Category Archives: Today’s Machining World

Does That Advice Really Make Sense?

By Noah Graff

I am a proud dad! I promise not to write too many blogs about becoming a father, but today I am because it’s quite an amazing experience and often thought provoking. 

At this very moment, I’m battling grogginess from a lack of sleep. Since the day Abraham was born, doctors told us to wake him up every two and a half hours to feed him because he needed to eat eight times a day.

It all seemed so ludicrous to us. It’s unnatural for both the baby and the parents. Why interrupt sleep we asked?

Forty-eight hours after Abraham was born, the nurse in the recovery room told us that he had lost 7.5% of his birth weight and if it fell below 10% we should be concerned. It would have been nice if she had elaborated on the fact that every newborn baby loses weight at first. When we left the hospital we were going to do our damnedest to fatten Abe up.

As one would predict, waking ourselves up every few hours for the last two weeks often has seemed like a fool’s errand. We have told lots of people about the waking/feeding mandate, and almost everybody has said to us, “That sounds crazy, just feed him when he wakes up. Don’t awaken that cute slumbering beast!”

Noah with his son, Abraham

I’m always asking Stephanie if we can just wait a few more hours between waking Abe. I reason with her that it is simply common sense. Billions of people for thousands of years have been letting their babies sleep. They wait for the baby to wake them up, rather than wake up the baby!                                      

This prescription reminds me of other counterintuitive health trends like intermittent fasting. Some plans restrict eating to one 6- to 8-hour period each day. Others say to eat regularly five days a week and then limit oneself to one 500-600 calorie meal. Does that really make sense!!!???

Yet, then I remind myself about so many of the modern best practices for new babies that would not have seemed like common sense to me but are now considered conventional wisdom. Newborn babies can’t sleep on their stomach, you can’t put a blanket or stuffed animals in a crib with them, and you are not supposed to bathe them for the first few weeks of life. 

I was very amused by one piece of advice from our pediatrician who told us it was ok to not change a baby’s diaper if all they did was pee in it. Pee is sterile and contains urea that can help remove dead tissue in some wounds to help healing. A Chicago Cubs fan like me, he brought up an article written back in 2004 about Dominican outfielder Moises Alou who would pee on his hands to deal with blisters.

All this wackiness, which in reality may not actually be that wacky, reminds me of Woody Allen’s 1973 masterpiece, Sleeper, about a guy who wakes up after being frozen for 199 years. When he is revived, the doctors in the future tell him that the wheat germ he used to eat for breakfast was bad for him, while deep fat, steak, cream pies, hot fudge and tobacco are healthy. According to today’s food science, part of that statement isn’t so ridiculous anymore.

In any case, I’m happy to say that yesterday we went to the pediatrician for Abraham’s 2-week checkup, and the doctor said he is doing great. He now weighs over eight pounds, which is heavier than his original birth weight. The doctor also told us that at night we are now allowed to wait for him to wake us up, rather than us purposefully waking him up. Great news as that is, I’m not optimistic that we will feel well-rested anytime soon.

Question: What’s the strangest medical advice you have tried following?

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The Joy of Missing Out

By Noah Graff

I’m not releasing a podcast this week because next week or perhaps the following week I’m going to become a father, so I want to have a podcast episode in reserve. Podcasts take a lot of time and energy to produce, items I fear will be scarce commodities in the coming weeks.

Very soon, everything in my life will be turned upside down. Many of my normal daily routines will never be the same. That’s what I’m told at least, and I can envision it happening.

Lately I’ve been listening to two books, Atomic Habits: an Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones and Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. Sometimes I listen to the two books one right after the other. Their messages sometimes clash, which I kind of like.

Atomic Habits is giving me tools to manage my time. The book is filled with methods to help me take on new activities to make me healthier, more successful, and hopefully happier. 

Meanwhile, the message of 4,000 Weeks is that rather than trying to optimize time in order to squeeze in everything, sometimes it’s best to just choose one activity over another. The book’s author, Oliver Burkeman, a former time optimization zealot, argues that if we try to squeeze in too many tasks, we may never feel satisfied with what we are already doing. We will always want to use the new saved time to cram in new tasks. The title, 4,000 Weeks, stems from the fact that if we live to age 80, we get a mere 4,000 weeks on this earth. That doesn’t sound like a lot of time to me, so I better make that time count. My conundrum is, what does “making time count” mean?

