I’ve been speaking eyeball-to-eyeball with entrepreneurs all across the country — in places like Pittsburgh, New York City, Richmond, Va., and Fresno, Calif. — and when I ask them how they did in the fourth quarter of 2009 or the first quarter of 2010, I keep getting responses like, “amazing,” “fantastic,” “record-breaking” and even “best we’ve done in years.” The funny thing is that despite their recent success, most of these folks seem reluctant to acknowledge that things have gotten better. Why? Well, I have two theories about that: one, people feel so burned by the last few years that they still fear a double dip — and they’re still waiting for another shoe to drop. Two, I think some people are staying quiet because they don’t want to give anyone in Washington credit for the recovery. They feel that they have recovered due to their own innovation, creativity and hard work and not due to anything related to the stimulus.

After spending the last six months on the road talking to hundreds of business owners around the country, I have come to a conclusion that might surprise you: the economic recovery is already well under way. And, if you don’t start putting a strategy in place to take advantage of it, you’re risking the future of your company.Especially given all of the turbulence out there related to the debt problems in Europe and the ups and downs of the stock market, I know the idea that things are already turning around might shock some of you.

By Jack Stack, May 10, 2010 NYT

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