How to Prosper During an Economic Downturn

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How to Prosper During an Economic Downturn

More Than 101 Silver Linings to Today's Economic Recession

101 Reasons to Love a Recession 

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101 Reasons to Love a Recession 


YOUNG GUY AT WORK: This is my first recession. How worried shoud I be?
You'll be fine as long as you don't have any hopes or dreams.
 First two frames of Dilbert Cartoon by Scott Adams 

Nothing is as inevitable as a recession whose time is long overdue. A recession is obviously upon us, which means fewer corporate jobs and sinking consumer confidence. But a recession is not all bad, trust me. I have lived through several.

There are many benefits of a recession that are overlooked by the majority. Economic turmoil can bring out the worst … and the best … in people. If you want it to bring out the best in you, a recession is a time to build some real character. Surviving happily through uncertain times takes courage and wisdom, regardless of how much life insurance you have. Recessions are all about survival of the mentally fit.

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.
- Washington Irving

Whatever you sow, you reap. If you want to make the U.S. ecomonic recession a bad thing, it becomes a bad thing. If you want to look at the U.S. economic recession as a good thing, it becomes a good thing and you will become an expert on the benefits of an economic recession. Remember that the harvest you reap will depend upon the seeds that you plant.

An independent trader writes  20 Reasons Why I Love a Recession.

In adversity, there is always opportunity -   at least for those individuals willing to see it and motivated enough to capitalize on it. Indeed, the Chinese words for crisis and opportunity are the same. This is why I have created a book called 101 Reasons to Love a Recession.

The pessimist calls it the "Depression." The optimist calls it the "Great Depression."
- Jim Martin in February 22 Mr. Boffo cartoon

Sure, the present U.S. recession has hit me economically on several fronts. For instance, my international bestselling book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free  which has had sales of over 110,000 copies in the first 4 years has seen a drop in U.S. sales that surprised me, particularly on, simply because U.S house prices have dropped dramatically and many U.S. baby boomers are consequently delaying retirement. This has impacted my income quite a bit -   but not for long because I intend to eventually benefit from this recession and make even more income than I have been making.

  Benefit from a Recession

I am also a little money short due to losses of about $50,000 in my retirement portfolio. In the grand scheme of things, losing $50,000 is not that big a deal, however. In the recession of the early 1980s I lost everything and recovered.

In a materialistic world, prosperity is unfortunately and invariably associated with hoards of money and countless possessions.

To the truly prosperous people of this world, prosperity is prosperity in its purest and original sense. Prosperity comes from the Latin word "spes", which means “hope and vigor.” To the truly prosperous person, being prosperous means being positive and happy in the moment, regardless of the level of wealth one has acquired.

Look for opportunities and you will find them, yes even in a recession. Trust me, the benefits of a recession are there.

As reported in The Globe and Mail on January 17, 2009, self-employment tends to swell when an economy sours and people are thrown out of work. Yet economic research shows people forced into self-employment after a layoff tend to make the most successful entrepreneurs. 

Also reported by The Globe and MailThe Silver Lining to the Recession - Doctors Are Broke and Can't Retire!

These are the benefits of an economic recession according to Author and Motivational Speaker Joshua Seth: "It (a recession) need not affect us negatively:

  • Many fortunes are made in recessions. 
  • Many families are brought together during tough times. 
  • Many faiths are renewed." 

"Look for the silver lining. More fortunes are made during economic downturns than during times of robust growth. Less people are looking for opportunity during times of economic hardship because their basic human needs are not being met. With less competition comes greater opportunity."

Similarly on another website: "What do Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Disney have in common? They all started during economic downturns, as did more than half of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average."

