The presence or absence of a recession shouldn’t impact the performance of your business. What matters most is your reaction to these economic facts and how you respond to them. Many business owners don’t realize they have a choice, because for many years, the collective mindset has been one of doom and gloom, making it difficult to perceive the recession positively.
I am here to offer alternative ways to think about a recession to increase your capacity for abundance, growth, and thriving. So, let’s start by answering: what a recession actually is?
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the official recession scorekeeper, defines a recession as:
“A significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months.” The variables the committee typically tracks include real personal income minus government transfers, employment, various forms of real consumer spending, and industrial production.
While strict definitions of recession involve some measure of prolonged economic decline, the more significant factor is an overall sense of uncertainty- for when the business cycle bottoms, around the speed of economic decline, how deep and prolonged the economic downturn lasts, and how to respond to all of these factors. When times are uncertain, your mindset often feels at a crossroads and you have to choose between a fear-based or an opportunity-based mindset.
Since the brain is focused on survival, it typically invites you down the fearful path in the face of uncertainty. Business owners who ask how to survive a recession engage in that fear-based mindset, leading to worry, debating, scaling back, and planning for the worst.
The businesses that stagnate or falter during a recession often because they were not operating well before either. They focus on obstacles and don’t adapt to customer needs, changing trends, or technology to protect themselves from potential challenges.
Not many business owners intentionally consider possible options and search for growth opportunities during recession uncertain times.
Businesses thrive during an economic downturn because they have already invested in themselves and their employees and get obsessed about finding a solution to the obstacles in the marketplace. During the pandemic, we saw that many businesses managed to find unique ways to get their products and services to their clients even when the doors had to be closed.
Therefore, the recession is not the end of the world, and many businesses out there not only survived recessions but actually flourished during them! Moreover, worrying about macroeconomic problems wastes your precious mental attention.
What steps should you take to reach a positive mindset during the challenging recession time?
1. Remember that a recession is temporary, so consider it an opportunity for growth.
2. Do things you’ve been putting off by actively creating options to improve your situation.
3. Invest in yourself and your team and be willing to learn to adapt.
4. Let go of anything you can’t control and focus on what you can control.
5. Be creative and innovate to be ready when the recession ends.
So, have you already considered the best possible options for your business during this recession? You can choose between wasting time worrying and preparing yourself to fight the potential economic crash or you can invest your time improving and doubling down on your strengths.
What if this is a great time to update that employee handbook you have put off for years? How about sending those employees to that training program you have talked about? What about creating an irresistible offer that your customers can’t refuse?
The choice is yours!
Will you keep selling, planning for success, and believing in your business?
Check-in to see how each mindset approach makes you feel.
Regardless of what you think about the economy, are you doing things today that align with your goals, irrespective of what is happening outside your business? As always, I’m here for support.
You’ve got this!
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.