As a result of these columns, my books, and speaking engagements across the country, I receive a great number of calls, letters, and emails.
During the recent economic downturn, many of the people who have contacted me have suddenly found themselves in distressed situations. People who would have told you they were doing well just a month or two ago have suddenly lost their job and are facing foreclosure and potential bankruptcy in the near future.
The average American is 27 days from insolvency.
This means that if you cut off their income, they will run out of cash within 27 days. As we face layoffs across the country and a very tight job market in which to find a new position, it is not surprising that people are going into a crisis mode.
If you find yourself suddenly being one of these unfortunate statistics, there are several steps you can take that may help.
First and foremost, don’t panic. Fear is never your friend, and panic always produces pain. Calmly take inventory of your current situation, and try to rationally and creatively answer the following questions:
What are my options? Consider housing, transportation, employment, income opportunities, short term cash flow.
What are the benefits to this situation? New perspective? Full evaluation of all options? Learning opportunity for you? Teaching opportunity for others?
How can you avoid this situation in the future, and what opportunities exist in helping others avoid challenges or recover from them?
List ways you can protect your attitude and the attitude of those around you during this challenge.
When looking back on a crisis situation, most people recognize it in hindsight as a turning point. Many people see the crisis as the beginning of a long downhill slide in their personal and professional life. Other people actually view the past crisis and preceding challenging times as a beneficial experience that got them closer to where they really wanted to be.
One of the biggest learning opportunities from these challenging economic times, whether you personally experience a crisis or not, is to commit to building an economic and career safety net around you that will serve you and your family during the next economic downturn.
Any person who goes through this current storm and thinks it will never rain again is destined to become very wet. This is the opportunity to seek shelter and find a permanent umbrella to protect your dreams and goals from now on.
As you go through the day today, see the current crisis as an opportunity, and commit to being prepared for the next crisis.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail Jim@JimStovall.com.