Sunday, March 1, 2009

Two Groups, Two Futures, Your Choice

A note from for Monday March 2 2009

Good day all and welcome to this fine first week of March.

I closed off on Friday recognizing that 1/6th of the year has now passed us by. I wanted to do that for no other reason than to remind you that your goals, dreams and intentions for the year are alive and can be fulfilled.

During this time of economic adjustments many folks are simply going to take the "ostrich" attitude, while many others see more opportunity's than ever. Our good friend Philip Humbert gives us an offering today that might well be just what you're looking for.

What decision will you make as you determine.....

Two Groups, Two Futures, Your Choice
by Philip Humbert

As the stock market slides, unemployment rises and America borrows enormous sums to finance our stimulus package (Sure hope that works, btw!), I'm struck by the ways people are coping with difficult times.

I've been struck by a very clear pattern over the past few months. Some people are afraid to move, and others are afraid of missing the opportunity.

That may be over-stating it slightly, but here's the distinction I'm seeing: Many seem paralyzed or intimidated by fear. They focus on the risks, worry about the future and talk about their problems. They want "reduced fee" coaching, or free reports or "just a moment" of my time. They seem cautious to the point of paralysis when it comes to taking risks, finding solutions and moving forward.

In stark contrast, I've never been busier as a coach and never had more clients who are ambitious, determined, creative and optimistic. Yes, they are often frightened, but they are not stuck. I am always troubled by folks who divide people into "two groups. On the one hand....and on the other hand." It's never that simple. Except of course, when it is.

For several weeks I've kept an informal log of comments from clients and potential clients who inquire about coaching. It's a simple yellow pad, but I drew a line down the middle and on the left I listed reasons people are fearful or worried and want to "inquire" about coaching but hesitate to commit. On the right, I listed optimistic comments about plans, ambitions and opportunities for the future. It's quite a contrast!

On the left, some people complain that their retirement investments are "gone" or "in the toilet." They are victims, they are stuck and they are in trouble. On the other hand, in the right-hand column, other people talk about the stock market and comment that "everything's on sale" or "(Warren) Buffet's investing like crazy."

On the left are comments from folks worried about their jobs, losing their homes, or paying their debts. On the right are comments from folks who are starting new businesses, cutting expenses, learning new skills and discovering time with loved ones. A client who runs a bookstore noted that while sales are down, two types of books are selling better than ever: romance novels and books on business and investment.

He decided to stock more romance novels, but more importantly, he contacted customers who bought the business books and started a series of mastermind groups that meet in the store after closing. What a concept!

The business and investing worlds understand the cycles of "boom and bust." At the height of a boom, when everything is rosy and optimistic, there is often a "bubble" of sheer speculation, bordering on euphoria. When the inevitable crash comes, people are confused, often angry or full of despair.

Fortunately, that is not you! Every recession carries within it the seeds of new and better solutions. Folks who have been too busy, learn to slow down. Folks who worked for old-line companies will start new businesses of their own. People who's lifestyle was too flamboyant learn to live within their means. People who commuted to the city may learn to commute down the hall to their computers and work from home.

Things will change and change is often (always?) difficult, especially when it seems to be imposed on us and it's neither our choice nor our fault. That hurts! That's the bad news. The good news is change creates endless opportunity and unlimited possibilities.

Obviously it's not a scientific poll, but judging from the people who contact me, it's a clear and powerful choice. In hard times, some people create, innovate, adapt and triumph. Others struggle. I don't want to be unfair, but from my emails and phone calls, it does seem pretty simple. People who haven't read a book in years are going back to school. People who "can't afford" coaching are making the investment. People who never had the time, courage or freedom to start a business, are doing it.

People are adapting and thriving, and so can you!

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