“The Disappearance of the ‘Middle Class’, and What It Means to Small Business Owners” by Ali Brown
Right now in the U.S., we’re in the midst of heated debates between the candidates of our outdated dual-party system. I really can’t bear to watch any of it… makes my stomach turn. Seems no one is addressing the real issues anymore. But, one observation we’re hearing a lot about lately that I can’t ignore is that the middle class, as we’ve known it, is disappearing. And I’d agree, it’s sure looking that way. I’m not here to get political by any means. (I’m not aligned with any particular party, by the way, in case you’re curious.)
But I do think it’s important to step back and look at what’s happening, so you can be prepared if needed.
If you’re like me, you grew up with parents in a generation whose livelihood was rooted in the middle class.
I remember it was my folks’ aim to really just work to earn what we needed. To do what we had to do to get by. And at best, make enough to “be comfortable”. We’d cut back a bit in the lean years, and we enjoyed ourselves a bit more in the good years.
For decades, this strategy enabled most people to live a pretty decent life. Buy a home. Take come decent vacations. Plan for retirement. Feel pretty secure.
But that’s all gone out the window. Like it or not, and no matter who wins this election, we’re in the new economy.
Today, aiming to “just get by” won’t get you anywhere.
You’re going to be left behind. Or you could even end up in big trouble.
You may be feeling this right now. (Are you?)
Let’s look at everything happening right now in the U.S….
With declined real estate values, pathetic savings interest rates, high unemployment, a government that spends money like water, and likely higher tax rates coming in the near future, you cannot choose to “just get by”.
Also, many of us today have more responsibilities and pressures than our parents did. Some of us are in the “sandwich generation”, caring for both children and aging parents at the same time!
It’s become very clear.
Strategies for surviving will only leave you struggling.
You must now CHOOSE to thrive.
And here’s the thing: I’m seeing this same phenomenon right now happening with entrepreneurs.
There’s a disappearing middle ground.
Have you noticed as well?
Business owners are falling into one of two categories.
They’re either surviving or thriving.
Let’s look at a few examples of each…
scurries around, jumping from idea to idea, and chasing every bright shiny object, hoping it will be her ticket to riches.
But the thriver
is focused, with her feet on the ground, carrying out a clear and simple plan to grow a moneymaking business she loves that will support her for years to come.
The survivor is always “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, constantly feeling like she’s trying to catch up. And she’s fearful to make any commitments or invest in herself… let alone have anything left to give others.
knows how to create large income increases, which she reinvests in her business to further grow while also socking away some reserves. She contributes to her family, her community, and causes she cares about.
The survivor somehow thinks that doing the same old things over and over will someday yield her different results.
knows that if she keeps doing what she’s always done, she’ll get what she’s always gotten. She knows it’s important to keep thinking forward.
The survivor works from a place of desperation.
The thriver works from a place of inspiration.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Your only choices now are to step up… or fall behind.
If you want to flourish, for yourself and your family, it’s your time to THRIVE.
Perhaps you’re feeling this right now as you read this. Maybe you’re still in a job you don’t love, and you’re tired of just getting by. Or maybe you’ve started a business, but you’ve been treating it like a hobby… dabbling here and there, when you know it’s time to get serious. Maybe you’ve been forced to be off on your own now, and it’s the first time you’ve ever had to believe in yourself and rely on your faith.
It’s time to stop grasping at straws and falling for gimmicks; and instead really start thinking, planning, and taking action, ladies.
We need to build personal businesses that are solid, will grow, that honor our values and the lifestyles we want to create, and help others along the way.
So, for those of you who feel caught in the middle, this is my “call to arms”. The “same ol’ same ol’” isn’t going to serve you anymore.
There’s no time to waste.
But here’s the good news… There’s never been a BETTER time. Options for self-employment and building a business you actually love are everywhere!
But it’s also an urgent time. The opportunities are right here, but it’s time to catch this wave before it’s gone.
This could be the time of your life.
You just have to decide to thrive.
Question: Are you seeing the same trends I am? How has it been affecting you and your family or your business? Have you made any decisions lately to CHANGE your situation? Please share in the COMMENT section below! :)
© 2012 Ali International LLC
INVITATION: Making the leap from surviving to thriving can be a challenge, when you’re not sure what you’re really supposed to DO. Well, I just released Video 2 in my new, free THRIVE video series to help you. It covers a lot of ground, but… most applicable, it gives you some juicy ideas on how to take one idea and turn it into over a DOZEN income streams. Go here now to access these videos for free, because they won’t be up for long.
“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women”
Image credit: lurin / 123RF Stock Photo
I am an affiliate for Ali’s products. The remarks and review are mine. I did not receive any compensation for this review at the time of this post.