Take back the economy

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The few of you who have known me since my early twenties know that I have a bit of a rebel spirit.

At nineteen, I had plans to change the world, redistribute wealth and solve poverty.  You know, typical youthful enthusiasm.

Then, after spending a few years studying and living in South America, I saw that some problems were deep and systemic.  Entrenched.  Long-term.  Hard to solve.

So I got a bit discouraged.

Until I found a way to marry my intense desire to solve social problems with a small group of people who needed help.  In the form of young teenagers in San Francisco who were desperate for a bit of mentoring and love from a stable adult.  I taught martial arts to these youth, and saw amazing, awe-inspiring things.  Deep, systemic changes that altered the entire course of their lives.  And the lives of those around them.

Then I realized that massive change happens one person at a time.

That is how we will all move out of our current, collective economic rut.

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So I am excited, no, really thrilled, to participate in Make a Referral Week:  A Small Business Stimulus Program sponsored by my friend John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing.

During the week of March 9-13, we will do everything in our power to get everyone referring leads to small businesses.  A whole bunch of small business experts, including me, will share ideas, tools, information and resources to get you started.  Look at the educational events happening during the week here.

You may think I am being a bit melodramatic about how important this is.  I am actually dead serious.

Your referral might hit someone's business right when they are considering shutting their doors.  They may be behind on their mortgage.  They may stay up nights worrying about paying the bills.  This impacts personal health, families, relationships and communities.  We all get scared, and collectively panic.

We have to stop. 

Deep, systemic change will start with us, one referral at a time.

Here is how to participate:

  • Sign up at the Make a Referral Pledge Page
  • Spend the week referring the heck out of trusted friends/partners/colleagues
  • Watch the magic happen
  • Never stop
  • See the economy, like a Phoenix, rise from the ashes, one empowered businessperson at a time
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18 Responses to “Take back the economy”

  1. […] Productivity calls, Naomi Dunford, Mark Silver, Steve Spalding, Jonathan Fields, Chris Guillebeau, Pam Slim, and Clay Collins. It started before Tim Ferris, but he made the discussion a national […]

  2. I agree with you Kris and all of us must have this kind of attitude. I salute Pam for the initiative spreading the news. Together we will rise.

  3. Kris Hoots says:

    I completely agree with Liz. If we cannot do the work, then it’s in our best interest to help our clients (or prospects) find someone who can. That way we are still a valuable resource and we’re building relationships. It’s rewarding to be part of the solution, even if it’s not actual business for us. There is an undefined positive ROI on being part of that solution. Looking forward to next week!

  4. Pam,

    What a remarkable initiative. I am definitely going to register to be a part of it and play an active role in uplifting our economy. I am going to have my teen protegest sign up too 😉

    @teenbizcoach

  5. Hello everyone,
    I’m a newbie to website design and being a this site. I’m stopping by a few sites to pick up tips and get answers from people who know a lot more about this that I do!
    Home Based Business

  6. Peter Gulka says:

    I’m all over this. I’ve been slowly building up a consultant’s directory on http://www.blackbus.org. This would be an awesome way to launch it to the membership base.

    I’ll front page this on March 9 with the badge and tell everyone who the consultants are that we’re listing and that ALL of them are small businesses.

  7. CactusMichael says:

    I hope that people will ALWAYS consider referring– not just for a week. The problems that ail many of our businesses, however, have nothing to do with lack of referrals or clever marketing.

    I can refer ten friends to my favorite Realtor, but that won’t inspire them to sell their houses at major losses. I can refer them to a wonderful financial advisor, but they won’t use her services if they don’t have assets to manage or money to pay her fees. And I can refer them to a truly fair car sales professional– yes they exist. But my local Toyota dealer isn’t hurting because of obscurity: All of the above are hurting because we are facing changes that are deep, seismic, and structural.

    In addition to referring (not instead of it), I suggest doing what Seth Godin recently urged people to try: Call up a customer or friend and ask what you can do to be of help. Not for money. Not for reciprocity. Just for the joy of it.

    I did this last week: The world didn’t change. The economy didn’t rebound. And multitudes did not throw money or business my way. But it sure helped a few people and it took my mind off of me. At the end of the day, we could all do worse.

  8. Car Blog says:

    This is truly a wonderful gesture there. I think together we will and we can get out of the downturn and come out all strong.

  9. Pam,

    Awesome reminder; the power of relationships with the power to influence business by making a referral we all have the power to begin to change things. It starts with one person and can spread to others quickly!

  10. Pamela Slim says:

    So glad you are all on board. I am really excited about the results we can achieve when we have a collective focus on referrals.

    And then, moving forward, we can incorporate it into the way we do business. It is as important to make yourself referable as it is to refer others.

    That is what I am thinking about writing for my post on Duct Tape Marketing during that week — the general topic is Personal Branding.

    I feel so positive about this, knowing that a lot of people will get welcome calls and emails.

    Thanks for your support!

    -Pam

  11. Liz Jenkins says:

    This is such a great way to go – I do this constantly in my business. I have a list of people I love to refer posted on my website and tell people to use them because they are great. I know people who almost “hoard” their resources, but I figure what goes around comes around. If I’m not the right person for a job, I want to be sure my client gets that person. I love being the “go-to” gal for information and being the one who knows people who do stuff. There’s a lot of business out there and someone’s got to do it. Why not someone I know?

  12. Chuck says:

    What a great idea–count me in.

  13. Michelle says:

    This is wonderful.

    Where I live, our ‘recession’ will be delayed, but will no doubt hit us hard.

    Newfoundland right now has more jobs and wealth than it has for the past 10 years, but it’s still not enough to stop 1/6th of our province from moving to Alberta or abroad for work, and it won’t be enough to sustain us for years after the oil companies pull out.

    If you ask me, now is the time for Newfoundland to focus on growth of our own businesses so that when the foreign business leaves us, we’ll still have our own legs to stand on.

    -Michelle

  14. lilalia says:

    What a good idea. I am going to try and practice it at home as well. Not many people read my blog, but I can spend some time and effort mentioning all the good small businesses I frequent to those I meet during the day. The trick is not to appear like a mini billboard (smile).

  15. Pam,

    Great reminder. The power of relationships trumps all! With the power to influence business by making a referral we all have the power to begin to change the economy. It just starts with YOU and see the effect you will have on others!

    POWER ON–Mark

    http://www.atomicpenny.com

  16. Lynne says:

    This is exactly why we love you. What a BRILLIANT idea! You are so very right. And what is even more compelling about all of this is that it is personal responsibility in action. Nobody waiting for another government hand-out. Just a collection of committed individuals doing something that promises to be bigger than any one of us. It is truly the American Way… and the kind of spirit that makes this country great. Thank you for reaffirming my belief in what makes America such an amazing place. You are terrific!

  17. sital says:

    Sounds great , I’m up for it

    S

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