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In Confusion There Is Profit!

One of my favorite movies of all time is a "World War II in the Pacific" submarine movie called Operation Petticoat. It's a 1959 comedy-drama that stars Cary Grant as the Captain of a war ravaged submarine and Tony Curtis as Lt JG Nick Holden; a "less than scrupulous" officer who's been assigned to active submarine duty ... his previous assignment was "Entertainment Coordinator at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel". Well he's not much of a sailor at first, but as luck would have it, he is a fantastic scavenger. Every time the ship needs the unattainable, he manages to get it.

At one point in the movie, the sub is in port for repairs and an air-raid occurs. While everyone else is running for cover, Lt. Holden is seen in a truck heading into the attack. When asked where the Lt. is going a sailor says "Well sir, Mr. Holden says that in confusion there is profit".

And so there is!

You're probably wondering how a 1959 war movie fits into the theme of Entrepreneurity. Every day now it seems that the economic picture gets dimmer and dimmer. The stock market goes up and down like a yoyo, banks are failing, businesses are drying up or facing tough times, and there doesn't seem to be any really good news in sight. For those of us that would someday like to take a break from all of this crap, the regular retirement portfolio just ain't looking all that healthy.

Well the point to be taken from the story above is that even in the worst of times, there are still opportunities if you care to look for them. The cost of food and gas may be higher than ever, but people still have to eat and get to and from work. Most people will still try to better themselves either by investing in formal education or self-instruction via hobbies. When times are tough, people look to escape; maybe it's just a weekend trip instead of that cruise to the Bahamas, or perhaps it's just a night out to hear a local band. There's always something that at least some people, somewhere, will want or need.

There's no doubt that a lot of businesses will have to reevaluate how they make a buck, but that's part of what being an entrepreneur is all about; watching for trends and looking for the opportunities that follow those trends. If you run a restaurant, you may need to adjust your menu to suit a slightly different crowd. If you're in the computer business, maybe you want to take a more serious look at the value offered by Open Source Software. If you're a farmer you might want to look at alternative means of crop finance like share farming.

So, if your IRA isn't producing like it used to, maybe it's time to take matters into your own hands. Try the entrepreneurial approach and look for a few good business opportunities to replace those missing dividends.

Permalink 08/23/08 04:23:51 am, by Bill Email , 497 words, Categories: Entrepreneurity ,