The author, Noah Graff, outside the Graff-Pinkert office

Burkeman says that when he first became a father, his inclination was to try as hard as he could to optimize his time. He would keep tight schedules, automate and outsource tasks, etc. But that didn’t lead him to feel increased satisfaction or fulfillment.

One concept he talks about the book that really struck me is what he refers to as “the joy of missing out.” This is the opposite of the popular term nowadays, FOMO, the “fear of missing out.” 

Burkeman believes that making a choice to do one activity rather than try to cram several into your schedule makes that chosen activity meaningful. It’s special because you chose it over something else.

I want to write these blogs and make podcasts. I want to dance and see friends. I want to excel in my profession, the art of turning overlooked, imperfect equipment, into gold—the job that pays the mortgage. I also want to be a great father and husband. I want to spend time with my loved ones. At 42 years old, if I’m fortunate, I should have a good 3,000+ weeks left. Soon I will have to figure out how to fit the myriad of great gifts in my life into my crowded schedule. At the same time I will have to decisively choose what wonderful stuff to sacrifice.

Question: Does anybody have advice for me?

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Always a Player

By Lloyd Graff

It’s the feeling that enables me to fall asleep. 

The kinesthetic memory of the dimpled leather, the seams spaced across the leather ball, feeling it roll up my fingertips toward the rim. And then the swish–the perfect swish, no rattling iron, 15 feet of perfection. 

It’s my meditation, the meditation of a kid who spent hour after hour developing his shot, my unique defining shot, similar to a million kids’ free throw motions, yet imprinted with my singular DNA. 

Winter, spring, summer, fall, it’s always basketball season when you have it in your blood like I do. I’ve been reminded of the hypnotic attraction of the game while watching Swagger, the series currently playing on Apple TV, co-produced by Kevin Durant, the NBA star.

I was a nice player back in the day. Sweet shot, good size for a white boy, with sloppy hands and slow feet. A high school player who could score, but not much else. 

But how I adored the game. And I still do, even if just to hallucinate and dream about the swishes and the perfect angle off the backboard.

I watch the game on TV. I am into the NBA again because the Chicago Bulls have put together an entertaining team after years of dullness. A general manager who understands how to win in the league, a coach who has the respect of the players, and a group of guys who just love playing the game, not just collecting a big salary and pulling in shoe money, have changed the team.

The NBA has players from all over the world–Senegal, Finland, Poland, Greece, Serbia–but especially from the ghettos of America. Yet they can play together, make real teams that are always changing, and on good nights truly mesh in a beautiful way. 

Like no other professional sports league, the NBA is influenced by the families of its players. Swagger tells a story of a domineering mother who pushes her son to dream and believe he’s going to make it to the top. She demands that he do the extra push-ups. She finds the ideal coach for him, not necessarily the one with the best connections. 

When I watch the Chicago Bulls play, I see their new point guard, Lonzo Ball, whose father dreamed big for him and his two brothers. Lonzo and his brother LaMelo are in the NBA currently, and their brother LiAngelo is in the G League. He has less natural talent than his brothers, but will ultimately make it to the NBA because his father will almost will him there.

I also love to watch the NBA because it defies the stereotypes of Woke America. The League is dominated by black players, yet many of the coaches are white and the favorite for MVP this year is Luka Dončić, a white player from Slovenia playing for Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks. If he doesn’t win, Steph Curry probably will. Steph’s father played in the League and his brother Seth is a solid player for Philly.

When you watch the new Chicago Bulls, you see one player who some nights doesn’t score points, yet has made them into a top team. I think he is a reflection of the hard-working gritty American that makes this country special. He is Alex Caruso from College Station, Texas, who hung around his hometown to go to Texas A&M. 

When Caruso was in Los Angeles Sunday night, his former teammates on the Lakers, including LeBron James, embraced him and the LA fans cheered for him. He did not score that night, but his defense and tenacity led Chicago to victory. Caruso is a “baller.” He has swagger. He plays with passion and joy. 

When I imagine the feel of the basketball rising from my fingertips in bed at night, Alex Caruso is the kind of player I wish I could have been. The game still puts a smile on my face.

Questions: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?

Who is your favorite basketball player of all time?

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Together Again

By Lloyd Graff

A month ago, my son Noah pulled a hamstring lunging for a forehand while playing tennis after work with a client and friend. His opponent drove him to our house a few minutes away to assess the damage.

