Friday, July 16, 2010

There is Always Opportunity

I forgot something. For the past several months, I have been biting my lip, resisting the temptation to go off on tangents and dilute the potential usefulness of the information in this blog. Of course, personal finance is a huge topic, and my humble blog is only intended to be a starting point for you, a basic introduction.

But amidst all the recent economic turmoil and insecurity, I have rediscovered something that I think is worth mentioning. There is always opportunity. All around you. In countless forms. And not just for established tycoons and lottery winners, but for you and for anybody else who has the creative vision and guts to go for it. Almost every country in the world now operates as a free market; indeed everything our society has amounted to came about through entrepreneurial risk taking.

Yes, it's a scary time to be adrift in turbulent economic currents. Yes, it's a scary time to be passively invested, or to be passively employed, hoping that your gig doesn't end abruptly. But there are winners in every economic cycle, even during major downturns. Instead of passively going along with "business as usual", try looking for an unmet demand that you can serve.

For example, during the Great Depression of the 1930's, record sales and small-combo work declined dramatically, but in response to the public's desire to escape from their hardship through recreation, many musicians adapted by commercializing their music, and the swing dance craze took off.

I have heard that fast food restaurants are doing very well these days, as an affordable (if not very healthy!) alternative to sit-down restaurants. A friend of mine runs a solar power company, and he's busier than ever now, as governments and businesses are virtually throwing money at alternative-energy sources.

Open your mind to the possibilities. Very often, economic downturns are a great time to start a business, due to lowered entry costs and decreased competition. Instead of squirreling money away in a 0.1% interest savings account out of fear, you could be taking charge of your own future and earning great returns if you identify an opportunity and put in the work to make it happen. Especially if you are young and have time to build your dream business, investing in yourself might be the best possible investment you can make.