Economic Storm Clouds Ahead – Finding Opportunity
Ad Utrumque Paratus
As we struggle through these incredibly turbulent economic times, only two outcomes are possible:
- Either things will get better
- Or they will get worse.
In either case, as entrepreneurs there is one cardinal rule: We must face the future ad utrumque paratus. (Latin: “ready for either alternative”).
Despite the fact that there are obvious storm clouds ahead, an entrepreneur’s road is a very long one — and we must adopt the long view.
With the right attitude and a period of sustained effort, we can transform even the most menacing clouds into clouds of opportunity.
Listen to the Right Experts
We can listen interminably to the profits of doom, or we can take the advice of web savvy experts who are champions of doing the difficult.
In her enlightening book, True Happiness, Pema Chodron has this to say:
“One day of anything might not seem like a big deal, but it all adds up. One day of worry often turns into 365 days of worry and a stronger habit of worry. One day of focusing your attention on the steps you need to take to build the business and life you really want for yourself can turn into 365 days of consistent steps taken.”
Carla Fried of CBS MoneyWatch.com wrote recently: “Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders is the year’s most anticipated financial update. It’s certainly the only such document that could be considered required reading. This year’s letter, which Buffett released on Saturday, puts the Oracle in the role of cheerleader-in-chief for America, positing that our history provides ample reason to believe our best days lie ahead. It’s worth reading for its anti-depressant value alone.”
Warren Buffett, a lifelong proponent of taking the long view, told his shareholders:
“Throughout my lifetime, politicians and pundits have constantly moaned about terrifying problems facing America. Yet our citizens now live an astonishing six times better than when I was born. The prophets of doom have overlooked the all-important factor that is certain: Human potential is far from exhausted, and the American system for unleashing that potential – a system that has worked wonders for over two centuries despite frequent interruptions for recessions and even a Civil War – remains alive and effective.”
Finding Opportunity – Street Signs Along The Way
- Know Where You’re Starting From. A careful analysis of your current situation is crucial to making informed decisions. As an entrepreneur you must ask yourself tough questions: Where am I? Where am I going? How do I plan to get there? What are the impediments to progress? And, most importantly, do I really believe in my business? If you answer all of these questions with certainty, particularly the last one, you are on the right track.
- I Believe in My Business, What then? If you believe in your business, invest in it. It’s really that simple. Remember, as an online entrepreneur you have distinct advantages. You probably have little invested in brick-and-mortar. That makes you agile. It allows you to take immediate action, inexpensively.
- Seek Guidance. If you’re not sure how to execute your ideas, seek advice. Since you are positioned to make mid-course corrections if need be, don’t cling to implementation methods that aren’t working. Try something new.
- Take As Many Short-Cuts As Possible. You can work hard, or you can work smart. If you are spending too much on traditional advertising, with little positive impact, you should invest your time and resources in Social Media. Properly managed and executed, Social Media can be a very powerful tool. Use it.
- Take Advantage of the Economic Slowdown. While your traditional competitors are hoarding cash and remaining stagnant, trust in the power of Social Media to get you through. You can out-maneuver your competition, inexpensively and under-the-radar. Build a substantial and engaged Twitter following, for example. It’s better to have it and not need it — than to need it and not have it.
Stop worrying about the economic ups-and-downs. See past them by adopting a longer view.
Prepare yourself for whatever happens, keep the right attitude and commit to a period of sustained effort.
Focus your attention on the steps you need to take to build the business and life you really want for yourself.
Trust in America — and Americans.
Invest in your business, not the stock market. Remember that all outside investment opportunities are controlled by others. Only you have control of your business.
As an entrepreneur, your road is a long one. But opportunities can be found all along the way, if you just look for them.
Searching For Opportunity
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