It’s Monday. Do you feel as though it’s a rather more extraordinary Monday than most? I do, mostly because 2009 seems to hold so much promise! There’s the same usual doomsayer news out there in the world, and yet at the same time, we are poised on the brink of a new era. The world will be watching us on January 20th.

I find myself looking around for positive signs, and they’re everywhere! One of my friends, Jack Wood–owner of Glenstone Galleries & Gifts in Maryville Tennessee–tells me that although the previous months had been frighteningly slow, December was as good as any previous December, and even better than some. He was almost too busy!

This is hopeful news.

When I was doing the miniscule bit of shopping I did for the holidays (I waited until the crowds cleared), I asked checkers how the atmosphere was at their stores, and to a person they told me that people were nicer and far more calm this year (what happened at that WalMart was a bizarre and tragic exception, it seems). Most shoppers bought fewer things and took more time to consider carefully what they were buying.

For most of my friends, it was the same: less of the shopping frenzy and more care and consideration. Hand-made gifts made something of a comeback this year, and at least in the people I know, so did a real sense of the season: giving not just for the sake of giving, but for the sake of love and a sense of the miraculous.

This, too, is hopeful news.

Now as we begin the New Year in earnest (though many of us worked, it still felt like a holiday), there is a sense that things are going to get better–and perhaps already are.

"I refuse to participate in a recession"

BNI button: "I refuse to participate in a recession"

In our region of BNI (Business Networking International) here in East Tennessee–and probably elsewhere–we have been wearing buttons declaring I refuse to participate in a recession and you know what? I think it’s working! Really. Think about it: does all the bad news about the global economy affect how you do your business on a daily basis? When you stop worrying about the news, do you treat your clients/customers any differently? I would hope not. Or perhaps you treated them even better because you recognize how valuable every one of them is to your business.

And perhaps you got smarter about your marketing, cutting programs that did not work in favor of those that did. Perhaps you tried something new, whether a marketing program or a product line. Did it work? I’ll bet it did more often than not, because your creativity was put to the test.


Let’s all try something: instead of focusing on all the bad news, let’s look around and find evidence of good news. It’s everywhere. Businesses doing well, babies being born, friends recovering from illness. The more we believe there is good news, the more likely we are to participate in it ourselves.

So go out there, believe that your business is doing well, your friends are doing well, your life is going well. Believe it. Make it happen.

Happy New Year.

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