Psssst … the recession is over

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By Jeff Goldberg

Are you buying into what CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and almost every other media outlet are sending your way?

Are you buying into the gloom and doom? Are you seeing the Grim Reaper, with his scythe, walking a step behind you and your career?

Or, are you looking for the positive signs that things are starting to improve? Are you observing that the turn seems to have started for many? Are you looking for, and finding, the abundance of opportunities out there just waiting for you?

The choice is up to you.

Several years ago, a friend and business associate, Jeff Keller, wrote a book titled, “Attitude is Everything!” It’s a great read and I highly recommend it, but I do take exception with the title.

Attitude isn’t everything, but it is a lot. You see, things aren’t always as they seem, and the way we view the world around us, in great part, creates our everyday experiences. The way we look at things, and our attitude about them, actually creates our reality.

Let’s use my favorite networking group, American Business Associates, as an example. Every two weeks I meet with a group of fun, interesting and talented local business people for the purpose of helping each other grow our businesses.

We get to know and trust one another, share intelligence about who we know, what we’re working on and what we need. Between 18 and 30 people attend each meeting and we each introduce ourselves, give our brief commercial and often share what’s happening for us. We refer each other business whenever we can.

The interesting thing to me is that out of this diverse group, almost to a person they’re saying that business is very good to great. It’s not that they’re in businesses that thrive during a recession, e.g. – auto repair or alcohol sales. It’s not that they’re more talented than you or me, although they are extremely good at what they do. It’s certainly not that they’re lucky.

No, to a person, what sets them apart is they have the attitude that business is good for them, they expect it to continue that way and they take the actions necessary to make sure it does so. All the people in this group have managed to keep a smile on their faces, a laugh on their lips and a positive attitude that no matter what happens to the rest of the economy, they will not only survive, they’ll thrive.

Try this on for size. When it rains you can choose to be upset or even depressed about it. Or, you can change your attitude to, “Wow, what a great day to sell. People will be in their offices, open to speaking with me.”

It’s always your choice and it always makes a difference. What we expect to see is what usually shows up for us.

I recently attended a five-day seminar in California and we were shown, in example after example, that what we expect to see and what we’re thinking actually create what shows up for us as reality.

If you expect more doom and gloom, you’re likely to get it. If you believe we can expect more bad news financially, it’s going to show up.

Am I saying that less-than-great stuff isn’t happening every day? Nope.

Some people are losing their jobs. Some are losing their homes. Some are struggling to stay “afloat” in a sea of debt. It’s happening but it doesn’t have to happen to you.

Some people who’ve lost their jobs have started their own businesses and are prospering. Some have lost their homes and are finding they’re happy to be free from a crushing mortgage. A universal law says that for each negative there’s a positive. Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but the other choice is to bask in the muck as you sink deeper into it.

“But Jeff, how do I become better at setting appointments with decision makers? How do I shorten my sales cycle?” you might be asking.

There’s more of that coming in future columns. But unless you get your head (your attitude) on straight, you can have every technique at your fingertips and it won’t make a bit of difference.

Spend five minutes (or more) each morning as soon as you wake up “creating” your attitude for the coming day. Visualize everything going your way: meeting prospects that are happy to see you, shaking their hands after they say, “Yes, I want to do business with you.”

Put a smile on your face as soon as you realize that you’ve left sleepy time and the day has begun. I do, and most who know me would tell you I’m among the happiest, most positive people they know.

It’s a large part of who I am, and any success I have. Does that mean everything goes my way? Nope, but I expect it to and suggest that a lot more does go my way because of my attitude and the expectation that things will continue to do so.

You and your attitude shape and create not only your everyday experience but your overall success in sales and in life.

Go out and make it happen. And be sure to let the rest the people in your world in on the secret: The recession is over.

Jeff Goldberg is a professional speaker, sales trainer and co-author of “How To Be Your Own Coach – Six Simple Questions for Achieving Your Goals.” He can be reached at (516) 608-4136, or at

One Response to Psssst … the recession is over

  1. There is much truth to this, but there are other truths as well. I knew my business was doomed when a long-time, very good customer one day said to me: “I’m moving my account to another business. I know I won’t get the same service that you provide, but they are cheaper.” And the unspoken “and all that matters to me is that it be cheap.”

    Since the essence of my business is SERVICE, and I had devoted most of my energy in creating a service environment in the business, I knew that things would not be good from here on. This pattern continued in slow dribs. I was undercut by competitors who didn’t know what they were doing, but it didn’t matter to customers. I learned that what THIS business was about was to be cheap–not good, not necessarily competent, but CHEAP.

    I eventually sold the business for a song just to get out of it, lost almost $100,000 of personal cash in the process,and wouldn’t even think of getting back into that business. So 3 years of knowledge, devotion to service and to customers, training employees and helping them grow, all of that is gone, a thing of the past. A wonderful experience, but I can’t afford to repeat it. What a waste.

    August 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm