What Do We Do Now?

Small business will be the economic savior.

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Everyone pretty much agrees that small businesses will be the salvation of our current employment crisis. Small businesses hire more people than large companies. People are moving away from large companies because they can have more impact and more fun in smaller ones. They want the experience of small-company innovation and the energy that results from working in such an environment.

[See 9 insider secrets to getting hired.]

There is a real revolution happening in the entrepreneurial world. More people want to be entrepreneurs. Today’s technology allows more people than ever to try new business ideas, and to do it faster and cheaper. Even better, failures are happening faster than ever. Things are being learned through these inexpensive failures that will be fixed later. Today’s failure is the seedling of the mighty oak.

Today’s entrepreneur does need some help. Not much, but some. Just tell us what the rules are and what they will be. Make investing in us beneficial. We can chase the investor and present our idea, but it would help if there were even more reasons for the investor to invest—such as lower taxes on these investments.

[See 20 rules for real radicals.]

Even so, for every entrepreneur who gets something started, there must be a hundred who want to, but can’t. For whatever reason, this dreamy entrepreneur can’t get the ball rolling on a new idea. This locked-up resource, if freed up, could bring millions back into the workforce.

I have a new book coming out called StartUp: 100 Ideas to Get Your Business Going. It is actually a mini-book, one idea per page, bite-sized. It is designed to help, with simple and direct ideas, not textbook-y. (Hey—what did you expect?)

So, after I get it all finished, my chief editor says I need a new section. After 100 tips, I need to make a new section? “Yes,” he says, “now you have to tell them what to do now. How to get started.”

It reminded me of the time a young person called me to “network” about starting his own business. We met over coffee, and he seemed like a nice young man, smart, presentable, degreed. After some small talk, he pulled out his leather portfolio (me: Mead school notebook), and poised to write, asked “OK, do you have any ideas for a new business I could start?” Just retelling this story here makes me laugh.

The point my editor was making was that just because I gave the reader 100 tips and ideas, the reader will still want to know exactly what to do. Which seems to be the issue with all the jobs summit mumbo-jumbo. We hear the talk, but we all really want to know, What Do We Do Now?

G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, which operates LinkUp, one of the fastest-growing job search engines. His blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com.

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