11 Things To Keep In Mind During This Crappy Economy

December 30th, 2008

The economy sucks. Duh. Maybe you’ve lost a client. Or three. Or your enthusiasm for your job. Or your job.

On top of that, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. It’s the end of another year, a time when we tend to sit back and take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going … not an easy task these days.

Here’s the good news: It’s never been easy. What’s good about that? Well, simply that the hard work we all have ahead of ourselves has always been hard, so nothing’s really changed all that much … at least not in the sense that there’s hard work ahead.

It’s more an issue of reminding ourselves (and each other) of some evergreen truths that will help us all get through the financial and personal whitewater that lies ahead.

Here are some things I intend to keep in mind in the year ahead:

1. Stay positive. This is crucial. Everything else flows from a positive attitude. Just as a huge part of the economy’s health is derived from consumer confidence, a huge part of your own mental and professional health is derived from your personal confidence. No one wants to work with anyone who has a negative outlook on things. (Do you?)

2. Remember the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you don’t want to be treated like crap, don’t treat others like crap. You’d think that’s a no-brainer, but don’t we all know people in business who treat others like crap?

3. Minimize your intake of bad news. We’re in for a long haul of stories about this company laying off 10% of their workforce and that company closing their doors and this other company filing for chapter 11. Okay, you already know the economy sucks. What are you gonna do about it, wallow in the details? Or are you going to wake up, stay positive and do what you need to do?

4. Another Great Depression? So? Not every industry tanked during the ’30s. The radio industry did very well. So did print media. Films. Advertising. Take a look at this entry over on Google Answers or this article over on iMedia Connection or this blog post from Ravit Lichtenberg and you’ll see why numbers one and three above, in particular, are so important.

5. Stay busy. The more down time you have, the more opportunity you have to sink into a negative frame of mind that will erode your positive frame of mind. To that end …

6. Network. In real estate it’s “location, location, location.” In business it’s “network, network, network.” Put aside an hour a day to catch up with former coworkers, start actual discussions on LinkedIn (they desperately need some), rekindle friendships from years ago, respond to job ads, talk with recruiters and so on. Or, if not an hour, decide to do three things each day that fall into the networking category. It requires discipline, like going to the gym; you may not see immediate results, but you’ll be a lot healthier for it over the long haul.

7. Remember Sturgeon’s Law. The second portion of Sturgeon’s Law, actually, which states that 90 percent of everything is crap. Everything. That includes 90 percent of everyone out there going after the same job or client as you, 90 percent of your competitors in any given industry and so on down the line. Are you in that 90 percent, or are you a 10-percenter?

8. Remember Col. Sanders. You can read his story over here, but here’s the upshot: When he was trying to sell his famous chicken recipe, he was rejected more than 1,000 times before making the sale. Put yourself in his place: Would you give up after 100 rejections? Or 200? Or 500? Or 783? Or 926? I gotta think the over/under for most people on this one is in the double-digits. So: Keep on keepin’ on.

9. Embrace serenity as you cultivate courage and wisdom. Serenity is accepting the things you can’t change, having the courage to change the things you can and cultivating the wisdom to know the difference. Serenity is a good thing.

10. Remember that every hardship also brings opportunity. Those articles in number four above have a lot of good stuff in them, but here a more practical way of looking at things. Yes, the economy is sucking wind. Yes, a lot of companies are freezing their marketing department hiring or maybe even doing layoffs. But guess what? Tons of work still needs to get done. So if you’re an independent contractor or consultant, you’re in pretty good shape. If you’re an independent contractor or consultant who isn’t part of the 90 percent that’s crap, you’re in very good shape.

11. Remember where your real job security lies. It’s not in any company with whom you work … or used to work. The days of working for a large company for 40 years and retiring on your pension are gone. Your job security lies within you: It’s in your willingness to do a great job (not just a good job) no matter what it takes.

Takeaway for marketers: And for everyone else, for that matter. Relax. Take a deep breath. Stay positive. Keep focused. And may the coming year bring you all the health, happiness, serenity, courage, wisdom and success you want and deserve.

4 Responses to “11 Things To Keep In Mind During This Crappy Economy”

  1. Susan/Unique Business Opportunity Says:

    Taking responsibility for your own financial security by maintain a positive attitude about your work is very good advice. I might also suggests looking for multiple streams of income as a means of adding a little extra security to you financial plan

  2. Paul Chaney Says:

    I love this and sent it out to our entire management and sales staff at Bizzuka, the company I serve as marketing director. I’m tweeting it too. This is encouraging and, in a time when we all seem to be intensely focused on the naysayers, helps bring badly needed perspective. Thank you!

  3. Olwen Langford Says:

    Craig Peters on Linkedin added this as a thread and I found it to be very encouraging.

    Could I just call you Mr Motivator – having recently been seconded to group marketing I have found it an awesome task during this climate – but you have inspired me

  4. Corin Ramos Says:

    Thank you. These are great to read and share. I especially like #3 and #10. Adversity brings not only opportunity, but our true character. So, let’s ask ourselves: what are you made of?

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