Today, I’m feeling a wee bit grumpy. Maybe my biorhythms are low. I don’t know. I do know that unlike half the world, I’m not blaming the economy for my bad mood. Many people end up miserable simply because they let the news get to them. So if you’ve been watching the news lately, I encourage you to just stop it. As Frank Herbert said in Dune, “Fear is the mind killer.”
When you focus your energy on what’s going wrong in the world, you aren’t focusing on what’s going right with you. People rarely make good business decisions out of fear. Yes, the economy may be in the dumpster, but this is not the first recession I’ve lived through and it won’t be the last. It doesn’t benefit me in any way to constantly live in a state of fear.
For one thing, what you focus on tends to appear in your life. For example, suppose you are driving down the road daydreaming about how you’d love to own a cute little red convertible instead of the moldy old hunk of junk you drive now. Suddenly, every red convertible on the freeway catches your eye. When you’re standing in line at the grocery store flipping through a magazine, you’ll notice a big glossy advertisement for the latest and greatest convertible which is now on sale. Eventually, if you continue to focus your energy on how you want that adorable red convertible, you’ll probably end up owning one.
The same is true of many other things in life. Things you focus on tend to materialize. Some people call it the Law of Attraction, but whether or not you want to put a spiritual spin on it, the reality is how you think has an impact on your life. Although a lot of what you read about the Great Depression implies that people were throwing themselves out of windows left and right, many companies also thrived during the Depression. Undoubtedly, many companies will thrive now too.
For every article that says this is a terrible time to get into publishing, another says that thanks to technology, book publishing is easier than ever before. In fact, I read somewhere that certain publishers are actually seeing an increase in book sales. When the going gets tough, people get into “do-it-yourselfer” mode, which is great if you happen to publish how-to information. It may be difficult to sell an outrageously expensive designer widget right now, but selling a $20 book on widget repair is probably not as big of a challenge.
If you focus on being a publisher, eventually you will be one. That’s what happened to us about two years ago. We decided that we wanted to publish books. Now we’re about to release our ninth book.
Thought comes before action. So instead of freaking out and dwelling on every negative news report you encounter, focus on how the lousy economy and idiotic political situations can be opportunities for new creative business and marketing ideas.