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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thrive in Any Economy---Here's How

By Terry L. Brock

Unless you’ve been living on Neptune, you know that many are talking about a slow-down in the economy, “tough times ahead” and some even using the R-word---Recession. We have seen these come and go for centuries. How do we deal with this one and what can you do in your business to thrive---no matter what happens?

It is not a mystery. You’ll be able to survive and thrive if you apply basic principles of success. The laws of success don’t change based on what the Federal Reserve does to the money supply. The laws of success don’t change because of tax laws. And, as much as politicians this year would like us to believe they can control it all, the laws of success don’t change based on what political actions.

The key to thriving anywhere at anytime is really quite simple. It is not easy, but it is something that those less successful will shrug off saying “Oh, that is no big deal.” However, those that are successful hear it, pay attention and take appropriate actions.

The most important step to thrive in any economy is to make yourself indispensable to people who can help you. In business, this means that you become the “must-have” provider of solutions, products and services that simply can’t be eliminated by those wonderful people who pay your bills. Whether you call them customers, clients, member or some other term, you can survive if you strengthen that umbilical chord between you and your buyers.

But how do we do that in today’s world? I’ve talked about these steps before but with the current economic situation it makes even more sense to accentuate these and share these principles with others.

Here are some tactics your and your people can implement to make yourself indispensable:

Study What They Need
. Too many businesses run into problems with “We think…” marketing. Those unsuccessful people are often well-meaning. They sit in a conference room, come up with brilliant (at least they think they are brilliant) ideas on how to market and sell to buyers. Successful people ask the right questions of real buyers. They listen to the answers buyers give them. Successful people also develop a sort of “sixth sense” to “listen between the lines” and hear what buyers are saying---even when they are not saying it.

Study The Macro Environment. Learn what is going on that is affecting not only your business but also the business of your customers. What challenges are they facing in the economy? What trends are likely to affect them? Successful people understand how economic trends affect their own buyers and businesses.

Work Harder In Hard Times. It takes hard work to get ahead. That means going the extra mile and helping clients who are also going through harder times. This will help you become a better person. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Kick yourself in the butt! Get moving and don’t tolerate anything less than excellence in your own personal behavior. By “work harder” I mean study more, learn valuable skills the market wants, provide value for clients where they consider it value.

Look For New Markets. Sometimes, the difficult times provide a wonderful opportunity to see new options that we wouldn’t consider otherwise. Think globally. With technologies today you can deal with customers in other countries much easier than ever. Find those areas and industries that aren’t going through the hard times you might be experiencing.

Challenging times open lots of opportunities for other ventures and options. Unsuccessful people complain and blame. Successful people see what is happening, prepare to take advantage of the situation and thrive on it by becoming indispensable to others. Become the “go to” person for those wonderful buyers.

In doing this, you’ll be successful no matter what the economy does.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.