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What's Hot in 2009: Threats

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we continue the five-part series by looking at threats.

We recently posted an article where we shared seven threats facing us in 2009. We’ll discuss two of them today.



Downturn expected to hit higher and harder

The first threat is the recession. It is now expected to be deeper, longer, and different than any other downturn that we’ve witnessed in our lifetimes. As with any recession, layoffs will be part of the mix.

In the past, layoffs have occurred mostly at the lower end of the career spectrum. What makes this recession different, and the reason we feel it’s important to emphasize this to the members of our community, is that this recession is expected to hit hardest at the upper end.

It was recently suggested in an article on Harvard’s site that this recession be dubbed “The Great Disruption.” It certainly has been disruptive, hasn’t it? It appears that volatility is something we need to get used to going forward.

Moving out is moving up

Another important threat is continued outsourcing. This is also something that we feel may disproportionately affect the people in our community in the coming year.

We’ve already witnessed it, but jobs outside manufacturing are now at risk. It was interesting to see manufacturing start coming back onshore as the price of fuel rose. With the digital revolution, the cost of moving information around the world costs practically nothing. So white-collar jobs may be the most at risk now.

We’ve seen that already with lower skill jobs. Now it seems that some higher level careers may also be at risk. We see two factors in jobs that are safe:

  • an on-site presence is necessary to perform the work
  • face-to-face contact produces better results

The article also mentions a great resource that describes occupations that are and aren’t likely to be moved offshore as well as the other five threats. Check it out!

We like to think positively, but it’s also important to realistically assess those impediments to achieving our goals. We call that positively real thinking … that’s what it takes to succeed bigg!


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We’re really grateful that you took time out of your day to read our post today. Join us next time when we look at some questions which will help you tie the opportunities and threats to the right career or business for you. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Top Threats to Your Career and Finances in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff


We’ve all heard plenty of bad news recently, but the bad news now is that there is more bad news to come. While we must think about the opportunities in front of us, it’s also important to consider the threats to our careers and our finances so we can prepare appropriately.


Consumers, businesses, non-profits, and governments, all over the developed world, are learning a hard lesson about leverage. We will climb our way out of this recession but it will take some time. Before it’s through, it will be one of the, if not the most, severe recession since the Great Depression. 

Layoffs will continue. In most recessions, layoffs occur mostly at the bottom of the earnings / education spectrum. Expect this recession to be more evenly distributed, if not hitting higher end jobs harder.


Companies will continue outsourcing, but here’s the difference. Manufacturing jobs have been getting shipped overseas for some time now. As fuel prices rose, there actually seemed to be a resurgence in companies bringing manufacturing jobs back on shore.

Now more white-collar jobs are at risk thanks in part to technology that allows information to be shared instantly from any place in the world with internet access. We found a great article that discusses the characteristics of jobs that can now be easily outsourced and jobs that can’t. It also lists what you can do to make yourself less vulnerable and provides a list of jobs by their level of risk to offshoring.


Expect deflation to continue as everybody keeps a tight lid on spending, the credit markets remain relatively tight, and inventories of everything from housing to cars remain comparatively high. The good news is lower prices will remain, but …


Governments in the developed countries have poured money into the world economy at unprecedented rates. At some point, once the credit markets loosen up and demand returns, inflation could become a problem.

We’ve just witnessed prices on everything from gas to groceries rising quickly. We could see it again. It will take wise leadership to know when to slam on the brakes on economic stimulus without tightening so much that another recession ensues.

If this happens, that cash stash will quickly lose its value. Investments in hard assets have typically performed well in times of inflation.

Delayed retirement

A number of retirees are being forced to look for work after the freefall of their portfolios. Even more people who planned to retire soon are putting those plans on hold because they need to bulk up their assets again before they stop working. This will create even more competition in already tight job markets.


Employers are under intense pressure to cut costs. It’s reasonable to expect them to cut benefits. Even if it’s promised now, don’t count on having health insurance provided to you as a retiree. Even while you’re working, expect to cover a greater share of the premiums.

Also don’t be surprised if your employer cuts back or eliminates the matches on your 401(k). These aren’t the only benefits at risk, but they’re two of the most significant ones.

Access to credit

It won’t show up on your personal balance sheet, but your credit score will be an incredible asset. Cash will be king as long as prices remain in a deflationary state. At some point, cash along with the ability to access credit will open doors for opportunities that most of us will never see again in our lifetimes. 


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Hot Businesses in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff


It’s not easy to succeed in your own business even in good times. So why would anyone consider starting a business now?

You might be surprised to know that many people think it is a good idea. They learn they can’t easily replace the income earned from a lost job and decide to try their hand at self-employment. In addition, after losing a job, a person might want to feel a stronger sense of control over his or her own life. Being your own boss may be the answer.

Whether you’re considering starting your first business or adding to your empire, it pays to think about what will be hot in the near future. Here are our picks for the best businesses to be involved in for 2009:


Consumers and businesses are expected to cut back on their major purchases in 2009. So rather than replace their old do-hickey, they will repair that old do-hickey. This will create tremendous opportunities for repair businesses.

