What to do when the economy slows down

In a previous post I mentioned that I had attended The Annual CEO Outlook Conference held at Ryerson University. Another one of the business owners whose mindset I liked is Steve Gupta. His Easton’s Group of Companies owns 10 Four Star hotels in Ontario with another 5 in development. Yes, that’s right, he’s actually developing hotels in the middle of a recession. Awesome stuff huh? Read on.Be contrarian.

You can read up on Steve Gupta on Google. I’m going to talk about his recession busting mindset. Steve is a self described contrarian, in other words, he runs opposite to the herd. So while CNN and FOX are busy screaming about the sky falling down and scaring everyday people stiff, Steve is dipping into his cash reserves, partnering with investors, negotiating loans and contracts to develop more hotels. If I remember correctly he said he was working on a rare jewel – a Seven Star hotel in Brampton. All this, while everyone else is in mass hysteria.

I can hear you now. “Oh, he’s got millions of dollars.. he can do what he wants”. He came to Canada from India in the early ’70s with $108.00 in his pocket. That’s One Hundred and Eight dollars. How much money did you have when you were 30?

So, what gives? He drinks the same water as the rest of us, eats food just like the rest of us, and even takes a bath like some of us; why isn’t he running scared like the rest of us? Previously I mentioned using the experience of current business owners to help collapse your success timeframes. This is one guy you want to run with, instead of the herd. Steve realizes that during times of great commotion like we had recently, it pays to strengthen your offerings, or otherwise re-invest in your organization. I’ve found this especially true of rock solid leaders. Where others may look to close up shop, slash employees, and ease their burden, good leaders may opt to forego short term value and instead look to invest in the development of their employees, buy other businesses, or create new opportunities for long term value.

In proceeding with these steps while astutely managing one’s company finances during the downturn, time and time again strong business managers have shown that they can come out ahead of the competition. Taking responsibility for the outcome of your current situation actually puts you ahead of the rest of the herd on the market upswing because you will have taken the necessary steps to develop yourself while everyone else was complaining.

Losing a job, going out of business, etc., they’re tough and I have no intention of demeaning them. What I do want to point out however, is what you do in the time after this hiccup has arrived is directly proportional to the results you will have in the future. Here’s an example: your job has been off-shored, and you have been laid off. Complain as much as you like, but realize this is the way the world is going. A business does what it needs to do in order to survive. You may not like being on the receiving end, however if you were in the CEO’s chair, you would do the same.

Self Responsibility and Self EsteemSo what can you do now? Look for shortages in the market. Not enough skilled trades people, not enough nurses, not enough landscapers, etc. Learn a trade, learn how to be an electrician for example. What’s the first sign of an economic return? Housing starts. Since there’s a shortage of electricians, you’re hired, with plenty of work.

Life is tough, let’s not delude ourselves. Understand what you need to survive and always work to improve yourself and what you offer. In the information age, jobs will come and go even faster – in fact it already happened, and will keep happening. What can you do for yourself now to make sure you come out ahead of everyone else when the market is back on the upswing?

Like Steve Gupta, take responsibility for yourself today to create your outcome for tomorrow.

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