Maintaining a positive mindset in a bad economy6 min read
Maintaining a positive mindset in a bad economy6 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
The economy is taking a drastic hit.
It will impact all of our businesses.
That’s a fact.
But how you choose to react in this moment, that is up to you.
In this article, I’m going to share the mental frameworks I am using to keep positive amidst the chaos of the world and markets.
Now is the perfect time to study stoicism
If you haven’t already hopped on the stoicism train, now is a great time to do so. One of the core tentants of stoicism is:
You can’t change what happens to you. You can only change how you react.
In a world where the economy is crumbling, it is going to impact your business.
Things will happen to you.
But you choose how you react.
You choose if those events can beat you down… or motivate you to push harder.
A great introduction is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. This book has never been more relevant than right now.
Look for the opportunity
It’s easy to see a bad economy and look at it as all bad… yet, in many ways bad economies can present opportunities.
In 2008, Paul Graham wrote an article on Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy.
As he points out, both Apple and Microsoft were founded during an economic crash.
It also becomes easier because much of your competition will go under.
And while others drop back into a scarcity and fear based mentality, you can seize the opportunity with the right mindset.
A friend has a company in Ecommerce. He was concerned about supply chains getting distrupted for his customers due to the situation with China. That is one downside of this…
But there is also an upside… my parents just signed up for online grocery shopping for the first time in their life. In a world aiming to avoid physical contact, more people will be shopping online than ever before.
There is opportunity everywhere if you look close enough to see it.
Use this time to build
One opportunity that we can all take is to use this time to build. While sales and new engagements may become harder to close, no one can stop you from building and working ON your business.
For me, this means I am going heavy into content creation, and building out internal processes that will support us in the long run.
I’m building new marketing assets and resources that will serve our businesses for years to come.
The markets may slow down, but no one can slow down my ability to create and produce assets that will serve me for years to come.
Design flexible cost structures
Over the past half year, I’ve moved many of my cost structures for Lead Cookie and Content Allies to much more flexible models.
While I once focused on hiring all team members on full time retainers, I now have shifted a large part of the workforce to flexible compensation based on the customers and work we have for them.
This wasn’t a fun or popular decision, but it was necessary as we saw many ups and downs due to the volatility of the lead generation market.
Yet, this flexibility is more powerful than ever. As we go into economic hardship, we are prepared already to scale our costs down if revenue does drop.
Where you can, look for how you can make your cost structures more flexible to be prepared for an upcoming downtick. This may mean the unpopular decision of moving from full-time to hourly, but it may just be a neccessary move to protect your business.
Plan for the worst
Even with flexible cost structures, it’s hard to know just how bad this will get. Hopefully, we can scale up or down with the flexible team members that we have with us… but that might not be enough.
It could reach a point of having to let go of core team members who have been essential to the organization for years. We hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s possible.
What I am doing this week is “planning for the worst.”
I will be creating a series of downward milestones tied to revenue and profits. At each milestone, I will be creating a vision of what our organization would look like at that scale… and who we would have to let go, or move to hourly.
It’s not a fun thing to do. But I would rather make those decisions now and have a plan, then decide in the chaos and emotion of actually seeing that downward trend happening in the business.
Plan for the worst.
Hopefully, it doesn’t happen.
But at least you have a plan.
Practice mindfulness now more than ever
With all of the chaos of the world, I have found it more essential than ever to dive deep in my mindfulness practices.
My daily 5-minute meditation just ramped up to 15.
I’m journaling multiple times per day.
With the chaos of the news and the markets, it is going to trigger our minds.
Fear will creep in… if we let it.
And running your business from a place of fear and scarcity is not a strong way to make it through an economic recession.
If you find yourself triggered by the news, the economy, or the impacts it is having on your business… then retreat into yourself.
Keeping yourself calm and centered is one of your best defenses against the chaos of the world.
Business is #1 (after health and safety)
For the past 6 months, I’ve prioritized freedom, and my own creative art as my top priority.
Business was great, and I worked on it consistently, but my goal was freedom of time so I could do creative work.
Over the past week, that priority has shifted.
Business has become the top priority once again.
For you, the shift may be different.
Maybe you have prioritized time with family over business.
As odd as it may sound, this may be a time that business comes first.
Not forever… but for a while.
Because if you let your business crumble, then that is going to have some negative effects on your family or whatever other focus you have in life.
Now is the time to lean into your business, and lean hard.
In times like these, businesses are made or broken.
It’s your choice where you end up.
Keep your head high
I don’t know if these things will help.
I don’t know if my companies will make it through.
I can’t see into the future.
And I have no idea how bad this will get.
What I do know is that I’m using these practices to do my best. I’m staying positive. And I’m committed to making it through this one way or another.
Written by: Jake Jorgovan, a creator and entrepreneur, that runs two companies. Originally published in Jake-Jorgovan.com.