Check out: 14 Big Businesses That Started in a Recession

Please God, just one more bubble, and I won't be such a fool with my money again.
- Unknown wise person

Here are some of my insights to the benefits of a recession:

Benefit from a Recession Image A

Top-10 Benefits of a Recession That Are Party to the Book 101 Reasons to Love a Recession 

  1. Over the last decade or two it's been hard for most Americans to tell where dreams leave off and reality begins - which is, in fact, one of the major causes of the recession. But the recession along with the credit crunch will bring more reality into their lives as they realize that can no longer buy things with money they haven't earned and are unlikely ever to earn.
  2. As a pyschiatrist you can really milk your best accounts - the people who are paying - during a recession because your patients are going to be coming in a lot more due to their depression from the fear that the recession may become a depression.
  3. Another way to tell when your life hasn't reached the peaks that you had expected is when the Sheriffs come to throw you out of your foreclosed house. But look on the bright side. You won't have to hire any of those expensive plumbers anymore. 
  4. Dire domestic financial consequences may finally get your nagging wife to leave you for some pretentious rich guy. You can joyfully announce to your friends, "Some rich bloke stole my wife - and to get even I let him keep her."
  5. An economic recession is the best of times to put your creativity and motivation to the test. Anybody can make it when times are good - but to make it big during an economic downturn is the sign of someone truly innovative.Party Parrot in a Recession Image  
  6. Perhaps you are one of those big-time promoters who has hit the skids. Buy high, sell low - you really rode that silly strategy right into the toilet, didn't you. You can still be grateful for your position in life, however, regardless of how much equity you lost. Putting things in the best possible way, the bum you see by the junkyard still has it tougher than you. 
  7. Many North Americans will finally lose a bit of weight because they will be forced to quit being so piggish with their food. It's about time, given how sadly obese America has become.
  8. A recesson is a great opportunity to put to rest the idea that retirees can consume themselves to happiness by having a two or three-million-dollar portfolio and using it to purchase a fun-filled retirement full of material goods and expensive activities such as exotic vacations. A severe recession will help many people see that happiness can be experienced through engaging work, volunteering, helping others, and spending more times with their friends.
  9. It wasn't that long ago that Will Rogers advised, "Try to save money. Someday it may be valuable again." The great thing is that recessions pressure individuals to reduce spending and learn something about "saving" -   which is a word that is foreign to many Americans and Canadians, but soon won't be. 
  10. Talk about credit crazed - the average American household owns 13 credit cards, and 40 percent of them carry a balance, up from 6 percent in 1970. The good news is that the no-money down mentality may not be so pervasive any longer - hopefully it will be put to rest forever.

My family wasn't affected by the crash of '29. They went broke in '28.
- Gerald Barzan


From a Squidoo Lens Maker:  

5 Benefits of a Recession :

  • It makes you wiser
  • It makes you think out of the box
  • It makes a decision maker out of you.
  • It makes you appreciate what you have.
  • It forces change

Benefit from an Economic Recesson Image C

Here are the top-10 reasons to love a recession according to some serious-minded people who have written about this on the Interent:

Top-10 Reasons to Love a Recession According to Jay McDonald at 

  1. Family dinners
  2. Shorter gas lines
  3. Less junk mail
  4. More coupons
  5. Free fitness
  6. Bargain SUVs
  7. Business startup opportunities
  8. Growth in gardening
  9. Musical inspiration
  10. New perspectives

Love a Recession Image

More Ways to Benefit from a Recession According to the Other Internet Postings by Various Media & Individuals

  1. A recession is a great time to go back to school to upgrade your education. A recession is temporary, an education is permanent. 
  2. If you are shoe maker or a tailor, you will have more work, taking in more peoples' shoes and trousers at your business.
  3. A comment after an article about the recession: "I love that there is less traffic on the road. Hey, the air may even be cleaner!"
  4. Time magazine recently speculated that the housing mess and contracting credit will inspire Americans to live within their means. This could dispel a lot of people from the philosophy of, "Who wants to wait until you can afford it to buy something?"
  5. If you are a mechanic, you will have more work for years to come. Kiplinger recently stated that auto repair shops are booming because consumers are putting off buying new cars.
  6. This is a great time to have your house renovated. Contractors are bending over backward - even for small jobs like bathroom renovations and cabinetry - as the housing slump infects the remodeling industry. That gives homeowners the upper hand in price negotiations.
  7. Falling house prices makes homes more affordable for people who have the money to purchase them. What's more, it is much easier to find a house in a highly desirable area.
  8. Normally the fools and their money are separated when a downturn hits the economy and overlevereged positions have to be closed out. It's always curious how these fools and their money got together in the first place.
  9. There will be fewer credit card offers in the mail, which will help curb the use of credit cards.
  10. Another comment on a website: "To high income earners who once moaned incessantly about being 'cash rich, time poor' but have now lost their jobs, you will be able to say: 'Congratulations! You’re now cash poor, time rich. How does that feel?' "

