As 2009 draws to a close, it’s safe to say that the year will be remembered as one of the most challenging in recent memory. However, 2009 will also be remembered as a year of renewed hope and determination, when we regained the courage to confront the challenges we face. This hope springs from the single most significant event of my lifetime: the historic presidency of Barack Obama. What most of us thought was all but impossible only a few years ago is now reality, and I am personally grateful that I’ve lived to witness it.
The leadership of President Obama marks the singular difference between the sense of helplessness that characterized the collective psyche of America this time last year, and the sense of capability now being felt across the nation and around the world. I believe this is the chief reason the Nobel Committee selected President Obama to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, this month. Thanks to Obama’s election, Americans once again believe that we can be anything and do anything, and that we are more than equal to the adversity we face.
The past year has been an incredibly challenging one for media companies, and Black Enterprise has been no exception to the rule. I am more proud than ever of the quality of our media properties and events, and the employees who produce them, each of whom have fought tooth and nail to deliver the trusted information, proven strategies, first-class services, and indispensible inspiration our audience has come to rely on. As a result, we are poised to enter 2010—the 40th anniversary year for Black Enterprise magazine—stronger, better, and more focused than ever on our mission of helping you to build and sustain your personal prosperity, career success, and entrepreneurial dreams. I am personally thankful to you for being as passionate as we are about the need for us to continue to serve our mission.
However, that spirit of hope and determination must be balanced with a clear recollection of the tough lessons we’ve all had to learn these past two years. We must not return to the reckless spending that exposed so many of us to financial devastation when the economy veered into recession. And while entrepreneurs are anxious to resume the hiring and capital investment necessary to grow their businesses, they must continue to remain mindful of controlling costs, managing cash flow, and investing only in those things that will position their companies to thrive in a still unpredictable