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11 Reasons to Stay Optimistic During the Economic Downturn

If the past few months of economic news has gotten you depressed, you’re not alone.

While we are experiencing some very tough economic times, there is still plenty to be happy and optimistic about despite the fiscal troubles we are facing.

It turns out, we have a lot of reasons to stay positive during this recession and why our successes continue to have an optimistic outlook.

1. Opportunities have not vanished

Business opportunities have by no means disappeared. In fact, there are still plenty of prospects for business, entrepreneurship and making money, they are just more difficult to find. To find these possibilities, you’ll have to look a little harder and keep an open mind.

Due to widespread pessimism, opportunities might not be as easy to spot. However, by being more creative when looking for prospects, you’ll see different opportunities become that much more obvious.

In fact, this environment continues to bring new possibilities. We may be facing mounting problems every day, but each problem that we confront represents an opportunity for new business ideas.

2. Challenges are always opportunities to grow

Facing these economic challenges is an opportunity for you to test your mettle as an entrepreneur. By persisting and staying optimistic during this period, your leadership abilities will grow by leaps and bounds.

This can be a defining moment for your business and will provide a great test of its strength. And if you can survive a recession, you know your business will truly blossom during a recovery or economic prosperity.

3. The laid off or unemployed can pursue their entrepreneurial dreams

Being unemployed or laid off can be extremely heartbreaking, demotivating and discouraging.

However, if you do your best to be positive and look at this situation optimistically, you’ll recognize that you have the perfect opportunity to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.

You are no longer tied up at work, so you have no more excuses to delay. You are now free to pursue the business you have always wanted to open. Perhaps this horrible recession could actually be a blessing in disguise!

4. You can learn from other’s mistakes

We see what greed, short-sightedness and lack of transparency can do to the economies and financial markets around the globe.

While it can be depressing to think about, use these failures as an opportunity to learn. Based on some of the blunders we have seen in recent months, we have learned the value of:

  • Using due diligence when investing
  • Being wary of lack of transparency in an investment or business decision
  • Resisting the temptation to be greedy
  • Maintaining a long term focus

5. A recession is largely based on emotion and fear

There are a ton of technical reasons for the cause of this recession: toxic assets buried throughout our financial markets, high unemployment numbers, low consumer spending, the list can go on and on.

But what makes this recession even worse is the emotional reaction people have. People stop buying and investing in the economy even when their jobs seem safe.

People get depressed and let the recession dictate their behavior. This attitude only makes this downturn worse.

We can begin to improve the effects of the recession if we can recognize that it is our fear and emotion that aggravates this downturn. Once we approach these economic issues with a positive attitude, we will find that the environment will slowly get better and better.

6. Remember that recessions are cyclical

Recessions are also cyclical – they happen every few years. In fact, we have gone through one of the longest periods without one.

Since recessions are cyclical, we know they can’t be prevented and that it is only a matter of time before we face another one. It isn’t anything new and we have even faced credit crises similar to this one before.

Of course there are new, unprecedented elements to this economic downturn, but a lot of it we have already experienced time and again.

There is also something extremely reassuring to the cyclical nature of a recession: it is only a matter of time before we reach another economic prosperity. In other words there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel.

7. Our country has faced far worse

On the crisis we face, one of my professors once reassured me that our country has faced far worse than this recession.

We have been through two world wars, a civil war, a Great Depression, president assassinations, attacks over American soil and countless other wars.

Yet, our market has faithfully bounced back each time and always breaks records. Why would this recession be any different?

8. Many entrepreneurs are safe

Another reason to stay optimistic during this economic downturn is because many entrepreneurs will face minimal financial loss. Sure there are plenty that will suffer difficulty, but the majority will survive and emerge stronger.

Many entrepreneurs have strengthened their business model in such a way where it can withstand a recession, so their income will not suffer that much as a result.

Furthermore, more and more people are turning to entrepreneurship as a refuge from the financial instability of employment. They realize that entrepreneurship will protect them from layoffs and that income is NOT all or nothing.

9. Now is a great time to hire

If your business is doing well and you happen to need an extra hand, you can be comforted by the fact that you have a huge pool of skilled candidates to select from.

Because the job pool is so much larger right now, you can afford to be pickier with who you hire. That means the likelihood of hiring a better quality candidate has increased dramatically.

This is great news for you as you have the opportunity to hire some really talented people to help run and strengthen your business.

10. There is always a demand for quality work

No matter what economic cycle we are in, there will always be a demand for high quality goods and services.

Something of high quality will save consumers money in the long run, so they will flock to these goods and services in the hope that they will get the most out of their money.

This is why it is important that you ensure that your goods or services are of top quality to ensure that you are especially competitive during this time.

11. Bigger companies have less of an edge

If you are afraid of the competitive environment right now, this might comfort you a bit.

With the bigger companies continuing to lay off, their remaining staff feels overworked, guilty and demotivated. The low morale in these companies hurts their competitive edge.

This is a great opportunity for you to step up your marketing and ensure your products and services are of top quality. You might just emerge as a much more respected brand because of it.

. . .

StartupNation.com refers to 2009 as the year of the entrepreneur. Let’s prove this prediction and summon all of our entrepreneurial energy to remain strong, confident and persistent during this economic downturn.

Let us use our visionary and leadership ability to plow through this recession with the resolve that only entrepreneurs have!

2 comments… add one
  • Trey - Swollen Thumb Entertainment February 15, 2009, 1:16 am

    I especially appreciate #11.

    If you’re providing true value to your customers, and they have a need for what you provide in your life, then even the hardest of recessions won’t stop them from coming to you. Recessions have the ability to filter out the gunk in our business world.

    That’s why it annoys me that the Government is so worried about “preserving jobs”. It’s a very backwards way of thinking for me that we’d rather save jobs that aren’t providing value than to restructure and make the jobs more effective. If jobs were more effective and provided more NEEDED value, then we’d get out of this recession pretty darn fast.

    • Matt Thomas February 15, 2009, 12:39 pm

      Recessions are indeed very effective in revealing weaknesses and companies who aren’t well prepared for contingencies. Sure it is easy to flourish when the economy as a whole is growing, but those businesses that can grow or at least not incur too much damage during an economic downturn are those that are truly world class.

      On your second point, weaker businesses probably shouldn’t get a lot of governmental assistance, since keeping weak businesses afloat does not make the US more competitive. One example that comes to mind is the auto industry. The big three are suffering so much because they have a poor product and have even worse marketing. In short, the recession is revealing how poorly run these companies truly are.

      That said, it is a difficult balance in in maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in our economy while simultaneously keeping jobs safe. It is probably best that certain businesses be left to die, but even the strong businesses could die if too many become unemployed. The sad truth with making decisions of this magnitude is that there is no right answer.

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