As an example, shoe repair shops are reporting incredible demand. This is a highly fragmented industry with lots of possibilities. How about a service that picks up and delivers shoes that need to be repaired? A good place to start your investigation would be the Shoe Service Institute of America

Reports are that more people are staying home more often. So home repairs of any kind should do well in the coming year since people will be home to see, hear, or smell the problems they may not notice in good times. For example, handyman services were booming even before the recent financial storm. They are expected to continue to thrive in the current economy.

These are just two examples of repair businesses that are likely to thrive in 2009. It is impossible to list all of the possibilities. So think about your own repair skills or find a partner who can do the repairs while you run the business. Then research the industry to see if the service you’re thinking about is experiencing growth right now.


Consumers and businesses are also expected to purchase “used” more often in 2009. In fact, used may become chic in a world where frugality is a status symbol. So look for opportunities in industries that offer lower-priced second-hand products rather than something new.

If you have a flair for fashion, consider starting a resale clothing business. There are many possibilities even within this category. In most cases, these businesses are racking up sales almost as fast as they can get clothes on the rack. 

Beyond clothes, there are many more businesses that sell second-hand items that are reporting boom times. From books to office furniture, if there’s been demand for new products in the past, there is probably demand for used items now.

Think about what you like to buy and then do some research to see where it’s being offered second-hand. Don’t be discouraged if you see some competition. Instead, think about what you could do differently (and better).


The baby boom is starting to retire. This will create demands for products and services for seniors like never seen before. Many of these businesses will thrive in spite of economic conditions.

Start a senior service business to and help seniors do things that they don’t know how to do, don’t want to do, or can’t do. There are a number of ways to service this large and growing market including starting a(n):

  • adult day-care center
  • relocation service
  • home health-care service
  • concierge service

You could also think about combining opportunities. By this we mean, you could target seniors with your new repair business or think about used items that would be useful to seniors.

Free agency

Here’s something to ponder – if you have a job, you essentially have one customer. What kind of security does that offer? We think it’s possible to have freedom with security.

The overwhelming majority of small businesses are micro-businesses, often consisting of a single person. We think more people will continue jumping on this free agency bandwagon in the years ahead.

So instead of going for a new job, why not try to land two customers that pay you what you would expect to earn from a single job? Take that special skill you have and market yourself as a specialist rather than an employee.

Like any business, it’s usually not easy to get started. While start-up costs can be minimal, you still need the financial resources to weather times with little income or you can start part-time. However, many people find the lifestyle of a free agent very rewarding.

Consider a franchise

Franchisors often state that, when layoffs occur, they get more prospective franchise buyers. So expect franchise sales to do well in the coming year. Another piece of good news is that many franchisors will be more likely to help with the upfront financing, directly or indirectly, in light of the credit markets.

In addition to that, when you think of investment alternatives (e.g. stocks, real estate), a franchise may seem like a good option. Many people may prefer to invest in something over which they feel they have more control after the volatility of the last year. 

Many franchisors offer a proven business model. They are often less risky than a new franchise system. However, there may be more opportunity in a new franchise system. You have to determine what is best for you. Start by learning how to buy a franchise.


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Beware of scams

One word of warning – in tough economic times, scam operators come out in full force. Kiplinger has a great quiz that tests your ability to spot a scam. They present you with eight business opportunities, some which are legitimate and some which aren’t. See how you do!

Then apply this to the real world. With any opportunity you consider, trust your own instincts and do your own research. Prove to yourself that it is the right opportunity for you and the right time for the opportunity.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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5 Questions for Job Seekers in 2009


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Battle Scarred vs. Battle Scared

battle You’re probably familiar with the term “battle scarred,” which refers to the scars from wounds received in combat. Most of us are fortunate to not have to engage in real warfare where the scars are visible (i.e. physical) and invisible (i.e. mental). Our battles are more esoteric so our “scars” tend to be only the second kind – mental.



Today we want to talk about a different word – battle scared. It’s amazing what a difference that one “r” can make.

By our definition, “battle scared” means that the damage done in combat is so severe that the injured party doesn’t push on.

It’s possible to be battle scarred without becoming battle scared.

People who are battle scarred start with an open wound that leaves only a scar over time. For people who are battle scared, it’s as if the wound never closes.

Mentally, the battle is still fresh in their mind. So they’re unable to fight again today. Two people can engage in the same battle and experience the same thing. One pushes on to fight another day (the battle scarred) while the other can’t live with the memories of the battle (the battle scared).

An example: the recent financial crisis

We have an example of a battle recently – the financial troubles rolling through the economies of the developed world. We all may feel a little battle scared at this point because it is still so fresh in all of our minds. It’s important to pause and reflect so we’re only left with the scars of the battle.

Learn the proper lessons
“Stocks are too risky.”
“Playing the stock market is no different than gambling at a casino.”
“It’s the government’s fault.”
“It’s the banks’ fault.”

These are the wrong lessons to takeaway from this battle. They are the reactions of the battle scared.

