Insights and Opinions

Using the Economic Trouble to Your Advantage

Aaron Ross is Program Director for NITRO, a new program from Entretech focused on helping companies in Los Angeles get funded. He recently posted this on his personal blog, and gave us permission to reprint it here.

Americans are dealing with the worst financial and economic trouble in decades–and, unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better (sorry!) Why then, you might ask, will this ultimately be a good and healthy thing for us, i.e., the ‘us’ that decides to take advantage of it?

The path to business success is shifting from one based on ‘promotion’ (i.e., selling to anyone, anyway, for the sake of making money), to one based on ‘attraction’ (i.e., growth based on making customers successful, which then attracts more customers). This latest meltdown is a necessary part of this shift, as it’s causing us to shed toxins and unhealthy habits … ultimately teaching ‘us’ that the old paradigm of business isn’t the path to happiness, success, and independence that we were trained to think it was.

Whether you’ve been laid off, had your compensation cut, or are suffering from a real estate hangover–these are all situations that can force you out of your mental ruts and cause you to reexamine what you really want to do with your life. As painful as it might be, this is, in actuality, a blessing-in-disguise … a unique opportunity to reevaluate and make a positive change in what you’re going to do with your business life.

Many of the millions of people who have and will lose their jobs will end up starting their own companies, ending up happier and wealthier for it.

This is how you can use the financial and economic trouble to your advantage. If you were assured of success and could do anything, what would be your dream business? Start by reflecting on what adds meaning to your life and what you enjoy doing or sharing. How can you practice those enjoyments in ways that are meaningful to others? How can you mash your enjoyments up (say old cars, travel, teaching, video and …?) into a dream business that combines several of your passions, so that you can make a living by doing the things that you love to do?

It can take two or three years to generate steady income from a new business, so maintain a day job for income while you work on your ideas a few hours a week. Just don’t stop taking baby steps in the direction of manifesting your dream business!

Aaron Ross is Program Director for NITRO, a new program from Entretech focused on helping companies in Los Angeles get funded. Ross founded PebbleStorm to help people “make money through enjoyment.” Prior to founding PebbleStorm, Aaron Ross was an EIR (Entrepreneur-in-Residence) at Alloy Ventures, a venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. He is an Ironman triathlete, graduate of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, and volunteer mentor at SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business.”