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Overcome This Sluggish Economy, by Barbara Weaver Smith

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by bweaversmith

I've written about overcoming fear of scarcity by learning to live in a culture of abundance. When times are flush, that isn't so hard. But the economy is weak right now, and many people are fearful. And if you or someone else in your household has lost a job, or taken a pay cut, or found yourself upside-down on your home mortgage, or lost a chunk of value in your IRA, you are most likely fearful about how you are going to manage.

But historically, when the traditional institutions fail us, entrepreneurship flourishes. Everywhere around us, people are starting new companies and launching new ventures, turning adversity into opportunity. Right now it's easier to listen to the market because it is not as crowded. There are new, unmet needs.

For example, people have a need to find the good news which seems hidden in the fog of journalistic gloom. We have a need for inexpensive pleasures, vacations closer to home, do-it-yourself projects, lessons in gardening or canning or cooking on a budget. We have an enormous need for suppliers we can trust—bankers, manufacturers, financial advisors, investment brokers, service providers. Unmet needs translate into opportunity for the woman who lives in the culture of abundance. If you are not the owner but rather an inventor or operations specialist or sales guru, now is time to align with an innovative team.

For small business owners, now is a time to increase market share. Your larger competitors are hunkered down, restricting their spending, cutting their workforce, and managing through across-the-board cuts in personnel and financial resources that are short-term survival tactics, not long-term strategic decisions. Now is a time when strategic business development will lead you to opportunities in a market that is less cluttered than it was a year ago.

If you do business for your kids' school, or for your favorite charity, if you do volunteer work and community service, you can help others adopt a mindset of abundance, which will liberate their creativity.

So, how do you overcome a sluggish economy? First, look around. Really look. What do people want and need right now that they're not getting? How could you help them? Second, enlist some thinking partners. Don't be alone. Third, think it through, make a plan for what to do next. And fourth -- do it!

Thanks to Monica for inviting me to share her blog. I look forward to your comments; let's have some dialog!

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