The solution is YOU Inc.
Teaching and speaking for 2 weeks in China brought me to an epiphany. America is losing ground quickly with having no clear strategy on what to do to regain a strong economy. It was amazing for me to discover that in China growth is everywhere. Most people have health care and money left over. It’s cheap to eat, affordable to buy apartments and cars are not really necessary because taxi is so cheap. Even more amazing I was feeling safer in the city of 7 million where I visited than in any American town. Why? No guns allowed. The police walk around unarmed. Yes, I know what you are thinking. Free speech is an issue there. In fact, this kind of criticism there might get me a few years of tough labor. Ok, so no place is perfect but for sure we have lessons to learn.
We don’t produce anything anymore
Except war, that’s it. And even now that is outsourced. I have a call into the president to intercept this new 30 billion on its way to fight more unnecessary war so instead we can use it for heath care for 47 million citizens without heath insurance. He hasn’t called back yet. Do you know it costs us 1 million dollars per soldier in the Middle East? Any American company would go under quickly with this kind of spending per employee. Well, the only exception would be the Wall Street firms. But, then again I never understood the meaning to spend a lifetime just watching money go up and down. There is a small movement in congress to apply a small excise tax on all financial transactions (trading stocks, bonds, and derivatives). I would go a step further and enact in law that all tax collected from Wall Street go directly to paying 100% health care for all Americans. Health care problem solved and Wall Street and its behavior become socially useful. What a concept!
What are we doing?
We are waiting for the other financial shoe to drop. It will, and soon. Our greed for making money out of thin air has not stopped and unless we change behavior our current economic crisis will only get worse.
The solution is vocation
With this article I am launching a new program called “Taking back America – One vocation at a time“. The emphasis on just job creation is short sighted. First, how many people really want to work on construction projects? The smarter approach is to fund people and programs directly to teach people how to have vocation – the work which will last their entire lives.
Let’s start with you
You can start to take back America and be a role model right now. What services or products can you create and sell to others which would be useful and earn you an income. Even if you work for someone else thinking like an entrepreneur is what America needs right now. 150 years ago bartering was popular – people helping out each other. Guess what? In this down economy you can again find bartering clubs starting up again. The plumber donates 20 hours a month as the dentist does. They exchange services and help each other. No money is exchanged.
We need to be creative as a society
Violence just breeds more violence. The more we focus on the war against terror and live in fear the more fearful we will become. Instead, let’s focus on making a difference in our work for ourselves and others and we will get better results.
What can organizations do?
First, stop laying-off people. I wish firms were penalized 1 million dollars each for each person laid-off. This might turn around the focus a bit on people development rather than to lay-off people and then rehire those same positions one year later at twice the costs. With new job security people could again focus on work without fear. Make people development a larger priority than profit. That’s right, people over profit. We tend to roll out programs to motivate people to do more of what we want them to do. Instead if we invested time to teach people how to motivate themselves. They would be happier, more joyful and in turn their organizations which they worked for would benefit as well.
What can individuals do?
Start working towards vocation – that is doing work which you really love which will last a lifetime. What would this be for you? Start to produce something! Or start a service! Find just one customer. Prove to yourself what you have is valuable. If everyone did this, we would take America back. We would once again be a country which produces. If you don’t want to do it alone there are many smaller firms which would love your ideas. Do you know that over 80% of all firms in America have less than 10 people? Do you know that over 99% of all firms in America have less that 500 people? Do you know that 50% of these businesses are home based!! Is this enough incentive for you!
Can’t we all be like Bhutan?
I think the King of Bhutan was on to something when he decided that the national gross product of his country would be happiness and well-being. Wow, how forward thinking in 1972. America is now 38th in the world for life expectancy at 78 (75 for men and 80 for women) Australia is the leader at 80 on average.
We need to be more self sustaining
That’s right. And it starts with your work. Everyone over 40 right now should have multiple streams of income. This will help you to become more self-sustaining
How can you do your part to take back America?
Figure out what product or service you can create and sell to at least one other person? Just imagine if every person over 40 did this? Now, that’s vocation creation and a better focus than war and terror, don’t you think?
I love our country!
I really do which is why I have launched this program. It’s a small part which integrates with my work and just might make a difference for one person at a time with their work and their life. You can do this too with your work and I’ll be cheering you on as you go. One vocation at a time!
I’ll be cheering you on as you go – Craig Nathanson
Craig Nathanson is The Vocational Coach and is a coaching expert who works with people over forty.
Visit Craig’s online community at http://www.vocationalcoach.com.com where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathanson’s books and CD’s, get some private coaching over the phone or skype using webcam or in Craig’s office, or read other stories of mid-life change and renewal.
Craig lives and works in Petaluma, California. His office is located at P.O Box 2823, Petaluma Ca, 94953. You can reach him at 707-775-4020