This Noobpreneur.com website “talks” about many subjects affecting entrepreneurs and small business owners. Franchising, freelancers, marketing, global economy, how to do businesses up and down our own street and how to do business around the world. Ivan ( the owner of this website) has written many post that parallel my interest and efforts as a small business owner and entrepreneur even though he comes from the other side of the globe.
Recently, I have been strongly hit in the head regarding the global economy on which I operate. In pursuing my most recent venture, I had elected to hire freelance marketing. I have in the past, used with various levels of success, freelance services out of India. The company I hired and contracted with this time are in the Philippines. They contracted and agreed to perform certain services within a certain time frame. I built my plans around those agreements. They are missing their targets. I knew they were having some “bad weather over there, but got curious as to if it may be affecting their work. They are being rampaged by storms, rains, typhoons, mud, water, and basically the wrath of Mother Nature. I am out of Southwest Florida, and we are supposed to be in the midst of our “Hurricane Season”, and have had zero storms. Five years ago, the storms were lined up and hitting us one after another and turned our lives upside down. We were evacuated off our barrier island and our lives were at a standstill. Power Lines were down, Internet service, and phones were non-functional for days.
In this case, I could not reach my contact in the Philippines for days, and finally have spoken to them only to really learn of the devastation both physically and emotionally. On our local news between the story of the dog that can catch a Frisbee, and the local crime is sandwiched a short 10 second segment on the storms affecting the Philippines. What does it matter to people in Florida what is going on in the Philippines.?
After reaching to my contact, he told me the stories of his employees living in evacuation centers, mud filling a house “up to the second level”, and just basically traumatized employees trying to cope. (see attached video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_zXQhuvd6s )
He offered on several occasions to compensate me for the contract shortfall. I felt ashamed that such a thought would even be felt to be necessary. My life is my life, my work is just my work, and is not even a close second. We do live in a global economy. When doing business with India in the past and the Philippines now, I had elected to read their local newspapers to try to get a feel of what may be affecting their daily lives as I know that our work is just a derivative of the world that surrounds us. I know other parts of the world have suffered as a result of Natural disasters and catastrophic events, but living on this little barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico in SW Florida, I feel like these storms were not that far away. And when they get their lives back together, business will resume- but at this point that just does not seem so important.