Never before have we faced such perilous times.
A free-falling stock market is jeopardizing the comfortable retirement of millions. Once rock-solid, mainstay companies are struggling to survive. Millions of blue- and white-collar jobs are on the line. The non-farm jobless report reported 533,000 jobs lost in November alone – the most in a single month in 34 years.
The new December unemployment numbers will be out on Friday. According to Bloomberg there will be an additional 650,000 plus newly unemployed. That brings the total number of newly unemployed to over 2 million.
Yesterday, I spoke with a client who is a sales manager for a Fortune 500 company and she told me that they will be eliminating 1/3 of their sales people in the next few weeks. Things are indeed tough and they will get tougher as millions more lose their jobs.
And a lot of experts, including President Elect Obama, agree – the worst is yet to come.
Perhaps all of this has got you wondering…what’s happening, how long will layoffs and downsizing last, and what lies ahead.
I’m not a fortune teller and I am not clairvoyant so I don’t have all the answers. However, I am more informed and well read than most. I read three newspapers daily – the local paper, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. I also subscribe to and read Barron’s, Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur.
It is my highly informed opinion, that layoffs will continue throughout 2009 and will persist into 2010 and beyond. Some of the jobs lost will never come back as companies shrink in size or go out of business.
Sales jobs will not be immune from this shrinkage. It has been my opinion for a long time that most sales organizations are bloated with mediocre or marginal performers whose performance was tolerated during good times. Those days are gone.
Going forward, companies will be forced to ruthlessly evaluate every position to determine if the position is profitable. Unprofitable employees will be reassigned, retrained or terminated. Sales positions will be among the most scrutinized.
How Can You Protect Yourself and Avoid Becoming A Victim
Warren Buffett, one of the smartest and most successful businessmen of our time, was recently asked what he thought was the best investment anyone could make in these difficult times.
His answer was fast and simple …
“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
That could very well be the best advice Mr. Buffett has ever offered. If ever there were a time to take control of your future and invest wisely, it’s now.
Investing in yourself to grow your skills, improve your thinking and acquire new talents will pay dividends for the rest of your life and unlike investments in the stock market or real estate those investments will never go down in value and can never be taken from you.
Over the last 30 years I have invested at least $100,000 in my own personal growth and development. I invested when I didn’t really have the money to invest and I did without certain conveniences that many people would never be willing to do without so I could invest in myself. Because of that my income today is in the top 1% of all individuals in North America.
As Dan Kennedy, one of my mentors says “there is no GOOD or BAD Economy, only Different Economies, requiring different approaches and strategies, all capable of producing opportunities and wealth and income rewards.”
Make a commitment to hunker down and start INVESTING in yourself and your business. Invest now in developing a wealth mindset and proven strategies that work during uncertain times.