One of my pet hates from recent years is the phrase ‘the current economic climate’.
We all know that the world economy is on its arse, and ‘the current economic climate’ is just a euphemism for ‘recession’, but people have latched onto this phrase and love to use it as an excuse for playing it safe, keeping their heads down, and praying they don’t get made redundant.
You know the kind of excuses I mean:
“You’d be mad to leave your job in the current economic climate.”
“I’d love to start a business but nobody is buying in the current economic climate.”
“I want to follow my dreams but I’ve got no chance in the current economic climate.”
Now there’s no denying that the economy is far from booming at present, but we can’t let that rule our lives, and we mustn’t live in fear of the economy, not daring to take any risks because of the dreaded current economic climate.
The financial downturn needn’t be all doom and gloom. Instead of waiting for things to get better (who knows when that will be?), look for ways you can turn the ‘crisis’ into an opportunity.
Note: From now on I will use CEC instead of the current economic climate.
Despite the financial struggles that the CEC can bring, a lot of artists find that the hard times provide them with more creative inspiration. I suppose this is why so many songwriters’ early works are inspired stories of struggle and hardship, and then once they start making a lot of money, their creativity can take a turn for the worse.
Some artists even find artistic inspiration in the very question of whether times of recession are good for art.
Another benefit of the CEC is that there will be less competition, as many artists will pack up their tools and head for the ‘safety’ of a full-time job.
If you’re willing to put in the extra effort required to make your art business work in the CEC, then if and when the economy recovers, you will already be way ahead of the emerging competition.
Most people complain that they don’t have enough time to do what they really want to do.
If you’ve been made redundant from your job, or given less hours due to cutbacks, you’ll suddenly find yourself with a lot more free time.
This could be the perfect opportunity for you. Why not put this time to good use building up your creative career?
Create Your Own Work
As Helen Aldous says in her inspiring article, the times are changing, and job creation as we know it is over.
We have the tools and the skills at our disposal to take matters into our own hands, and create the work that we want to do.
We no longer have to sit and wait for somebody to create the ideal job for us, we can go out and create it for ourselves!
If more people stopped working for big corporations and started working for themselves, we would take away some of the vast economic power that these companies currently have.
By taking control and working for ourselves, we can stop making rich people richer, and instead contribute to a small business economy which values more than just profit and greed.
For an in-depth look at how this ‘new economy’ can work for you, check out Corbett Barr’s free report – New Economy Superstar.
Opportunities to Help Others
In the CEC, many people are out of work or struggling to keep their businesses afloat, and will be looking to others for help and support.
This can be a great opportunity to provide the support that these people need.
On a business seminar I attended recently, the guy running the seminar had just been made redundant from his local government job, but he was using the opportunity to set up his own company providing business advice to new startups.
A lot of artists are in need of support and advice on how they can thrive in the CEC, so have a think about what sort of support you could offer them, and whether that could potentially be another source of income for you.
With less people buying, you may find that you don’t have to create for other people as much, and you may have more freedom to create the art you are really passionate about.
Artist Liz Fallon says, “freed from the constraints of creating for a specific buyer, I’ve experienced my own surge in creativity and have been producing a great deal more than I used to.”
Can you take advantage of the decrease in demand, and get back to creating the art that you love?
Learn From Failure
I’m not denying the fact that we’re in a tough economic situation at the moment. Times are hard, and while some people may ride the wave and sail through the tough times, others may not come off so well.
It’s a sad truth that many first attempts to start a small business end in failure, but as long as you’re willing to accept and learn from that failure, then it really isn’t failure at all, you’ve just found a way that doesn’t work for you.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~ Thomas A. Edison
So you can either throw in the towel and abandon your dreams, or you can re-evaluate your business and try again with a different approach.
Whatever you decide, please don’t let the current economic climate put you off doing what you love for a living.
How are you coping in the current economic climate? Do you find it stifling, or do you see it as an opportunity? Please tell us about it in the comments below.