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Four Ways to Manage Your Mindset During a Recession
by Marcia Yudkin
Crash! Crash! Crash! It’s instinctive to pull your head down and duck for cover when foreclosure, credit crunch and banking crisis missiles are landing all around you. But contrary to what the media are telling you, the #1 determinant of your prosperity is not “the economy” but your own attitudes and behavior.
If you hunker down, retract your marketing and let fear drive your daily actions, your business will contract. Guaranteed! If you remain standing, keep your balance and steer intelligently around today’s slightly changed marketing landscape, you’ll do fine.
The following tips show you how to maintain the mental balance that enables you to navigate through a recession confidently and profitably. Manage your mood swings and the rest becomes easy.
1. Ration your news watching. Some say that the unofficial motto of the news media is “If it bleeds, it leads.” In other words, it’s their job to forcefully tell you about all the bad news. Television news, in particular, can not only inform you, but infect you with fear from an unbalanced view of what’s happening that may not match what’s true in the world that most impinges most on you. You may find reading the news in a print newspaper less alarming than listening to the news on radio or TV.
2. Stay positive. Notice what you’re saying to yourself, and develop a positive, feel-good affirmation to replace negative statements. During mid-2008, I had a lean couple of months and noticed I had been saying things like, “I don’t really need much money.” I replaced that with an affirmation developed in conversation with my business coach: “I have the luxury of being able to do whatever I like, and money flows to me effortlessly from that.” Was it an accident that my cash flow improved? You decide.
3. Drop unpleasant customers. Yes, I mean it. You need all your wits about you to be creative and resourceful. Anger and resentment sap your energy. Refer the disagreeable clients to a colleague who is feeling desperate. And who knows – they may get along just fine.
4. Play. Spend time doing something that makes you happy – whether that’s playing with your kids, riding your Harley, playing your favorite music at full blast or skimming rocks on a nearby pond. Feeling crazily, unreasonably joyful for even a little while helps you attack business problems with an optimistic perspective. According to research by University of California at Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons and others, counting blessings rather than focusing on burdens increases your health and general well being. I wouldn’t be surprised if it increases your earnings, too.
Now you can understand why it is a huge mistake to retract your advertising and stop spending on customer outreach. Instead, continue the marketing efforts that worked in the past. Revive those that previously worked but you stopped because you got tired of them. And think about ways to tweak your marketing messages so they appear especially relevant to those suffering from the economic downturn.
Make sure clients are happy with your products and services and fix any quality issues. Consider reasons why, in good times, people remain on the fence about buying from you, and take away those doubts and objections. It’s also a great time to join forces with other business owners to share ideas on how all of you can remain recession-resistant.
To paraphrase a famous saying of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Nothing can pull your business down without your consent.” You have a choice about what attitude and actions to take. If you refuse to adopt the mindset of those running around right now like Chicken Littles, you will be able to look back on the era of gloom and doom with a smile on your face and a big bankroll in your pocket.
Master marketer Marcia Yudkin, author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books, has been selling information in one form or another since 1981. This article is excerpted from her report, “33 Keys to Thriving During a Recession,” which is available as a free download from www.yudkin.com/recess.htm .