Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Re-Creation in 2009: Thriving Because of the Changing Economy

Re-Creation. Never before have more people had the opportunity to recreate themselves. I've heard from many people who have been laid off due to the tightening of funds. I've heard from many more who chose to quit their current job and look for something else due to a loss in wages or commissions. I myself had to fold up my marketing company due to several client's lost marketing budgets.

The news would like you to believe that all of this is a downward spiral. But I disagree. We have found ourselves in the unique situation of being able to reinvent ourselves without making any excuses. It's like an entire nation being given the chance to answer differently when asked "what do you want to be when you grow up." A year ago, I never even knew there was such as a job as a Commercial Photography Rep. Yet here I am, selling photography to ad agencies and corporate marketing directors, and LOVING it. Who knew?

I believe that our entire community will benefit from this shift. After all, when you are involved with a particular industry for an extended period of time, you become acclimated. As such, it is easy to find yourself in a rut, out of fresh ideas and adhering to the way "it's always been done." But when a person shifts industries, or even just positions within their previously chosen industry, fresh ideas are bound to happen. Entire companies can be reinvigorated by just one person's new thoughts and enthusiasm.

The same rings true for the many who have decided to supplement their income. Whether by getting a part time job, by taking advantage of a network marketing opportunity, or by providing a service for others, many of us have learned not to rely solely on one stream of income. This is a good thing! For me, Send Out Cards is providing that supplemental income. Without that, I may be having a harder time staying positive.

I'm not trying to ignore the very real hardships that many are facing, myself included. But I am choosing to view the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Are things tough? You bet. But will it last forever? NO.

It's the law that says "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." The action was greed. It didn't seem like it at the time, but that's what it boiled down to. Money was cheap to borrow and easy to obtain. So we didn't stop to think about our real-life budgets. We lived beyond our means. Things got out of control.

So the natural reaction is what we are now facing. It's not the end of the world, just a necessary correction. It's a wake up call that many of us needed. For the first time in decades, we are forced to learn the lesson of living within our means and taking responsibility for our financial houses. A rough ride? For many of us, it is. But the ride WILL end, and things WILL balance out.

In the meantime, look at the positive side of things. If you are looking for employment, relish the opportunity. If you find yourself without enough money to maintain, find a way to supplement your income. And try not to wait until things are too dire.

If we look at this as a time of opportunity and not a time of defeat, we WILL all be better off. We WILL all win.

Jacki Semerau © Copyright 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Say NO to Negativty

Wow. Have you been following the headlines lately? Unless you're living under a rock, how can you avoid them? (And for the record, if you DO happen to live under a rock, call me ASAP! I can refer you to one of the great real estate agents in my network! But I digress...)

A long time ago, I decided to boycott watching the news on television. I decided to get my news through the paper, online, and Twitter. I follow @cnn, @breakingnews, @kpho, @nytimes, and other news sources. All the headlines, in 140 characters or less. Why?

Because the news on TV continually bombarded me with sensationalistic garbage. To listen the the reporters, every day is just ONE step away from World War III, the earth imploding, or other such doom and gloom.

Now I'm not suggesting that the internet and newspaper don't have that same element, but at least I can skim over anything I find to be weighing too heavy on the negativity scale. So I have to ask, what are we DOING as a nation? Why are we sabotaging ourselves like this?

I'm not suggesting that the economy, housing crisis, and elections aren't very real. Nor am I suggesting taking a head-in-the-sand, rose-colored-glasses attitude. But maybe - just MAYBE - if we stop bombarding ourselves with worse case scenarios, they will stop becoming self-fulfilled reality.

Just a thought.