I was naïve. I thought I could beat all the odds. I had a special immunity. I could keep the thundering storms of the stressed economy away from my business. I was wrong.
When the stormy economy thundered, I tried to tune it out. Like most, I just worked harder. I thought I had all the power, that I could figure it out. I just needed to do more. I would turn the recession into an opportunity, except that I didn’t have a road map. I was just going – in circles!
Are you running in circles, or do you accept the new economy?
I’m tired of running. And, I don’t want to spend more time fretting than living. I want to notice what I have, and live in the silver lining of this new economy.
“Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.” ~ Maurice Setter
We keep looking for gold, not wanting to give up our search. No matter how many stones we turn over and rivers we sift, we only find rocks and pebbles. How do we find the silver lining living in a cloudy and stormy economy?
5 Ways to Uncover the Silver Lining in a Slow Economy
1. Reflectively Slow Down
We can slow down instead of speed up. This is foreign to me, as I usually mobilize like an army moving into battle when under stress. Instead, I took a deep breath and carved out time to reflect. To take stock. To uncover the facts. And, to look at what I’ve been running from.
We can run from our economic reality, or we can turn over the rock. Uncover choices: How long can you do business if it breaks even (instead of makes a profit)? How long can you go without getting a salary? What salary adjustment can you live with? Find out it’s not as bad as you thought. Or, maybe you discover more options than before.
2. Listen to Inspiring Stories
Financial options are important, but I also want to uncover personal choices. I hear your stories – how you find meaning in a slow economy. How you thrive personally and relationally. How you don’t let unemployment and slowing business be the end.
People are uncovering their silver lining all around us. You live on less, save more, take time off, help an elderly parent, start a new hobby, renew lost connections, and discover new passions. It’s from people like you that I have found inspiration – the real silver lining in the stormy economy!
3. Share Responsibility
What have you learned about yourself during the slow economy? I have learned that I am not superhuman. I can’t change the economy’s impact on my industry. And, it’s even relieving to know it’s not all me. I own my part, but I let go of those economic powers larger than myself.
Marketers want me to believe that there is more I can do to increase referrals. During different economic times this may be true. Yet, if people have less discretionary income, they just have less. People may want to consult a counselor, yet they need to take care of their basic needs first – clothing, food, housing, and transportation.
4. Shift Your Focus
I wearily grew tired of putting more and more energy into my business. I started to shift more energy to personal and family needs. I took time off. I know that when business picks up, I will be glad that I took this time.
I took more breaks and time out of the office. I met friends. Had lunch with my kids. Did errands during office hours. It took a shift in the economy for me to enjoy getting out of the office. Where can you move your focus?
5. Redefine Success
My salary has steadily been decreasing for 6 months due to lower than normal referrals. I have done all the “extra” marketing. I can keep focusing on what I don’t have, or I can focus on what I do have.
This was the year I was expecting business growth, but instead I found personal growth. I learned that I can tolerate discomfort. I am creative. I am a writer. And, most importantly, I am content with less. In fact, I can give passionately to those with greater needs!
I know there is more to learn. More to uncover. I am not running. I am not denying. I am embracing this new beginning. And, I am looking for silver linings.
“I’m close to some new beginning, I know
There’s a reason for everything that comes and goes.” By Kate Voegele, Sweet Silver Lining
Please share how the slow economy has impacted your industry. What silver linings have you uncovered during the stormy economy?
Photo Credit: Luis Argerich