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David Squires

Stay the Course

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The current economic troubles are nothing more than a speed bump on the path to growth.

 

Scary times out there. The sound bite most of us are hearing is “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” And many people focus on the words “Great Depression,” and the visions are apocalyptic. 
 
Shuttered businesses. Bread lines. “Yes, we have no bananas.” Everything gone. Apocalypse. 
 
Not gonna happen. Instead, focus on the word “since.” 
 
In the worst years of The Great Depression, between 1929 and 1933, the country’s gross domestic product was cut roughly in half. Since 1940, the country’s GDP has gone down on an annual basis only once (in 1946), and then only slightly. More than a big difference — it’s the difference between Mount Everest and your local sledding hill. 
 
How did your business do in the 1973 “stagflation” oil crisis? Or the recession of 1980 to 1982? Not in the business yet? OK, how about the recession of 1990 to 1991 or the dot-com implosion of 2001 to 2003? 
 
Chances are, they didn’t affect your business overwhelmingly. They were just speed bumps on the path to growth. There’s no doubt that many of us are in for some pain. But if someone told you that your business would remain flat, or even contract a little, for a year or even two years — what would you do? 
 
Of course, you wouldn’t be happy. That’s a lot of dreams dashed right there. But you wouldn’t drastically change what you do. You’d stay calm. You’d avoid over-extending yourself. You’d buy smarter and work harder. You’d try to do a little bit more with a little bit less. 
 
Do that, and you should be all right. 
 
 
Wishing you the very best business … 
David Squires 
Associate Publisher 
[email protected]

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