As some of you may recall I started my own business in June 18.
Things are great, plenty of work and new opportunities, new premises, new hiring, new furniture and great energy.
My quality of life has improved and I’m making good money. I’m happy.
The downside is that I’ve not much time and energy left for posts. This is very sad for me as I love to share ideas and writing posts is so important for me.
Things are going really bad for Europe.
Sovranism and fear everywhere, riots in Paris, far right parties looming in Germany, Brexit in UK, walls in Austria, Italy on the verge of a new economic crisis, Junker begging pardon for having been too “rude” with Greece and all that.
I’m worried, but still optimistic.
I’m seeing new pro Europe movements popping up almost everywhere, I can feel the strong will of the society to react and to start from scratches a new era of optimism and prosperity, especially within millennials.
Other countries are currently debating the matter and some countries such as Italy are quite ahead on the political process.
There is much discussion on the wake of a clearly felt new need to give to our boys and girls leaving schools and universities a new experience, a new possibility, something in the middle between a duty and an opportunity and – of corse – something useful for the community.
A sort of modern, new and adjourned national service. One year serving the Country in different ways, military service, fire services, disaster relief, immigration centers and so on.
Basically we’re talking about of a new concept of conscription. A new way for our boys and girls to contribute to the community with the thrill and the interest of making a great experience in a new dimension.
The concept of “serving” the country is somehow adjourned to the new world.
I’m a staunch supporter of this new initiative. And I’m sure that it should be conceived from the very beginning as a european program.
The service should be compulsory and done within one of the Eu countries.
This is a critical issue.
The old military service was a great seal of the national identity of countries (see my post on that), something remembered dearly in our fathers memories, an opportunity to give up on moorings with the family and to make an experience in the real world.
The new service must done abroad, far away, enjoying the opportunity of getting out from normal life, mother tongue, friends and comfort zone testing what’s behind the curtain.
We badly need to build a renewed true european spirit, starting from scratches. Traveling and living in different places within the european border is the right way of doing it.
Serving abroad helps in understanding that we are all very much the same in Europe, people live more or less the same life and we all bear on our shoulders the cumbersome burden of our shortsighted nationaleuropean future together with our nationalistic past.
Getting rid of that weight is the prerequisite to build a new thing, a new concept of being real and true european citizens with different history but projected towards a common future – challenging an thrilling – to achieve.
Serving abroad is the right way to contribute to the building up of the new european concept and a unique life experience done in the most thriving period of life.
Being european citizen means to share the same values to enjoy the same spirit of belonging. It means to feel part of the same exciting story.
Europe is our common house deeply rooted into the ground of our culture, Christian and Greek. Letting our boys and girls to serve, help and live all together the same story is the base for our future european national identity.
Immigrants are a resource while beggars are public order issue.
This is a thorny issue, I know but the more the populist drift gains momentum the more we need to speak the truth.
One of the biggest mistakes of democrats and left-wing parties over the last decade all around Europe was to mix all that up.
The big confusion is probability due to a mix of dogma, political arrogance, need for votes and the typical untolerable “gauche caviar” approach where it’s cool to be open minded towards cultural differences and to welcome immigrants provided that all that happens at least 200 km far from where I live.
It’s easier to be social if you’re rich.
And this is truer the farther the country is from where immigrants hit the shores and borders.
This problem has been neglected for almost a decade in EU, leaving countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy and the eastern borders dealing alone and without any coordination with biblical migrations.
The same happens within countries, as single countries have different territories more or less exposed to external pressure.
At national level, local autonomies have the upper hand in using opportunistically the sense of threat of danger or menace diffusing all around the territory, creating an everlasting underlying tension, where local authorities are against central governments who in in turn are opposing and fighting the EU. A true mess.
Powers fighting powers, countries dodging responsibilities, citizens scared and frightened about “how things are going” and cynical if not ignorant political movements who fan on the flames.
What’s happened during the last Brussels EU summit testify the gravity of the issue.
Let’s try to sort it out.
As we said many times we need immigration. As a matter of facts we need fertile working people who will bear – among other things – the responsibility of supporting our social system in future.
We need skilled manual workers to guarantee activities that are neglected to us, we need good students hungry for a better life, we need people eager to make money and to get a better standard of life.
