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"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." - Jimmy Dean


"If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be." - John Heywood, English Playwright and Poet.







Copyright © 2000-2013
by Barbara Brabec
All Rights Reserved
Barbara Brabec's World


Prescription for Economic
and Financial Woes

First count your friends and family as riches worth more than gold. Then consider all your special talents, skills, ideas, know-how and lifetime of experience and look for ways to translate those assets into products and services others will need, not only in these hard economic times but for years to come.

by Barbara Brabec

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE lost a significant portion of their investment portfolios during "Black October" in 2008, and are still having trouble coming to terms with this loss, myself included. Given our economy in 2012, it appears that few of us will ever be able to make up that loss. But there are always two ways to look at something, as the following story illustrates.

One day in a message to one of her sons, my sister Mollie lightly commented on this topic saying, "We are worth less every day." To which her son, Jeffrey Wakeman, quickly sent the following response:

"You are NOT worth less every day. Your material assets and financial instruments might be depressed in terms of how many other goods and services they can buy, but the value of your wisdom and your love should only increase in the face of life’s challenges.

"We are incredibly rich. And even when 'the market' tanks and elected representatives reveal themselves to be more consistent than excellent, even if we have to take fewer trips or drink less wine or (shudder) eat less fancy cheese, there's still an overwhelming cornucopia of happiness and nourishment at hand.

"If we have to live in tent cities and grow our own vegetables, we’ll still find stuff to be happy about if we so choose. Books and old movies, laughter and raindrops, sunshine and silence. We'd still be better off than a lot of folks, and we'd probably be better people than we are now.

"And if we don’t have to live in tents, even better!

"News is for suckers. Knowledge is useful. Wisdom is power."

Let this sweet writing be a reminder of how much you have to be thankful for this year, even if your coffers aren't exactly overflowing at the moment.

Focus on the Positive!

If you’ve suffered financial loss and are worried about the future, now more than ever is the time to focus on finding all the POSITIVE things in your life that you can bank on emotionally until we’re through the worst of the dreadful financial crisis our country is currently experiencing. For starters, count your friends and family as riches worth more than gold. Then consider all your special talents, skills, ideas, know-how and lifetime of experience and look for ways to translate those assets into products and services others will need, not only in these hard economic times but for years to come.

Believe me . . . if you are self-employed now, you have a kind of insurance salaried job holders will never have. I believe that now is a great time to move forward with new ideas, a time to try new things you’ve never considered before, a time to create new products and services that will meet the specific needs of today’s hurting consumers and businesses.

If you’ve recently lost your job, or fear a pink slip is in the offing, don’t just sit there worrying, and don’t limit your options only to another job. Not everyone is suited to self-employment, of course, and I’ve never encouraged anyone to quit a job to become self-employed, but if you’ve ever considered the idea of starting a homebased business, now is a good time to consider it once again.

Recessions Breed Entrepreneurs

Historically, recessions have proven to be a good breeding ground for entrepreneurs. During the last sixteen months of the 1991-1992 recession, Fortune 500 companies released over 600,000 people through early retirement or layoffs. At that time, a spokesperson at a small business development center reported an increase in the start-up of homebased consulting businesses by corporate VPs in their fifties who had taken cash benefit packages as early retirement bribes and went on to work for their former employers as independent consultants.

Although we enjoyed a boom period in the late 1990s, millions more lost jobs after the turn of the century because of corporate downsizing and bankruptcies, the dot-com failures of 2000, the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack, the Enron disaster, and the 2001-2002 recession, which was worsened by the mid-year bankruptcy of WorldCom. According to a report by one outplacement agency, by January 2001 more than 6,000 people were being laid off every day. Interestingly, a note in the June 2001 issue of Home Business Magazine pointed to other studies showing that over 6,000 new homebased businesses were being launched each day, making homebased businesses then the fastest-growing economic sector in the country.

You only have to do a search on Google for "recession breeds entrepreneurs" to see that this entrepreneurial trend has been holding in the current recession. If you lack start-up funds, consider that many service businesses and Web enterprises can be started on a nickel-and-dime budget. Any new business involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it doesn’t cost much to set up a Web site or WordPress blog to launch a new service business or sell products you've created. Historically, new home business have had to finance themselves, so being unable to get a bank loan won’t affect you one way or the other. If you do need a cash infusion, look instead to financial assets you already have and may be overlooking. (More than one home business has been financed or expanded by the profits from a huge garage sale.)

P. S. Good Advice from a Fortune Cookie:

You’ll accomplish more if you start now.


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