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There is no question that there is a lot of bad news about the economy. But what is true and what is hyperbole meant to sell advertising space? And even more importantly, what does it mean for you and your future?
The answer is: A lot!
Even though the stock market is off and there is the talk of a double-dip recession, it's important to remember that what matters is how you view the future and that you are clear about what you want to create. Remember, what you focus on you will get more of. So if the news is causing you to focus on fear and a loss of faith, that is what you will be dealing with.
I know there are some of you who will react to this statement due to your situation and I appreciate what you are going through. I also know from experience that until I got focused on what I wanted to create, instead of what I didn't have, things stayed the same. Nothing changed which just reinforced my belief that it was the way things were. It can be difficult because our minds are very invested in protecting us from failure. As long as we treat our situation as a failure, it becomes self fulfilling.
It is much more constructive, and satisfying, to reboot our mind to simply say, "Wow, I'm being given a great opportunity to make changes." The two things I have found are that the people who see it as an opportunity come through it the best and often they realize that they had been asking for the opportunity well before it happened. The lesson: When you know what you want you can either go for it or wait for the energy to force you to do it.
That being said, the reality is that for many people, this is actually an amazing time to start a business or a new career. There are still some attractive financial resources available to people who are motivated. With the state of the deficit, it's hard to say this will remain true. It's not unusual for the government to get overextended and then pull back. I anticipate the funding may dry up as the reality of the deficit hits home.
If you are not convinced, consider that even though over 90% of the people are employed the news is primarily about 9.7% who are unemployed. Yes, it is hard for many of these people. But did you know that there are a lot of people who are choosing to stay unemployed because they get paid more than the jobs they are offered?
This is important. The argument goes as follows: I used to be paid a certain amount to do a job and I don't want to work until I'm paid that much again.
Reality check: What people were being paid before was financed, it was not real. This is the economy without the bubble of false credit. This is what people should have been paid but we got ahead of ourselves. Competition caused businesses to borrow to keep up. It was easy to borrow money which made it easy to spend more than they had. Consumers were doing the same things and we all went down the road together believing that it would go on forever.
. Many businesses have grown and thrived while others (the ones in the news) struggled or disappeared. The ones who have done well stayed focused on the positive aspects of what they are doing and also adapted their offerings to fit what people wanted.
During this time most people and businesses have worked hard at reducing debt and saving more. This has actually made the situation worse as people stopped spending. But this is also creating pent up demand for the future. People will do without for a while but as the money in their savings grows, so does the pressure to acquire delayed purchases.
The big shift we are seeing this year is with employers in this area. They are still being careful but unlike last year when things were very uncertain, this year they feel much more confident that the economy is getting back on track. When you consider that the Gulf Coast and Caribean are going to be poor destinations for months or years to come due to the oil spill, the future for the New England tourist economy looks very robust.
The key moving forward is to position yourself for the future. It's clear that jobs that are not location dependent (administrative, engineering, service and online sales) will continue to move overseas. As those jobs move many management jobs will also be eliminated in this country. Manufacturing is another major area that is easily moved to cheaper producing countries. The difference in payroll is much too big for businesses to ignore.
However, careers that require hands-on and personal contacts such as bodywork, cosmetology, spa related services, and other health-related businesses will continue to prosper. There is no way to outsource these professions and with the coming changes in healthcare, more people than ever will realize that they need to stay healthy.

The biggest issue is to reboot our understanding of work and careers. The myth of security (working for big employers) has been pretty much destroyed. This is going to hit the state and local government workforce next as the states and towns run out of money. What people are discovering is that the only real security comes from being able to create your own future. Entrepreneurship is already growing and will continue to be the path to true security. This may be a difficult concept for people to grasp at first. It requires a lot of self-motivation, adaptation, and self-reliance but in the end, if you work hard and pay attention to the details, you will always find a way to prosper.

Looking forward it is time to stop calling what we are in a recession and recognize that this is actually the real economy. What we had for the past 15 years was an illusion bought on credit. Now we are dealing with what is real instead of what was financed. The sooner we recognize that this is the real economy we will be free to move forward. Right now the danger of waiting on the sidelines until things pick up is to miss new opportunities.

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