What at first brought a sense of quiet panic has turned out, like most things we think will suck, to be a fun opportunity. The Sioux Falls Green Project, where I’ve been the Executive Director for just over a year now, is scaling back from one full time staff to none. We’re shifting things to be run by volunteers and contractors. The Green Project will still be inspiring and educating the community to build that sustainable future, it’ll just be doing it without full time staff. I’ve been playing it pretty cool, but the paper put it out there over the weekend.
So I’m being “phased out.” Well, not exactly of course, but it would be true to say I’ve been unemployed officially now for about six weeks. It’s just that I decided not to participate in this recession. In fact, I’ve been busier than ever and doing just fine.
I’ve been running a company called Ignite Workshop since summer 2004, in one way or another. My company helps groups of people who are shaping their communities–I help them get started, or re-ignite the fire, and I sometimes actually take on management and leadership of the organization for a while. Sometimes over the past few years, the method that made the most sense was to actually become an employee. That’s been the case for a while with the Green Project, and with the Rural Learning Center before that. For both organizations, I spent part of my time as a consultant, and part as an employee embedded in the everyday work.
So my point here is not to tell you about Ignite Workshop, or about being unemployed. It’s just a late night reminder that we’re all in this together. And, if you want to pout about it, go ahead. But if you want to get out there and do something about it, go do it. It will never be cheaper to start a business, and if you can make a go of it now, you’ll be in great shape to kill it when things bounce back. Yes, it will bounce back. Will you be ready?