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Dear Chicken Little Newsmedia: Screw. You.

March 02, 2009 | Category: Rants & Raves

One of the headlines on my Yahoo:

Consumer Spending Up - But It Won't Last!

A neighbor remarked that if he was a reporter, he'd would also be shouting the sky is falling. Because for them? It is.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

Let's get real.

No, I mean it.

Let's. Get. Real.

I am an American, a woman, a wife, a mother, a writer, a teacher. I have lived both pampered and impoverished. Shared the company of great and simple minds. I have walked in the footsteps of conquering Romans, Vikings, Redcoats, and Cypriots. I have contemplated my own mortality, stretched my mind to the breaking point, looked a man in the eye as I took his living from him.

I expect many things from this life. And none of them easy. No one promised me easy; and nothing easy is worth getting in any event.


They can call it a recession, a depression, a downturn, or a dip. Do you think it matters? Do you think any one of the real people on the ground are affected by the LABEL? Is there really any person, from the President to the rural reporter, who thinks they truly have that kind of power over reality?

We KNOW it's hard.

This? Is life. It's SUPPOSED to be hard!

It is our purpose and our passion and our blood and our dreams. Yes, the challenges today are so much more than they were yesterday. Yes, hope and opportunity are harder to come by. Yes, there is more fear in the mornings and more uncertainty chasing the sleep. Yes... yes.

It is winter. A time for pushing against the harshness. A time for reaching out a hand. A time for making do, or doing without. And as sure as this is winter, spring will come again.

Sometimes I look to the news and despair at their view of my world. As if I would surrender my hope.

As if I could.

There's a great speech from West Wing, that reads in part; "...every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great."

THAT is how I see us.

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Tagged: Media, news, economy, recession, survival, rant, response, Corporate, Mommy, Life
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I liked yesterday's header, etc. better. fyi

And where's the entry about your hubby pouting that you didn't bring him a hamburger after he just threw up? That's just classic!

Posted by: Laura on March 8, 2009 10:47 PM

Ref Roy's comments - I am mortgaged to the hilt, maxed out on all my credit cards, deeply in debt with major outgoings and a very patchy income stream. I have used my last penny to start up a new business, just before the "credit crunch" hit.

It is 5:15am. I have been at my desk for 30 minutes already. This morning I am going to address a new business referrals group that I have started out in my city. I'm going to tell them to ignore the recession, because if the UK economy shrinks by 3% as predicted, that means 97% of business is still being done.

I am not wealthy. But I am 100% positive. One way that I achieve that is I simply don't buy newspapers and I don't watch the news.

My competitors are sleepy people, still in bed, hiding under the duvet, hoping it will all go away. I have had 4 referrals so far this week, total value about $10,000.

Being positive has nothing to do with how much money you have. It is a state of mind.

Posted by: Murray Cowell on March 5, 2009 04:54 AM

Bravo! Great post.

Not sure if this link will show up or not but Facebook is just FULL of groups that are protesting the negativity coming from the media right now.


Posted by: Shelley Ellis on March 4, 2009 10:36 PM

Ooooohhhh...I like this lady!

Real advice for real people. I work with job seekers and am just appalled at how many carry the victim mentality and feed it with the media.

I tell them in my classes to spend a week writing down everything they fear will happen to them. Then cross off the ones they can't do anything about. Then suck it up and get to work making sure it doesn't happen again.

To use a movie quote - "Get busy livin,' or get busy dying."


Posted by: Scott Birkhead on March 4, 2009 05:50 PM

Elizabeth, when Perry Marshall tells me to go and look at something I do, so here I am all the way from Australia. You are a breath of fresh air in an airless room. I share your sentiments totally. I've been pushing the same message here in Australia. If only the media would stop beating up the doom and gloom. I know there are difficulties for many people, including people in my own family, but there are also opportunities. One of the the biggest opportunities is that we re-think the way we have lived our lives and get back to some basic values. My work is with leaders and managers and I've been pushing the message to get them to engage their people in their new agendas, and enter a new psychological contract with them, promising to look after them in these turbulent times, if they as employees will look after their organisations. This is a much better approach than sacking people! Their people are their greatest asset.

Posted by: Maree Harris on March 4, 2009 04:26 PM

Yes Roy. It IS easier to talk about the economy when it doesn't hurt your lifestyle. It's MUCH easier in fact.

I am wealthy, and I AM, IN FACT, making a lot of money now that the economy is down. Staying positive IS easy now that I am investing in rock bottom priced Real Estate.

And while I DO NOT AGREE that life is hard, I DO AGREE that it IS VERY EASY to "to remain positive when the downturns don't effect your lifestyle".

THAT'S WHY I WORKED MY A$$ OFF and gathered resources for many years BEFORE things went bad.

It's the old "Ant and the Grasshopper" story, only now it's us hard working successful people having to listen to all the grasshoppers whine because they didn't work as hard to get ready as we did.

Suck it up, learn from your mistakes, and be ready next time everything goes on sale. It happens about every 6-8 years.

Posted by: Jason Loucks on March 4, 2009 03:47 PM

Thanks Neil, for an important reminder.

Roy, I do hear you. And I appreciate you taking the time and energy to say what's real to you. As someone who experiences both sides of the spectrum... you are absolutely right when you say it is easier for some.

Posted by: Elizabeth on March 4, 2009 02:14 PM

Hey "mom," just got an email from Perry Marshall saying to come on over.

