Thrive in Tough Times



PWR TIP: Odds are you’ve come through tough times before. Now, more than ever, it’s important to remain optimistic while you keep your eyes open to your own reality. Here are few tips to get started:

  • Know your status. Do a personal profit and loss statement to understand your financial picture. Order a free credit report. Keep all of your important documents in one place. Get all of your basic health checkups as well. The goal is to minimize costly surprises.
  • Secure your income. Show clear value at work and track your accomplishments. If you have your own business, then step up your branding and customer service. See how to diversify your income by freelancing, creating royalty revenue, or starting an online business. Work additional hours or get a second job if you have to.
  • Manage expenses. Make a budget to see where you might be overspending. Reduce unnecessary spending such as eating out and spa trips. If you don’t have it already, start an emergency fund which will cover at least three months of expenses. See how you can lower monthly bills. For example, join a family share plan for your phone services and/or reduce the level of your cable service. Use any extra money to pay down debt and try not to rack up new debt. Delay the purchase of large items if possible.
  • Plan for the future. Aim to save at least 10% of your income even in tough times. Protect your health insurance – if you have it. If you’re in a industry hit hard by recession, consider shifting careers. Re-vision your “personal pitch.” Sharpen your skills with additional training. Look for market opportunities created by the downturn.
  • Network. This is the time to reach out. Actively seek a circle of support. Find or start a networking group of people who are in the same industry – or join a group that is focused on the industry in which you want to work. Make use of low-cost technology-enabled “touch points” such as email, blogs and e-newletters.
  • Remain positive. Even if you’ve been laid off or your business is down, keep your head up. Practice stress management techniques. Remain enthusiastic about your future. Remember – this too shall pass!

    Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA. Part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series. Learn more about transforming your life in 40 Days to Power Living®: Think, Eat & Live on Purpose.

    ADD YOUR VOICE: Share your stories about thriving in tough times by posting a comment below.

    Photo Credit: Luigi Diamanti /