Let me tell you a story about what’s happening right now in Greece, my corner of the world, entrepreneurship-wise.
The situation in Greece is quite bad at the moment. We keep hearing how it’s in ‘critical condition’ and ‘hanging from a thread’. If you’re an entrepreneur running your own business, the blows come one after the other: surging taxes, closing businesses, long periods of unemployment, spending on the decrease…
It’s all a vicious cycle – out of which we still don’t know how to exit.
Unfortunately “we” more or less includes the entire world. It’s a test for the globe’s financial and social structure, which one way or another affects all countries with no exception, even if indirectly.
It’s a test we’ll all have to take.
There’s an upside in all of this. We Greeks – and I expect the rest of the world to follow soon – are finally starting to realize that if we want to make it, it’ll be through our own honest and healthy work, carried out both individually and in teams.
We’re distancing ourselves from traditional institutions, whether the state and its bureaucracy, banks and their often impossible terms or unsustainable sources of support and funding.
Instead we turn to healthier assistance: our local community, online aid in every shape and size, and new, more agile and modern types of investment.
Realizing the need and also the existence of alternative options, more and more of us have decided to take the plunge and become entrepreneurs – if you think about it, it’s the oldest type of job man can do.
In fact, a large fraction turn to online entrepreneurship for good reason. An online business is faster to set up, requires comparatively less starting capital, has an abundance of tools that help you get the work done efficiently, and there’s direct access to the world market.
A recent survey found that online connectivity is one of the last expenses to be cut in Greek households – and I believe it’s because people realize the strength of the online world.
It’s heartening to see architects setting up clothing e-shops for their designs, science grads trying their hand at olive oil e-commerce, IT teachers selling handmade jewelry online, engineers starting an internet business – all to enhance their income or to leave a saturated industry and start anew.
It’s happening in Greece and elsewhere. There’s an imminent financial meltdown, but if that’s not the best way to ‘not let a good crisis go unexploited’, then I don’t know what is.
In short, financial crisis is eventually a good thing. It’s not about the problems we have; it’s about what we’ve been doing wrong. It’s not about money handling gone bad; it’s about how to learn to handle money better. It’s not about how close we’re to economic meltdown; it’s about how far the economic reform we initiate can take us.
It’s a chance for all of us to reassess how we’ve been doing things so far (or how we’ve been letting things happen) and take control of the situation in our hands.
And that can only be a good thing.