All of us discussed the injury, and I suggested we call Keith, a doctor and friend of 30 years, to diagnose it. “Risa, ask him if he’ll come over,” I proposed. I handed her the cell phone to call. It was dinnertime on a Monday in July. I figured there was a good chance we would find him at home. 

“I’ll be there in 10 minutes,” he said, and he was. He diagnosed the injury and told Noah he didn’t need to go to the emergency room. We pulled out the Elasto-Gel cold packs always waiting in our freezer. Keith stayed for a while to talk. The conversation shifted back and forth between discussing the injury and pizza restaurants in Chicago.

Noah stayed at our house several days, and our business client spent the night as well, which turned out to be a great chance to get to know him better.

When Noah called his wife to tell her about the injury, she was astonished that we could call a doctor and he would interrupt his dinner and immediately drive over. Noah explained that Keith was a close friend and a member of the community. It was just natural that he would do it.

I remembered that 13 years earlier Keith drove 60 miles to be with Risa and our family when I was drugged in a hospital bed, teetering between life and death after a heart attack and stent, struggling to gain the strength to undergo quadruple bypass surgery. 

Risa had taught Keith’s daughter for many years before she succumbed to a horrible genetic malady. She was more than just her private teacher. She was virtually a part of her family as the child suffered crisis after crisis, yet maintained her spirit. 

When I had my second grand mal seizure three months ago in Palo Alto, my daughter, Sarah, called a doctor friend at midnight to come over to check me out and lay out my options. She arrived in a couple minutes, though I don’t even remember the visit. She arranged to get me into Stanford hospital with a minimum of rigmarole. It’s what people who are a part of your community do for friends. 

I am writing this piece not to enumerate Graff family health emergencies, but to discuss friends, family, and community that are becoming harder to come by these days as we forsake organizations and tribes, religious institutions, sewing circles, and men’s baseball leagues that used to pull us together over long periods of time.

We also move more and further away from each other, which dilutes communities and tribes. Screens also deprive us of personal contact that in-person meetings and dinner parties and barbecues used to irrigate. 

Part of the Graff Tribe Blueberry Picking on Vacation

Kids teams were excellent meeting areas for parents and children, but today sports have become more specialized. Parents hook their kids up with personal coaches to help them get college scholarships. The best players are siphoned off into elite amateur teams so local parents lose the incubating arena for long-term friendships.

Families used to be mini tribes, with big weekend dinners prepared by a matriarch. With women working almost universally, there is little time and energy to devote to pulling families together in that way. These days, young men and women use their independence to move away from the fold. 

I am grateful that our immediate family got together for a week recently in South Haven, Michigan, after almost two years of separation. The great feeling of having the tribe together, not on Zoom, was a blessing. 

Family, community, games at almost midnight. No substitute for it. Especially when it seems so rare today.

Question: When was the last time you got together with your family in person?

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Goodbye to the Soul of the Team

By Lloyd Graff

I vowed not to write so often about baseball and the Cubs, but this is about Anthony Rizzo, the soul of the Cubs team that won the 2016 World Series, being traded last week to the New York Yankees for the last 60 games of the 2021 season. 

The Cubs received two Minor Leaguers, decent prospects from the lower Minors, for a young man who symbolizes the magic of the game. Anthony Rizzo graduated from Parkland High School in Fort Lauderdale. After 17 students were killed in a shooting there, he went back to console the student body. 

Anthony Rizzo is a very good ball player, but his value to the Cubs and the Major Leagues is who he is as a person. Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 18 years old, one year out of high school, while playing in the Boston Red Sox minor league system. He underwent six months of grueling chemotherapy in 2008 before he received the great news that he was in remission. He was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2010 and then traded a year later to the Chicago Cubs.

In Chicago, his ebullient personality became a symbol of the team when they were awful, then rebuilding, then blossoming into a contender in 2014 and 2015. He caught the final out in the 2016 World Series in Cleveland.

Rizzo established a family foundation for pediatric cancer in 2012, which was a rare philanthropic deed for a 21-year-old cancer survivor, but even more important was that he became a volunteer at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 

His family’s foundation also donated $3.5 million to Lurie in 2017.

Anthony Rizzo, former Chicago Cubs first baseman

He was not a PR hound looking for exposure to enhance his image. Rizzo really spent time with the kids struggling with cancer. His smile lit up the floors, just like it did at first base when he would kibbutz with the opposing players, umpires, and coaches. Whoever he could connect with.

