Maybe we are in a recession? Maybe we are not? President Bush describes the state of the economy as being in a “slow-down". Whatever your description, one thing does remain true; times are hard for almost everyone.
The cost of living is on a steady rise right alongside inflation; however, paychecks don't seem to be experiencing that same type of growth. Food is more, gas is more, and insurance is more. It seems that everyone is pinching pennies so hard that Abraham Lincoln is crying. In times like these, it becomes incredibly important to take advantage of every break that presents itself. Unfortunately, when opportunity comes knocking, many people slam the door in its face.
An opportunity is a chance or an opening to do something different than what you are already doing. It is a means for you to remove yourself from bad situations so that you can step into a good one. Never taking advantage of opportunities that lay before you can mean a lifetime of being stuck within your present circumstances. By now, we know that if we always do the same thing all the time and expect for things to change, that is the definition of insanity. You would have to be crazy to let your opportunities pass you by.
What types of opportunities is meant here? First, any opportunity to cut down your costs should be met wholeheartedly. For instance, coupons are provided in every newspaper, in most restaurant menus, on the back of receipts and even in a bound collection mailed out by your neighborhood association. Use them! Research has shown that coupons have been neglected as of recent. Every household throws away thousands of dollars in potential savings each year. Before your next shopping trip, check your local papers for coupons that could decrease your grocery bill. Combine manufacturer's coupons with store sales and be amazed at your savings.
You should also look for free stuff. Many cities have a lot to offer their residents in terms of free or low-cost entertainment. Visit museums on free days, watch a free movie in the park, and go to art shows or improv comedy theaters. Use online community boards to find other free events in your area. Often times you can log on to find someone giving away tickets to plays, sports games and even your favorite concerts. Check college and community boards for other neighborhood and family-friendly free events. Your local coffee shop may even have live entertainment that you can enjoy while sipping your java. Sign up for your favorite club venue or restaurant's e-club to get even more free stuff delivered right to your inbox.
Secondly, look for ways to increase your income. Nowadays, when someone is referred to as a “hustler", there is a negative connotation to it. We think of a drug dealer or a scofflaw. Hustler used to mean that you did whatever you had to do to put food on the table for your family. . . legally. Take a look at your skills, talents and hobbies. Are you good with your hands? Can you build things or do you like arts and crafts. Sell your services and/or your crafts. Do you have good typing and administrative skills? Sign up for a temp service or contact your local small businesses to see if they could use some part-time help? Is the fast food chain on the corner hiring? Apply! Fast food is a great stepping stone for anyone who has little job skills. The training and experience will go a long way to open doors for future growth. It's time to hustle.
Lastly, expand your experience by trying something new. Opportunities don't always present themselves so obviously. Sometimes it is up to you to seek them out. Learn the art of networking and expand your circle of influence. Like the old saying goes, “it's not always what you know, but who you know. " That doesn't mean you don't have to know anything either. Education is vitally important. Ignorance can prevent you from recognizing a golden opportunity even if it slaps you in the face. Knowledge is power.
The bottom line is to keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground for anything that can help your circumstances. Say YES to opportunities when they come your way and open the door to good financial times.
© 2008 by Niquenya D. Fulbright, Executive Life Coach - All Rights Reserved You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as these bylines are included.
About the Author:
Niquenya Fulbright is an executive life coach, certified mediator, management consultant and corporate trainer with over 10 years experience specializing in inspiring small business owners, entrepreneurs, non-profit leadership teams, executives, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve successes beyond their wildest dreams.
For more info or to schedule a FREE intro coaching session, visit http://www.niquenyafulbright.com or email email@example.com .