There are two types of people in this Great Recession… those who panicked and those who saw opportunity. Those who panicked are on unemployment insurance, ate up their retirement savings, lost their homes, declared bankruptcy and blamed others for their awful predicament. The news media calls these people “victims of the Recession”. The ambitious victims might have applied for 100 jobs identical to the ones they were fired from. They might have applied for dozens of jobs they were clearly overqualified for just to have something.

Yet there are many people who saw the Recession as an opportunity in disguise. They knew they could use the Recession to their advantage and come out on top. For example, when the housing market bottomed out, a lot of real estate agents were out of jobs. Some people gave up. Others redirected their focus to selling foreclosures or started trash-out businesses that revitalized foreclosed homes. Some people focused their niche on first-time homeowners who were looking to cash-in on the federal tax credit. Some people started companies that offered to buy homes for cash from distressed owners who wished to avoid foreclosure. You see where this is going. With every challenge, there is opportunity.

In my business, for example, I could have taken one look at the Recession and said, “Oh man, now people are losing their jobs and they will have no money to afford my personal training services. I should just forget about it and try to get a job at the snack counter.” But instead, I thought, “Hey, all these people are going to have more free time now! Why not offer these people a special discount to come in and spend a month meeting their fitness goals so they can go back to work looking great and feeling more confident?” And you know what? My opportunistic line of thinking was 100 percent correct! The gym is busier now than ever, as more and more people accept the Recession as a reality check and a time to start enjoying life a little bit more.

So this Recession, take a moment to look around for opportunities that may be staring you right in the face. If you’ve spent your whole life working for someone else, look into ways you might use your passion, your talents and your expertise to work for YOURSELF. If you’re already working for yourself, look at new ways to advertise to a stressed-out consumer base or consider a niche that is virtually recession-proof. Consider getting into a lucrative new business that provides a vital need during this time. Whatever you do, stay positive and never stop being opportunistic.


There is always money to be made.