When coronavirus hit in March of this year here in the states, many people, myself included thought that this could be the end times. I was almost certain that the economy would collapse and as a consequence, law and order and civilization could collapse as well.
Effects on family owned small businesses
Being self-employed with a wife and son to provide for was also scary. I wasn’t sure if my business would survive. Fortunately for me, my business not only survived, it thrived. I’m having my best year in 16 years and I’m working more than I ever have. I realize however though that I am very fortunate. For every one of me there’s probably 15 to 20 Americans who lost their job through no fault of their own.
I am no more hard-working or deserving of a livelihood than those folks. I just happen to be in an industry that was deemed “essential.”
In my industry, the IT Services space, we saw a trend of people being stuck at home and spending a lot of money on a lot of different things. I’ve sold more TVs, computers and other consumer-electronics this year then I’ve sold in any previous year. I guess all that time at home people had to think about things they could buy, replace and/or upgrade.
We’re seeing it in the hot seller’s market in the real estate world. Additionally, tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians, remodelers and contractors are all so busy that they’re turning away work.
What does all of this mean? To me, it means that in a free society with a relatively free enterprise market system whenever one part of the economy is held down another part pops up. I call this the push down – pop-up economy. And, it’s a phenomenon that’s pretty obvious in my business and the businesses of many people that I know.
Warren Buffett once famously said, “I get nervous when other people get greedy and I get greedy when other people get nervous.” He and other successful entrepreneurs clearly understand the push down pop-up economy.
Regardless of all the bad things going on, there always seems to be an opportunity amidst all the crisis. The next time you face a personal or professional crisis try to ask yourself, “Where are there opportunities in this situation.” I can assure you that they are there if you are patient and disciplined enough to look for them.