I had the opportunity this morning to be a guest on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.  The topic of the show was “Life Without Work.”  Along with me, Tom’s guests were Ron from Mobile, Alabama, a former firefighter who started a window washing company that has dried up with the economy, and Lisa, a bank employee from Mercer, Wisconsin, who lost her job six weeks ago.  We spent the hour discussing how to cope with layoffs, how to make do with less, and how to stay optimistic.

I’ve been focusing all of my energy lately on our company, Koombea.  Right now, when companies are cutting staff rather than hiring, I believe it’s an ideal time start your own business.  We’ve decided to make a go of it on our own and rely on good old fashioned creativity and hard work and make our own future.  It’s a scary time to be out of a job right now.  But if you do, here are three things that have helped me…

  1. Work harder than you ever have before. Whether you’re looking for a job or starting a business, the only route to success is working harder than the next guy.  Every day, get up early and hustle.
  2. Have a plan. Know what you want and figure out what you need to do to get it.  Is it more networking with the right people?  Is it demonstrating your talents somehow?  Is it working for free for someone else for a bit or providing a service based on your talents?  Whatever it is, map it out and understand the steps you need to take to get there.
  3. Stay positive and have some fun. Being out of work can be tough on the psyche.  Make sure you spend time with your family and friends.  Find cheap sources of entertainment, play board games, start a garden, just do something that gets your mind off the job hunt.

If you’re out of work right now, things will get better.  Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday they will.  But you have to be the one who makes it happen, things won’t just fall out into your lap.  Every success must be earned.

Proximity film

Best of luck to you and god speed.