Recession: Opportunity Waiting to Happen! By Tony Jeary
The secret to surviving a recession is opportunity recognition. The first step in opportunity recognition is to know and believe that there will always be opportunity for those who pursue it. Regardless of how bad the economy may seem, people still buy and sell. People still have needs to fill and businesses have products and services that meet those needs. When the economy goes south, however, there is mass fear and concern and the perception is that the entire world may completely cease to function. This is patently untrue. Even in the Great Depression of the 1930’s the world continued to function and 75% of Americans had work and jobs. Some people actually became wealthy during the Great Depression because they were able to identify opportunity and capture it.
Opportunity always exists, even though it may be harder to recognize in tough times because it takes a different form. In good times, opportunity comes in the form of just doing more of what already works. Opportunity in good times assumes the continuation of the normal and capitalizes on things remaining normal. In bad times, opportunity comes by abandoning things that no longer work and finding new things that will work, based on new needs. Recession itself is a great opportunity for those who choose to see it that way. It’s just that the opportunities may look different and they might require us to leave our comfort zones.
The people who have trouble recognizing opportunity are most likely the same people who are unwilling to leave their comfort zones. What is a comfort zone? First and foremost it is a mental state in which people lose the momentum to pursue a vision because they have accepted where they are as the best they need to be or do. Identifying and capturing new opportunities always requires strategic change and the nature of strategic change always disrupts comfort zones.
In a recession, people may want some things that are different and someone will have to fill those needs, so read lots of books, magazines and other publications that may expose new needs your product or service might be able to satisfy. You will probably discover that people still want your product or service, but just need to see it differently.
This article was based on concepts presented in Tony Jeary’s new book, Strategic Acceleration – Succeed at the Speed of Life (Vanguard March 2009). The book is now available everywhere books are sold. To find out more you can go to: http://www.strategicacceleration.org