Excuses, complaints, envy, disdain, and dejection invade the mind when nothing positive and empowering fills it.
- Tim Ferris


Here are some more of my insights relating to the positive benefits of a recession: 

Benefits of a Recession That Didn't Quite Make the Top 101 Reasons to Love a Recession 

  1. At cocktail parties people used to brag about how much money they made in their investments. Now at some cocktail parties people brag about how much money they lost. This means that you can be a big cheese if you squandered a huge fortune in the stock market. 
    SPAM - The Recession Gourmet Meat 
  2. If you work in the factory making SPAM (the canned so-called meat that most people hate but some people love), you are working a lot more overtime because the factory can't keep up with the demand for low-priced meat that the recession has created. What's more, you may be eating more SPAM because of the recession - and if you love SPAM this is a great thing. 
  3. Over the last decade or two it's been hard for most Americans to tell where dreams leave off and reality begins - which is, in fact, one of the major causes of the recession. But the recession along with the credit crunch will bring more reality into their lives as they realize that can no longer buy things with money they haven't earned and are unlikely ever to earn.
  4. If you think of yourself more a lover than a worker, the extra free time that you gain during a recession can be put into steamy sexual encounters of the outrageous kind that would even do Hugh Hefner proud.
  5. As a person who doesn't like work and who instead likes to live off the system on welfare and other government handouts, you now have a pretty solid excuse for not having a job.
  6. Even more important, if you get laid off, you have more time on your hands to get laid, something you have been meaning to do for a long time, but have put off because you were working so many long and hard hours.
  7. Due to your being laid off, you no longer have to attend corporate meetings which were a colossal waste of time notwithstanding that you were a person who didn't produce much anyway. That is why you were one of the first employees to be laid off, wasn't it. The bright side is that your sense of helplessness about being unemployed makes your uselessness seem unimportant.
  8. A recession will stop the accumulation of excessive credit-card debt, and the myth encouraged by dubious bankers and economists telling the public that "deficits and debt don't matter." One would think these seasoned veterans should know better - in good times or bad.
  9. If you are a drug dealer, you are getting a lot of satisfaction from seeing that many legitimate businesess are finally seeing the light by adopting your important business principle of disallowing any credit purchases and accepting "cash only" purchases.
  10. Actually, this one has been borrowed from the blog of Dilbert creator Scott Adams: America has become less arrogant than it was during the boom times.


Ahh the sweet sound of capitalism crashing, the fondest wish of my lifetime. Less money, less stuff, less pollution - all good.
Recession Post by an Australian citizen in response to an article about how the recession was affecting Australian retirees  

We are a very inventive nation, but we often fail in the implementation. This [economic recession] will force or encourage people to take good ideas and run with them.
- Elspeth Murray, Queen's Centre for Business Venturing


Footnotes: Also See:

Jay McDonald at 



Copyright 2015 by Ernie Zelinski

All Rights Reserved 


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Recession Book - #A1



Purchase The Joy of Not Working on with this direct link: The Joy of Not Working on






Recession Book for the Retired Image



Purchase How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on with these direct links:

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on


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Other Websites to Help You Deal with a Recession

Retirement Recession Jobs on the Real Success Resource Center 

Dream Jobs for a Recession on

Retirement Quotes and Sayings Cafe

The Joy of Not Working During a Recession

My Retirement Plan vs. Your Retirement Plan

Simple Retirement Calculators

Retirement Jobs on the Retirement Cafe

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