We are experiencing some pretty historic financial circumstances lately. but you know what? A desperation mentality is not attractive and the more you feel and act like a desperate teen looking for a prom date, the more likely you will create circumstances in your life to truly be desperate about.

I was watching CNN Money over the weekend when they aired some “Emergency” financial program. The kind of program filling the airways lately where a handful of experts in suits attempt to make sense of the insane state of the current financial markets. While there is some very good advice in there, much of it is hype and fear-mongering if you ask me. I just about blew a blood vessel when one conservative looking stressed out expert with a high pitched voice doled out a piece of advice that flies in the face of everything I know to be true. He essentially said: don’t take any risks right now, don’t think of changing your job/career, just sit tight and hold on. That’s when I lost all sense of reason for a moment and started to attempt to coach the television. All joking aside…all I could picture were thousands of people watching this telecast who suddenly had their fears amplified and would choose to curl up into a ball and attempt to be “safe”. What a shame.

As I see it the current conditions are calling us all to have a reality check – financially and in every area of our lives. That reality check includes more than just prudent spending and asset allocation. It boils down to the very questions that came to the forefront after 9/11.

Am I spending my life in a meaningful way that honors the things that matter most to me?

What changes do I need to make in my life so I know deep in my heart that I am living it fully without regrets?

Right now is all we truly have to live. I know I personally am not about to put the business of living and building a business on the backburner while the people at the top try to come up with some faulty plan to fix the economic mess that has taken years for the collective “us” to create. I’m not living in a dream world – sure I need to look at cold hard facts and make decisions based on that, but I’m not throwing in the towel on doing what’s right for ME because some snarky expert in a suit rambled like Chicken Little telling us all that the sky is falling and its best we run inside and hide.

Geeky Mom shares my passion in her recent post “Free Agent”:

I’ve been thinking about how to write this post for a while now. As of Friday, I will no longer be employed, by my choice. I won’t go into reasons here because they are complicated and personal and it’s not fair to present just one side of things. Over the next couple of days, I’ll be trying to articulate my reasons to various people and that will be difficult enough. I don’t know yet what the future will bring, but I’m looking forward to new possibilities and new opportunities. There are many possibilities on the horizon, but I’m going to take my time to decide which ones are right for me and the kind of life I want to have right now.

You might read something like the next passage from BG Blogging and think these thoughts are just dreaming. How could anyone make such a transition in THESE times? I like this post “From Outside the Walls: In Search of Form and Meaning in Extreme Times” because it exemplifies the way we need to give ourselves permission to explore and learn about ourselves and the world in new ways. True success and building real wealth just can’t happen at warp speed between our double lattees while rushing to the bus listening to an iPod.

I have been fortunate to know summer as deep, slow quiet feathered between spring’s cacophony and fall’s exuberant re-embrace of the classroom. Wending my way through the weeks taking pictures, writing, gardening, playing, dreaming, traveling, cooking seems as natural and necessary as engaging in intense creative collaborations during the “school year.” The very bounded nature of that time invites its expansiveness, its dreaminess-it is luxurious precisely because it has limits, tensions, oppositions. The form poem. The classroom at its best.

The way to freedom comes through conscious choices and building a foundation that is strong through for all economic times, good and bad. I know personally that I could not possibly be in business for myself now if I had not set myself up with the cushion necessary for success with financial choices I have made over the years. If you want to make a leap you need to do so in a way that makes sense and you need to make conscious choices. We ALWAYS have choices, and that is what Mr. Chicken Little was forgetting. Choosing to curl up, hide, and live in fear will not empower your future. It will cripple your soul as well as your bottom line. Jory Des Jardins paints a great picture of how a choice can allow you to make the changes you desire in her blog post “Fear”

I quit my job to freelance and explore the blogging world. I didn’t have gigs lined up, just a book proposal and a desire to learn what was next without knowing what it would look like. The house gave me the luxury of living in uncertainty.

When I quit my other work to make BlogHer a full-time business, our little, rented house made an irregular paycheck possible. We were able to take risks because we weren’t tied down to a mortgage.

It is short-sightedness that got the world into the mess it is currently in and I have to say it is only the long-range thinkers who can thrive regardless because they can ride out the bumps with peace of mind. I talk about taking a long-term and holistic mindset to your career and money so you can create a life you love on the job and off in my latest eBook just released this week. I think Pam Slim nails it on the head and sums it up nicely in “Open letter to employees across the corporate world”:

Make a long-term life plan. You get so caught up with surviving each day that you have no idea what would make you happy down the road. But it is this long-term plan that is going to give focus and structure to decisions you make every day on your job, and guide decisions about the next step in your career. Get clear on what kind of work energizes you, the kind of people that you want to be around, where you want to live, how much money you want to make and how much time you want to spend at your job.

Now THAT is what the current state of affairs is calling us all to do. Take a good hard look at where you are, how you got here, and where you really want to go. Desperation and chicken little – that’s just a recipe for disaster.


Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, offers life coaching for women who are ready to create their lives and businesses in a way that fits who they are rather than how they were told they "should". Visit her website at www.thepaulagcompany.com and get the free 12 part eCourse "How to Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin" and start taking charge of your own success.