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How to Fail in Business Without Really Trying

As seen on Business News New Jersey (January 28, 2002)
By: Bruce Freeman

1991 was a tough year in the US economy. It was also the year I lost my job. I was determined at that point to do two things; start my own business, and report to only one boss for the rest of my career, the person I looked at each morning in the mirror while I shaved. There have been rough times and easier times in my 10+ years of self-employment, but what keeps me going are perspective and a sense of humor.

My maternal grandmother was a Russian born immigrant who fled her homeland because of religious persecution in the early 1900's. She raised her 5 children during the Great Depression of the 1930's. When I was young and was upset over something (minor in comparison to my grandparents' adversity) my grandmother would say to me, "Dalink, you only have two choices in this world; you can laugh or you can cry." Given recent world events, her words had great wisdom. At times it's appropriate to cry, but eventually you have to pick yourself up and get moving again. It is with that perspective and the memory of my grandmother's ability to laugh in the face of adversity that I present the 8 easy ways not to build your business in tough times.

All jokes aside, motivation is a serious thing when times are tough. If you, and by extension, your business are derailed by external climactic pressures, the consequences could be fatal. Now is the time to clean house, take stock and plan. Take the opportunities offered by slow times to cement relationships, improve yourself and your internal processes. Getting involved in a project will renew your sense of purpose and position you and your business for the better times that are around the next bend.

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