Do you know what you need to succeed as an entrepreneur? If you answered, “Cheap beer, pork cracklins and a gun behind the counter,” then there’s a business opportunity in our neighborhood you should look into. But if your ambitions are loftier than that, check out this new report from the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute. It claims to identify the six personality traits that separate the winners from the rest of the pack. Guardian Life surveyed 1,100 small-business owners and discovered that those who succeed are: collaborative, self-fulfilled, future-focused, curious, tech-savvy and action-oriented.
Meanwhile, back in the real world. The six qualities mentioned above are shared by relatively few small-business owners: those who forecast revenue growth and business expansion during the peak of the recession last year. In the rest of small-business land, the outlook is not so peachy, even amid this “recovery” we keep hearing about. The monthly Discover Small Business Watch, which charts confidence among firm owners with fewer than five employees, identified a big dip in economic optimism in June. The primary problem: cash flow. The number of small-business owners who said temporary cash flow was an issue in June increased to 51 percent from 45 percent in May. Tighter cash flow suggests consumers have reined in spending and, indeed, that’s what the latest numbers show: shoppers are saving more than they’re spending these days. (On the other hand, consumer spending at our corner liquor store continues to be brisk.)
So what about that recovery? Is it just one of those wacky cultural myths that gain widespread acceptance with no real evidence to back them up? Like crocodiles live in the New York sewers? Or pork cracklins are bad for you? Could be. Because more and more economists are deciding that, in fact, the recession still hasn’t ended.
Bon voyage! Vacances por tout! If you’re one of the many Americans worried about their jobs, it’s probably been awhile since you had some R&R. There are a couple of things you can do to fix that. Start writing a blog for a living (plenty of time off) or move to France. A new survey from Expedia shows the average French worker takes a whopping 36 days off every year. U.S. employees take the second fewest–only 11 days a year–and the Japanese win the title of world’s worst vacationers: they take only eight days annually. (Time to start working on le blogue.)