Last Wednesday I stopped at Jerry's shop in Idaho Springs. Jerry has run his Mountain and Road Bike Repair shop for over two decades there, and it's a classic place. Long and narrow along the north side of Miners' Street next door to the local coffee shop, the store is full of bikes in various states of repair, from Jerry's mountain bike that he rides to work every day to the WW II-era bike hanging in the back waiting for Jerry's next bit of loving restoration.
The store is a place that just reeks of Jerry's passion for bikes and biking.
And all that even before Jerry opens his mouth.
When he does, you discover even more. He is a fount of knowledge and wisdom about bikes and biking. He can tell you the weight difference between a Shimano 520 and 540 pedal, give you his take on the best value for whatever you are looking for, and regale you with stories of international bikers who visit him for products and services.
I was there to pick up my new mountain bike.
He spent some time getting the final measurements done, checked out the sag on the shocks, filled the front with a bit more air, and so on. After he was done with that, he helped me wedge it into my car since the rack was missing a couple of parts when I had tried to stick it on in the morning.
Now I have a new toy to help me stay in shape over the summer. Part of life is learning to stay in shape (and you'll find more about that in my book: http://stephenhultquist.com/skiing.html). Having a new toy to play with over the summier is a bit like recess when we were kids, isn't it?
Later in the week, I listened to the news while I was checking the traffic for Denver. During that newscast, the serious-sounding anchor was lamenting the various economic reports tumbling out of the government these days. "Downturn." "Recession." Blah, blah, blah...
I have spent some time thinking about all this economic indicator stuff the past few weeks as the various talking heads have made it a primary topic of discussion. And you know what I've discovered?
First, it's all about looking backwards. What happened last month? How many jobs? How much in inventory? It's history.
Second, it's self-fulfilling prophesy. When businesses and consumers think that a recession is coming, they contract production and spending. When business and consumers aren't spending, it becomes a recession. It's a death spiral until enough people get smart and start finding ways to benefit from it. Then we "come out" of the "downturn".
Third, smart people always prosper when the weak are fearful. This is another opportunity for those who are independent and forward-thinking.
And fourth, most of the economic pundits ignore the fact that our economy has changed. We are no longer primarily a manufacturing economy with high inventories. We are a "just-in-time" world with instantaneous communications worldwide. The old models may give us some insights if we treat them with deep intelligence, but they are less accurate than they have ever been.
It's not time for a recess in your business! It's time to leap forward!
Stephen Sven Hultquist
PS The most successful people you know are the busiest getting things done. To learn how they do it, take a look at the pre-publication special for Time Shaving. In it, I will share the secrets of busy, successful people and explode the 20th century ideas about time management: http://stephenhultquist.com/shaving-book.html