Why You Should Start Now, Recession or Not

Professional photographer Rich Wagner here. Lori’s out of the office this week, so I’ll be your guest editor for the next few days.

As a photographer and the owner of multiple small local businesses, Lori asked me to talk about what I do when a recession hits.

I confess this is not my first recession. I’ve been through a few of them. Not only have I participated in all the national ones with the rest of my fellow citizens, I’ve created a few personal ones in between where it seemed I was the only fool.

To me, a recession is like moving to a new town. It’s a chance to start something new, or fix an old problem.

Let me give you an example. As a kid, we moved every year or two from the time I was in first grade to high school. My grandfather had given me the nickname “Butch” when I was a baby. A typical day in the new neighborhood went something like this: “So, you’re Butch, huh? Think you’re tough?” Followed by me getting thrashed.

By the time I was entering seventh grade, my father announced we were moving to Cleveland. Just before the tears came, he said: “This is a chance for you to get rid of Butch and call yourself Rich. After all, no one in Cleveland knows any better.” And just like that, moving went from being a painful experience to an opportunity to do something new; from being feared to being enjoyed; from getting pounded by the big kids to going out with the cute girls. (Although I confess seventh grade hormones had some influence on the latter.)

In past recessions I’ve ended up working for better companies, getting better jobs with more opportunities, changing careers entirely, and ultimately getting back to doing something I loved in high school and college -- photography. I also lived out the dream of starting my own business.

Someplace in all this, I changed the definition of “better job” from one that depended entirely on the size of my paycheck, to one that put emphasis on the pleasure in the work I do. After a while I was not only living a better life, I actually was making more money!

The next recession was much easier for me. I was doing something I loved and working for myself. It made the difficult times easier to bear and I wound up improving my businesses in the end. I suspect this one will be very challenging. But I’ll keep my eyes open and see what new opportunities are in store.

Times may be hard, but I’m tough -- after all, my name is Butch.

Confucius says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” So while everyone is running around screaming “recession,” don’t slow down. Just get out your camera or your journal and look at it as an opportunity to change, get creative, and try something new.

I’ll talk more about this later this week as your guest editor. Especially on Thursday when I send you a list of projects I’m working on… new ideas to help expand my business -- and yours -- during the recession.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]