I do a lot of interviews these days as the workplace continues to keep all of us on our toes. And it seems inevitable that the question about being in a “slow economy” comes up. I wish I could convey that whether or not we are in a slow economy is much like whether or not we believe the sky is falling.
Remember that famous children’s fairy tale? One day Chicken Little was scratching in the garden when an acorn fell on her head. She decides to tell the King, and on her journey meets many other animals who join her in the rush to share this startling news. “How do you know the sky is falling, Chicken Little?” asked Henny Penny. “I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears, and a bit of it fell on my head,” said Chicken Little.
There are many version of this story, but the basic premise of the happy version is not to be like “Chicken,” but to have courage and don’t believe everything you are told.
I think believing we are in a “slow economy” is very similar. If you experienced a layoff, a rejection in an interview, a loss on the value of your house, and just heard that the long-lasting Sears store is closing in your town, you can easily confirm that “I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears, and a bit of it fell on my head.” And thus you share the news with your closest friends. And certainly now would be a poor time to start something new or to leave the “security” of any real job.
But what if you recognized that the fear of a “slow economy” is going to immobilize most people, leaving you multiple opportunities for separating yourself from the pack and moving ahead. You can counsel, coach, teach, or speak to those who are stuck in life. You can come up with better solutions for economic transportation, reduce fuel consumption with efficient housing, improve health care, education, or provide methods for spiritual growth. You can invent a better dog leash, or create a more nutritional energy bar like Caleb Simpson has done. Many other of our 48Days.net members have created fulfilling opportunities in the midst of this “slow economy.” You can book yourself to play the hammered dulcimer in retirement centers like member Ted Yoder has done. Or service the pharmaceutical needs of diabetics like Phillip Carson is doing. Maybe you can put on conferences for women like Lynn Watts does or teach gardening and aquaponics classes like Sam Burton is doing. Or live on a farm and sell goat cheese and natural herb products like Karen Wortman does. Or you can see a need and start a Business Chamber organization like Jill Davis is doing in Colorado Springs. Maybe you could write a book like Sue Detweiler did (9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom). If the entrepreneurial path does not appeal to you, perhaps you could move from blacksmith to self-taught software developer and get multiple job offers in the first week of sending your resume out like Joshua Kemp did.
You can surge ahead in ANY economy if you create a clear plan and act on it. In a recent teleseminar I responded to some the big questions you are asking about doing something now. Just click here My Work, My Life to listen to how to confront fear and take positive action.
Of course in the unhappy version of the fable, the fox eats the chicken. I like to think that the moral of that story is if I have nothing but bad news to share, I should just keep my mouth shut.