The economy was booming six months ago. Stock prices were increasing, interest rates were low, and unemployment was decreasing. After a few months, all of those markers were pointing in the opposite direction. Now it’s difficult to know where we stand from day today.
I believe that the current crisis is only temporary and that the long-term outlook is for growth and good times. That isn’t to say there won’t be dips along the way, some of them rather deep. The key is whether you’re in a position to capitalize on the good times while navigating the bad.
You must be prepared for both scenarios. Fortunately, you can make “shifts” that will benefit you in both situations.
- Pay off your debts. The more quickly you can do it, the better. When you’re in debt, you can’t take advantage of opportunities. And opportunities exist in both good and bad times. In both cases, debt prevents you from taking advantage of chances that arise. In the worst-case scenario, it exaggerates the problem as the cost of money rises and debt payment becomes a larger and larger portion of your expenses.
- Consider the big picture. We can no longer afford to think and act on a local level. We need a larger perspective.
vision. We must consider how our profession, business, and industry will operate in a global economy, which already exists.
- Take the initiative. The age of the free agent is arrived. Even if we work for a larger firm or organization and intend to do so in the future, we must at least think like entrepreneurs. “In-trepreneurs” are what we need to be. Seniority and experience are no longer valued as they once were. What matters is that you produce results – and profits.
- Make the decision to become a capitalist. The wealthy hold assets, whereas the remainder own liabilities, or items that are expensive to own and maintain. Capitalism is not a pejorative term. By definition, a capitalist is someone who possesses assets that provide money. Stock, equipment, and businesses are all income-generating assets. Eighty percent of millionaires in the United States are self-made. Become a part of it.
- Be adaptable. Things are moving at breakneck speed. This necessitates flexibility. Things will not stay the same, nor will they return to their previous state. We must be ready to reverse course swiftly. It’s time to dodge and weave. It’s time to accept change. Shift occurs!