My intent with this blog was to continue the prep rally of my first posts and use smarmy metaphors and self-effacing, yet at the same time self-congratulating, anecdotes that would spin a fable of how great it is to work in Metro Detroit. That was my intent, until I realized that there was no pulling the wool over the eyes of all of us who are suffering through the frigid reality of our current economy.
So here it goes. No hype, no promotion, the simple truth when it comes to working in this area. And that truth is that if you are young and if you stay in Michigan to start your career you are taking a great risk with your future. Life isn’t easy. Life is hard, and there isn’t anything here in the water that guarantees a life of success over living anywhere else.
I probably don’t need to tell that times are quite hard right now in the Mitten. The economy is a mess, unemployment is high, and the government is deadlocked. It is no wonder we are experiencing an unprecedented drain of youth across the borders. I saw the movie, a lot of people got off the Titanic safely before it finally went down.
Young people in this region are gambling with an important time in their life. We invest a huge amount of labor capital in a market undefined and uncertain. Well, guess what, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing at this point in our life. Without great risk there can be no great reward. Getting something for nothing is something little children and people currently under federal investigation tend to believe. You want to be richer? You want more success, prestige, a greater feeling of self worth and achievement? Do you want to look out from the great porch of your life and know that you acted wisely on every opportunity to do so? Then take a chance and stay here.
It has been my experience over the past eight years of working in Michigan that business rewards only one thing greater than taking risks, and that is loyalty. If you stick it out, if you make an honest and committed effort to give all you have to a state that needs so much, you will be rewarded. There are fewer of us here everyday, leaving the potential future spoils less divided and easier to obtain. As one comment to my first post pointed out very well, it’s a shorter distance to that corner office when half the chairs between you and it are empty.
So take a chance. The worse thing that could happen is that you risk it all, fail, and still have the vast majority of your working life to learn from your valuable mistakes as you rebuild an even greater empire. Fortunes are made out of adversity not complacency. We will be back on top one day soon. Historically Michigan has been one of the wealthiest states in our great country. Why be so quick to run from this once in a lifetime opportunity to share in the legacy of that greatness?