Lending Club Blog

The Mr. Feeny Guide to Surviving a Recession

Who should we turn to in this economic roller coaster? Our new president? Our friends? Our mother? Forget that. I’m turning to the best source of advice I had growing up: Mr. Feeny.

Mr. Feeny

The Mr. Feeny Guide to Surviving a Recession

Forget what others think

You know “The Joneses”? Yeah, their home is in foreclosure because they had to keep up with themselves. It just got to be too much. Forget what people think about what you wear (Goodwill has great clothes), or what you drive (the bus can be more relaxing than driving), or where you live (have a roof? You’re wealthy).

“Unfortunately we live in a society where they tell us we have to look a certain way, so we’re all under pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations.” – Mr. Feeny

Spend quality time with family and friends

You don’t need to spend a cent to have a good time with friends or family. Go to a bookstore and just browse for an hour. Stay home and play board games and watch old movies you already own. Play a cribbage tournament. Discuss politics. Or Religion. Or money. Building relationships is free, and yet the payoff can be tremendous. What relationships can you invest in?

“Friendship for example, is a real gift. It’s given with no expectations and no gratitude is needed, not between real friends.” – Mr. George Feeny

Believe in yourself. If you can’t, No one else will.

Do you remember your favorite teacher? Did they believe in you 100%? Or did they teach you to believe in yourself 100%? Great teachers (like Mr. Feeney) not only believe in you, but more importantly they teach you to believe in yourself. If you are unemployed, there is nothing attractive to an employer about a potential candidate wallowing in self-pity. Believe in yourself, and be humble enough to ask for help if you need it.

“Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good” – Mr. George Feeny

Let go of what you can’t control

Sometimes we screw up and the consequences of our mistakes are completely justified. But sometimes, bad stuff happens, and there is just nothing you can do. You can’t control the stock market. You can control however how much you spend each month on fast food. Control what you can. Let go what you cannot.

“Something bad happened, Mr. Hunter, but for the very first time you’re not responsible.” – Mr. George Feeny

Pull yourself away from the 24/7 news cycle

There is a whole wide world out there waiting for you to explore it. You just need to get off the computer first. Check out your local library, visit that free tourist trap in your home town you’ve never been too. Tell a random beautiful woman (or man) they look great. It seems like every day we are bombarded with more bad news. Yet, flowers keep blooming. Rabbits keep making more rabbits, and the world keeps on going even in the midst of a recession. Take a day off from the computer and TV. Unplug everything.

“Gutenberg’s generation thirsted for a new book every six months! Your generation gets a new web page every 6 seconds. And how do you use this technology? To try and beat King Koopa, and rescue the princess. Shame on you. You deserve what you get.” – Mr. George Feeny

Cut out destructive influences and draining expenses

Even Mr. Feeny knew when enough was enough. During difficult times, the last thing you need are bad influences on your health and finances. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut out draining relationships and don’t feel bad about it. You’ll have more of yourself to give to others. Cut out unnecessary expenditures. This cutback tool from Wesabe makes it easy and almost automatic. Don’t let silly purchases add up and cause even more stress in a difficult time.

“Sit down. Stay where you are. For the first time, I choose to walk out on you.” – Mr. George Feeny

Keep your ears perked for opportunities

The reality is that during difficult times, a handful of companies and people make an absolute killing because they take calculated risks when everyone else is sitting on the sidelines. Polish that resume. Even if you feel safe in your job, it’s never a bad idea to freshen up your resume. Update your profile on LinkedIn while you’re at it. You are on LinkedIn, right?

“Come along, Mr. Matthews. Don’t dawdle.” – Mr. George Feeny

Give back when you are doing well and others are suffering

Things going really for you? That’s great. Now is the perfect time to give back. Volunteer. Do some pro bono work. Fund an entrepreneur. The reality of life is that we all need help sometimes. Never be afraid to ask for help, or too high and mighty too offer it to someone in need.

“There is no greater aspiration than to have love in our lives, Mr. Matthews… If one of you fails you all fail. Your friend’s success is your success!” – Mr. George Feeny

What else would Feeny say?

What else would Mr. Feeny recommend we do or say to survive this recession? Share your best Feeny insight in the comments below.

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 10:33 am

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