Are There Opportunities During a Recession?
By Steve Gillman
There are always opportunities during tough economic times,
just as there are at any time. But then there are some opportunities
that exist because of a recession. This is being written
in 2009, and I can assure you that some people will prosper in
these tough economic times. To be one of them, you have to start
to think like they do and take advantage of what you have.
Turn off the stream of bad news on the television if that
is coloring your thinking too much. There isn't actually that
much "usable" information that you can get from these
sources in any case. You'll hear about any really "big"
news, and the rest is just drama you don't need to be a part
After you stop feeding yourself a diet of negativity, start
developing new perspectives and better habits of both thought
and action. Start to look at problems as opportunities, for example,
and see every setback as a valuable lesson. Many of them will
be more valuable and less expensive than the ones you get from
any university. Choose to be in the right places at the right
times and to take action when you see what can be done.
Develop the thinking patterns of a lucky person and you'll
find ways to make the coming years good ones. Now, here are some
examples of the opportunities that are out there during this
recession and even because of it.
Opportunity: Businesses Failures
We should never wish for the failure of others, but that doesn't
mean we can't take advantage of the opportunity it offers. In
tough times poorly-run businesses fail, as do the businesses
of those who just aren't creative or adaptable enough. Those
that do creatively adapt can pick up market share. Even if you
do not increase sales or profits at the time, you can position
yourself to do better than ever when better economic times return.
A recession also teaches valuable lessons about expenses that
are excessive. If you can cut your costs in your company you
may come out the recession with much more of that top line going
to the bottom line. You make the business stronger, more secure,
and ultimately more profitable.
Opportunity: Stocks On Sale!
I hesitated for years to invest in stocks, almost getting
invested in early 2008. I'm happy that I procrastinated now that
there is a "half price" sale. Without trying to guess
where the market is headed next, we can guess that it's better
to invest when it is lower than when it was at record highs.
Opportunity: Houses Are on Sale
Homes cost less now, which you may not see as an opportunity
if you already own one. But start looking at these things differently
if you want different results! The drop in prices offers the
chance to have property taxes and possibly your insurance lowered,
right? And the current low interest rates mean you might be able
to refinance your home and pay less each month.
Most people see the negative in the real estate slump, but
those who create their own luck find opportunities in these problems.
The examples above of paying less for a loan, insurance and taxes
mean you pay less for a home regardless of what the current value
is. You lost equity in the downturn? Well other houses went down
in value too, so make back everything you lost by buying a few
rental homes while they are cheap.
Opportunity: Valuable Personal Lessons
Learning lessons the "hard way" may not sound too
inspiring, but many people have come back from bankruptcy to
become wealthier than they ever were. Some have lost jobs only
to discover what they really want to do with their future. If
economic hard times come in any case, why not make them into
turning points on the path to a better future?
Consider the opportunities during this recent recession for
many people to learn about the perils of consumer debt. They
can now learn how better handle money from this point forward.
Why not rearrange priorities, identify what really matters, and
build a sounder foundation for personal and financial success?
It's an opportunity for individuals, but also for a country.
We can see this as a time to build an economy that is not based
on ever-increasing debt, but on sounder principles and foundations.