If you live in the USA, today is the national Thanksgiving Holiday. But no matter where you live in the world, you should use the opportunity to give thanks for the positives in your life and your business. High on my list is the joy and satisfaction of having helped many entrepreneurs face-to-face this year, and hopefully many more by my blog reaching out over the Internet.
These last couple of years have not been great financially for entrepreneurs, but it always helps to look at the cup as half full, rather than half empty. We often forget that one person’s loss is a gain for others. Let's list a few things this Thanksgiving day that many entrepreneurs can be thankful for:
- The economy continues to rebound. The stock market is up 7.2%, which is finally providing some liquidity relief to concerned investors and startups alike. Home prices are slowly coming back, and personal savings rates are now as high as levels last seen in the USA in the mid 1990’s.
- Venture capital investments are returning to startups. Venture capitalists invested $4.8 billion in 780 deals in the third quarter of 2010, according to National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The number of startups that took slices of the pie went up by 9 percent.
- Mergers and acquisitions pace improving. According to Hugh Hoffman, managing director at Craig Hallum Group, merger-and-acquisition activity topped $2 trillion globally, up 20 percent year to date and hit a respectable $600 billion in the United States, up 7 percent.
- New focus on a sustainable planet. Recent surges in the price of fuel, combined with the continuing evidence of global warming, have highlighted the need for alternative energy sources, and green products. Startups are springing up all over to capitalize on these opportunities.
- Incentive to do something you love. Lots of people tell me they are sick of the corporate grind, and they long for the opportunity to take their favorite activity or hobby, and make a business of it. Now many of them are doing it. Some have been laid off dead-end jobs, and found something more exciting.
- High quality talent available. The down side is that the unemployment rate is still high, but the upside for startups is that there is more high quality talent available for a reasonable price. You can afford to set the bar high for those key positions in your new business.
- Office space available for a reasonable price. Remember when you couldn’t find an available storefront, and contemplated converting the deserted gas station on the corner into your office? Now you can get prime space for $10 per square foot in some cities, versus $30 a couple of years ago.
- More time for the family. Keeping a sense of balance between work and family is always a challenge. With the workload reductions, some of you now have had the time to re-introduce yourself to your family and friends.
I trust that you can add a couple more positive items from your personal business experience this year. From my perspective, this has been a great year, for my business and my blog. I am truly thankful for all my readers, your comments and your feedback.
They have allowed me to get more exposure for my message, including the Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, the Business Insider, and The Examiner. I published my first book this year, Do YOU Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur, and my following on the social networks now exceeds 275,000.
As I suggested in the beginning, my hope is that each day I am able to bring a little more inspiration, information and education into your entrepreneurial life. So, from me and mine, to you and yours, Happy Thanksgiving!