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I envy the squirrels that race around our backyard as they take something tangible with them into the harsh winter months for their little existence. I regretfully think of my formative years that lacked buoy knife skills or land cultivating know how (just in case). Differing images entangle my blank stare at what should be income producing activity in my home office. I have shaved the fat, cut the necessary bulk weight and started working “the field” in an attempt to hunker down and survive. What I have foreseen for some time is coming to fruition. The recent opportunity to actually expand the business is working out swimmingly. Cutting my overhead in half and spending time focused on what will make tangible sustenance like my squirrel counterparts remains the daily task since most of the marketplace was lopped off in the past six to eight months.

As a small business owner you have to see these times in advance, adapt and pray for manna. Everyone suffers in these times, whether your pocket book sees the impact or not, you can’t read the news or talk to loved ones without the reality of changing hard times slapping you with an ungentlemanly like uppercut.

The redundantly used metaphor in our household is keeping your head above water and that has been the case for the better part of ten years since slicing the corporate umbilical cord into business independence. It is one thing to feel the thrill of surviving the statistics of failed start-ups and small businesses, but this is a whole new category in polar times. You will read more than once in my musings “establish yourself as someone with whom people can trust, be patient and you will be successful” as once personally deciphered by a wise ol’man. It is comforting to know that growth is not always up, it can take time time to spread wide, fall back a couple of steps for a running leap or just plain take baby steps. It is equally as grand to realize that because of the organization and successes of our brief history in business we will continue to have our doors open and take on more in these times.

The gut wrench turns as you read more news and bleak understanding arrives at the frustrating reality that it is plain and simply slow. It does not matter whether you have a single customer base business or a million, the stock market mirrors the sentiment to sell what you can and hold on tight until the season passes.

So we press forward hoping for the good news or perfectly timed phone call that will ease our fears and confirm that what we are providing is not only valuable and important, but an indicator of success since we still have our doors open for business. A feat these days not to be taken for granted.

As unemployment rises rest assured that this squirrel continues to gather business and maintain our standards of quality and efficiency in these times of vocational side-stepping professionals.