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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned - Gibraltar

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) impacts on every part of your life, not just your embryonic start-up. How you see the world and how you interact with the world reflects how the world will in turn see you. One of the nicest ways to sum up PMA (not to be confused with PMT which is not positive in anyway shape or form)  was said by Mahatma Gandhi:

Be the Change You Wish to See in the World

Become the person you want to be, not the person others want you to be. Be the change, that is after all why you started your own business. To start your own change, you must become change itself.

Today we digress slightly from the norm as it is Gibraltar National Day on September 10th. As many of you know, 2013 has seen tensions between Gibraltar and Spain on a political level rise to its highest level for many a year. I am not going to comment on this but I am going to show why Gibraltar has PMA in abundance.

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

Strange title for a blog post about PMA? Last week we discussed "Learning to Fail" and how accepting failure can be of benefit to you and your start-up.  This week the emphasis is on being the underdog.

Gibraltar has a small landmass and a population to match. It is the proverbial underdog in every sense. By all accounts it should be suffering from the same economic crisis as the rest of Europe. How come it has 2% unemployment, low tax rates, no VAT, budget surplus and a thriving business community?

It plays to its strengths. By its very size it can offer very few manufacturing services so instead it has focussed on service based industries which although require manpower do not require vast areas of land. Insurance, Banking, Legal Services and Gambling all thrive in Gibraltar.

The government plays its part too. It can react much faster than larger countries as it is closer to the grass roots. The layers and layers of bureaucracy are simply not there. I am not saying the government is perfect but it is a leaner fighting machine than most.

This however only tells part of the story. The "PMA" revolves around the three Ps. Passion. Pride and Purpose.

Passion

Maybe it is the sunshine, maybe it is the gene pool bubbling with so many Mediterranean influences that makes them passionate. Ask a Gibraltarian a question on their favourite subject and sit back and watch the show. Everything is a story filled with passion. It is hard for it not to rub off on you.

Pride

The local Gibraltarians swell with pride, especially on National Day. They are proud to be Gibraltarian (how many English can claim to be proud to be English?) and are proud of their history. They have come through so many scuffles with their "sabre rattling" neighbours that it is has only made them stronger and prouder.

Purpose

There is a real sense of purpose, a real sense of community in Gibraltar. As I said before, the layers of authority are not there which makes decision making much easier and faster. Business within Gibraltar can get things done.

Gibraltar IS the ideal Start-up

Gibraltar acts like a small business. It has pride, passion and purpose. It may well be outnumbered but it is NEVER outgunned. It has PMA, it is the ideal start-up.

Happy National Day Gibraltar.