When the world panics, you can find opportunity and thrive

Foreword: This BLOG was written the morning of Monday, August 24th – the same morning the Dow crashed just after the opening bell. The author wrote these words around 930am. Similarly, in September of 2008, as the Dow fell 777 points, the author signed a 5 year lease agreement with his broker advising him to wait. The world saw a disaster; the author saw opportunity. – Kerry Kirk

In May of 2015, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed well over 18,300 and just a few months later on August 24th, the Dow fell into the mid 15,000 territory in early trading after 2 weeks of volatile action. Market uncertainty, foreign currency fluctuations, the Federal Reserve rate hike issues, and a host of other forces have been causing havoc in the US markets. The 1,000+ points fall in the Dow in early trading on the 24th marks the single largest intraday point decline in Dow history. Oil is trading near $38 per barrel – marking a 60% decline in oil prices from their recent highs and causing weakness instability and massive layoffs in several of the large Dow stocks tied to oil.

International market declines have also added a sense of near term pessimism here in the US. The Chinese economy’s growth has suddenly slowed and its currency has begun an unexpected decline against the US dollar – making the dollar stronger with the real possibility that exports could be stifled. America’s unfunded liabilities – those bills we’ve committed to but have not come due quite yet – has reached 100 trillion dollars.

At this rate, the long-term future outlook for our children and children’s children is dismal. There are real, immediate and potentially detrimental forces at work in financial markets across the world. Governmental structural spending is out of control – meaning we cannot reasonably expect that the US citizenry could ever pay our way out of the debt we’ve created without substantial policy change.

But, markets rise and fall, cycles continue, commodities react to demand/supply issues, and people get scared. The truth is, we’ve been here before – as recently as 2008 and 2011. This time is not different. The sky simply isn’t falling.

Most of us will wake up tomorrow and go about a normal day. Most of us will wait this out. But, I’m going to suggest you consider two courses of action that could dramatically change your outcome in all of this.

  1. First, recognize there are things you can effect and things you cannot. Focus on the things you have control over. You have control over your attitude, your training regiment, and your plan. Use this time to be better as humans. Focus on getting stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  2. Second, seize opportunities to prosper while others are hiding their heads. Make a plan to garner more market share by staying strong, redoubling your efforts, and offering value in all you do. Your competitor won’t. You can benefit in ways you’ve never considered.

As you ponder your next move, try to reframe what you see happening around you. Seek opportunities to grow as a person. Position yourself or your company to benefit from the changes happening around you. Learn to operate and thrive in adversity. Don’t run around yelling about the sky falling; instead, use the change in your environment to grow now and in the future.

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