“I took on too much debt.”
“I spent more than I took in.”
“I didn’t create a safety net for myself.”
“I focused too much on what I wanted now and not enough on my future.”
“I should have seen that stocks were risky.”

These are the right lessons to learn from this calamity. The battle scarred will come away with these things in mind.

Make the proper adjustments.
“I’m going to close out my 401(k).”
“I’m never going to invest in stocks again; they’re too risky.”
“I won’t take any risk ever again.”
“You can’t trust anyone.”

These knee jerk reactions are common among the battle scared.

“I’m going to have an emergency stash.”
“I’m going to get out of debt.”
“I’m going to learn to allocate my portfolio so I get decent returns for the risk I’m taking.”

The battle scarred will make adjustments, but they won’t go from one extreme to another.

Giving up gets you nowhere

We have to keep fighting. We have to learn the right things from every battle so we can make the correct adjustments. We should gain wisdom from the battles we fight. That wisdom will help us win the war faster with more certainty.

If we become battle scared, we fail. We fail to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves in the coming days. We fail to reach our full potential. We must resolve to learn from our battles and make the adjustments necessary to win the next one.


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We’re so glad you stopped by today! Come back next time to learn how to get on the radio as an expert in your field. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

tribes Today on The Bigg Success Show, we continued chatting with Seth Godin about his great new book Tribes. Last time, Seth told us what a tribe is, what the leader does, and why the quality of a tribe is more important than its quantity.



Why Seth became a leader


marylynnSeth, you said that a leader connects the tribe and gives them a voice. Obviously, you’re the leader of a tribe. What motivated you to be a leader?



seth_godinWhen I see things that are broken or aren’t the way they should be, when I see wasted resources and talent, it bothers me. I want to do something about it. I want to talk about it. I want to point it out. I want to help people see that there’s a different path. What I discovered, mostly from my blog over the last six or seven years, is that there are other people like me who are itching to make a difference. All I do is tell people stuff they already knew. All I do is give names to things that are already out there. But by giving it a name, by talking about it, I’m allowing people to say, “That’s right. The emperor has no clothes.” I’m allowing people to go to their boss and talk about remarkable products in a clever way or go to their boss and talk about treating people with respect instead of spamming them. By giving people this ammunition, what I’ve discovered is that I thought they were doing something for me, by letting me influence the discussion. They’re actually doing something for themselves because they, even more than I, want to see these things fixed and improved so they reach their potential.


The Power of One


georgeWell Seth, you’re being very humble when you say that you’re just saying things that other people have said. I think you say them in a way that cuts through and clarifies so we all understand. One of the things you talk about in Tribes is the power of one.



seth_godinHere’s the bad news – there’s all this leverage. There’s all this opportunity. If it doesn’t cost any money to find and lead and connect a tribe, if you can start your own online radio or TV show, if you can have your own blog, if you can use Meetup to connect people in 500 cities, if it’s all available and then you don’t do it, you can’t blame anybody else. That’s your choice. The punch line of the book is this is now an obligation. It’s an obligation – for anyone who cares, for anyone who wants to see change happen – for them to go make that change. One person is all that it takes to change the agenda, to keep people out of poverty, to change the way your school district works, or to get elected. One person is able to now leverage the work and enthusiasm and passion of hundreds or thousands of people.


The future is about leverage


georgeWe’ve gone through this recent financial crisis. Partly it’s a result of too much leverage. So in a financial sense, we can look at leverage as perhaps a bad thing. But you talk in your book about leverage and how leverage as a leader can help you impact change for the good.



seth_godinWell, let’s be really clear though. Leverage isn’t good or bad. Leverage is the way tools work. If you have bad intent, if you have selfish intent, if you have non-transparent intent, you can do all sorts of horrible things with tribes. We’ve seen racism and all sorts of other things amplified by this sort of leverage. The problem in our financial community is not because of leverage. The problem in our financial community is that selfish individuals made short-term decisions in the dark without telling everyone what they were doing. Leverage is the only thing that’s going to get us out of this financial problem and it will. Our future is now all about leverage. Our future is about the fact that one person in Tucson can have a clever idea and have it designed by someone in India, built by someone in Guatemala, and sold by someone in Buenos Aires. That’s extraordinary because we can do that in two weeks instead of two years. If we have good intent, if we’re willing to stand behind what we’re doing, then I’m incredibly optimistic.



marylynnHere’s another thing that’s really exciting about this day and age. As you say in the book, marketing used to be about advertising which is expensive. Now to get the word out about that product you created in two weeks, it’s about engaging your tribe. So that makes it less expensive and easier.



seth_godinIf you look at the most popular blogs in the world, almost all of them did not come from the mainstream media. The people who had all the money, all the access, and all the power, they all failed. Nobody’s going to CBS, The Today Show, or NBC online to hear unique, honest voices. They’re visiting real people, or groups of people – like the “Huffington Posts” of the world – because great ideas win. Great ideas attract enthusiasm and passion. So corporate money doesn’t work the way it used to.


Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes.

Next time, we’ll wrap up our conversation with Seth. He talks about how change and chaos are creating opportunities for all of us today. We’ll also learn what keeps Seth going. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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