How I learned to stop worrying and love the economy

Ah, the economy. I found myself saying something about it to a consultant friend tonight. She admonished me for bringing it up. She reminded me that I’ve been at this almost 15 years and that the economy has gone through a lot of changes in that time.

I was just complaining because I was a bit bored. The truth is that any change in the economy brings good things for consultants. An upswing means more money to go around, more people starting new businesses or expanding existing ones. And, when the economy contracts, things can be good too. When companies and organizations downsize, they often need to bring in consultants to cover gaps. Or they may need to bring in someone to help them grow – but they don’t want to commit to a full-time employee. So a consultant can be a great way for them to solve a problem or find a direction, without committing to a new hire.

And some industries, like government or health care, tend to be around, no matter what the economy.

So stop watching the news. Stop reading the papers. Stop searching Google and Twitter. Just ignore the bad news. A lot of it’s wrong anyway.

Because the truth is that you can build a business in any economy. You just need to pay attention to what the market needs. And keep on marketing yourself. For consultants, a "bad" economy may mean your contacts move around to other firms, you get called on to quote on jobs that used to be done in-house, or you have a chance to provide strategic direction to a company that needs to turnaround.

It’s an opportunity. Not a down economy.