We need good brains and solid hands as a stepping stone for the future.
We need to let in good workers and families who will become the new Europeans in future.
We need to get back – on the other hand – our brains born raised and – especially-schooled and trained in Europe sadly producing outside Europe.
Well, quite complicated isn’t it? But challenging, that’s for sure.
What we do not need – certanely— are beggars, tramps, bums,junkies, alcoholics and broadly speaking what Marx and Engles call aggressively and unpolitely “underclass”made of people without any willingness of improving their life.
I mean indolent people, passive if not parasites who do not want to get integrated into the community.
We do not need people of all sorts hanging around trying to sell stuff such as selifies stiks, carpets, kinck knacks and useless stuff.
We do not need people sleeping on the streets in cardboard boxes, under archades with dogs, we do not needpickpocketers, we do not need nomads living in huge illegal shanty towns far below the basic hygienic rules. We do not need wind shield cleaners at crossroads.
In a word: we do not need people out of control. The control of territory is the base of civil living.
I’m rude and direct I know but that’s the reality.
Prerequisite for being helped is the willingness of being helped.
Most of those people simply do not want it. They just refuse any dealings with what we could consider the “normal” world.
These folks, who are not necessarily immigrants, and – above all – are a minority, contribute dramatically to the widespread senseof menace, danger, fear if not terror.
Nothing to see with immigration.
This is the breeding ground where populism thrives.
Vote is the only way people have to react, politicians are the reactions amplifier, voters get more and more polarized on strong positions and strong positions transform democracies into potential fascist drifts.
We have already experienced all that here in Italy some 70 years ago.
I was recently in Rome and a young nomad girl milking her baby tried to steal may wallet from my cargo short pants in the underground.
I was shocked by the determination of this person to perpetrate the theft, her arrogance and awareness of me being powerless against all that.
And I would have probabily reacted even worst should the snatch have success.
My reaction was not just against her. I was against immigration. I was against the lack of police around there and I probably was against the weakness of Europe letting thosepeople in.
But – as a matter of facts – gypsies are Europeans fully entitled to benefit the freedom of movement within EU borders. And the girl was a Romanian nomad.
Again, the real issue is “legality” and this has nothing to see with immigration.
Just one step back let’s discuss about numbers: here are official figures from OECD concerning homelessness in Europe and major western countries.
I know this is an over-simplification but just let us consider – for a moment – that being homeless means to be part of this “underworld”.
Of corse homelessness doesn’t mean being “underclass” in the sense of Karl Marx, but still, just for a moment let’s consider that.
As you can see from figures numbers of homeless aren’t big enough to create a real social problem.
We’re talking about something less of 1% of the population almost everywhere. This means in term of absolute numbers a few hundred thousand homeless for bigger countries.
These small numbers can be dealt with appropriate social policies, such as first aid, schooling, social housing, free medical care, culture and so forth.
The incremental cost of all that is low but the social cost could be huge if not dealtproperly.
Basically people hanging around out of control on streets contribute dramatically to the misrepresented reality of immigration in Europe.
Pickpockets and beggars are a minority compared to homeless but they are one of the main reasons of social destabilizations reflecting itself into unacceptable polarized and populist positions.
The big political mistake was to refuse to understand and to acknowledge how critical the issue was, although numbers were (and still are) relatevily small and actions to be taken were (and still are) so simple.
Now, in my wiew a social problem can be dealt in a very simple way: allocating enough money to fix the problem.
More police, more aid, more medical care, more hosting, more control and more attention to people’s needs.
Bearing the cost of all that might be a difficult issue especially for our overindebted western countries but the cost of non considering it – hiding behind an hypocrit social welcoming approach – could lead western countries – in the long run – to a devastating political disaster.
I’ve not been posting over the last few months as I was 120% on my new job.
Plenty of things to to do, great energy and enthusiasm mingled with doubts and sometimes fears.
But it’s great. I like the feeling of being fully responsible of my future. I love the lightness of getting rid of cumbersome structures, organingrams and useless meetings. I like to convey all my energy to my new business.
I just wanted to share with you some thoughts.
First of all I want to tell you that starting a new activity is not as tough as I thought it would have been. I mean you need to do everything on your own but everything gets a new flavor, a kind of enthralling excitement that gives you a shot of adrenaline when needed.
