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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyWays to Stay Up in a Down Economy
By Victoria Munro

Printable version

The news is rarely good these days and, as a result, it’s easy to adopt a negative outlook on business, and even life in general. It’s certainly tough to remain upbeat when everyday conversations often center on pessimistic topics and what’s wrong with the world.

Running a business today is especially challenging. According to a recent article in CNN, by Alexander Stein, a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City, “Running a small business requires enormous psychological resources in the best of times. It's even harder to stay focused and positive while the pundits predict economic Armageddon.” In times like this, it’s easy for entrepreneurs to freeze up in fear, but having a plan to deal with it can help.

Below are some tips that others and I have found useful.

Accept the fact that you’re afraid. Fear is natural, and it’s a powerful emotion. Be honest with yourself about your fears and feelings, without dwelling only on the negatives.
Verbalize or write down how you feel. The simple act of expressing feelings in this way often puts things in perspective.
Shift your focus from what’s wrong with your business and/or the economy, to what is right with your business and your life. What we focus on tends to become our reality. Keep your eye on your big picture—what you ultimately want to achieve.
Take action! Look for and brainstorm possible opportunities that you may never have thought about, or that may not have existed before. Consider possible new markets or new products and/or services that could be in demand now.
Be thankful. When you’re tempted to worry, stop and make a list of what you’re grateful for.
Prevent unnecessary worry. Watching the news and listening to negative conversations can heighten anxiety. Spend little or no time watching the news and, when people around you talk about what’s wrong, instead of going with the flow, turn the topic to something positive.
Don’t fly solo! Surround yourself with supportive people. In the article mentioned above, Stein also writes, “Business owners may be particularly susceptible to the corrosive effects of fear and anxiety because they're professionally more isolated than most, having no peers or superiors, only employees, clients and competitors. Especially in high-stress situations, having partners (or a trusted confidant) can make all the difference.” Meet and discuss your challenges with wise and positive friends, start your own mastermind group or join an Advisory Board.

(500 words)
© 2005-2008 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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