Stop Blaming the Poor Economy!

Everywhere you turn, the news is bleak…“double-dip recession”, “millions out of work”, “nine percent unemployment”, “housing prices down”…

But there are corporations sitting on huge sums of cash, and people who provide services just like yours who are making money, despite the economy.  Are they just luckier than you are?  Or, perhaps, are they thinking about things differently?

Not too long ago, I spoke with Rianna, a life coach, who was complaining about how hard it is to get clients right now. 

“My old clients are dropping off because they don’t have the money anymore,” she moaned, “and I can’t find new clients because they’re all out of work.”

“Rianna, how many clients do you need in order to have a full practice?” I asked her.

“Twenty-five to thirty,” she replied.

“How many do you have right now?” I inquired.

“Nineteen,” she answered.

“And how many did you have before this recent downturn?” I queried.

“At least twenty-one or twenty-two,” she responded.

Looking closely at this dialogue, we can see that Rianna’s practice isn’t full now, but that it wasn’t full before, either.  While the economic downturn may be contributing to her problem, that problem was already there.

Sure, a terrible economy is a reality that changes the playing field—maybe even the entire game.  But you have two choices with regard to how to respond to it.  You can choose to be the Owner of your situation, which means experimenting with new approaches and beginning to find creative solutions, until you discover something that works for you in any climate.  Or, you can choose to be a Victim—to just give in to the “gloom and doom” reports and decide that there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation, except to hope and pray.

Larry is the owner of a sales-training company who advertises some of his recorded workshops through email “blasts” that go out to over 20,000 of his prospects.  But he complained to me last week that lately, no one was responding to his ads.  Larry’s take on the situation was that the economy is so bad out there that nobody is investing money in sales training.

But Larry hadn’t yet considered the fact that he’d been running the same exact ads for months.  I suggested to him that, before taking on the “gloom and doom” view, he send out a completely different kind of blast and see what happens.

This week, Larry called me all excited.  He had put out a brand new email to his prospects—something completely different than what he had been sending to them all year.

“I used to get maybe two hundred people to open my e-mails in the first three hours,” he told me, “but today over 2,000 people opened them, and I’ve already received twelve calls!”

When the going gets tough, professionals like Rianna and Larry can either be Owners or Victims.  Owners become Action Heroes.  They experiment and create in order to whip their problems into shape.  Victims?  Well, they just lie down and let the forecast swallow them whole.

Either way, it’s a choice.  Which one will you choose to be?  If you want to be an Owner, I’d love to speak with you.  Contact me and we’ll start taking action.  In the meantime, keep REACHING…

Sandy Schussel says:

Mitch,
You’re right that you can’t change things, but you can change what you DO about them. The Victim tells himself and the world that he can’t do anything about his situation. The Owner–the Action Hero–doesn’t stop experimenting until he finds something that works. We choose WHO we’re going to be when we hit an obstacle. The question is: Who are YOU being?

mitch says:

I think you know me by now. I fall prey to the victim role. When you’re a victim, it’s not your fault and therefore you have no power to change things. There will always be things in life that are out of our control. We need to learn what is in our control and make the necessary changes, if need be. We also need to figure out ways to work with the things that we have no control over. If the economy sucks, maybe we need to offer incentives to attract new clients or maybe we need to find a niche market or target markets that aren’t as affected by the down economy.