21
Feb
09

A Terrific Time to be in the Marketplace

We live in unprecedented times. Not so much unprecedented from an economic point of view, but rather how the present situation creates unprecedented opportunities for courageous people willing to learn and experiment. Never has it been so easy to learn so much from so many as it is right now in this environment. It’s an unusual time, laced with a potent mix of fear and opportunity.

The fear gripping most people is palpable. It’s most visible in people looking for a new job. I visited a transition group this past week and found  people struggling to make sense of unfamiliar happenings. Many of the people wore a look of terror as they entered the room, unsure of how they would meet the mortgage and provide for their families. Most of us face a milder form of fear, but it’s a rare person that doesn’t feel a sharp twinge now and again.

Unexpectedly (at least to me), that fear is opening new doors. Fear is causing more people to reach out to support and be supported by the people around them. A long-missing sense of widespread care and concern seems to be emerging, driven by a “but for the grace of God go I” feeling. Present conditions cause most of us to understand how fortunate we are, while at the same time understanding disaster may not be far off.

This tide of care and concern is spreading a new wave of abundance. I invest tremendous amounts of time networking – both in person and on the phone – and the tones of the conversations have changed. Almost everyone I talk to is willing to help. They are returning phone calls, taking time to discuss difficult topics, and making room in their schedules to share what they know. Help and information is starting to flow from previously closed sources.

The outpouring is only beginning. The difficult times are helping more and more people understand how we are all connected. They are opening their doors and minds and hearts in numbers that I have never seen before.

We all benefit from this generosity. It is MUCH easier to accomplish difficult tasks because there are so many people willing to help. The downturn is giving experts more time to share their knowledge with the rest of us; and has created a disruption that makes it imperative to try new and unusual approaches. These changes create new opportunities to learn and grow and create new value.

Are you in position to take advantage of these conditions? If you are “hunkered down”, waiting for the tough times to pass, you will miss out. I’m not advocating recklessness, but I AM suggesting that you try new things, meet new people, and think about things in new ways. Put yourself on the line and reach out to the people and opportunities around you.

You WILL be astounded!

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