These days, a lot of news stories about the economy and job market are filled with doom and gloom. But there are people who do well in their careers and launch successful businesses in a down economy.
In fact, GE, Hewlett-Packard and Burger King all started in a down economy.
In the middle of the Panic of 1873, a six-year recession, Thomas Edison created one of the best-known inventions of all time – the incandescent light bulb. General Electric, which he established in 1876, is now the third largest company in the world.
Hewlett-Packard was born in a garage at the end of the Great Depression. The company, initially supported by a $538 investment, has grown into the first technology business to exceed $100 billion in revenue, earning $104 billion in 2007.
Burger King began in 1954. During a recession in 1957, the company introduced its successful signature burger – the Whopper. Today, Burger King operates more than 11,100 locations in 65 countries.
In times of economic uncertainty, it can be difficult for people in unfulfilling careers to find the courage to change their lives and switch fields. However, a lot of people out there would be happier if they took a chance.
Thirty-three percent of Americans hate their jobs, 87 percent dislike their jobs and 67 percent labor in the wrong career field, according to the book “Caught Between a Dream and a Job.”
What’s the difference between people who are optimistic and moving forward and those who are just getting by? I believe that much of it has to do with how you view the glass – half full or half empty.
George Sheehan, an author and cardiologist, once said, “Success means having the courage, the determination and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”
People with a positive outlook and a life plan don’t get off the track when things change – they just change tracks.
As a life and career coach, I spend a great deal of time helping clients realize their dreams and take the steps to reach their goals. Particularly in this economy, it’s important to engage in some re-evaluation of your goals, course correction and daily planning for success. Use the following process to take your life to the next level:
• Take some time to think about your big picture vision for your life, career and family. Describe in writing your personal or professional vision in the first person as if it is happening right at this very moment. This helps you get in touch with what you enjoy doing, not just what you’ve ended up doing.
• Next, start a list of the big steps – or mile steps as I call them – that would be needed to reach your goal.
• From there, break the process down further into mini feats, which are the smaller steps you take each day that move you step-by-step to your big picture vision.
• Surround yourself with inspiring and motivating people.
• Be easy on yourself. Change and transformation can bring up all sorts of good, bad and ugly stuff. When you feel yourself struggling, take a break. When you have small successes, give yourself kudos.
• Start now. You don’t want to look back in 10 years and realize you’re still at the same place in your life.
“Being laid off was one of the best things to happen in my life. By following this program, I got a clear picture of my life goals and was able to focus on my strengths, beliefs and desires,” said Prerna Ohara, president of San Diego-based Your Company Concierge. “Since starting last year, I have already launched my new business and elevated my personal life to the next level. I know now that there is no limit to what I can achieve for myself.”