This sounds like the setup for a knock knock joke or something. It’s not. This weekend I was listening to everything on the radio and hear a story about the great state of entrepreneurism in Poland. According to the story, “Poland is the only European Union country to escape the recession in the past two years.”
Fascinated by any story on growth at times like these? Well, we can take a lesson from the Poles. They have many of the things that Americans have in their core, and a few other things that we need to get back to.
Let’s see what is contributing to their success:
• Hungry (psychologically) business people who are still relatively new to a free market economy post-communism. Innovation and optimism after the fall of communism is always amazing. Remember to embrace our free market for the opportunities it provides.
• Low to no debt. The Poles are still new to the concept of credit. They pay cash for everything…including their homes! Low debt enables them to leverage their opportunities without carrying a chain mail suit of debt around. Debt is not bad when it is strategic, but American businesses and entrepreneurs need to keep a healthy perspective on debt. If it’s choking you, you can’t respond to change or opportunity when needed.
• Control of their currency and some independence from the European Union. The lesson I take from this is that while there is safety in numbers, there is also strength in autonomy and independence. When all boats are tied together, they fall with the tide when it’s falling. In business, critical partnerships and supply chain relations are important, but the ability to stand and deliver on your USP independently can be a real competitive advantage.
A: Knock knock.
B: Who’s there?
A: Polish Entrepreneurs.
A: Polish Entrepreneurs who?
B: Polish Entrepreneurs who are the only European country growing economically right now.
Anyone fancy a networking trip to Poland?