Our economy is in a downturn. It is being called the Great Recession. About 9 % of the work force is unemployed. Those who have jobs are either under-employed – not working enough hours or making enough money – or overworked for less money. Many baby-boomers have just dropped out of the workforce altogether by going into early retirement.
It seems like everyone is losing in one way or another. One person is losing money while another is losing time with their family and friends. Sales are down. Incomes are down. Some are working all the time to keep their job. Some are looking frantically for a job or another career path while their savings plummets.
When the economy is good, life is good. Everyone is gaining. Employees are making more money with less work. Business owners are profiting. Governments are receiving more tax money. Employees and employers alike have more opportunities to either work more or spend more time with their family and friends. It seems easy to make the most of your gains.
When everyone is losing, there are seemingly less opportunities. There are less ways to earn a living. However, now is the time to make the most of it. William Bolitho said:
“The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelligence; and it makes the difference between a man of sense and a fool.”
How can you profit from your losses? How can you turn your lemons into lemonade? Well, I know how one lady who did just that. She was a news reporter who liked to be active. During the day, she did stunts like climbing skyscrapers for her stories. At night, she danced. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, she was in an automobile accident that injured her ankle. For a while, she continued to be on-the-go, but finally her ankle gave way. She had to quit journalism after just four years of writing. She stayed home as a housewife and was miserable. She became depressed. Her husband continually brought her stacks of books from the library to read. After months of this, he was frustrated and told her to write her own book.
And so she did. She wrote and she wrote. She wrote for the next three years. She refused to publish it. Only her husband read some of it. Not until five years later, did she allow a publisher to read it. The day after she gave the manuscript to the publisher, she sent a telegram demanding him to return it. She had decided against it. But the publisher refused and persuaded her to go through with it. She relented and published her one and only novel Gone with the Wind in 1936 during the Great Depression. At three dollars per book, it sold as much as 50,000 copies one day during the summer. By 1938, over one million copies were sold. Novelist Margaret Mitchell turned her lemons into lemonade. Of course, three years later her book was turned into a blockbuster movie.
How can you turn your lemons into lemonade?