The ghetto is a platform for survival at its most primitive. I know. Since I moved here for the cheap rent when I was reinventing my business, my car has been stolen and I have been mugged. As C.S. Lewis observes, experience is a brutal teacher but you learn, you bet, you learn. I learned not to have a car in the ghetto and only to travel the streets after dark in a group.
On the business side, I also learned plenty and so can you. Actually, it's an ideal setting when your career is in a crisis or you need to return to the fundamentals of success. Take the bottle situation. Most of society is too lazy to get the deposit for the plastic bottles left over from their sodas, water, and juices. An industry has begun here to collect those bottles. Needless to say, the competition in these tough times is brisk.
How enlightening to observe the tactics. One collector, who turns in the bottles for money for a non profit to feed the homeless, instructs the main consumers of bottled beverages to alert him when they have more than 10. He provides his phone numbers and seems to never sleep. Of course, he has established loyalty in his collection base. We don't let our bottles go to any of his competitors.
Another ghetto tactic is a version of communism. Just about everyone here will put out in a public spot what they no longer need. In addition, before they buy they will first spend a week cruising the best spots for everything from interview attire when job hunting to baking pans for holiday cookies.
How much time do you have to serve in the ghetto before you regain your survival skills? Not long. In the spring I might purchase a condo in a middle class neighborhood.