Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
The Err of Capitalism
Articles are being published nearly every day regarding the reasons behind the Wall Street collapse and the economy. While fingers are being pointed in numerous directions, and countess victims and individuals are looking for someone to blame, the one thing we have not emphasized is our society and capitalism as a whole.
Capitalism basically says that we live in a free trade society – anyone can go into business, at any time and sell a good or service to whomever will purchase it at that price. In our system, no single organization or group of organization can have major or complete market share, thus making prices artificially high. Businesses also cannot take advantage of poor market conditions and “price gouge.”
This creates a huge business/consumer society, where these is always someone who is selling and someone else who is buying. The challenge, more often than not, has been getting those people (buyers and sellers) in the same space at the right time with the proper resources. Well, two things have leveled that playing field: credit and the Internet.
As consumers, we now have access to products and services around the world, nearly instantly and up to 100 times our current salary, depending on our ability to convince a lender that we will pay it back. This, in turn, has made us not satisfied, at any point, but always seeking the ‘next big thing.’
At some point, we lost perspective and got focused on excess. Having access to much more than we could ever need, making it the standard building our societies on them. Our presidents say, “go out and spend.” Our super centers say, “come here, buy more for less,” and our credit card companies say, “yes, you can!”
Well, we did. Over and over and over again. People said, “this isn’t sustainable,”
and we agreed, and kept spending.
People said, “This is going to collapse.” We agreed. Again, we kept spending.
It’s like the kid who beats his Labrador dog. Yes, Labradors are sweet, wonderful dogs. They are fun to play with, never met a stranger and no idea what a bad day is. However, a lab that is constantly abused will turn and bite its abuser quicker than you could ever react. That’s what happened to our economy. We’ve abused it, and now we are paying for it.
What can we differently? Think proactively. That means save up for things and wait. Be clear about needs and wants. Focus on your needs. Save for your wants – don’t use credit for things your can reasonably save for. Understand that there is a maximum amount of enjoyment you can receive out of anything or anyone. Lastly…exercise self control. We can make it through this. Yes, we can.
At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].