I mean I’m talking about normal things, the kind of activities that I would have rated before as details or nothing more than boring stuff or even worst “it sucks”.
For the time being I have:
Hired a very skilled and talented young girl who will start working with me on July 1st
Closed contracts with new clients (so exciting…!)
Rented out out new premises
Almost completed my new site (online soon)
Worked on commercial material
I also have to say that starting a new activity helps you in putting things in the right perspective.
Having worked for a big financial institution for two decades I must admit that I’m spoiled.
I’m used to luxury furniture, cool premises and expensive business lunches.
It takes a good deal of discipline to scale down but it’s useful, it makes you understand that the real world outside is different and the perception you had before of it it isn’t probably not the right one.
Being in a big corporation protects you from external exposure.
Even if you think to have an independent and entrepreneurial approach before, the rough world outside is different. It’s made of people struggling and fighting against all odds to get the job done. It’s made of mean offices and cheap furniture, it’s made of unpaid invoices and credit recovery activity. It’s made of human being who don’t care about organigrams, alignment, market purity or stuff like that.
It’s made of people made redundant by their employer, having difficulties in finding a new job.
Its made of tough competition and market exposure.
But it’s great. It’s real life, a real worldfull of enthusiastic people with big hearts and great of energy to go ahead.
I will keep you uptdated on how things go.
In the meantime it’s fun to say that what I predicted in March on Italian polls eventually happened.
Italy has now a government (by chance), the worst government ever since world war 2.
Populists have won and managed to find a way to get together for the sake of power even though their o positions are hardly compatible.
They started immediately to take positions strongly against EU, Euro, Dublin and everything might have something to do with Brussels and EU policies.
That’s very sad and dangerous but it’s usefuto to get the flavor to what’s lurking all around Europe if we keep on going on without a real EU project.
Now I’m back, And I’m eager to talk about all this soon.
I want to get back to Europe. And I want to do it through the lenses of my country, Italy.
Political elections are over and the outcome is “nothing changes”.
I mean, everything changes as the sheer victory of the populists in Italy changes dramatically the political landscape but, on the other hand, nothing changes as the ominous presence of populism is clear and scattered everywhere all around Europe.
North of Rome the country’s populism is under the green banner of the “lega nord”, while in southern Italy it bears the yellow colors of the “movimento 5 Stelle”.
North against south.
The locomotive of the north against the poor and subsidized south.
Some 200 years ago Italy was roughly in the same situation, although under foreign rule. So, again, “nothing changes”.
Italy isn’t evoluting, the country is rather baking off to the past.
I think that this is the real political outcome from the polls.
North against south.
The two winners of the elections are at the opposite sides in terms of polical agenda although they share short term wiew, anti European feelings and extreme positions on how to tackle economic crisis and immigration. The perfect storm.
Inconciliabile positions and common populism.
Tough negotiation is expected, to achieve the formation of a government. If any.
I do not want to go through the political agenda of the populists, just let me say that massive protest votes have undermined the solidity of the outcome and – in my wiew – numbers are not as much reliable as the winners think and they might change shortly.
However this is the reality and – as a matter of facts – the 2nd manufacturer economy in Europe is in the hands of people’s guts.
First of all I want I to reassure you.
Italy is not on the verge of a biblical crisis, Italy is a political mess – for sure – but on a scale comparable with other countries in Europe.
Italians are not fascinated by the phantoms of the past, Italians are not fascists and the wave of populism is exactly the same as other countries are dealing with.
The scale is just bigger as Italy is a big and long country, stretching from alps to Libia.
Italians are tired of being considered a special case, Italians hate commonplace such as “spaghetti pizza and mandolino”, Italians want to belong to a modern, social, liberal and European country.
Italians want to start a new story of happines, growth and quality of life, either in the north or in the south of the Country.
Italians are now unable to produce a high ranking political class for the simple reason that it mirrors the present situation of the Country. Just mean.
It will take a bit longer for the Country to get rid of the old bad habits, but younger generations are much better than older ones. I’m positive on that, it’s just a matter of waiting a bit longer, setting the mark at north euroean countries model.
Polls is the right way of putting these feelings at the center of the political arena, the downside is that populists have the upper hand. I tend to consider all that – however – a kind of overreaction to contingent problems.
