5 Building Blocks to Business Success in a Recession (or anytime)

Two bloggers (steve pavlina & personalmba) whom I highly respect have written recently on how to succeed when everyone else is losing their heads and their focus.

Below I have created a mashup of their points and thrown in one about “passion” from a favourite business thinker of mine, Jim Collins (Built To Last | Good to Great)

1) Find your passion (Good to Great)

2) Get Excited (personalmba)

3) Create useful things of value (stevepavlina | personalmba)

4) Deliver that value (stevepavlina)

5) Repeat

Over the last three years I have been a voracious business book reader. The above principles present themselves time and again in business reading. I could give a near endless list of books that support the importance of one or more of these principles. I’m not, but I do want to point out something about passion and excitement.

Passion and excitement are so critical to success in anything we do. And that is precisely why so many of us DO NOT succeed.

In How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling (In my opinion one of the greatest books on life and business ever written. Am I the only one?), Frank Bettger spends the whole of one of the first chapters talking about how developing enthusiasm tripled his income.

But that is not the most important discovery he makes about enthusiasm. No, the most important discovery that he makes about enthusiasm is that generally we do not show enthusiasm because of fear.

Yes, fear (and not a recession or lack of money/knowledge/skill) is the great obstacle to our success. It is the reason we panic and look for quick money fixes when we have problems (like recessions). (listen to this next point because it is paramount) Most people live their entire lives in panic mode! They freak out and look for quick money fixes (i.e. jobs). Their lives are a series of stimuli –>freak out –>quick money fix, as they hop from one unsatisfying thing to the next.

Really they are avoiding the biggest fear of all, death. “I exist. Who do I want to be? And before I die what do I want to do?”

The answer to this question is where passion comes from! It is how we find our passion. And from running with that passion we create excitement.

But we are too afraid to ask these big questions. And that fear, and not a recession (or other external forces) is the real enemy.

– Taiyo Johnson


I am currently researching fear and overcoming my own fears. A great help so far has been Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. Overcoming fear and activities to help one overcome fears will be a major component of the unified system of life management.

Also, on finding one’s passions, the book First Things First by Stephen Covey is a must. So many people live by the clock, trying to cram as many activities into 24 hours as possible. Unfortunately, many of those activities are not the most important ones. The most important (first) things are not put first because we have not identified them.