I was out for a hike in nearby state park with my son's Cub Scout den on a beautiful North Carolina day today and had an interesting conversation with a friend whose son is also in the den. I love those conversations with smart people in other businesses where you can share and gain perspective outside of your normal business routine. This friend has a renewable energy business. It's a neat business model, he's got VC capital (something most of us in our business couldn't fathom), and he's in what seems to be a growth area. I think he's going to make a lot of money with this business. He said he felt originally that he was two years late getting in. Now he feels like he is 3 years too early. They had a couple of deals in the works and one of them fell apart late last year because of the economy. The other is about to close and looks good and they are working on others. It has been an incredible amount of work and every deal is uncertain until closed. Sound familiar? He also said that people say to him "wow, renewable energy, business must be great" and he laughs. It's really tough going.

While recruiting is hyper sensitive to the economy and business conditions, we are not alone. Business is just flat out tough out there. Whether you run an interesting business like my friend or run a division of a company, conditions now make business very challenging. My friend says he knew when this started in '08 that it was going to be all about survival now and if you survive you'll be in an incredible position to succeed when things recover. Sound familiar? He also said that he sees signs of industrial production picking up and feels we'll bottom within the next 4 months. I'm not sure about that. Regardless of when, things will recover and those who come out on the other side are going to be in a great position to succeed. Those who see that and can find a way to get through are going to be the leaders in whatever business they're in.

Todd Kmiec
Todd Kmiec & Associates

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