Love your word-craft. The West Wing quote is a gem. Thanks for that.

Hugs to Roy... hey man you are totally right. Facing hard times is far easier when you have a guaranteed pay check and benefits like say um... congress does, or ceo's and public administrators. And if you are an entrepreneur with capital on the sidelines... the tough decision will be which sweet deal to pluck.

But on the working-for-a-paycheck end of the spectrum are the blue collar guys and gals whose town's only employer just shut down. Never to be replaced. They will quickly be overrun by grinding self doubt and soul-crushing fear and uncertainty. Only a few will have the luck, talent, or cleverness needed to bootstrap back into life as it was any time soon.

And it's not just that major employers are dropping like flies in my little berg. The big picture is that this is the end of an era. A monstrous generational bubble of excess has burst and institutions everywhere will evaporate overnight - for far longer than anyone can imagine. Detroit city's nightmare will become the nation's. It is as though we are a nation employed in vinyl record factories and music CDs have hit forth gear.

This is truly a time for heroes. If you cannot find the hero within - then look for the nearest one and pitch in. They'll need your help.

Posted by: Neil on March 4, 2009 02:02 PM

"Everyone knows that the wealthy make a lot of moneyu whe the economy is down."

The one question I ask is Why?

Here's why, while everyone is hunkering down in their bunkers listening to this fear...The successful realize that if they continue to play their game, they will continue to win. Raise the taxes, strap us with debt, whatever you want..

Entreprenuers are problem solvers, and no matter what poker hand you give us, we will figure it out or die trying...

Here's a great quote from Sir. Richard Branson:

"The Brave May Not Live Forever, But The Cautious Don't Live At All"

Great post Elizabeth!

Carpe Diem...

Posted by: Matt on March 4, 2009 01:49 PM

Roy - I'm many things, none of them facetious. Downturns are seriously affecting our lifestyle. So being positive can be a real challenge, but the alternative is what? Giving up because the news media says its hopeless?

This is an opportunity to get strong, in a way that will last long after the crisis....

Posted by: Elizabeth on March 4, 2009 12:53 PM

There have always been people who wanted things easy; didn't understand or believe that they should work/earn for the good things in life. Unfortunately, Washington is creating a whole new group of such people with the policies/bills/spending that is coming down in record speed. I find it particularly hard as a parent of late teens/young adults who are just starting out, to instill in them that you must work for rewards - when all around them they see hands held out in "gimmee" fashion.

Posted by: Kathy on March 4, 2009 12:33 PM

Roy, I have had three different businesses over the last 35 years, I started all of them in recessions. Why? Because I saw a need and had the guts to fill it. What way could I go but UP. If I could make it when it was bad then when it got good my business grew very well.

My current business is struggling & about to go under. Should I give up and go collect unemployment?

Not on your life. I have been researching new products to fill a very high profile niche and am having a blast helping companies and towns save thousands of dollars per month while making a living in my 4th new business (that was started in a recession).

Success comes from leassons learned while failing. So go out and be bold!

Posted by: Randy on March 4, 2009 12:04 PM

Keep up the good work

Posted by: Timothy Kuchar on March 4, 2009 11:51 AM

I've seen record traffic on my site the past few months as people look for all kinds of ways to save money.

There may not be as many people buying on credit these days, but they're still buying--just being more selective and making sure they get a good deal. And that's all the better!

Posted by: Mark Minks on March 4, 2009 11:49 AM

Great post! It sickens me, too, to see the media fueling the panic. And I say that even though I'm one who has been affected by the downturn they loudly trumpet.

Yesterday they reversed the warning they had trumpeted for so long. Previously they had complained that the economy was being ruined by people spending too much and not saving enough.

Yesterday a report was released saying that economic uncertainty was causing people to spend less and save more. So what is their current conclusion? "The economy is being ruined by people saving too much and not spending enough."

Right now, the media is profiting by promoting panic. The greater the fear, the closer people watch the news. When what we all really need to do is to go out there and take positive steps to grow our own businesses instead of passively watching to see whether the problems evaporate by themselves.

Posted by: Jeff Baas on March 4, 2009 11:46 AM

Quit your whining Roy and go out and be GREAT!

Wealthy people have what they have because they WORK for it, and because they never whine when things are stacked against them. They change the rules, and get back in the game.

Try it ... you just might like it!


Posted by: Jim Rivas on March 4, 2009 11:31 AM

Love your post. I agree completely. What's happening in the economy is real, but the media is fueling so much of it. They need to shut it.

Posted by: Anna on March 4, 2009 11:30 AM

Its easy to be positive in an economy like this when you have lots of money. Everyone knows that the wealthy make a lot of moneyu whe the economy is down. Staying positive is easy when you have money to invest in items that have reach rock bottom. I agree with a lot of what you say life is hard but its easy to remain positive when the downturns don't effect your lifestyle

Posted by: Roy on March 4, 2009 11:19 AM

I never watched The West Wing while it was on but got hooked on Bravo this fall when the Santos election was happening at the same time as ours. The writing ASTOUNDS me. We have been watching it on Netflix-gotten to season 5 and are already starting to feel bad that it's almost over.
Our problem is our economy was based on people buying a lot of crap they didn't need to begin with. Now we are finally figuring that out. I certainly hope things don't go back to "normal".

Posted by: rose on March 3, 2009 07:15 AM