Jobs in America – What can I do to make a difference?

Nov 16

Jobs in America – What can I do to make a difference?

I retired from my corporate job in 2007. At the time I was exhausted from the years of travel and pressure of working in a public company environment. I was hopeful that the “right thing” would just come along or one of the many ideas I have from time to time would be the next great thing to excite me. Four years have passed and I have dabbled in a number of things but nothing really sparked my passion. I spent too much of my time and attention watching the stock market gyrate and wondering if my savings were going to be destroyed. I alternated between excitement about various business ideas and fear about taking some of my money out of savings to start something new.

A few weeks ago I saw the CEO of Starbucks in a TV interview about the new organization he was starting call Creat Jobs for USA. Then the Blogher Network had a call to ask the blogger network to listen in and hear about the program. There are hundreds of small businesses in America and hundreds more people every day are coming up with ideas to be their own boss and stop looking to someone else for a “job”. But the banks in America still aren’t lending, except to people who don’t really need a loan. So Starbucks has started this foundation to provide small loans to small business owners across America so that we can help put ourselves and each other back to work without having to wait for the banks to start lending us money again. You can be a part of this movement by making a small donation at any local Starbucks or by going to website and purchasing and Indivisible wristband.

Hearing about this got me thinking about my own fear of letting go of the money that I have to take a risk on a new business idea. My brother and I had been talking for months about a new business. Another friend is starting a jewelry business based on some concepts we worked on together and she could use an investment. I had two more ideas for new businesses but they were going to take quite a bit of money to do the software development in order to prove the concept. I had been toying around, yet afraid to let go of what I have. Kind of like the banks. So I started thinking hard about the fact that I have more control about growing my money through businesses that I own or invest in than I do in a stock market that gyrates based on trading programs, hedge funds and rumor mills more than it does on fundamentals. I can also create jobs for other people in the process which is what this country needs.

Then on Sunday, I went to church with my husband and 2 younger children. The reading of the Gospel before the sermon was the Parable of the Bags of Gold – Matthew 25:14-30. Well this reading really gobsmacked me because I thought it was speaking directly to what I had been thinking about and what’s going on in America. In this parable their are 3 servants who are each given “talons” (money) by their master – each according to his ability. One gets 5 talons, another 2 and the last gets 1. Time passes and they return to their master, the one with 5 has doubled his money as has the one with 2. But the one who was given just 1 talon buried it in the ground out of fear of losing it and he has only that 1 talon. The master is very unhappy with him and takes his 1 talon and gives it to the servant with 10 talons.

It struck me like a bolt of lightening that I was burying my talons in the ground out of fear. I am a very spiritual person but not particularly a great fan of organized religion. My husband and 2 youngest children are Catholic so I attend church with them from time to time. This really seemed to be God/Universe telling me to get off my ass, dig up my talons out of the back yard and start making something happen – create something that will create jobs. Have fun and don’t be afraid

– “ whom much is given, of him shall much be required” Luke 12:48

I have worked very hard in my life to be successful but I have also been very blessed.

So I have made a personal commitment to cash out of the stock/bond/alternative investments by the end of the year and start 2-3 new businesses in 2012. My goal is to have one of the businesses with positive cash flow before the end of 2012 and a second two businesses to have prototypes built and be in the process of getting outside funding to grow them and hire more people. I plan to do my part to create jobs for the USA. If you can, think what you can do to create jobs – can you hire that person you’ve been holding off on hiring? Can you hire a contractor to do some work you’ve been postponing? Can you go to a local business and buy at least some of your Christmas gifts instead of going to the Big Box Stores and buying things that are coming from China? Can you donate to the create jobs for the USA foundation? Even a few dollars could make the difference for a small business in America.

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