20090428-invest3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession
The global economy is plummeting and people are starting to lose hope, faith in our government practices and in their ability to be successful during these challenging times.  With millions of job losses and the media poisoning our minds with information that may be only half accurate, we need to start taking the time to invest in three main areas: our financial education, our personal brands and building strong relationships that will last through the recession.  It’s really easy to lose hope now, but you must remain calm, cool and collected or else you’ll lose focus, money and you won’t get a job anytime soon if you’re currently unemployed.   Many people who are getting laid off are taking a risk to start their own businesses because  they feel like they have nothing to lose.  One in four workers who have not found jobs is considering launching a business, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey.  For the rest of workers, who feel like they could be unemployed today, tomorrow or in two weeks, please read this post so that they can at least start protecting yourself against a future tragedy.

1.  Having a financial education

We don’t really learn how to manage money in College, so we have to figure out how to on our own.  Of course, school teaches us the basics, such as balancing our check books, but we aren’t prepared for a financial crisis and we don’t have enough of an understanding of “cash flow.”  I recently started reading Robert Kiyosaki’s new book, which is being published free online for the time being, called “Conspiracy of the Rich.”  So far, I’ve read to Chapter 6, patiently waiting for the next few chapters to be complete and uploaded to the site.   Robert, who also wrote the bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, is convinced that we’re headed into a depression (worse than a recession) because of bad debt, a corrupt banking system and the reality that the our paper money isn’t backed by anything anymore (our money will be worth nothing at some point).  Understanding our history, as well as new trends (the internet), and how money is changing, will benefit you greatly during this time period.  I recommend reading this book, finding someone whose rich (that has money coming in even if they stop working) and getting advice.

2.  Your personal brand

Investing in your personal brand is going to be critical to surviving in the future because of the popularity of the internet, the fact that more business is being taken place each day on the internet and because, competitive, you have to.  There are two main things you need to know.  First, protecting your personal brand is something that you can’t neglect now because other people may share your own name and claim your digital real estate first and then charge you later (possibly).  Second, promoting your brand is how you’re going to find work during these tough times because visibility creates opportunities and because you need endorsements from other people in order to secure a job without much effort.  Obtaining digital assets in your name, such as your domain name and profiles on social networks, is what’s going to get your name out there, at the cost of your time.   During this recession, you’ll need to spend more of your time on building your brand because you’ll need to invest your money to be financial stable.

3.  Building strong relationships

It’s not just about forming any type of relationship.  During this economic crisis, strong ties are going to count and weak ties are going to break.  The key is figuring out who you want to be extra close with and being honest with yourself as to who you think will actually take care of you and become your “safe haven.”  Your family and closest friends will hopefully be there for you, but, depending on their own interests and financial situation, things may change a bit.  Relationships are more valuable than money because they can help you become more productive, allow you to scale your personal brand so you can service more people (clients/management), and because they can help you stay employed or find a new job.  Aside from investing in your financial education and your personal brand, spend at least 10 hours a week forging stronger relationships with other people.

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