Don’t Just Survive, Thrive – Tips For Financial Success in Tough Economic Times

Believe it or not, it is possible not only to survive, but to thrive in tougher economic markets. And guess what…. if you learn how to profit even in “down” markets, than think how well you will flourish when things inevitably get better again.

They say that if you took all of the wealth in the world and spread it evenly amongst all the people, within 50 years 82% of the people would be in the same economic position as they are today. This is because wealth is behavior-based and less dependent on outside factors than you may realize.

Use this tough market as a wake-up call and condition yourself to take steps to adapt the behaviors necessary to truly build wealth for you and your family. Learn from the pros and the families that have withstood generations of ups and downs in the economy.

Recognize that thriving assumes surviving. Survival in these tough times is critical, but it’s not enough to just stop there. By focusing instead on thriving, survival is assured. You’ve got nothing to lose by living with an optimistic, great outlook; you have everything to lose by living in fear.

Acknowledge fear as natural and necessary, but insist on living beyond it. Courage is not the lack of fear; rather it is the willingness to push on through fear. Consider what’s right about the situation and where the opportunities are. This is not always easy or natural, but it is always possible and for those choosing to thrive rather than simply survive, it is absolutely essential.

Invest in yourself. We often build an image in our head that stockbrokers and people working on Wall Street would be better to handle our money than ourselves. This thinking is wrong. No one will ever watch your family’s money more carefully than you will.

During economical crises, many Americans consider investing into their own businesses to help create strength in their finances and careers. Well-established franchises with great management teams are often the top choice for well-educated investors who prefer to follow a proven path and avoid many of the beginner’s missteps.

Also be sure to invest in a growth industry. Do your homework: it might not be what you would expect. For example, did you know that the entire global makeup industry was founded during The Great Depression? It’s true! When money’s tight and jobs are hanging by a thread, inexpensive products that give us a sense of normalcy and help us connect emotionally with “the good old days” tend to sell like hotcakes. These products or services that boost our self-esteem and sense of hope or experiences that give us pleasure or a few moments of respite from worry and want become increasingly more popular during times of economic distress.

Reflect. Take a two-to-three year outlook on your finances, including looking back in the rearview mirror to times of recent prosperity. Sure, the economy is difficult and you need to adjust your spending appropriately and be ever mindful of the changing landscape, but you did a lot of things right to achieve what you achieved. Should you rest on your laurels in difficult times? Of course not. But it’s OK to remind yourself that you and your team have made good decisions and achieved your goals in the past. Keep success in mind. Focus on what it is you do best. This will not only prove good for your business, but it will help you and your team to stay positive and endure many of the economic difficulties that are out of your immediate control.

Assess your workplace security. Working hard can help protect your job, but it may not be enough. In addition, you should be strategic and figure out where you stand. Workers who cost employers money are most likely to be laid off. These include staff in high-level positions, staff in hard-hit industries, bureaucratic positions or workers in overstaffed departments.

Do one thing 100 percent better, instead of doing 100 things one percent better. And make sure that one thing involves making you more successful and happy!

Don’t panic! Whatever you do, it’s especially important not to let panic guide your decisions. Stock market gyrations can give even the hardiest investors a case of the jitters. However, converting all your investments to cash is likely to do far more harm than good, say many financial planners.

Life’s guilty pleasures usually thrive during tough economic times. Though we may forgo new clothes or fancy dinners out, we have traditionally turned to the three big vice industries-gambling, smoking and drinking-and to the “non-vice” industries-health, beauty and fitness-to help ease our pain.

But this time around is different. Smoking has fallen into such ill-repute that many municipalities ban it. Fuel costs have made driving or flying to a casino a pricey proposition. Now it seems the only acceptable-and affordable-sin left is alcohol, namely beer, which has also fallen out of favor with most. This time it’s the “non-vice” lifestyle industries that are really benefiting. Memberships in health clubs across the US are up 5% from last year and diet products rose yet again to a record $318 billion in sales this year.

“Beauty and fitness are really beginning to be considered consumer staple industries,” said Dan Colliers, CEO of the Divine Branding Group. He put it as a basic need, “People are naturally going to do something to make themselves look or feel better during tougher times.”

Even within these tough economical times, there are still many ways for you and your family to thrive financially. Opportunity hasn’t stopped knocking; don’t be afraid to answer the door!