SETsquared Blog

Rejoice in the recession

A blog about the silver lining and a few snaps from the last of the US.
Walking into Manhattan from Brooklyn.

So I've been silent on the airwaves for a couple of months, but one shouldn't mistake silence for inactivity. It's been a busy time since I've returned home to the UK. My startup has undergone many iterations as well as a little pivot but we're full steam ahead now and I'm looking forward to the year ahead. Read all about my new company Saberr here, and for some insightful blog posts into the recruitment industry, follow us here. Anyway, I'm back now and it's back to business!

Sunset from the skyline

So here we go. I often get comments remarking on how brave I must be to try to start a business in the recession, or how it must be a big risk given todays economic climate. I mean, what if I fail? What if it doesn't work and what if all this hard work and pressure amounts to nothing? Surely that is a big risk?

An open top mustang and a trip to the beach. #American dream.
Starting your own company is a risky business and unfortunately the word ‘risk’ today carries predominately negative connotations. We forget that the word ‘risk’ has origins in 16th century German, and that back then it meant ‘dare, undertake, enterprise and hope for economic success’. Risk is a two-sided coin, one side being failure but the other side being that of opportunity, even then, the idea that failure be viewed as a bad thing at all is a discussion for another time. Today taking a risk and choosing anything other than the safe bet when it comes to career choice is so socially unacceptable that the modern day graduate dare not choose to undertake risk or in other words become an entrepreneur. We’re programmed to get a job, a career, something that will make our parents and grandparents proud and something to show that all those years of education were worth it.
The Empire State
But there are others of us who see this risk as opportunity. If it's really hard for us to get a job, let alone our dream job then what have we got to loose? If my startup fails then I'll just end up right where I was when I left university. Wasted time? I don't think so! I've learned more about business, more about communicating and articulating myself clearly, more about finance, more about... I need not go on. I've learned more in the past 6 months trying to set up my own company than I have in the last 6 years.
Washington D.C.
What about the social acceptance issue? Well I think we've been in this deepening economic rut for long enough for people to start to support the 'risky' choice. We're seeing fresh news articles almost daily on the big playmakers making bold statements and taking big risks. Indeed, I think we're all prepared to follow the advice of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and do "whatever it takes" to get ourselves out of this rut.
Highway 1
Sure I'm aware of the risks, but do I think I'm brave? No of course not, because I see bigger opportunities ahead, it may be foolish but it's exciting. The fledgling entrepreneurs of today, making big bets and taking big risks are the ones the newspapers will be writing about when it's all over. The recession is breeding entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who'll either join the ranks of the corporate world with a wealth of experience when they fail, or they'll join the ranks of the Forbes List, now that's a risk I'm prepared to take. So it's time to rejoice in the recession and get down to business.
(I'm aware that none of these pictures look like I'm getting down to business. Work hard, play hard right?)