“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
That quote, from Ralph Waldo Emerson, is just one line from an extensive speech the poet and philosopher made in 1837 to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Cambridge.
For many of us in business today, this time – the summer of 2010 in the U.S. – is unlike any other time. It’s fraught with mystery (will our business survive to see 2011?); it’s crowded with doubt (how can we persevere when the world is against us?); and it’s drowning in uncertainty (jobs, housing, crime, parenting, environmental issues – all are shrouded in darkness these days).
But, if we read Emerson’s quote carefully and stop to contemplate its meaning, smart, talented folks can see a halo of light in the dark clouds. Within that shining light, lives the innovative spirit that made America great.
This time, like all times, is a time when entrepreneurs must believe in themselves and their ability to persevere. Emerson said, further on in his speech to Phi Beta Kappa, “Help must come from the bosom alone. The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must be a university of knowledge. If there be one lesson more than another, which should pierce his ear, it is, The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.”
Know all and dare all – convictions entrepreneurs must embrace with open arms, today, tomorrow and every moment going forward.
Here are three innovative folks who didn’t let the economy hold them back. They didn’t let naysayers deter them. They crushed doubt and uncertainty in daring. They knew what they knew and didn’t let what they didn’t know deter them. They created value out of desire. To each one, “the man (or woman, as the case may be), was and is, all.”
Donna DeClemente – a personal friend and a contributing writer to Lip-sticking – embodies a true 21st Century mindset that says, “How can I tap into the strength of the new business and technology tools being created every day?” To whit – she launched Social Sweeps™.
This new idea combines social media and interactive promotions to build marketing projects that actually engage readers and consumers. Years of expertise in promotional marketing, combined with the tools created by social media, help Donna bring actionable results to old tactics.
Toby Bloomberg – creator of the only business book written entirely on Twitter: Social Media Marketing GPS (of which this writer is a contributor), has done it again. Over the holiday weekend, she announced her July 4th Twitter Menu – recipes for fun and enjoyment shared on Twitter. Toby embraced the idea and adopted it for her own after seeing Martha Stewart do it. For Toby’s Twitter readers, it was delightful, a change from the ordinary, all the more reason to share. Toby says, “Social media… takes the traditions of strategy, segmentation, customer insights, branding, and service and wraps it in something new… authentic digital conversations.” Woot!
Kyla Duffy – doggie foster parent and book publisher – is devoted to the cause of rescuing dogs from puppy mills. The Huffington Post reveals that pet pampering is a recession-proof industry, and with baby boomers bringing pets in the home as replacement kids, it stands to reason that dog rescue is a good place to put your energies, today.
Duffy has created a niche out of the desire to serve this industry. By publishing books like Dog Blessed: Puppy Mill Survivor Stories, Duffy demonstrates how to fix a problem to which others just pay lip service. In true entrepreneurial form, her companion focus, Up for Pups, takes innovation a step further, bringing performance art to play in the desire to help save puppy mill dogs. Circe de Soleil for rescues, anyone?
Innovation is alive and well within the hearts and minds of people who believe action begets results. “This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.” I say we innovate. Stand in front of the mirror, today, and repeat this phrase until you believe it, “Innovation begins with me.”
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About the Author: Yvonne DiVita, President of Windsor Media Enterprises, LLC: Books, Blogs and Beyond, is focused on consulting with businesses on how to effectively use new media tools. She blogs at LipSticking, with a focus on the women’s market.