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Its Not The Recession, You Just Suck

Aug 14th 2010 at 5:05 AM

by Lisa Barone on   ·
Out of Work

Are we really going to spend our entire Friday talking about Oprah’s caps locked

Twitter debut? Or invest more time discussing Ashton Kutcher and his one million

followers publicity stunt? Seriously? Do you ever think that we’re wasting far

too much time on stuff that isn’t making us any money or helping anyone? And

maybe that’s why you lost your job/can’t get clients/haven’t produced anything

exciting recently?

For the past few months you’ve had an excuse for when life didn’t go your way.

Every time you borked something that you were maybe never qualified to do in the

first place, you had THE perfect excuse just waiting to be pulled out.  It was

like the economy dug its own hole just so it could bail you out in your time of

need. W00t!

You couldn’t pay your mortgage and your house was foreclosed on? Don’t worry, it

wasn’t you, it was the recession. You lost your job and now you’re stuck at home

cruising Twitter ‘looking for a new one’ all day? Don’t fret. It wasn’t you, it’s

the recession. Can’t find new clients so you’re left bitterly blogging that

clients suck and the frauds in the industry are stealing your dollars? Calm down,

pretty, have a cookie and take a nap. It’s the recession.

Actually, it’s probably not the recession. It’s probably you.

On January 19th I became an entrepreneur, despite the crap economy. I stopped

relying on a company to support me and my cats and instead learned to hunt for

myself.  And because I’m smart and I work hard and I surround myself with people

who challenge (and threaten) me, I haven’t gone hungry (yet). But I’m not alone.

Entrepreneurs are ruling this recession.

Why? Because they’re hungry and they’re motivated. That means they can’t spend

their whole day getting caught in the fame game or in office politics. It means

when they go to a conference or a networking event, they’re not there for the

booze. They’re grabbing handfuls of business cards, talking to people, and then

following up. And they don’t just say they’ll email you after the show. They

really do. Actually, they email you as soon as they get home. They’re nurturing

leads and finding clients and creating opportunities. They’re marketing

themselves. They’re not tuning in to Oprah this afternoon to get Twitter tips

from Ashton Kutcher.

In fact, there’s not even time to whine about how unfair the world is and how

this recession is taking away their business. Because they’re out there finding

business from places you wouldn’t have even thought to look. Or maybe you would

have, if you worked as hard as they do. That’s the thing, people don’t want to

work. They want a job and a paycheck. And those cushy jobs with those cushy

paychecks are the first to go. Because really all those people are doing is

taking up space. So it’s not so much that the recession came around and took your

job, it’s that you allowed yourself to become expendable.

You want to ‘survive’ this recession? Stop talking about Oprah and do the


    * no whiningLearn something new. Go beyond your bubble and learn how to do

something that makes you stand out. Be it HTML, PHP, blogging, SEO, etc. Whatever

that one thing, or that combination of things, is that makes you more competitive

and stronger than the person next to you – learn it and do it. Hard.
    * Work harder than everyone else. I don’t mean longer hours or just saying

you’re working, I mean really work harder. In general, the working population has

done a stellar job at getting lazy and thinking that job security was no less

fictional than the Easter Bunny. There’s no such thing as job security, there

never was. Unless you own your own company. If ‘job security’ is your fallback

plan, well, then I hope you didn’t buy a house with that.
    * Do the leg work. Follow up on everything. Every lead, every call, every

email. And do it in a timely manner. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t or why

it’s not worth it. Just shut up and do it. You’ll never be anything more than

what you are right now if you don’t take it. The only thing more frustrating when

someone drops the ball is listening to all their excuses for why they dropped it.
    * Surround yourself with fighters. Most people are lazy and a waste of your

time (sorry, but it’s true). Cut them loose and seek out the other fighters.

They’re easy to recognize because they’re online at 3am just “finishing up”.

They’re the ones who “get it”. They’re self-starters. They’re trying things, even

if those things fail, they’re still trying them.
    * Take risks. We’re in a recession, right? Technically you have nothing to

lose if everything is supposed to be shit anyway, right? Create that Web site

you’ve secretly been wanting to. Launch that business. Just do it. There are a

million reasons why right now is a bad time, maybe even the worst time, to get

involved with a new venture. Ignore them all.
    * Shut up. Yes, you. Stop whining. This has been my biggest lesson as an

entrepreneur. Yes, the hours suck, and it’s scary, and sometimes all I want to do

is put a blanket over my head and hide out with a cute boy. But that’s too bad

and not going to happen, so I should just shut up.  And it’s almost working. Rae

and Rhea report my whine level is down to 85 percent, with 15 percent actual

intelligible conversation! W00t, growth!

And before I get flamed, I’m not saying there haven’t been people legitimately

affected by the recession. I know that there have. Good people who have lost

their jobs because the economy is in the tank.  However, I think A LOT of people

are beside themselves to finally have an excuse for why the world is out to get

them. The world is not out to get you. There are rainbows and butterflies and

bunnies all around you. You can either keep complaining how about The Recession

is some Blob-like creature taking away your clients or you can break open the

box, see it as an opportunity and create your own success. The choice is yours.

Have a killer weekend.  And stay away from Oprah.

Tagged as: business, entrepreneur, oprah, recession
About the Author
Lisa Barone

Lisa Barone is the Chief Branding Officer of Outspoken Media. She's also a very

active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

Get social with Lisa at Sphinn | Twitter

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