Focus on contribution. Few of us have escaped being affected negatively by this “new economy.” Many people who’ve been brought to their knees are frightened.
The phone isn’t ringing, and the banks aren’t answering my calls. If I don’t get a loan, I could lose my house.
I am making half of what I made two years ago, and I’m working four times harder.
I am trying to stay positive, but it’s getting tougher. I’m treading water, but tiring fast. If this keeps up, it’s just a matter of time before I drown.
What once worked no longer works, and change is scary. Many keep on keeping on—nose to the grindstone—hoping the market will turn around before they deplete their savings. Others don’t have that luxury. They’ve lost their jobs, drained their savings, and are running out of options.
To these men and women, concentrating on contribution seems ludicrous. “Charity begins at home, and my home is increasingly looking like a charity,” one client shared.
I wish I had an easy silver-bullet solution, but I don’t. My own practice has suffered over the past two years. That said, this I know: the secret to navigating the new economy—for that matter, any economy—is to look for the magical place where your mission and the market meet.
My friend Eric is a great example of how this principle can work. Eric ran one of the finest restaurants in Asheville, The Savoy. The by-reservation-only, white-tablecloth restaurant was known regionally—if not nationally—as one of Asheville’s finest culinary experiences, and its prices reflected its blue-ribbon reputation. When the economy tanked and business began to wane, Eric responded. He reformatted the restaurant into a lower-priced, family-style neighborhood restaurant, Vinnie’s, and the place is now packed.
Eric knows his mission: to serve good people good food. Eric took his passion and purpose and adapted them to the market, and now he’s enjoying success. This kind of success is available to all of us if we only look for the place where our mission and the market meet.