real change to happen.

If I wasn’t already running my own business, today is the day I’d start one.”

Person who says it cannot be done must not interrupt person already doing it. ~ Chinese Proverb

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