Success in a Recession

The greatest time to be alive is today! The next greatest time is tomorrow! Avoid everyone with a pessimistic outlook (complaining about things beyond their control) and watch the dollars start stacking up!

  1. Reverse-engineering is even more important when demand is static or falling.
  2. Operational efficiencies, rather than revenue growth are the keys to success.
  3. Learn to deliver the same product/service to customers but at a lower cost and increased profitability in order to remain price competitive in a price sensitive recession.
  4. Do not fall into the temptation of cheap credit and live within your own means.  Your house should not cost more than 4x your gross annual household income. In German, borrowing is ‘schulden’, the same word for sin.  Only half the people in Switzerland own their own home, but those who own have higher equity than home owners in Canada.  Unless you are rich or have geo-thermal heating you should have at least 2/3rds of your windows facing the south.
  5.  Save half of everything you earn. It is silly to borrow money for depreciating assets like cars and furniture, unless your money is earning you much more through your business/investments.
  6.  Be extremely focused and work systematically. Do not multi-task and do things once and do it right.  At work you work, at home you don’t work! Downsizing and minimizing whenever you can will help with the focus.   Spending on material possessions is usually indicative of a meaningless life and leads to a downward spiral.
  7. Be ruthlessly efficient – touch things/paper/email only once. Deal with it or trash it and do not look back. Stop perpetuating inefficient systems: paying someone to mow your lawn and then paying for a gym membership so you can run on a treadmill. Unless you are both rich and healthy start doing more things yourself. Sitting in the car for 1 hour each day instead of optimizing your life.  Stop wasting time shopping around. There is too much choice and we all suffer decision fatigue.  Shop at Costco and if Costco does not have it- you probably don’t need it.
  8. Produce more than you consume. Concern yourself with selling something useful and needed rather than making money and the latter will come easier!
  9. Autonomy and not having to rely on a job will ultimately make you happy. Having expensive to maintain items, like gas-guzzlers will take you further from autonomy and happiness.
  10. Allow your staff to work fewer hours to keep their jobs.
  11. Home-school your kids. The North American education system is silly and benefits only a minority. My brother is a Yale educated doctor- but not all of us can be doctors.   I have employed countless accountants with fancy Canadian professional designations and university degrees but they were useless. The rest of us need practical technical/vocational skills that will help us  throughout life and give us  the opportunity to be entrepreneurs.  You should teach kids to be highly skilled at an early age and put them to work in your business. Whatever task you give them, even if it is little, will make them feel confident and boost their self esteem by accomplishing a task for a family.
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