Motivation Today - Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin II blog

Monday, May 18, 2009

OF RECESSION AND REDEMPTION

MOTIVATION TODAY E-zine Issue 01, May 2009

Your employer, using an anonymous company name, is already advertising your job for half your salary. Are you aware?

The global economic meltdown has forced many governmental organisations, corporations, small businesses and individuals to take absolute measures in reducing spending. Many companies have had to slash their event sponsorship budgets; others have had to reduce their marketing communication expenses. It is no longer news to see firms giving up minor projects, specifically corporate social responsibility (CSR) tasks. The workforce is not spared- many people have lost their jobs to this gargantuan monster. In the United States alone, job losses have been climbing up from 598,000 in January 2009 to 651,000 in February, and 663,000 by the end of the 1st quarter. Given an average household size of 5, that is about 3.3m people deprived of their sources of living! For a moment, imagine a scenario where a couple both lose their jobs, temper is bound to rise. Little wonder a couple in Arkansas killed each other and their four kids last December. Job loss data are however unavailable in Nigeria- so one is unable to accurately ascertain the extent of the negative impact on our labour market.

Do not be quick to forget the drastic plummeting of the prices of equities in our stock market. Also, the rise of the value of the dollar in exchange for the naira and its attendant effects on household expenditure, small and medium scale organisations- SMEs, and prices of goods and services; Nigeria being principally an import-dependent country. The cost per barrel of crude oil, which is our major income source, has fallen drastically from over $110 per barrel below $50pb in the wake of this economic crisis. This means that our government’s income has fallen and investment in the maintenance and building of new infrastructure is likely to decrease. Development in a nation like ours is also threatened because the flow of foreign aid is dipping and the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, by 2015 has been undercut by the recession.

Friends, things are happening fast. This is said to be the worst global economic downturn, after The Great Depression of the 1930s. Please understand that this is not to scare you, you need to understand what is upon us- in order to effectively manage it.

There is so much fear and uncertainty in the air. But you need not allow these cripple your mind. This is the time to think fast and act as occasion demands. This is not the time to stay fixed on plans that are not, or no longer working. You need to change with change. Situations that will require sound decisions will constantly confront you during this recession. No one knows how long it would last- 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 years? But within this continuum of time there would be seasons to sow, seasons of harvest, seasons of hunger, seasons to save, seasons to invest, seasons of marketplace combats, seasons of tough decisions etc.

There are so many untruths in the land. Government has been feeding us lies about the nature and impact of this meltdown. Late 2008, Central Bank Governor, Charles Soludo told the nation that Nigeria was insulated against its impact and that only developed nations were at risk. But we are seeing the impact already- while some banks are reducing staff strength, others are cutting salaries by as much as 50%. Other corporations are affected too. The truth is that top government officials and policy makers are confused and clueless themselves. The issue at hand is new to everybody in this generation. Everyone would have to discover pragmatic solutions to his/her own problems.

Survival Strategies
1. Expect unexpected change: in any and every area. While you pray that evil should not be your lot, you need to anticipate changes to things you have been used to. Anticipation here is hinged on “probability” (i.e. maybe or maybe not). This will help you in preparing for changes before they hit you. Make change control plans. You may have to relocate your family to a more affordable environment, you may have to start a business, you may have to buy some real estate, foreign currency (dollars in particular), gem stones (or other assets) with the loose funds you currently have. You may have to shed some liabilities and commitments as well; these include luxury, credit, expensive vacations etc. Think: less expenses and more income.

2. The key to succeeding under this economic climate is personal change or self development. This meltdown will bring a lot of changes from what you have always known. Therefore, you need to constantly alter your false preconceived notions, attitudes, desires and thoughts. Old beliefs will not lead to new possibilities. Spencer Johnson says, “The greatest inhibitor to change lies within yourself, nothing gets better until you change.” People who engage in stereotypic, one-way-traffic thinking will be drowned in the flood of the recession. The thirst for knowledge and pragmatic solutions will see you through this period. Research the internet, read books, journals and magazines, learn more about your industry, hone your skills, learn new things/vocations etc.

3. Do not stand alone. Our people say “chop alone, die alone”. Let others know what you know. Belong to a community of problem solvers. Two (good) heads are better than one. Promote cohesion. Financial expert, Robert Kiyosaki says, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” You surely know somebody that knows somebody that knows the person who has your solution. Connect. Find a mentor. Form a discussion/investment group with like-minds. Share it on blogspot.com, facebook.com and other channels. Synergy is strong.

4. Put your mind to work. This is the time to increase your net worth. Net worth is what you are worth after the deduction of your expenses. You will need to increase the cash flow into your income column and reduce your expenses. Cut off frivolous spending. Buy more needs than wants. Needs are necessary for survival, wants are leisure-related. Think about how to increase the zeros on your income sheet. Recession promotes wealth transfer. The rich will lose some wealth, the poor but wise will tap some wealth. Think and grow rich.

5. Take one day at time. There is so much uncertainty around. Many long-term plans will fail; take each day as it comes. Apply wisdom to tackle each day’s challenges. Grab current opportunities, though they may first look deceptive. Tomorrow’s opportunities will spring from today’s.

6. Avoid consumer credit, except to start or grow your business/investment. Invest only in things that go up in value. Sacrifice, choose delayed gratification.
Now, back to your employer. He knows that you desire a pay raise but he is unprepared for that, for obvious reasons. He is therefore poaching for cheap labour in your stead. This is the time to watch your back, work harder, put your ears to the ground, watch out for the handwriting on the wall, be calculated, be loyal and be strong. The deep calls to the deep.


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1 Comments:

  • This is real!

    I would like to subscribe for your weekly e-zine.

    Kind send this to my yahoo address; tosinadey@yahoo.com

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards,



    Oluwatosin Adeyanju

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 25 May, 2009 11:16  

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