Italian political instability is high and this is partly due to a bizantine and uneffective electoral system, although we must admit that clearer and simpler majority systems are not producing stability anymore.
Governments of coalition are common around Europe and they shouldn’t be blamed as they are an essential feature of that strange thing we call democracy.
I do not want to minimize the issue but Italy is clearly an occurrence within a well defined European trend.
Italy is Europe and Italy is dealing with European issues which are – mainly – immigration and economy, so no wonder to see Italian populists at the government and or far right parties looming out there. The same happens more or less everywhere in the continent.
By the way this is interesting, just have a look to the picture:
I do not think articles like this helps in giving a clear idea of what’s going on, they just add up feeling of danger and disappointment.
The real problems for Italy aren’t fascism or populism, but rather GDP and immigration as:
– Italy is not growing and it is not producing wealth
– Economy is picking up but the positive impact isn’t distributed but
– There’s demographic problem partially covered by immigrants
– Immigrants inflow has been managed in an inefficient and ineffective way, oten driven by European political short term wiews or opportunism
If we want to keep populism at bay we better deal with these two, simple although very difficult variables: GDP and immigration.
These are european problems: we need to have more Europe, we must be unite and one single entity.
Private entrepreneurship and change in culture is the right way of doing it. We will talk about it again soon.
Quite a lot of stuff going on over the last few months….. no time for posts.
It’s amazing how life brings you into periods where everything’s concentrated, a lot of things happening often overlapping each other, plenty of confusion and sometimes big mess.
And it’s amazing how contingencies bring about need for new choices and considerations on old doubts.
Amazing how life runs fast.
The good news is that after some 2 years of thoughts, analysis, studies, doubts, fears and lack of determination I have finally decided to resign and to start my own business.
I’m currently CEO of a medium size financial company fully owned by a bank. I’ve been serving in my capacity for 7 years and I must admit that I’m so lucky as:
I love my job
I made a reasonable amount of money
I’m totally independent and in wonderful terms with my shareholder
I’ve created the company from scratches and I have always been free to shape it as i liked
The company is a big family and colleagues are wonderful
The general outlook for future business is ok
I’m in a good position to make good networking and to develop business relationship
I found a good balance between working and spare time
My wife is happy
Overall my life is ok
So why changing? Should you be interested in that please have a look to my earlier post
Basically I think that changing is a value and particularly investing in themselves, following ideas, dreams and – why not – utopias is good, and it’s probably a value for the whole community.
I think that changing and starting something new is more fun and enthralling than risky…. so why not, especially if you’re approaching your fifties in good health and with energy.
Again, Europe should support people taking this big step. We will talk about this soon again in new posts along with reports on how my things are going.
By the way, should the whole thing go bust I rely on you my friends to get a new job.
I will be starting working on this new project on March 18.
For the time being I’m taking a good rest on a 2 weeks holiday in the Italian alps (again, see my post of the last year) before the new caimpaign.
By the way I’m still trying to close my first 360 frontside on my snowboard but the outcome is negative again…… keep on trying. However my 180’s are ok either frontside or backside and airtime on jumps is ok…. for a 50 years old rider it’s not bad at all!!
I’m also trying to leverage on this period of fun and relax to think on how to set up my new activity.
My values are:
Fun for my family and myself
My objectives are
To create a successful business
To create a panEuropean business
To be majority shareholder
To work less and to improve the quality of my life
To attract smart people
To diminish anxiety about the future to my daughters compared to what I was used to
To cash in dividends
To accumulate capital for financing new ideas
To do charity
Well, I’m quite convinced that all that is achievable, it’s just a matter of energy, of being determined and believing in what you’re doing.
I run through several books on private entrepreneurship and motivation. There are plenty of theories on successful businesses and management. I read also a couple of books of Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric).
I really think – however – that succeeding is just a matter of gut and imitation of others work.
Once you see guys like Schmidt, Musk, Branson, zuckerberg and the like, it’s easy to get exited about entrprenerurship.
Now I’m totally concentrated in snowboarding, relaxing and enjoying alpine spas, and I know that once I will be back home I’ll be drowned into problems, business plans, risk management, clients, resolutions and shortness of money.
But I’m happy as I really feel that I’m running fo myself and my community and this gives me even more energy to go further.