Following the news nowadays can get quite depressing. It seems what qualifies as news worthy is news of the disaster variety. They come in different shapes and forms – job losses, corruption in high and low places, economic downturn, terrorist attacks, you name it. As the business climate seems to get more hostile, we tend to become more risk averse and retreat into our cocoons of security. We retreat when we ought to strike out, cut costs when we ought to invest more (we become accountants rather than entrepreneurs). We tend to retreat to the sidelines and watch how things will play out. That is a loser’s mentality. If you wait for everything to be okay, for all the traffic lights to go green, you often leave it too late. The future belongs to the daring.
I remember a hilarious story told by Bishop TD Jakes during the peak of the global financial meltdown some years back. The fear was palpable. Companies were folding up in droves, many were laying off staff the way a sailor would bail out water from his sinking boat. Homes were foreclosing, banks were in distress and it was like the great depression all over again. He had taken a ride to downtown Dallas when he came across a massive construction site with a giant sky scrapper reaching out to the sky. He pulled over and watched the scene for a while. He shook his head.
Are these guys crazy?
Which planet are they from?
Haven’t they heard?
Don’t they know?
…THAT THERE IS A RECESSION GOING ON?
Why is the property owner building when he could stick his money in a hole and wait out the recession?
Where did he get the money from by the way, in the middle of a credit squeeze?
The fact is that money is called currency become it moves, changes hands. It does not disappear. When money leaves your hands, it is entering another’s. When one market crashes, another booms. Money does not leave the planet in times of financial turbulence and melt down. It simply changes hands. The belief that there is no money is a fallacy. It simply means it is scarce in your neck of the woods. You are missing out on the action. The fact that you travel economy class does not mean that nobody is travelling first class. The fact that your watch has stopped does not mean that time has come to a standstill. For many, it was the worst of times. For some, it was the best of times. While some companies went down, some had their best years ever. Different strokes for different folks.
So what do you do in times of financial uncertainty? Get fixated by the news headlines or keep your eyes on your goal? One fascinating fact about the dove is that it has incredible focus. You can speak with a microphone in your hand, and the dove will look at the mike without seeing your face.
Good times and bad times are part of the cycle of life. Sure we do some dumb things to bring them on, but the rhythm goes on. Good times and bad times, boom and bust, ups and downs, joy and sadness… There is a time for everything under the sun. Experienced investors know that markets go up and they go down. They don’t expect it to go up forever or stay depressed ad infinitum. Their entry strategy is to go in when the market hits the bottom and their exit entry strategy is to go out when the market goes up. They ride in with the bears and charge out with the bulls (buy at discount and take profits). The rookie investor does the exact opposite. They enter when the market goes up, and run for the door when the market hits the bottom. They charge in with the bulls and crawl out with the bears (buy at premium and sell at a loss). Their entry is driven by greed while their exit is driven by fear.
If you watch the weather, you will not sow your seed. If you observe the wind, you will hold back. You need a single minded focus on your goals, no matter what is going on around you. You have to choose what you want, and look for opportunities to go for it. You have to decide which end of the cash flow divide you want to play – those who win or those who lose, those who acquire assets or those who cling to liabilities. If you decide to go with the crowd, you will get what the crowd has. You get to choose where your focus will be, as tough times and good times come and go.
– Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .