SOURCE: Paragon Steel

August 07, 2009 14:09 ET

Paragon Steel Looks at Life Without a Compass

Vice President & CFO Jim Stavis Believes Navigating Today's Economy Requires Us to Look Within

LONG BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - August 7, 2009) - Imagine you're on the open sea -- ocean all around. No land in sight, or a horizon to see the sun. No GPS system -- only a cloudy sky. This feels kind of like living in today's economic reality. You need a compass, something to give you direction of where to head. It can be a way to return to a safe harbor or perhaps a way to explore new horizons. Either way, you need a compass, because bobbing along in the open sea like a buoy can be dangerous and won't get you anywhere. There are no traffic signs on the high seas.

Unfortunately, I do not possess the answer to this riddle. If I did, I might be president or something even better, but what I think is important is to find your inner compass and start moving in a direction. For the past year or so, many people and businesses have been so alarmed of what has been going on in the world that paralysis has set in. It has immobilized so many who have watched their 401Ks disappear, their jobs threatened, their friends losing their homes, etc. They fear what is next. It is only natural. And yet, they wait and hope that we have hit the bottom. When will the coast be clear? When will the good times return? Does anyone really know?

In my view, we all have the ability to bring control back into our lives, but we need to locate that darn compass. We need to find our way and stop bobbing along the open sea. It may require some hard choices. It may require lifestyle changes, cutting back on spending or perhaps finding a new career. No one ever said it would be easy. It usually isn't. Start today.

So how does this come back to steel? The compass has been around since the 2nd century. It showed up in ancient China, India and Arabia and later in Europe. It was the Europeans in the 12th century who used it for navigational purposes when they explored the earth. Before that, you could only travel as far as you could see a landmass. And that was not very far. Anyway, the first compass was created out of necessity. How could you go anywhere if you didn't know that you would find your way back? It was that simple. It was discovered that the earth had a natural magnetic field. It was also learned that there was a type of rock that contained a high level of iron within it that other objects were attracted to. This rock was called lodestone. These were essentially the first magnets where two objects with a high concentration of metal were drawn towards one another. The iron in these rocks would eventually be the iron ore that steel is made from today. It was also found that the earth's core is composed of this iron-rich composed rock. This created the magnetic fields in our environment on planet earth.

So the compass was created, whereby a device with a magnetized metal tip on a pivot would be drawn towards the magnetic field and point due north. The other directional indicators flowed from there. It sounds simple today, but there were many ideas about nature that the ancient people had to figure out. Today, a compass is used in astronomy, mining, aeronautics and for many other navigational purposes.

About Paragon Steel

Since 1998, Paragon Steel has built its reputation on providing a higher level of both quality and service that exceeds customers' expectations. It offers a full spectrum of products that range from carbon steel, aluminum and stainless, galvanized and hard to find alloys. In addition, Paragon Steel has a full line of processing capabilities and fabrication services that allow it to take a customer's project and build it according to their exact specifications. Paragon Steel is headquartered in Long Beach, California and has a second California location to serve customers locally and as far away as Northern California, Las Vegas, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii. Paragon Steel can be reached at (800) 388-8998 or on the Web at

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