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The Power of One

Bruce Faulmann
Bruce Faulmann, Publisher
I’ve been fascinated by fables since I was a kid watching “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoons. Most episodes had a segment based on “Aesop’s Fables,” with the narrator telling the lesson-based stories of the ancient philosopher accompanied by a silly cartoon illustrating the point. As I recall, most lessons were about doing the right thing, being a good citizen and the power of the individual.

One fable that I’ve used in speeches over the years — frankly I don’t recall where I first heard it, but it’s probably safe to say it wasn’t on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” show — is the story of a father and son walking on the beach, where they encountered hundreds of starfish washed up on the sand. Knowing the fate of the starfish, out of the life-supporting elements of the water, the young boy starts picking up the starfish, throwing them one by one back into the ocean. Observing his son’s valiant efforts, the father declares, “Your efforts are admirable, but there are so many, you’re not going to make a difference.” The son replies as he continues picking up each starfish and throwing it back into the water, “It makes a difference to this one, and this one, and this one ... .” The lesson of the story, of course, is that one person can make a difference.

Which leads to the question: What can one Floridian do to improve the state’s battered image and damaged economy? In my humble opinion, a lot. So with that in mind, here are few thoughts for each of us to consider that could go a long way toward helping Florida’s recovery:


» If you’re on the verge of completing a deal, but because of the uncertainty in the economy you are apprehensive about pulling the trigger, go ahead and pull. Your hesitation is understandable, but those who act now are likely to be the most successful as the economy rebounds.

» If you’re responsible for meeting a payroll and your business is still turning a profit, keep people employed. Profitable businesses willing to accept a bit smaller margin can go a long way toward stopping the continued job losses, which in turn will boost consumer spending crucial to our recovery.

» If you have contacts outside of the state — and most of us do since Floridians come from all over the country — make a commitment to call one of them each week and say, “Florida’s open for business. Let’s talk.”

» Make that extra sales call. Be more productive each day. Stretch your mind for new ideas and innovations to grow your business.

» Volunteer or give more to your favorite charity or community-building entity. It’s good for the soul and the economy.

» If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, post positive messages about Florida, your business and your community on a daily basis — or multiple times a day if you’re addicted to social media sites.

» Most important, be positive! There’s a positive aspect to everything. Let’s work hard to find it and share it.

In this economy it’s tough to feel like we’re in control, but we do have control over our actions. If each one of us steps it up a notch, we can make Florida stronger and better.

— Bruce Faulmann