Make the downturn work for you. If youâre an entrepreneur, take advantage of the fact that there is a lot of great talent that is currently unemployed and may be willing to work for you at a discounted price, suggests Seals-Allers. Also, cut down on professional and personal costs by negotiating your services, product, or expertise as payment. âPeople are open to other forms of currency so try bartering for services,â Seals-Allers says.
Consider new career options. If youâre in an industry that has little hope of rebounding soon, rather than lamenting the fact that youâre in a dead-end job, start exploring new professions that youâre interested in and have the skills to transition into. Maybe youâll need to take a class or attend networking functions, but the key is to take steps toward something of interest. Seals-Allers says if youâve been laid off, âit can be a great time to push that reset button.â And thatâs exactly what Jackson did.
Jackson responded to the recession by removing her focus from real estate and buying a Kilwinâs Chocolate and Ice Cream franchise. âNo matter how bad the economy is, people still indulge in chocolate and ice cream because theyâre comfort foods,â says the 44-year-old. After qualifying for a business loan and spending about $125,000 of her own money to cover the approximately $300,000 investment, Jackson opened her franchise in June 2008 and made a little more than $100,000 in the first three months.
âThere have been a few times when I had a pity party, when I didnât have any customers,â she says. âBut one day I woke up and said, âIâm not buying into this. Iâve got to fight because I have so much invested and Iâm not going to let a recession beat me.ââ
This story originally appeared in the July 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.