BossWoman ENews |
Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
Welcome to the Winter 2009 edition of Susan Robison's free e-mail newsletter for women business
owners, executives, and professionals. Our goal is to bring you news, insights, and information
about leading a balanced and prosperous life while making a difference.
In this issue, you'll find:
- The Economy Blues
- BossWoman coaching
- Up and coming workshops
1. The Economy Blues
Everyone receiving this eNews has been affected by the
changes to the global economy. With 2.5 million people
out of work, if you have not lost a job in the last 6 months,
you know someone close to you who has. At the very least
your own investment wealth has likely been diminished in
the last six months by 30-40% depending on how your
investments were distributed across risk tolerance categories.
In this newsletter I propose some short term coping strategies
with the economic stress and some long term change
Short Term Strategies
- Keep perspective. Remember that the current economic
situation is multi-determined by many factors but especially
fueled by the heat of self-doubt. Remind yourself that U.S.
and world economies go through cycles and things will get
better. Experts say it is unlikely that the current crises
will come anywhere close to the 1929 Crash which took the
markets 25 years to recover. Instead, they compare the current
crisis closer to the experience of 1973/74, a bear market
with a 48% slump that took 64 months to recover and the tech
bust of 2000-03, with a 47% loss which took 50 months to recover.
The economists predict a total recovery in 5-7 years with a
gradual come back over that time.
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude. You still have much to be
thankful for. If you have lost your job, be grateful your spouse
has one or that you have some leads. If you have lost your job
and have no spouse, you have talents, a resume, or a degree,
and support systems such as career coaches and resources from
your local unemployment offices that you can take advantage of.
If you still have a job, be very, very grateful for that.
- Restrict your exposure to upsetting news. Decide how much
information you want or need about your own monetary situation.
Of course you should examine your credit card statements
carefully to see if the charges are legitimate but maybe you
don’t want to spend time examining your investment printouts
from your broker.
- Avoid “ain’t it awful” conversations. They drag everybody
down and reinforce a sense of helplessness. Instead talk about
new projects and business ideas. Emphasize what you can do to
help the situation rather than the areas in which you are powerless.
- Help those less fortunate than yourself. Charities and
non-profits are very hard hit at this time. Homeless shelters
are overflowing their capacity and could use your help with funds
and/or volunteer time. It may seem counterintuitive when you are
worried about your own scarcity, but studies on altruism show that
even a small contribution for a cause bigger than yourself will
restore your sense of an abundant world.
- Get off the emotional roller coaster of worrying. Worrying
eats up your energy and doesn’t affect your economic situation
in any positive way. It may even decrease your ability to cope
and restricts your problem solving and creativity. Stay sane by
thinking sanely. An unemployment rate of 9% means that 91% of the
people currently desiring to be employed are employed.
- If you still have income, manage your income well. Buy only
after you have the money in hand. Don’t buy trinkets and junk.
Instead, use the trinket money to pay down any debt you have at a
rate faster than you have been.
- Continue to save and increase your rate of savings.
Establish a rainy day fund for bad times and a sunny day fund for
vacations or extra pleasures. Any financial strategy that puts you
in control will increase your sense of security, fragile as it is
at this time. For example, refuse to take on new debt until you
have paid off what you owe. If you need to replace something big
like a dishwasher or car and have the money saved, buy it as soon
as your debt is reduced. When money circulates, the economy improves.
- If you have a retirement plan, continue to contribute. If you
are nervous about investments, talk to you financial advisor about
temporarily staying in cash vehicles that bring small returns
such as CDs and Treasury strips instead of taking bigger risks
- If you can go a bit “greener” on your house or business by
converting to energy saving windows, insulation, appliances, etc.
this is the time to do it. Changes related to helping the
environment are tax deductable. Check with your accountant to
find out in advance of a purchase how to take advantage of a
tax credit for helping save the planet.
- Continue to create fun. It doesn’t cost much to take a
walk in the park with your child or grandchild. Turn off all
media and have game night with the family. If you like attending
the theater, consider attending your local high school production.
In our community the high school actors already have professional
roles to their credit and the productions rival any good community
theater at a lot less per ticket.
- Engage in random acts of kindness to bring more positive
feelings into the world.
Long Term Strategies
- As I write this, the stock market is closing up. By the
time you read it, who knows? But if it is looking good consider
converting some cash into stocks. Buy long term good companies
or take some risk with a small portion of cash invested in
something new and exciting in biotechnology, environment,
or medicine. When money moves, the economy improves.
- Vow to live better on less, now and in the future. Wrap
a piece of paper and a pencil with a rubber band around your
wallet. Every time you make a purchase, record where, when,
what, the cost, and how much fun the purchase was.Watch your
spending and match your spending to your values on what matters
to your values. Use cash instead of credit cards. Save first
before you buy.
- Pay down debt and promise yourself you will not hold debt
except house and car payments in the future. Pay down the
highest rate of interest loan or credit card first.
- Make contributions that matter. Concentrate your efforts
on one or two causes instead of sending a little here and there.
Consider contributing service by serving on boards of organizations
that you value and contribute to.
- Aim to cut some surplus expenses on things that aren’t
essential and save six months income in ready savings and save
the maximum in your retirement fund(s).
- Use your smarts as a business owner or professional to dream
big about projects that solve a problem. We particularly need
solutions in education, health care and the environment. Your
project can increase your financial security and provide jobs
for others. Many of my readers are in a position to influence
their communities with their creativity. The Federal stimulus
package may have funding for research and development set aside
in an area that you are interested in researching and developing.
- Connect with people in your community around environmental
issues that save money while providing services. Maybe your product
or expertise can make a contribution that gets noticed and builds
your reputation as a professional who cares about the community.
You might volunteer at first and then find a way to charge for
your contribution when appropriate.
To overcome the Economy Blues, avoid worry, stay optimistic,
and take action.
2. BossWoman coaching
About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach,
speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who
want improvement in:
- work-life balance,
- career transitions,
- building your business or practice,
- time management,
- increasing productivity.
If you are feeling stuck on the way to your ideal life, give Susan
a call for a complementary half-hour coaching session.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations
on the topics of:
- leadership strategies for women,
- work-life balance,
She offers her audiences a follow-up coaching session because she
knows that workshops don’t work.
Contact Susan for your coaching, speaking, or seminar needs at
Susan@BossWoman.org or at 410-465-5892.
3. Up and coming workshops
I am currently accepting speaking invitations for work/life
balance and leadership workshops for the spring and summer
of 2009. Contact me if your group needs a speaker on any of
the topics listed above.
Title: “Peak Performance Practices Towards Human Sustainability”
Date: April 29, 2009
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© Copyright 2009 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above
material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to
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