Economic challenges have dominated news headlines for much of the past three years. While the US has struggled with recession and a tepid, often faltering recovery, other countries have also grappled with high taxes, high unemployment and turbulent markets. So without surprise, I hear from professionals in and outside of the US about how the economy is impacting their job, or business. After listening to story after story about how the bad economy:
- Prevents them from getting a job
- Is keeping them in a job they hate
- Is making it impossible to get new business
- Has caused their business to lose money
- Is causing their customers to spend less?
I have concluded that they are all wrong. If at this point you’re ready to throw something at me, hang on and let me explain.
In each case, as I dig deeper, and ask questions there is always a solution that has nothing to do with the economy. The economy serves as an easy scape goat, temporarily relieving us of the hard work of looking at our mindset and actions.
If you show up day after day to a job you hate/have outgrown/abuses you but you have taken no steps to change your situation, is it the economy or is it you?
If your business plan depended on one big client with no consistent marketing, is it the economy or is it you?
I am not in any way diminishing the tough times many are facing. Hey, I’ve been there too, disillusioned, discouraged and flat out busted. So I know from personal and professional experience that it is far more productive to focus on what you can do to change your circumstances, rather than being a victim of the economy. You may be serving a market that is drying up, or work in an industry that is rampant with downsizing but how you react to those changes is in your control.
Today, if the media began reporting every day that there is world peace and the economy is booming everywhere, how would it change your outlook? Would you take action to leave a job you hate? Would you confidently market your business because you know your customers are once again buying? Why not take those proactive steps today?
If your market is dead, find a new market or a gap that allows you to solve their current problems. If your business model requires you to give all of your time to one client, change your model or change your offering. Hate your job? Research and act upon your options. Do what you need to develop yourself so that you can effectively seek a better job.
The economy is always going to experience highs and lows. However, having a good solid plan and making good choices will help you to weather the ups and downs. It is painful to admit that we are where we are because of our choices, but once faced, we can change it. Isn’t that a brighter proposition than blaming forces beyond your control?
So tell me now that you are firmly back in the driver’s seat, where are you headed?