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Stop Blaming the Economy For Your Hardships


Since the subprime home mortgages took a dive in 2007, the economy as a whole has seen better days. Now, 5 years later, citizens still listen intently to the economic report each month. How many people are still unemployed? What type of jobs are available? What’s our National Debt looking like? Yes, these are important questions, but I encourage you not to dode on them.

What If the Reports Are Bad?

What if the reports come in and they are nothing but doom and gloom? What is your initial reaction? Do you say, “Well, at least I have a job. I’m one of the lucky ones.” and leave it at that? Just because the “professionals” say that life will be a struggle for the next couple of years, I say you should ignore them completely and shoot for the moon anyway. What do you have to lose?

My Personal Example

My wife and I got married on July 2, 2009. Soon after the wedding bells, we were both working full-time and making what we considered to be “a lot of money”. Granted, we were fairly fresh out of school and never had full-time jobs before, but we were still making more than the “average household income,” and felt entirely blessed.

Even with this “terrible economy”, my wife and I were able to advance ourselves in our careers and we’ve also each started a business on the side. I have established a few websites online and she’s started her own photography business!

Since 2009, we’ve doubled our income! That’s right, in this “down economy”, we’ve taken life into our own hands and increased our income by more than a more than a typical manager’s salary. Can you believe that?

How Did We Do It?

With the economy the way it is, people often question how we could possibly increase our income by so much, but it’s simple really.

(1) The first step to increasing our earnings was to ignore the economic reports. These reports are simply an average of the entire nation and have little bearing on what our individual income is.

(2) Explore the market – We took note of what was currently earning money for others as well as what was needed. My wife knew a ton of people that plan on getting married soon, and since she’s had experience with photography and loves the art of a photo shoot, why not start up a business and make a little money in the process? For myself, I loved to write about personal finance, and there were sites everywhere that were already making money, so why not me?

(3) Advance in Our Careers – Some of our increased earnings came from our day jobs as well. I switched jobs and received an increase in pay, and my wife started new work as well. What’s our secret? Work hard, display your skills, and don’t be afraid to share your ideas.

Don’t let the reports of doom and gloom get you down. There are people out there that are doing great financially – it is possible to have success in a bad economy! Just keep an eye out for those opportunities and jump on them as they passing by.

Would you say that the economy is affecting you negatively, or have you fought against the “sky is falling” reports?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. If you can believe it I started to do real well once the economy went south. One of the reason’s I try my best to stay away from blaming people is that I find I get stuck in the angry thought. I can’t move on when I am stuck there so I have made a conscience decision to take responsibility even when I feel like it’s not all my fault. It allows me to move on and conquer again.

    • I hear you loud and clear Jai! If we’re all down on ourselves and upset, there’s no way we can advance ourselves into a positive direction! Stay positive and you’re going to do awesome!

      • I agree with you both! I started my website and bought another recently during this economic downturn. I like to take advantage of the ripe opportunities that people miss while donning their “poor is me” attitude.

  2. Ii have totally ignored the doom and gloom reports of the economy and since 2008 my wife and I paid off over $20,000 in debt and created a savings and income sufficient to move to Thailand. If you have the will and drive to succeed then the overall economy won’t influence you nearly as much as those who feel they can’t get ahead in a negative economic environment.

    • That is awesome Money Infant! I’m glad you haven’t allowed the doom and gloom to get you down! Keep it up and let me know if you ever move to Thailand! 😉

      • We already made the move this past June.
        Just so you know 😉

        • That’s pretty sweet! Don’t tell my wife – she wants to live everywhere under the sun….I’m not so sure yet.

          • Thailand!? Let’s go!! 🙂

          • Uh oh, looks like she already found out Derek 🙂

          • Haha. Yep….. see you in Thailand….. 😉 Lol.

  3. Strong post. I realized that everyone makes money on a volitale market therefore there’s a million outlets talking and creating more volatility. I just set my plan and forget it.

    • There may be doom and gloom out there, but there’s always opportunity!

  4. I find it is best to ingnore the economists, talking heads on tv and politicians and just live my life the way I want to live it. While the economy has been stumbling the past few years it is important to stay positive and not let it get you down. I keep working hard, investing a portion of my income and am beginning to work towards making some extra income on the side. You’ve been a great motivation in through this past year or so. Thanks!

    • It sure is best to ignore the economists. Their terrible reports often drive the market into a deeper recession. Rather than reporting the past, wouldn’t it be better to come up with solutions for the future?

  5. It’s easy to get caught up in statistics because they seem meaningful, They are generally more interesting than vague statements. However, when it comes to how the media, politicians, etc. use numbers, I’d like to defer to the book, Proofiness by Charles Seife, which nicely highlights how numbers can be very deceiving and intentionally manipulated for gain.

    • Yep. Statistics can often be manipulated to tell whatever story you want. I ignore most reports for that very reason.

