Footprints in the sandLife really can take some unfair twists and turns. In the last year in particularly, so many people have been affected by the financial crisis and the downturn in the economies of the world. Much has been written about the tremendous problems caused, but very little about the marvellous ingenuity and imagination of some in tackling their problems.

The internet has been a medium used by many to start a new business, as it is cheap, fast to set up and highly effective in reaching potential customers quite quickly. With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and social networking, promoting these small ventures is also extremely cost effective. In combination with the ever increasing popularity of blogging, small start up ventures can be operating in a matter of a few weeks.

Some of the best ideas I have seen, have been from people who have taken stock of their personal expertise or passions and applied these to their new small enterprise. A woman who had lost her administration job decided that her primary skill was in baking. Her new business now supplies cookies and cakes to her local area via internet orders. Another started a music festival business. The great part of this idea was in pre-selling tickets, and then having the customers (audience) vote on the artists that will appear at the festival.

Some people have naturally taken their professional expertise and started to develop their own consultancies online, while others have seen the potential in blogging and advertising revenue. Twitter has become a new means of promoting yourself, your ideas and products, and in combination with novel business ideas and an attractive website, it provides another route to potential customers.

Personally, I had the same decision to make as many others earlier this year. What to do next after losing my job? When I took stock of my skills, I decided that my primary asset was in my writing skills. As a now ex-English teacher for the near future, I decided to put my energy into writing novels, essays and of course a blog. While not expecting to make a fortune, it has given me the enthusiasm to get up every day and get to work. It has probably given me more purpose to each day than when I was employed. Whether I will make much money from my book sales, website advertising or blogging is a question that will be answered over the coming months. I can only hope I am lucky.

The main element in my decision however, was not economic. It was that it gave me the opportunity to leave something behind. Since May of this year, I have now published three books. The sense of accomplishment in doing this is not a financial one for me though. The reason I am pleased, is that in officially publishing these books I have created a record of myself that my grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren will be able to read. In today’s world of digital photography and digital recording of our lives, I think a book will stand the test of time much better.

The economy may well improve next year, and I may return to full-time work. But to have taken the opportunity that this year of woe has provided me; to do more than leave my foot prints in the sand, has given me a reason to say 2009 was a year I accomplished something. That’s more than I can say about many other years of my life.

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Foot Prints in the Sand
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