The Color of OpportunitySep 06, 2010
In my last blog, Depression in Living Color, I believe I jarred people with my prediction of a depression in this country by 2012. It was meant to be jarring, and I received great feedback about it. I am dedicating this blog to what I am doing to thrive in the coming years, and how you might be able to also. Before I get into the ideas about thriving, let’s get some definitions straight.
What is the definition of economic depression; well, there is not really a definition set in stone by economists. Many believe that it is one of two things. 1) A downturn of Gross Domestic Product of 10% or more. and/or 2) A recession lasting two or more years. I think that either one of those paint a scenario of my prediction, because I believe they will and are currently happening. Before I go into what I’m dong to prepare (and how you can too), I need to give you one more definition;
Austerity. You may have heard this term as the Greek economic crisis was happening earlier this year. The European Union wanted Greece to practice severe austerity, so that they could curtail their debt. This needed to happen so that the Greeks could get a bailout. Austerity is when a country drastically reduces spending and simultaneously increases taxes in order to pay back creditors. Well, that is currently happening in Greece, but will start to be implemented here in the United States as soon as January 1, 2011. Strangely enough, I am o.k. with it because I know the opportunities that are coming. If you are not currently preparing, you are asleep at the wheel.
There is no need to be concerned about the coming economic challenges headed our way as long as we change our outlook and our attitudes. I think we have to acknowledge that there is an issue with our economic system. We in this country have lived an abundant life based primarily on debt.
Today, 40% of Americans spend more than they earn. Our spending is, and has been out of control for some time. I am practicing austerity in my own life. I am spending less and saving more. I have found some very interesting things in my transformation. I am noticing that most Americans are expecting the economy to bounce right back to where it was four years ago(2006). I don’t think it will. I look at it this way, if I’m wrong, no harm done. If I’m right, then I will be prepared.
Here are some more ways that I am preparing.
– Learning to Live the Minimalist Life; websites like http://www.zenhabits.net and http://www.becomingminimalist.com have really helped me realize that less is more! I can’t tell you how many blessings I have noticed since I have started my simplification. I should have most of my “clutter” gone in my life by the end of 2011. (perfect timing) It’s definitely a journey that encompasses my focus and I am enjoying every minute!
– Focusing on Core Relationships; Instead of trying to know everyone on the planet, and have them know me, I am focusing on key business relationships and personal relationships of people who I can depend on. You must also let these people know they can depend on you. This is not the easiest thing to do, as people may not understand why you may not be in contact with them as much, or the fact that your not out in the spotlight. They may not be able to understand the decisions that you are making or will make.
– Refocusing my Business Aspirations; I am redefining what I want my companies to accomplish and how they will be doing business in the next three years. I am currently asking the questions,” How can I run them more efficiently?” “How can more passive income be generated?” “What will be needed by consumers that I can provide through my companies during the economic downturn?”
– Understanding the Necessity for Major Life Decisions…NOW; Time is of the essence in preparing. Some of the decisions that I am currently making are huge. Moving to the Florida Keys in 2011 with my business’ and permanent residence is something that will not only accomplish one of my life goals, but will add to the theme of simplicity. (If you’ve been to the Keys you know what a simple life it is there. Google: Keys Disease). I am also selling what’s left of my portfolio of real estate to generate liquidity and pay off debt. I am currently not buying more for the next two years (except personal residence). Don’t think of it as retreating, think of it as reloading:) I feel that in 2012, the market will hit a true bottom. If you think prices are low today, wait 24 months. I want to be ready!
– Understanding What’s Important; During the coming financial storm you must take shelter in what’s important. What kind of car you drive, how many clothes you own, or how much you have in your retirement account will take a backseat to simple happiness. If material things continue to be the focus of most American’s, then they are playing a fools game. American’s focus will change more in the next 36 months then in the last 100 years. My wife, Heather, my two daughters Jordan and Payton, and our extended family is first priority with what’s important. I am currently adjusting my schedule to “work” less and “play” more with them.
– Developing True Passions; I love to write. I am realizing this more and more with this blog and my third book that I am currently writing called The Twist. I think keeping up with your passions will be as important as the headlines of the day that keep fear in the minds of most people. It’s nice to get lost in your passions instead of the negativity of the day. You might find that your passions will lead to your own economic stimulus plan!
Instead of using a pen with black or blue ink to achieve opportunities, use the 64 box Crayola© Crayons. Draw your own picture of opportunities in the coming years. You never know, you might find that you are the next Picasso!
"Remember…Wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure, and life is as simple as you want to make it!” -John Dessauer
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