Anthony Rizzo was so much more than home runs, picking up throws in the dirt, fearlessly rushing home plate to snatch a sacrifice bunt, or leading the league in getting hit by the pitcher while at bat. Anthony Rizzo was the most charismatic player in the game and a cancer survivor.

He signed a long-term contract with the Cubs soon after making his debut with the team. It was his insurance policy against another bout of cancer, but it also tied him up with the team for a long tenure because he was an underpaid star when he started hitting 30 homers a year.

As a fan, I love watching Anthony Rizzo because he loves playing the game like I love watching him play it.

Very few ballplayers generate pure joy, game after game, like Rizzo. And the Cubs traded him for a bag of balls for the last 60 games of the season. 

My daughter texted me that she was in mourning. She had come in from San Francisco to see a World Series game in 2016. We were planning on going to a game in two weeks when she would be back for a family vacation. She said now she doesn’t want to go with Rizzo gone. 

A player like Anthony Rizzo makes baseball more than just a game.

Question: What past sports trade made you sick?

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Stuck in the Mitt

By Lloyd Graff

My plan was to write about the machining world. “Nuts and bolts tonight, dad,” Noah nudged me before I left work. “Leave the baseball,” was how he ended the sentence. 

When I got home, I read a little of the Wall Street Journal looking for inspiration. I accidentally fell into a column by Bob Greene, who once wrote brilliantly for the Chicago Tribune. The article was about giving a Rawlings baseball glove to a friend to connect him with his youth and cheer him up. It was a beautiful piece, and I immediately wanted to share it with friends and family. 

I was curious about what happened to Bob Greene, whose work is rarely seen these days. I Googled him and found a long article about the rise and fall of the brilliant Bob Green, my contemporary and a much better writer than I ever could hope to be. 

Greene has evidently had a tough personal life after reaching the top of journalism and writing several acclaimed books. His wife died, he has been accused of being a womanizer, and he is in pain about some of his most acclaimed pieces. An article he wrote after 11 Israelis were killed at the 1972 Olympics is still on many people’s refrigerators. It was a classic piece of personal journalism, the kind I often attempt to emulate. Yet Greene says he wishes he never wrote it.

Greene often writes seemingly heartfelt, sentimental articles, yet later talks about them with cynicism. He writes from his gut, then rejects them as he descends into anger and despair. 

Who is the Bob Greene I love to read? After reading this long article about the man whose writing stands out as something to be cherished and shared, I knew I should share it with others who I knew would also adore it.

I understand the Bob Greene question. Is he being honest in his work? Is he writing from the heart or just to make it publishable? Is Bob Greene an amazing writer or a phony–both? Can somebody be a jerk one day and a saint the next? Do I really care whether Bob Green is a miserable human being if he can write with such humanity that he can move me to tears?

After all, I don’t really know who Bob Greene is as a person. Maybe he has come out of a dark period in his life and he really is the person who gifted the Rawlings baseball glove, and then he bought one for himself. He writes that the glove is being shaped now with neatsfoot oil. 

We all go through tough periods in our lives and doubt our own sincerity. Bob Greene, I love your writing. I have loved it for 40 years. I’m going to buy a friend a mitt, too. Thank you so much for your 500 wonderful words.

Question: Do you care if someone is a jerk if they do great work?

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Playing Stupid

By Lloyd Graff

Kyle Schwarber, playing for the Washington Nationals, is on a roll. He has hit 15 homers in a 17-day span, the first major leaguer in history to accomplish that feat. His remark after his last two-homer game was striking: “To be honest with you, I want to play stupid, just keep going up there and take your at-bat. Don’t remember the one before, just live in the present. Just go out there and have a short memory.”

Watching the NBA playoffs a couple days ago, I watched Trae Young, the 22-year-old superstar of the Atlanta Hawks on his way to a 49-point performance. He was unconscious, just playing on fire. Toward the end of the hard fought game, he dribbled at full speed down the center of the court, 15 feet from the basket, he tossed the ball high off the backboard. A leaping teammate received it like the amazingly perfect pass it was and cleanly dunked it. 

You can’t plan a play like that. You can only improvise it when you “feel it.” Your teammate is in sync and “feels it” simultaneously. Could he have shot the ball and made it? Maybe. But the play he made was one play out of a game of terrific plays that I will remember and write about. He was “playing stupid,” totally in the moment, and focusing perfectly by not thinking. 