  6. I have been working hard to keep moving forward in my financial journey despite all the obstacles that I encounter. It is a long, arduous journey, but one that will be worth it in the end.

    • It’s great to keep your positive attitude CFM! I think it will ultimately lead to your incredible success!

  7. Very nice post! I think people look at the economy as a way to complain. Not all be some! You cant help if you lose your job but when you have a job and are simply spending too much money on things that are not needed you are the one to blame. I have been able to pay off debts and increase income with changing careers. Many think they don’t have time to have a side or second job yet waste hours watching tv.

    • I’m glad you mentioned TV. Yes, it can be educational, but most of the time, it’s just a complete waste of time. Not only that, it can get you down when you start watching the negative economic news. I ignore television all together.

  8. I agree with you, to some extent, that the larger economic events don’t have an impact on everything.

    However, in the same degree, it has to be realized that not everyone can improve their income in a down economy. Right now we have a nearly unlimited number of people chasing a finite number of jobs. If someone goes from $50,000 to $70,000, that’s just displacing one job with another. It’s simple economics that not everyone can improve their income. However, in the same way, not everyone can blame problems on the economy.

    • If someone can’t find a job, I believe that they should create their own income! America has become too dependant on employment. This country was built on small business and capitalism. I think it’d be great to get back to that. It seems though, that we’re leading ourselves into government control (aka communism….).

  9. Yeah, I’m not one much for excuses either.

    What’s your wife’s photography website? I was trying to find a link to it to show my friend.

    Happy times to you,

  10. Successful people usually ignore the economic conditions and create their exonomic model that usually works. A lot of very successful people start businesses in a down economy to iron out the kinks before they get too busy.

    • I’m glad so many of my readers realize that success is not based on the economy, but by their actions outside of their day-job.

  11. I am getting tired of people saying “In this economy…” Ok, yes, 3 years ago when things were fresh I could see that. Now, it just sounds like an excuse. It’s “the thing to say” now.

    Someone said to me the other day… “people need to stop looking for jobs and start creating jobs.” Yes!

    • Yes, I like that phrase much better! “People need to stop looking for jobs and start creating jobs.” That is the thinking that will get America back on track.

  12. I would say the economy hasn’t hit us that hard at all. A bit of investment losses but that is about it. We, like you, work hard and manage our money well so we are always prepared for a crisis or change. I think being organized and responsible with your life is key and if you do this then not much negative will affect you.

    • I don’t feel like it has either! But, that’s all I hear around me… bad economy this, no work that. It’s like the economists have brainwashed people into thinking that life is tough, and they’re proving them right without knowing it!

  13. There are people making money all the time. Now, there are legitimate reasons why people can be impacted by the economy – layoffs, etc.

    However, setbacks can often be overcome and some can even thrive no matter what. Best to keep persevering, work smart, and keep on moving forward.

    • Use your brain and learn to make income the old fashioned way – not through a job, but by starting your own business! 🙂

  14. I don’t pay attention to the gloom and doom reports. I know the market will rebound 🙂

    • Good for you! Keep that up and you’ll certainly go places!

  15. Hi Derek,
    Another cool article but I was expecting something a little more caustic! Currently, the widely accepted wisdom is that every aspect of the financial meltdown has been caused by the evil bankers. The real reason for most of the problems stems with our own willingness to take fast credit because, in some way, we ‘deserve’ it.

    • You are 100% right James! Rather than point fingers are people for what happened in the past though, I’d rather give them a little jump-start for their future! I can’t wait till the economy is 2X better than what it was before. Hopefully we stop driving this country into debt and figure out a way to be profitable again.

  16. I enjoyed this read Derek. You had me at “dode.”

    • Haha, excellent.

  17. I would just like to say something about the post above don’t blame the economy for your hardships. Theirs always an advantage in keeping a bright outlook on things even in a bad economy like today. But in so many cases its really not your choice that is whether or not you keep your job or lose it. If you work for a company that does well in good times and bad consider yourself fortunate. You could just as easily be working for the company that goes bust which is totally beyond your control. I don’t want to get into the philosophical differences between conservatives and liberals for example. But heres my point. If you have a job and you lose it you have no income except unemployment compensation or severance pay period. So I would suggest getting away from ones almost complete total dependence on a company for their livelihood and instead try and focus on some way of generating income by being self employed. No I don’t mean opening a coffee shop or bar and grill. I mean simply finding a way or ways of generating income most likly working from your home or away from home what ever on a part time basis finding some little niche that can produce some nice additional income so you will not be so completely and totally dependant on your employer for your livelihood. Thats my definition of real independence for anyone who considers themself to be a member of the working class.

    • I agree with you 100% PSB! The less dependance we have on our regular job, the more secure we will be in our everyday lives, regardless of the status of the economy. Thanks so much for the comment!

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