How To Thrive (Not Just Survive) In ANY Economic Environment

Every year there is some kind of impending doom narrative in the news. Have you noticed? There are recessions, depressions, inflation, rising interest rates in economic environment, and more!

This year it’s all about the recession. As business owners, it’s straightforward to read these news stories and go from slightly worrying about sales to thinking you’ll have to close the doors on your business in 60 seconds.

But I can guarantee that the worst will not happen if you take the necessary action! (And that might not be what you expect it to be.)

How do I know it won’t be as bad as they’re making it out to be? I’ve got MANY stories to back it up.

In 1992, the UK had a serious recession. It was the year I graduated from university, and the news headlines were filled with “no jobs for university graduates”. But guess what? I, and many other graduates, found a job.

We had another recession in the UK in 2008. I remember eating at a restaurant in Covent Garden, London. They had a recession menu, but even a recession meal in Covent Garden isn’t cheap, and the place was full! So we weren’t all feeling the effects of a recession (or rather, the effects the news had told us we all would); otherwise, the place would have been empty. 

A much more recent example is Christmas just gone. It was a record year for spending!

The problem with these new headlines is they’re made to be dramatic to hook you in. They focus on the worst part, which causes you to spiral.

But a recession is only a 20% reduction in a market. Think how many potential clients you have and reduce that by 20%. There is still a heck of a lot of people to sell to.

So, you’re not losing sales. Instead, you’re losing your head.


There’s Opportunity Everywhere If You Look For It

I’ve met people during a booming market who told me they couldn’t sell! The problem isn’t the economic environment, it’s their mind.

Again, how do I know this? Because our client base’s net profits went up by 21% in 2020, we kept their heads in the right place during the heat of the pandemic. 

If you allow yourself to get distracted, your attention goes to the negative. What you focus on and tell yourself is what you begin to believe.

Pre-COVID, the Australian housing market was undersupplied by 42%, and it’s only worsened. There’s an excellent opportunity for some trades and construction business there! A lack of supply equals demand, and prices go up. 

The first step to thriving in any economic environment is to keep control of your mind with facts and logic. You need to look at the data and ignore the hyperbolic new headlines!

Let’s think about it this way.

If you’re in construction, logically, will people keep building homes? 

Yes, absolutely. There’s a growing population. People turning 20 are conditioned by their parents to want to get a mortgage and own a home. There’s a whole new generation of homeowners just starting. 

Do homes wear out and need to be renovated? Yes!

These things are not going anywhere. And there will be MANY examples applicable to your industry and niche.

How To Keep Your Head In The Game In Economic Environment Downturns

Do you have control over the economic environment? NO!

So, let’s not waste time thinking about something we can’t control

In reality, that’s easier said than done. But only because you don’t have something else to focus on, let’s fix that.

You can use this task to help you thrive in every economic environment.

Get a piece of paper and draw three circles, one inside the other, like the image below. In the centre, write ‘Most Control’. In the middle, write ‘Some Control’; in the outer circle, write ‘No Control’.


You guessed it, and you will write in what you have most, some, and no control over about your chosen economic environment. 

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • No Control – interest rates, shipping rates, cost of living, fuel rates, what customers can afford
  • Some Control – who you buy materials from, target market, inventory levels
  • Most Control – your mind, pricing, staffing, strategy

Put the things in the ‘No Control’ circle to the back of your mind, and they’re not helpful. Instead, put most of your energy into what you have the most control over, followed by some control.

Seize the opportunities in front of you. You might find yourself better off than you were before.

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Damien Churton

Partner and Coach, Business Benchmark Group


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