These moments are rare in life. Even more rare in work, but I think perhaps you can train yourself to cultivate them and identify them during and after they occur. 

Kyle Schwarber of the Washington Nationals at bat

For me, a signal is spontaneous tears. I usually don’t cry when I am sad or fearful. I feel the tears creeping out of my ducts when I somehow reach some precious connection, those seconds of sharing something rare and unique when two people touch one another. It’s that instant of insight, or synchrony that makes me feel human and special. It might be a memory, lost forever you thought, that pours through your body and empties out in precious teardrops. Speech becomes a stammer. You wish you could bottle it and be able to return to it whenever you need it. But you can’t, and you know it.

Noah and I were sharing a few special moments yesterday in a conversation across the big round table my father and I used to share. We were talking about our family, how hard it is to make lifelong friends, and a malady we both share. We both occasionally have simple partial epileptic seizures, in which our hearing gets uncomfortably loud for a few minutes. They often come at inconvenient times. I told him how I tried to fake my way through them over the years, and he related how he bluffed his way through one when he was walking down the aisle during his wedding.

It was a special moment of candor between father and son, when we thought we’d be talking about the relative values of used automatic screw machines. You don’t plan for those moments. They come from trust and honesty and something deep in your gut. 

You can’t reach for them. You have to be like Kyle Schwarber, batting lead-off, smelling the breaking pitch on the inside half of the plate, then swinging at the perfect millisecond to intersect bat and ball. You have to feel it in the most stupid, brilliant way, then savor it in your gut as you round the bases with fans cheering, unconscious in the perfect moment.

Question: When was the last time you were caught up in a special moment?

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Opening Up!

By Noah Graff

Yesterday evening my wife, Stephanie, and I stopped to get gas. As I fueled up, a man named Danny, on the other side of the pumps fueling his own car, struck up a conversation with me. You know that special breed of people who walk into a room, almost always smiling, beaming their positive energy onto everyone? Danny is one of those guys.

He commented to me about the crazy high gas prices in Illinois, currently in the $3.30 per gallon range. I told him about the gas prices in California, where I was last week, which are over $4.00. I was tired after a long day of work, but suddenly I was uplifted. We both commented how nice it was to be chatting with a complete stranger on a sunny summer day without wearing annoying face masks, and without concern about germs or concern that the other person would be afraid of our own germs.

Danny introduced himself and seemed like he was starting to put out his hand. But I extended my elbow and bumped his—now the modern introductory gesture. We laughed about how stupid handshakes really are. I remarked that the custom of bowing in Asia makes so much more sense, and no wonder Italy had had trouble containing the virus in a culture where it’s normal to greet people with multiple kisses on the cheeks!

Noah and Danny Meeting at the Pump

Pre-Covid-19, this would have been a fairly typical interaction for me. I love talking to strangers. I completed a personal goal of meeting at least one new person every day from May 19, 2018, to May 19, 2019. Meeting strangers is something that makes my life interesting and serendipitous. It also makes the world feel less isolated. Two strangers meeting can be like nuclear fusion—their combined energy becomes greater than their sum.

Today Chicago officially “opens up!” Soon after this blog is published, I am closing up the laptop and meeting up with a customer visiting from Japan. I’m taking him to Wrigley Field for the first Cubs home game of the season with seating at full capacity.

Good possibility I’m going to talk to some more strangers.

Questions: Do you like talking to strangers?

Are handshakes stupid? Will you switch to a new type of greeting?

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Making the Most of My Life?

By Noah Graff

What the heck did I do last month? What did I do last week? What did I do today? Do you ever ask yourself those questions? 

The last three years, I’ve written in a diary nearly every day. It takes me about 10 to 30 minutes to recount the day’s main events and then ramble about my reflections and feelings. I also try to take a selfie photo each day to go along with the diary entries that I type into my iPhone or computer.

I write because I want to make sure the memory of each specific day is not lost. Life keeps feeling like it’s going faster and faster, and sometimes I have trouble recounting what I did just hours earlier, let alone years ago.

I think I’m hung up on a fear that I am squandering my one precious life on this earth. It’s important to me to know that each day mattered. What would “mattering” entail? To me, a day that mattered would mean I created something, learned something, tried something new, or helped someone. Spending time with loved ones also makes my days count. 

