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5 Lessons To Learn From The Collapse Of The Auto Industry

The recent news about Chrysler’s bankruptcy and GM’s looming collapse offers some hidden clues that people can use to escape the same financial fate as the auto industry.


We all know that the “Big 3″ have sold off their private jets, slashed jobs, and closed factories to become leaner and eventually, profitable again.  Similarly, more and more people are tightening their belts and taking steps to live within their means.  What’s different is that these corporations have been forced to hit the “Reset” button and move forward, whereas consumers continue lamenting about the past and keep right on digging a hole that’s getting tougher and tougher to climb out of.


In the past, the “Big 3″ relied on producing X number of cars, making X number of dollars, and employing X number of people.  Well, that’s all changed now and, frankly, what happened in the past doesn’t matter anymore.  The automakers have hit their “Reset” button and have promptly restructured and implemented turnaround plans.  It may seem drastic, but it’s the new normal, and as a result, these companies now operate under a different set of expectations and are seeking very different outcomes.


The same market factors are affecting individuals and their investments.  Everyone needs to realize they, too, need to hit their “Reset” button before they are forced to.  The new reality is, it doesn’t matter how much your retirement account or your house was worth a few years ago.  It’s not worth that much anymore.  And it may not ever be worth that much again in your lifetime.  There’s no point in moaning over what things used to be worth.  It’s time now to start adjusting your expectations and focusing on your turnaround plan.


Step 1:  Stop doing nothing!  You can’t control what has already happened.  Sure, you can kick yourself for not doing this or that, but the reality is you can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.  Hit the “Reset” button and start focusing on the things you truly value like your family, health, spirituality, community, and more.  You got here, wherever here is, one decision, one situation at a time… and you can get out of it the same way.


Step 2:  Get smart about investing! It’s easy to see that financial independence does not come naturally to people, since so few actually ever achieve it.  That means you can’t do what comes naturally to you in order to get there.  So the days of simply throwing some money into an account and watching it grow are over.  Hit the “Reset” button and start getting educated about your investment options and the strategies that will and won’t work for your particular situation.  After all, nobody drowns by falling in the water; they drown by staying there.


Step 3:  Take advantage of the crisis!   If the current economic climate has made you unhappy, start doing what makes you happy.  Now is the perfect time to start a business or switch careers because even if you fail you don’t have far to fall.  Things have changed so dramatically that it’s considered great news when a company only loses $6 billion in a quarter.  Hit the “Reset” button and use the changing expectations to realize your potential.  Henry Ford said it best, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”


Step 4:  Don’t walk away, find a way!  Your parents and grandparents would slap you silly if they knew you were walking away from promises you made to pay back money you borrowed.   Sure, things happen, but a person is only as good as their word, so if you gave your word, find a way to keep it.  Hit the “Reset” button and start being a part of the solution instead of the problem.  It’s like the old saying, everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.


Step 5:  Don’t over-think what you just read!  What happened has happened.  Stop feeling bad about it and start concentrating on your potential instead.  Don’t worry about what everything used to be worth because in every sense of the words, it’s not worth it.   Start taking control of your future by taking action now.  Just take a moment to think about what’s right instead of what’s easy, then hit your “Reset” button and start your turnaround plan today.

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