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Exploding the Ominous Myths of the "Gloom and Doom" Prophets:
Thriving in the "Shadow of Recession"
Illustration: A woman peeks between her fingers, half her face in sunlight, half in shadow. Is she a "gloom and doom" prophetess?
[1] "Economic Downturns" Can Bring Great Growth Opportunities!

Over the past few years, we've seen an abundance of "gloom and doom" stories in the news media almost every day about the "dire state" of America's economy.

Somehow it seems like the media pundits (and maybe even a politician or two from time to time) wanted us to think that a "recession" was lurking at our doorstep.

It's really not a big deal. Some self-styled "market advisors" make lucrative careers of "gloom and doom", and have been predicting some sort of "financial disaster" for years.

What Does One Really Have to Know
to Qualify as a "Financial Expert"?


Over the years, we've read several of these erudite-sounding "gloom and doom" newsletters and books by "best-selling financial advisors" that
seemed to have the primary objective of frightening readers into buying that particular advisor's next book or latest newsletter.

Today, new generations of Chicken Little clones continue to squawk on the Street to startle anyone who will listen. But the sky hasn't fallen yet. And it probably won't!

Below, we're going to explode a few myths perpetrated by these "Gloom and Doom" Prophets.

Then we're going to suggest several ways you can keep your business profitable and growing, even if there is a "recession" golng on (or if you think one may be just around the corner).

So relax, take a deep breath, and consider these six important points before you panic:

Point 1:
"Gloom and Doom" Stories Boost Ratings and Sell Newspapers – Always!

It's a tried and true formula. Hearst proved it in the 19th century. They used to call that sort of "news reporting" yellow journalism. But these days, everyone does it, and somehow what we regard as "news" is blended with "editorial opinion" so smoothly that we never really quite know what or whom to believe. Whether we're watching the talking heads of Public TV, or Mice from Mars, it's often very difficult for viewers to distinguish fact from opinion.

If somebody in the media discovers some new scary and dramatic story, others jump on the bandwagon, and pretty soon most of us, who just wa
nt to know what's going on in the world, are inundated with all the juicy details about the latest disaster – or potential disaster – regardless of what it happens to be this week — even if the event du jour is happening, or imminent, or potentially threatening, in a distant part of the world we didn't even know existed. Such is human nature.

As long as those "recession story" ratings stay high, and as long as "we the people" keep paying attention to such stories — which many of us will the news media and the politicians will keep milking the "recession story" for all it's worth.

We never checked on it, and most likely won't ever bother, but we suspect that during the so-called "financial crisis of 2008", CNN Money probably got high
er ratings than Hannah Montana and Sponge Bob combined!
Point 2:
"Economic Crisis" is Always a Great "Talking Point" for Politicians!

This is especially true in a Presidential Election Year, as it provides each candidate so many glorious opportunities to take jabs at the other guys on a national scale, and blame all our economic woes on the opposition, whoever that is at the moment. And maybe the accusations are true; and maybe they're not. Or maybe some of the accusations might be partially true some of the time. Maybe.

Most of us basically want the same things: [A] more stuff; and [B] less taxation. Unfortunately, many of us don't seem to realize that these two objectives are mutually exclusive. Sometimes, though, politicians try to convince us otherwise.

And we want so hard to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and all those other wannabe legendary superheroes who might even themselves believe that they can somehow make the impossible happen.

And that's how many so-called "economic crises" begin, accelerated by rapid changes in public opinion as the media pundits fan the flames of controversy.

Usually, once an election is over, the pundits quickly find another "crisis" to rant about ... or if they don't want to work too hard looking for real news, perhaps they can find a new aspect of the same old "crisis" to keep the public excited.
Point 3:
"Recessions" and "Market Corrections" are Part of a Natural Cycle

Life tends to proceed in cycles. [A] The Sun rises; [B] The Sun sets; [C] Repeat.

Our productivity today determines tomorrow's reward. Usually, but not always.

It's mostly determined by the "Law of Supply and Demand":

For a moment, pretend that you are a turnip farmer. Next, pretend that you got a little lazy last Spring and didn't plant enough turnips. In the Fall, you won't have as many turnips to sell, and you won't make as much as you had hoped to make from your turnip crop, even though the decreased turnip supply has caused Fall's turnip prices to skyrocket.

Conversely, suppose you worked hard and planted too many turnips last Spring, and now can't sell all you produced; OR the President made an offhand comment on TV that he really despises turnips; OR a shipment of tainted turnips hit the market last week and made people sick, and now nobody wants to buy turnips anymore.

Either way, you'll have tons of leftover turnips rotting in a field or barn somewhere, and you won't make much profit on those few turnips you did manage to sell, because the decreased demand has now driven turnip prices down.

And that's the "Law of Supply and Demand" in a nutshell (or in a turnip truck).
Point 4:
Investments don't always increase in value, especially when Fraud is involved!

When people make unwise or irrational financial decisions, whether on their own or whether they were VICTIMIZED by smooth-talking con artists (as we saw in recent housing markets), an artificially inflated "bubble" in some sector of the economy is created that MUST inevitably burst as the Law of Supply and Demand asserts itself and market conditions begin returning to more realistic levels.

Simple fact: There ain't no Santa Claus. Real estate values do NOT *always* go up.

And neither will the values of stocks, bonds, diamonds, velvet "Elvis" paintings, antique teddy bears, gold bullion, or any other investment vehicle.
Point 5:
We Have the Ability to Create "Safety Nets" to Avoid Total Financial Disaster

Most business failures such as we saw recently don't indicate a "recession" at all. They only indicate market corrections, providing classic proof that Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand" is still at work, regardless of how things may look in the media.

What is a "recession" anyway? These days, it seems to be whatever the shapers of public opinion choose to call it; or whatever they want us to believe at the moment, for whatever reasons. [For an official definition see the "resources" link below.]

Unfortunately, such "market corrections" as we've seen recently have a very real potential to damage quite a few innocent people along the way.

Fortunately, there are sufficient "safety nets" in place that a full-scale depression would be unlikely indeed in this age of tightly-controlled economy. And if we need more safety nets, we've seen that Congress can create them quickly. So whatever might happen, most of us will most likely be reasonably safe.
Point 6:
While Your Competitors are Panicking, You Can Increase Your Market Share:

Many who own and manage American businesses have undoubtedly been adversely affected to some degree by the financial media circus over the last few years. While some may plan cutbacks to weather the financial storm they believe may lie ahead, others less well-capitalized may plan to close their doors in the near future, hoping to save whatever they might have left.

Businesses that plan their marketing strategy to take advantage of the changing opportunities created by both phases of a business cycle will continue to grow and gain market share, on both the upside AND the downside.

Now That You Know All This, What Are You Going to Do Next?

If you went into business thinking you would make a "quick buck" with minimal effort, and you really have no idea what to do next, we suggest you sell your business immediately to someone who is seriously interested in running a business.

Escape while you can. Take the money and go to Las Vegas, or Cancun, or Disneyland for one last wild weekend before you have to go downtown and file for unemployment.

However, if you're in for the long haul, and you sincerely believe in the value of what your business does and the products or services it provides AND you are willing to put forth a little extra effort to weather a recession (and if you weren't seriously interested in your business, you probably wouldn't have read this far), the next page
presents marketing strategies to help keep your business profitable and even expand your market share during "turbulent times" ... which will help strengthen your business considerably in the years to come.

Please continue ...
Next page: Growth Opportunities During a "Downturn" >>>
References: [ Additional "Recession/Depression" Resources | No Java? ]
(opens in a "new" window, so this page will still be here when you're done)

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