In 1933, Roosevelt gave a speech that has resonated ever since.
It was on the inauguration of his presidency that he said the phrase, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
That quote has gone on to have a life of its own. While the rest of Roosevelt’s speech isn’t usually quoted, he went on to say that fear has a paralyzing effect on people. It makes us unable to take action.
He didn’t say this, but I’ll add that fear robs us of our humanity.
Roosevelt spoke these words during the Great Depression—a time that most of our grandparents (or if you’re seasoned enough, your parents) lived through.
Think for a moment about an elder that made a significant impact on your life.
Although I never met my Great-Grandmother Nattie, her legacy has had an incredible effect on my life. Traditions and values that began with her continue in my family today—including her ridiculously delicious Christmas pie recipe.
She lived through the 1st World War, the Great Depression, and the 2nd World War. Despite struggle and hardship, she was able to thrive. Today, I live just three blocks away from the apartment she bought, right near the Pacific Ocean. But I bet that during the height of the Great Depression, she wasn’t thinking about buying a beach house.
What was she thinking about?
What were any of our elders thinking as they lived through some of the most troubling and challenging times in modern human history?
I’m not sure.
But if I had to guess, I’d say our elders took it one day at a time, focused on what needed to get done, kept a bright vision for the future in their minds, and took care of their communities.
That’s precisely what we can do as mini business owners.
During times of economic uncertainty and widespread fear, our responsibility as humans and as business owners is heightened.
There’s a lot we can do to help people during times of difficulty. But it requires taking a deep breath and thinking beyond our everyday routine.
I’ve come up with a few steps I think we can take during times of trouble.
I hope at least one of these steps is useful to you.
As mini business owners, during a recession or times of fear, we can:
Focus on our prospective client’s dreams and help lift them up.
Be a safe place devoid of scare tactics and hype-based marketing.
Ask ourselves every day how we can be of service.
Remove or reduce elements of friction that prevent our customers from working with us. Make things easier not harder for people.
Write blog posts that help people stay motivated, inspired, while they continue learning.
Think outside of the box by asking: how is today different for my customers? What do they need NOW?
Take care of our mental health first, not last. We cannot be of service if we aren’t mentally strong.
We can appreciate what we dohave. We have a lot. We really do. Most of what we’re striving for in life is extra. Water. A bed. A roof. A warm room. Food. Love. Friendship. We’ve got those things.
Brainstorm a new offer that will help our customers where they are NOW.
Brainstorm a one-page marketing plan based on where our business is NOW.
Read books that make us feel spiritually grounded and open-hearted. For me, that book is Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle.
We’re in this together. That’s how we have to think right now.
At the height of The Great Depression, 25% of the American workforce was unemployed. These were dark times. But look where we’ve come since then. Look at what we’ve created.
Humans are resilient.
We’ve lasted 2.3 million years, and we’re not going anywhere as a species.
We’re stronger than we think we are.
So let’s hold onto that and lift each other up.
Great Money Video Alert!
I love everything Marie Forleo puts out, but this episode is particularly useful if you’re getting worried about money during a recession, times of fear and uncertainty, or just on a regular ole Monday morning.
Read More Like This
—ABOUT THE AUTHOR—Hey, I’m Colette, a story strategist, filmmaker, and entrepreneur based out of rainy Vancouver. Obsessed with personal development and marketing, you can often find me attempting to read ten books at the same time. Through this website, I help purpose-driven creatives make more money doing what they love. Join the inbox party: get actionable tips on how to make more money doing what you love and sign up for inspiring emails that actually make you feel better about your life and business.