In April of 2001, as the euphoria from 1999 started to fall to earth again (by October it would be accessible only by Deep Submersible Rescue Vehicle)  Daniel Pink wrote “Land of the Free” in Fast Company that was a teaser for “Free Agent Nation” as a hardback in May of 2001 and paperback in May of 2002.

He offered 7 laws for the new “Free Agent Nation” (I have highlighted my top 3)

Law 1: Independence is the best hedge against a downturn.
Law 2: When times get tougher, quality counts.
Law 3: Free to be you and me? We’ve got to be you and me.
Law 4: You’re on the line. Where else would you want to be?
Law 5: Up isn’t the only direction.
Law 6: Bigger isn’t better. Better is better.
Law 7: Forget survival of the fittest. Think Golden Rule.

The three that I find most useful as guides are the importance of quality in tough times, that better is better (and sometimes different is better),  and that it’s really about the Golden Rule.

We are all part of interlocking partially overlapping groups, networks and communities. We can really only prosper if other folks in our group, network, or community also prosper. Not that there isn’t competition, and fierce competition in a downturn, but few other firms are your direct competitor, and many can be partners of varying levels of engagement.