Lemonade Out of Lemons

Bureau of Labor Statistics


We often speak with budding Entrepreneurs who have either just lost their job, or are worried about imminently being laid-off. One company was reported to say to their Employees that they were all to take a 20% pay cut… of course if they didn’t like it; they knew where the door was.

As of this last week, we have the highest level of unemployment in over 25 years at 8.9%. However, these numbers are massaged to retard the true carnage. The real numbers are closer to 15.8% according to the Governments’ own Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, there are literally tens of millions of people, many highly paid professionals, who are now starting rethink their careers.  The incredibly large number of recently downsized people, (Economic Policy Institute estimates over 7,000,000 jobs are needed to get back to pre-recession employment) demonstrates that companies are continually looking for ways to decrease overheads and that means staff. Many people are now doing 2-3 persons jobs, but for less money. As shortsighted as this thinking is for the company, many organizations are running in lean/mean survival mode. The prepared Executive knows this, and more people are seriously considering what their options will be if and when they become unemployed.

While there is a very real possibility your job may be at risk, fear shouldn’t prevent you from making contingency plans now. Always keep in mind, if and when you become unemployed, you will still have your expertise, experience and most importantly, options.  Whatever your experience may be, it is a marketable skill set that will set you apart from others. Now is the time to take action. Take some time and compile a list of your talents, experience and connections.


If you are not comfortable with newer technologies in social networking, LEARN NOW. Social Sites are not a fad or over hyped technology. These are the new dynamic ways we are and will be communicating.


In fact, newer technologies are already being invented which will be one stop shops for all social media. The old days of meeting at the local Chamber mixers, passing out linen business cards are probably over. So don’t get too far behind. Put a personal page on LinkedIn, Facebook and start an account on Twitter. These are free, and once you become comfortable with the environments, they can be very effective. Create a brand for yourself. Ask yourself: Who are you? What is your expertise and how can you help other people? Anything you do on these sites should revolve around one important question: What can I do or say that will HELP OTHERS. If you come across as being purely self-serving, you won’t get very far.


The biggest mistake that people make during this process is thinking they don’t have skill sets that are in demand or of any interest to anyone else.  That’s wrong! Think about all the abilities that you have developed over the past several years in your job/hobbies, etc.

What have you been doing? How can you share that information with other people who may be in your industry and may not have as much experience as you? Find the niche groups that caters to your experience. Promote yourself through ASSISTING others within these groups. People on these sites will appreciate you providing answers to questions. You will soon become a respected guru in your field and your connections with others will increase, thereby your potential opportunities.


For some people, now is one of the best times to consider starting a new business. There are many opportunities to start a business, but keep in mind the failure rate for those that start on a limited budget. The longer it takes to learn how to run a business, the more likely the business will fail. Many people will then take a look at Franchising or a similar Business Opportunity program that provides support and assistance, which can increase the likelihood of success. After all, these time proven systems provide a step by step approach.

However, money for high end franchising concepts is becoming harder to borrow. The credit crisis has slowed down many people’s desire to purchase high cost franchises, so other options should be considered, including lower cost business opportunities and training programs.

In the meantime, continue to grow and develop yourself, either in the field you are in, or in a new exciting field in which you have had interest. Make yourself more valuable this year than you were last year. Know that you are someone who has a lot to offer, wherever you are employed by others, or you are about to embark on the exciting endeavor of owning your own business.

Make lemonade out of lemons, and use the current economy to benefit you and your family. And when you are running your own successful business or in another field that is rewarding, don’t forget to call your old Boss and say “Thanks!”.

Best of luck in your endeavors!



About Valcor

David H. Sussman M.A. is CEO at Valcor Arbitration Services, a business restructuring, mediation and capital acquisition firm.Valcor works with small businesses to save them from bankruptcy and litigation. David is also one of the principal trainers for the Valcor Licensee Training Program. This program provides independent licensees with training, support and intellectual property to use Valcor's proven systems to help struggling local businesses throughout North America. Valcor has been featured in multiple news outlets including The Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, The Chicago Sun Times, CNN Money, and dozens of other publications. David is a featured guest on multiple business radio programs, including Money Matters and Business Today. Born and raised in London, England, David emigrated with his family in 1977. He is a father of 2 sons, an avid hiker and a pianist.
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