Entrepreneurs Infused with Spirit

One of my favorite automotive retailers, Bobby Thibodeux, was leaving an event this morning. As I shook his hand I asked, “Where are you headed?”

Bobby just smiled.

“I’m going to sell some cars,” he said.

He didn’t whine about tight credit. He didn’t moan about the worst auto retailing environment in 40 years. He just put on his game face, headed for the dealership and started working.

Bobby typifies the attitude that will ultimately bring us out of the recession. He has an entrepreneurial spirit filled with energy and enthusiasm and he is committed to finding a way to succeed.
I love talking with entrepreneurs. They don’t have problems…just challenges to overcome. Where some see obstacles, they see opportunities. Here are just a few examples:

• A fellow soccer dad told me about his startup…he is applying technology he developed in the auto industry to the heavy equipment sector…he said business is up and he sees great potential ahead.

• A basketball teammate helped launch a start-up Web development firm, Shift-Digital . They help facilitate online sales transactions in the auto industry and are looking to expand into other business sectors.

• A senior-level technology executive decided to launch a t-shirt company. He and three other investors will soon launch a Web site and will print shirts in a Farmington Hills basement.

What do these three businesses have in common? All three saw an opportunity. All three ignored the negativity of the daily news, rolled up their sleeves and got to work. And all three have an unshakeable belief that they will succeed.

If you are feeling down about the business climate, find an entrepreneur. Listen to what they have to say and you’ll realize something very important…the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States is alive and well…in some cases even thriving. Most important, you’ll realize this recession is a momentary blip. We are going to be just fine.



  1. Mike,
    Great article. I am a glass half full person. This is the time for Americans to step up and show what we are made of. People and societies are defined more by how they handle adversity than how they handle carrying on the “torch” of prior success. Think not of what is wrong, but what is possible. For every door that shuts, another opens. Keep up the good writing.

  2. Mike,

    Great perspective. Going on your own is a tough gig, but is very fulfilling in many aspects. Even though many small businesses fail, there is never a shortage of entrepreneurs ready to take a chance at making it work. Small businesses often fail because the fear of failure often outweighs the spirit and smarts to succeed.

    I truly feel that nobody does well because they are lucky, but through hard work, dedication, faith and being smart about opportunities. I am sure that those people in your post share those qualities and will be successful.

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