2023 looks like it will be hard – how will you react?

Published by Tim Levey on 10 January 2023

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The IMF Kristalina Georgieva has started the New Year with a stark message, that a third of the global economy and half of the EU will be hit by recession this year.

The silver lining is that a poll of leading economists by the Financial Times see 2024 as being much better than 2023, so how do we get through the next 12 months and maintain a strong mindset to achieve business success in the future?

Learn from the wisdom of others and the experience of previous downturns.

Around the time of the 2008 recession, which came out of the sub-prime crisis, I was asked to give an upbeat presentation at our annual Finance Focus event.  Not many people were feeling positive given the impact of the fallout that was becoming evident. And if you remember back to that time, there were few clues as to when economic recovery would return.

Just around that time I had seen reference to a “Last Lecture” given by Randy Pausch, a computer sciences professor at Carnegie Mellon.  Randy had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but his lecture wasn’t about dying, it was entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. It was about living and overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others as well as your own, and seizing every moment.

I picked a key part of that lecture as the main theme for my talk that morning and with experts convinced that a hard recession awaits UK and global businesses in 2023, this is probably a good time to give the message another airing.

For me, the key quote from his speech which became famous was “… you just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore…”

Tigger bounces around and wants others to do the same.  He’s a thinker, optimistic, imaginative, solution focused and hopeful.  On the other hand, Eeyore is gloomy, morose and sees the worst in every situation.  AA Milne was clear that their approaches to the challenges that they come up against couldn’t be more different.

There is plenty of research to suggest that your attitude to adversity has a bearing on the outcome and in my experience that is the same in business.  We can always choose how we respond and in the words of Charles Swindoll, “life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”.  With the right attitude, the right things tend to get lined up and there should always be something to look forward to.

So, as we start the new year, this would be a good time to think about how we are all going to take the challenges ahead and encourage others to have a more positive mindset.

At Randy’s funeral, just 10 months after the lecture, small Tiggers were placed on every seat, a message for everyone attending that there is always optimism to be had.

If you need any assistance during this challenging time, please contact us today.

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