There is no doubt about the fact that we are in the midst of an unprecedented economic slump and tacit recovery from that slump. Last century we had the “Great Depression.” This century is only one decade old and we already have the “Great Recession.” For many years we will be comparing future recessions against the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009. The recession itself was brutal. However, the after effects are just as profound. Unlike previous recessions, the economy is not following a cycle of bust with a boom. We are following the bust with what we will call “economic doldrums.”
These economic doldrums are basically prolonging the negative effects of the recession. Today we are not focusing on these economic effectives. Today we will focus upon the psychological effects of the doldrums. It is bad enough that we have high unemployment and consumers who are reticent to spend because they are scared. If you are in business, you not only have to deal with your own personal economic issues, you have to deal with these consumers on an everyday basis. This makes our job tough, to say the least. The question is—what can we do about it? In this report, we are going to list a few basic principles that are going to be essential to break out of the doldrums.
First, take care of yourself. You can’t help others unless you have taken care of your own psychological make-up. If you are in the doldrums yourself, how in the world can you lead others out? Are you doing all of the things you are advising others to do? For example, if you are helping others to increase their credit score so that they can purchase a home or car or insurance, what does your score look like?
We are not just talking about your economic make-up which needs to be fixed. You need to address your psychological make-up. If you are depressed and scared because of the doldrums, how are you going to help others who are depressed and scared? Basically, you can’t. You will need an attitudinal fix if you are going to fix others. Whatever you need to do—just do it, as Nike says.
Second, become a leader. Once you have applied the economic and psychological fixes necessary, you are in position to become a leader. Now you must make leadership your goal. Leaders don’t sell—they lead others to meet their needs. Others seek out leaders. In this environment there is great opportunity because there is such a leadership void with so many who are stuck in the doldrums.
How do you elevate yourself to a position of leadership? Join organizations and speak of the opportunities that exist today. There are many who are looking at today’s prices of houses and interest rates and taking advantage of the opportunities presented. There are many who are making a living helping others dig out of economic holes, from fixing their credit to rebuilding lost equity. If you are positive in a time when so many others are negative, you will stand out. This is the time you will be heard.
Third, get people to see the big picture. Fortunes are not typically won or lost in a few years. People have taken big hits in the past few years, but in the long-run, the opportunity exists to not only make up lost ground, but come out a winner. Let’s say a person bought a home for $300,000 and it is now worth $200,000. That is economic devastation for most. However, if you can show them how to pay off that $300,000 debt in 20 years as well as all of their other debts, where would they be in 20 years? Let’s say the home would now be worth $400,000 conservatively. Now they have built up a retirement and should have positive cash flow because they have fewer or no debts.
There are positives that will come out of these doldrums. Consumers are scaling back on debt. This is part of what is causing the economic devastation right now. However, in the long run, the lower debt levels will make our economy stronger. An economy growing because consumers are borrowing like crazy cannot sustain itself. Consumers are now lowering their debt levels and after the economy is growing strongly again, our government must take care of the enormous debt built up through stimulus spending as well.
Seeing the long run is essential today as so many can’t see good times ahead while mired in the doldrums.