How are you doing? Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed? Maybe on the edge, but not sure the edge of what?

It's hard to avoid listening and reading all the doomsday press and not let it get to you at times. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, 73,000 stores will shut their doors in the next six months. There are predictions that the US government will end up in debt in the TRILLIONS! People are starting to ask what is higher than trillion?

HOWEVER, did you realize that it is times like this that entrepreneurial ventures often take off and become extremely successful??

In Paul Pearsall's book, "The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need", he discusses the concept of a "Happiness Set-point". I think today's economy helps us all realize our set-point AND our tolerance to risk. So, how can you match your tolerance to risk with your "Happiness set-point"? You do this by determining how optimistic (or pessimistic) you are and how much you're willing to risk in starting or growing your business!

Psychoanalyst Kerry Sulkowicz, MD, calls tolerance to risk "resilience”. Those who are more resilient are better able to control their anxiety and see opportunity where others only see disaster and gloom. For some people, previous loss or failure helps build up increased resilience, so their tolerance to risk is higher. Other people have never risked a thing in their lives; therefore, they are frozen into inaction! However, for business owners who are wondering what to do next, action is essential for success.

What should you be doing? Here are some key tips:

1. Spend time focusing on your business and where exactly you see it going; look at the BIG picture for 10 - 20 years from now.

2. Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses with emphasis on your strengths. How can you shore these up even more? Chances are you have a loyal following of past and current clients/customers. How can you take advantage of that following? It might be through new programs that add/complement your current programs or services. What can you do about your weaknesses? Are there things you should let go?

3. Focus on what you would like to accomplish this year. As mentioned, this is a great time to grow, but growing may mean taking stock of exactly what position you’re in right now. How strong is your financial health? How can you grow without adding capital to the venture? Are people buying what you offer? Are they asking for something else but similar? Answering each of these questions may be where creativity comes into play. You didn’t start this business because you were ‘average’, so don’t start thinking that way now!

What about those of you who haven’t started your business, yet? Are you afraid of even THINKING about working on the plans for your business right now while you have a job? Do you realize that if you have been planning to start a business, yet still have your 'day job', that you actually have the best of both worlds? Today is an ideal time to start creating brand name awareness. You’re not ‘hungry’ for customers/clients, so you enjoy the luxury of networking and spreading the word who you are, who your ideal clients are, and what makes you different without having to ‘push’ your services. By the time the economy improves, you will experience the ‘pull’ of clients coming to YOU. They will know and trust you, because you’ve been out there, sharing and developing relationships they feel comfortable with.

Some stress is beneficial. For the entrepreneur, it demands creativity from them and encourages them to pull out all stops. It encourages them to take risks for the glory of success. When the economic climate is depressing to many, it is a sea of opportunity for the entrepreneur. What will YOU do with that stress?

Author's Bio: 

Marjorie Geiser is a nutritionist, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, life coach, and MBA student. Marjorie has been the owner of a successful small business, MEG Fitness, since 1996, and now helps other professionals start up or grow their own small business through MEG Her book, “Just Jump: The No-Fear Start-up Guide for Health and Fitness Professionals” is available from To learn more about the services Margie offers, go to her website at or email her at