What were you doing 27 years ago on Tuesday, September 1, 1987?
You might have been rocking to Los Lobos, who had the number one song with “La Bamba.”
You might have taken your best girl or guy to one of the top movies that week, “Dirty Dancing” or “No Way Out.”
Or were you engrossed in the best-selling book in the U.S., “Patriot Games” by Tom Clancy? You could have waited for the movie. Pretty good week for Tom Clancy.
“L.A. Law” won the Emmy for Best Drama Series and “The Golden Girls” won for Best Comedy Series. HBO didn’t have any original series and there was no Netflix to compete with. The acting awards were won by Bruce Willis, Michael J. Fox, Sharon Gless, and Rue McClanahan.
Tennis player Michael Chang was becoming the youngest man to win the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament at age 15. Tennessee Kellye Cash of was Miss America.
Ronald Reagan was president.
If you lived in Southern California, maybe you were one of the half-million people who welcomed Pope John Paul II to Los Angeles that day.
Me? I was making the leap of faith called starting a business, Competitive Edge Research & Communication (no “incorporated” yet). It was time for me to take what I had learned as a political aide, working in political campaigns, and managing someone else’s phone center and put my fate into my own hands.
Twenty-seven years later, Competitive Edge has survived and thrived to beat the odds faced by small businesses. According to data collected by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, about half of all new businesses don’t make it past five years. About one-third pass the ten year mark. After 15 years, less than one in four firms are still surviving. We are one of them, and we’re well on our way to the big 3-oh.
At the risk of launching into the blog equivalent of a “I’d like to thank all the little people” awards speech, building a successful business takes hard work, good ideas, a little patience and a lot of good fortune. I wouldn’t be crazy enough to try and name everyone who deserves a “thank you,” because I will leave deserving people out. You know who you are, and you can remind me the next time you see me.
Nevertheless there are two groups I want to single out. The first is the clients who have hired me and trusted the research provided by Competitive Edge to help them make important decisions about their products, their services, their campaigns, and their governing decisions. Even when the results weren’t what they had hoped for, we’ve given them the insights needed to choose the right course of action, even if it wasn’t the easiest course of action.
The second is the people who have come to work for Competitive Edge over the years. Many of those people took a chance coming to work for us in the early years, trusting that we would beat the odds and survive. Still others have given up other opportunities to put their skills to work on behalf of our clients, improving our processes and our services every single day.
Creating jobs for people (besides myself) is one of the most satisfying things about being a business owner. It’s not easy to do this in San Diego, California, where the business climate can be chillier than our great weather.
Perhaps this is why we at Competitive Edge get so much satisfaction working for individuals and organizations in our community and across the country who are champions of those people willing to put in the hard work it takes to start a business, create jobs and fuel the economy. These are the folks who create the kind of opportunity America provides, to the envy of much of the world.
President George W. Bush said “You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” With this in mind, we promise not to rest on our accomplishments at Competitive Edge. So, let’s get back to work.