Noah’s Diary, June 8, 2021

While writing this blog, I looked up what I did on June 9, 2018,—three years ago today. I was on my bachelor party weekend in New Buffalo, Michigan, a special day that I hadn’t thought about for a long time. I also read that on June 9, 2020, I almost sold a Tschudin grinder, did a great podcast interview, made dinner with my wife Stephanie, and watched a Chicago Bulls documentary.

In 2021, I also started writing down at least one new thing I learned each day. Yesterday, I learned from a colleague that a thread whirling live tool attachment for a Citizen machine could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. I also learned from a business partner that putting sugar in bread dough slows down yeast activity, because “yeast likes to eat sugar.”

I think my paranoia about squandering my time on earth may represent a longing for greater purpose. Maybe if I was fighting for a human rights cause, maybe if I was raising children, perhaps then I would worry less about my days being lived to their potential. If I felt like I was doing more things that left a tangible mark on the world, maybe I wouldn’t feel like I needed to document every day.

Do a lot of people ponder this stuff all the time? Would most people find my daily ritual unnecessary?

I have to stop writing now. It’s 12:30 PM, and I haven’t even documented June 8, 2021, yet.

Question: What makes a specific day significant for you?

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A Year of Misery and Vitality

By Lloyd Graff

It is finally a moment to look back on the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020 and think about the changes in America it has hastened. Many of them would have happened over time but were dramatically sped up by sickness and recovery. 

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First, healthcare. The astonishing development of the mRNA vaccines to quickly spur immunity with minimal side effects will go down as one of the greatest advances in medicine in a hundred years. The Turkish husband and wife team in Germany and the Moderna scientists in America had both been working on their ideas for more than a decade when the first whiff of COVID-19, wherever it came from, showed up and immediately started the wheels turning.

The COVID-19 vaccines showed America that the entrepreneurial medical system with a profit motive could move faster than any government organized medical system. The Turkish couple in Germany heading BioeNTech almost immediately teamed with Pfizer in America, headed by Albert Bourla, a Jewish Greek immigrant, to get a vaccine into production and accepted by a timid medical bureaucracy.

A second important shift was telemedicine replacing physical appointments. This was in its infancy prior to the pandemic, but with lockdown and rampant fear it quickly became a viable substitute for a large percentage of office appointments. In business we have seen similar changes.

***

The Great Office Boom from 2010 to 2019 vanished overnight. The WeWork fad of shared office space quickly became a joke as the downtown offices of huge law firms and major corporations lay vacant except for venturesome mice and lonely janitors. Zoom tied everything together, business travel virtually ended, and hotels and restaurants lay fallow.

Will downtown offices, commuter trains, and business entertaining come back? Unlikely, I think. In Silicon Valley Google, Facebook, and others have quickly decentralized. People are leaving New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and heading for Provo and Austin. Will they come back? Unlikely, unless taxes fall, housing costs shrink, and city crime turns into mass friendliness. 

These are fairly obvious shifts, but they are so hugely important that I had to discuss them first. But there are also more subtle changes that I see. 

The used machinery business is good again. In fact it is better than good, unless you are dedicated to the oil patch. For the first time since the late 1990s, almost every metal working business in America is busy. Yes, we have inflation of steel prices and non-ferrous metals, and it is hard to find workers, but if you pay enough for either you can keep rolling. 

The new minimum wage is $20 per hour, or soon will be. A person can finally make a middle-class living as a machinist, and this will draw people to the field who no longer want starvation wages in the restaurant and travel business. 

Housing is hot again, with cheap interest rates and people on the move. Also, younger people can finally afford to get a starter house if they are willing to leave stagnant, overpriced cities for smaller, overlooked locations.

And, young people are starting to go into business for themselves. It may be a side business like baking bagels and selling them at a farmer’s market, or starting an interior decorating business to help people who are moving or help people staying in their homes, who want them updated to provide the office space they need.

Certainly one reason I think the back to work numbers seem light to the “experts” is fat unemployment benefits, but another reason is the multitude of new opportunities to begin side businesses or work quietly for untaxed cash. 

In our business, we have looked to retired people and entrepreneurial skilled people to fill holes for us. I am sure we are not alone. 

America is still an entrepreneurial country. I look for immigration, legal and illegal, to expand as a post-pandemic boom widens. The toll of COVID-19 has been terrible, but when we look back on the Post-Corona years, it will be astonishing to see the vitality unleashed.

Question: What positive changes do you see following COVID-19?

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