1. This is so true! I can remember the late 70s and again the late 80s. Both times, the economy took a dip, but there were people around who prospered anyhow. And not only that, but many companies that were in flat-out primetime in the 80s and 90s were started by people during those downturns: I distinctly remember Merry Maids was one; Penzey’s Spices, Chadwick’s of Boston, Crispy Creme Donuts, even Apple and Microsoft all got their starts during these hard times. The key was people willing to think outside the box, figure out something people needed but didn’t have, and put in the effort to make it reality.

    I’ve started two different businesses during this time…really three. Nothing earth-shattering yet, but they’ve allowed my family to thrive while my spouse has been unemployed. Not that that is changing, I think we’ll be in great shape.

    • Tracey,
      Hey, thanks for so perfectly demonstrating “alchemy.” (And it’s nice to know there’s some of us “old enough” to recall the late 70’s…)
      Looking at your family situation, some would say you’re “lucky” that you have alchemy skills while your spouse is unemployed.
      I say we make our own luck, we create our own opportunity.
      And you’re proof.
      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Tracey, I appreciate it.

  2. Oops, that should be “NOW that that is changing”! He’s working again, which makes our family’s bottom line so much better. But mine did keep us afloat when there was nothing from him.

    It’s really interesting that if you look at your talents with an eye on what you can do to help others, that’s where it all starts (your first point). Helping others. Not “how can I make money”, even though that’s part of it! Kind of like your site here.

    Great post, great site!

    • Tracey,
      Thanks for that clarification and good news, (and the compliments!)
      I love your point: “…that’s where it all starts (your first point). Helping others. Not “how can I make money…”
      Not enough people talk about this, and this (in my humble opinion) is the very definition of “entrepreneur.”
      The people who win come to the table with great ideas and intention first, the cash is secondary.
      Thanks again,

  3. Yo Keith,
    I love this, it’s crunchy-good. I am currently falling a bit short on the “exchange” step — hey, maybe that’s your next workshop?
    But dude — I predict you’re gonna’ get some snarky emails on this one!
    I can just *see* some poor outta’ work guy sitting out there thinking you’re telling him that you think his worry, pain and struggle is an “illusion.” I know what you mean….
    More like this one, please!

    • Craig,
      Thanks — I’ve received lots of email about this post, so far, so good.
      Hmmm — you may have a point. I tried *really, really hard* to be nice in this one, but I always say if I’m not clear, hopefully somebody calls me on it and gives me the opportunity to clarify.
      And just in case someone IS snarked, my official position: our RESPONSE to anything is always “real” — that’s about as “real” as anything gets, I would think?
      It’s just I would hope that any of us feeling temporarily discouraged or sidetracked by life’s ups and downs would take a look at his or her neighbor and ask: “Is there something in their “reality” I could consider?”
      IN the end, you’re right: The bigger our list grows, the better the odds I’m going to tick someone off. It’s (usually) unintended : -)


  4. This is an extremely valuable way to break this down: I had honestly never thought of “marketing” or selling in this way. And yet, in my practice, this is what I do to get new patients. I really appreciate this article: I will re-read it this week and allow it to sink in.
    Many thanks for your site!

    • iala,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment – yes, you are right: these three steps are very “natural” to us, and yet a lot of us leave out one or more of them when it comes to “selling” ourselves or something close to us. Look for more articles breaking down this topic in the future.

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