Looking at the US employment statistics, you could conclude that all of the talk about a US recession has not yet affected the US job market. Nevertheless it’s obvious that corporations are focusing on cost reduction, and lay-offs are inevitable. What will you do to support your family, with all of your years of expertise, when your job is on the line?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of unemployed persons (7.4 million) and the unemployment rate (4.8 percent) were essentially unchanged in February in comparison to the previous period. Over the month, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.3 percent), adult women (4.2 percent), teenagers (16.6 percent), whites (4.3 percent), and Hispanics (6.2 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for blacks fell to 8.3 percent, in line with the average rate for 2007. The unemployment rate for Asians was 3.0 percent.
The number of people who worked part time for economic reasons, at 4.9 million in February, was little changed over the month but was up by 637,000 over the past 12 months.
These employment numbers don't tell the story of the recession that is upon us -- you need to plan for the worst.
If you lose your job, or if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, starting your own business during a recession is not a bad idea. You could become a consultant or perhaps invent a new product or service to satisfy the arising demands. There are many opportunities for people with good ideas. Yet, of course, there is a learning curve involved in starting up new any venture -- and because time is crucial, first time entrepreneurs have to be very efficient and begin to generate income quickly if they want to match their current paychecks.
Professional organizations and business networks can be of great help to you, especially if you've never been self employed. Peer expertise, advise, and emotional support are great motivational factors for the future success of new business owners.
On-line business and social networks can be priceless resources to entrepreneurs, and in most cases they provide basic membership for free to help people connect. While LinkedIn, Ecademy, and Xing were designed for networking and provide similar services, the newly launched IdeaMama Club (http://www.IdeaMamaClub.com) seems to be the most fascinating and exciting of all.
IdeaMama.com hinges on a revolutionary concept -- it is a virtual business accelerator and invention incubator that uses unique methods of matchmaking members and their projects’ needs, electronically. Thus entrepreneurs, investors, and skilled managers can find each other and collaborate with ease -- and new ideas can be evaluated much more quickly and accurately, using large target audiences around the world.
The IdeaMama social network is like no other. It presents a new approach to creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Before IdeaMama every idea or invention was treated as the intellectual property of one person (or a small group). It was kept a secret to prevent competitors from “stealing” the intellectual property or getting it to market first. But, with the launch of IdeaMama, we may see a big shift in the go-it-alone mentality of the global business community. The concept of an “open source” space for idea exchange, collaboration, and transparency is now a reality, and it is likely to attract millions of members worldwide. Now, no good idea will be lost because it lacks the appropriate resources or expertise to make it happen.
First-time entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals are empowered and encouraged to try new ideas, along with other members of IdeaMama’s ecosystem businesses. This collaboration will become not only a source for unlimited profit but it is also a fun place for young-hearted visionaries to meet and interact. Now, recruiting and finding partners for any new business, trying out new ideas, and developing solid business plans will become an easy process for all involved.
How does IdeaMama bridge the gap between the people with great ideas and the people with great financing? Here is how Olga Kostrova, founder of IdeaMamaClub.com answers this question:
“Initially it was all about the right marriage of ideas and capital, much like a dating service. It was a numbers game. You will hear dozens of people say "no" before someone will “fall in love” with you and your “baby." If you can’t play the game you will get discouraged after a few attempts. But it’s the game I invented for myself, so I have no other choice but follow the rules and enjoy the journey.
"Now the process becomes more structured and simple, because the business development process is transparent. Investors, as members of the club, observe how each new “baby” of an idea is born, how the market responds to the idea, who nurtures it as team members, how creative are its marketers, how committed and qualified is the management team, whether they can deliver, and so on.
"The main challenges of aspiring entrepreneurs – how to attract a great management team and capital – is suddenly resolved with the launch of IdeaMamaClub.com. It is all available for those who are driven. And if you don’t become a millionaire in a few years, if you don’t hit your happiest moments of your life, if you don’t devise a number of adventures to spice up your life – it’s solely the result of your lack of action.
"People either seek solutions or excuses. We offer the solution.
"We are not focused on changing the minds of those whose lives are based on excuses. We want to dedicate our efforts to assisting a small group of very special individuals (a couple of million people worldwide, no more [smiling]) who want to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of those who might need help… to those who desire and have the will to do all in their power to nurture the fire within.”
This is how Olga describes how this project came to life:
“This company is the result of my own internal search for something meaningful, something I could dedicate my life to. My belief is simple – no amount of money can be an excuse for time wasted on meaningless activities or businesses built on the absence of integrity. The most success any individual human being can realize is only in activities that make a difference in someone else’s life. After a number of hard lessons, I realized that the best I can do in this life is to dream – dream big for myself and help others to dream big and make their dreams come true. All it takes is a process and infrastructure for dream 'manufacturing' and 'marketing.'
Teachers and coaches might achieve this through educating. My mission is to allocate my creative power to assist others in re-creating the world and making it a better place to live, as truly alive human beings... and not just co-exist. Self-development is a big part of it because we always have to do a reality check to validate our intentions and our execution strategy.
Helping people to re-connect with their dreams and connect with other dreamers, movers, and shakers – isn’t that the best path one can chose?
When you have a strong purpose in life, it all falls into place one day or another, one way or another. And the money comes later…”
No matter what your industry or main area of expertise, getting fired from your job never has to be a drama. IdeaMamaClub.com and its "ecosystem" supports innovation in many categories such as biotechnology, commerce, education, energy, entertainment, environment, finance, health and medicine, information technology, materials, space, transportation, and others... So, any of your ideas can be supported and developed with the assistance of other members.
IdeaMama provides many tools that will help members to believe in themselves and their ideas, stay motivated and inspired, and surround themselves with mentors and advisers that can provide management solutions and resources, human capital, and financing. Investment advisers, capital brokers, financial institutions, angel investors, and venture capital companies will also tremendously benefit from the innovations and the collaboration provided by the IdeaMama ecosystem. Access to thousands of new investment opportunities is possible, and investors and lenders can easily get to know the management team via virtual communication; they can also evaluate the synergy between team members and their ability to deliver the project according to a business plan.
Other sources that can be useful for learning to “run your own show” can be local Chambers of Commerce, networking events run by professional associations, on-line forums and associations, and so on... Google and your local newspaper can be excellent resources of information. If you are motivated to win, and if you are not afraid to pursue your dreams, there are many ways to succeed, and many people willing to help.
You can take charge of your destiny and never be unemployed -- and therefore you never need to face a personal recession. Perhaps it's time to light a fire under your dream, and go for it. There has never been a better time to start than right now.