Has the Economy Got You Down?
In the November Editor's Letter, we asked you to tell us how you are dealing with the current economic crisis. Here are some of your responses:

"Despite the economy," writes Marcus Mathis, co-owner of Mammoth Promotions, "my promotional-product distributorship has been cruising along the past couple of years at a steady pace. Last month, we struck a deal with a Fortune 500 company that essentially doubled our business overnight. Unfortunately, we didn't have the cash flow to fund the project. We maxed our credit cards, we didn't pay ourselves for a month, and we still came up short. For the first time since college (nine years ago), my business partner and I were both forced to ask our parents for money -- $105,000, to be exact. Three days later, our business was thriving again. After solving our cash problem, it didn't seem very much like a recession to our company."

David Feldt, senior vice president of Organic, says, "I've been a longtime reader of Inc. over the years, first in Africa, then Europe, and now in the U.S. Despite the current market meltdown and 40 percent decline in my personal portfolio, I'm incredibly bullish about my company's future. Though other industries may struggle, I think that the next huge growth market will come as technology begins to change the food industry."

"Although I'm sure our economy is slowing down," says Stewart C. Vernon, CEO of ASP Franchising, "I'm not sure that things are as bad as they appear, at least not in our business. We're in the business of maintaining, repairing, and renovating swimming pools. Currently, we have 18 franchises operating in four states. Last year was our best year to date, and nearly all of our new franchises have gotten start-up capital from a financial institution. Yes, it may take a little longer, but the capital has been available."

"I've been increasingly optimistic about these perilous economic times," writes Skyler Dabell, founder of Visionscapes Earthworks and Consulting. "In fact, I recently left a secure job to start my own venture. One night while coming home from work, I noticed a small piece of unused land that had recently been sold. The developer, of all people, just happened to be nearby, and I introduced myself. That simple introduction led to my first landscaping design and construction project. Soon, I struck out on my own. I now have my own company, with several pending contracts. At just the right time, I saw a vision of where I could go, regardless of the economy."