During challenging economic times, many of us are in situations that are stressful. Companies are laying off employees, consultants are finding that there are not as many paying customers, and small business owners are having to work twice as hard to get and keep customers. Fortunately, I was able to read some stories of real life people like you and me who have chosen to see opportunity in the midst of adversity. I read their stories and analyzed some of the key success factors that helped them come out on top during the recession. And I will now share them with you.
Trust Your Instincts
One of the stories I read was about a gentleman who was laid off from his twelve-year job at Intel as a marketing engineer. He had taken a class in improv years earlier to help him face his fear of public speaking. He found that he had a knack for improv, often receiving positive reviews from his fellow students. So, when he found himself laid off, he reached down deep and thought, “I’ll give it a shot!”
Take Massive Action Consistently and Ruthlessly
Dan, the guy I am writing about, wrote jokes and scripts ceaselessly. He marketed himself courageously, and his efforts paid off. He has done standup at birthday parties, corporate gigs, and even doubled what he would have normally made in his former job. He landed a part in a movie directed by the same director from Slumdog Millionaire!
Get Comfortable with Discomfort, and Face the Fears
Rose was a speech pathologist who had run a very successful business with 13 employees. However, with the recession crunch, she found that insurance companies were not reimbursing as they had been in earlier years, and clients were just not willing to pay for speech therapy as they had been. She had 11 kids, and had the idea that their family could cut expenses by going into farming. She and her husband always had an interest in the environment and sustainable living. However, when it came right down to purchasing all the animals and starting their new lifestyle, she stated she had a lot of fear of the What If’s: What if no one bought their products? What if it did not work out? However, it has worked out, and she is grossing $40,000 per year, spending more time with her kids than she did before, and still running a part-time speech therapy practice.
If you do end up facing a layoff, you will find that you have to cut expenses, like Sergio Santos. An architect, he found out his job was being eliminated. He scoured the rentals for something he could afford. He found a studio for $350 a month, which was still too high. However, with some smart negotiation, he convinced the landlord that he would take the storage room near the studio for $150 a month. After making some renovations, he learned to live with a lot less, was able to post some pictures on his personal website, and got some freelance projects by people who could not believe what he had done with his space. He is now getting married, but has learned what creativity and willingness to do with less can do to help him prosper during challenging times.
Finally, here are some key factors for success for managing transition during the recession, taken from a Reader’s Digest interview with many ordinary people like you and me who have been resilient and successful in making transitions during difficult times.
“Ask yourself, What are my strengths, my passions? Where do they meet?”
What do you daydream about? What do you find yourself doing with your down time? What are your interests? What are your hobbies? What have you gotten positive feedback on from co-workers and friends?
“When others say your goal is too risky, rise above the negativity.”
Many people who are well-meaning, wanting to make sure that you protect yourself from possible failure. The key is to surround yourself with other entrepreneurial types who will support your new direction. Consider joining a business networking group or your local Chamber of Commerce, so that you can rub shoulders with others who of a like mind.
“Consider your key skills and how they’re transferable to a new job.”
Once you pay attention to your passions and interests, ask yourself how you can combine them with key skills that you have developed over the course of your previous jobs.
Disclosure: I am sourcing Reader’s Digest for their great write-up on real life people who took advantage of the opportunity that recession brought to them in the disguises of layoffs, tough business environments, and economic challenges.
Also, I must mention Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income Blog, and his fantastic write-up of how he has taken off in his career as an internet marketer one year. The title of that article is One Year After Getting Laid Off – My Annual Passive Income Report One Year After Getting Laid Off – My Annual Passive Income Report.
Which of these key success factors will you incorporate into your current situation? Whether you are now unemployed, in a tenuous job situation, or even if you are doing fine in your job, you will want to carefully consider and apply these success factors to keep you resilient and resourceful during the current recession, and beyond.
photo credit: Pierre Poliquin
I welcome your comments below. Also, I would be honored if you would Tweet, Stumble, Digg, and otherwise share my article using the Share feature below 🙂