Ronin’s Top Ten Ways to Survive the Failing Economy!

16 Nov

Most of you who have been following along…

Already know that my family is building a new home, to replace the one we lost during Hurricane Katrina. It’s taken time, effort, and a lot of heartache and tears to get to this point. We gambled on an insurance company that put stockholders ahead of clients, and we’re paying the price, still. The lawyers tell us that someday, some way, we’ll get our pound of flesh. But until that day, we’re on our own.

We aren’t rich, by any definition of the word, sans one.

We still have each other, and the sun rises and sets with our new son, Joshua. Beyond that, our world is a pretty scary place. I’ve talked about the challenges we face (and my wife’s illness) in previous posts, so I’m not going to repeat them here, again. Suffice to say, I feel like Atlas struggling up that damn mountain, pretty much every day.

So, we had to figure out another way to start over again. And we needed to be able to do it, in some pretty difficult circumstances. That means that each day, you get up and take a deep breath, and wait to see what the day brings.

As I make my plans to build our “Container Casa,” I have to figure out how to pay for it. I’m sure that many of you contemplating a new home are thinking the same things that we are, here in Southern Mississippi.

(And I’m not talking about deciding if you want some cheese grits with your scrambled eggs. Don’t get me started! Ew!)

It’s hard not to get discouraged after watching TV or reading the newspaper. Now, I’m not one to “sugar coat” anything, so I’m just gonna say it; “The economy sucks!” I can’t watch the news without getting barraged by the foreclosure rates, the economic despairity, and the gloom that face American families.

That “whooshing sound” that you’re hearing is the air being sucked out of the “economic bubble” we’ve all been living in. And with it, we’re watching our expectations evaporate like rain on a hot metal roof! What a huge impact the financial collapse has made!

I’m tired of hearing about “the bailout.” I don’t understand how we can reward a greedy, self-serving industry that only cared about lining their own pockets, by handing them $700 BILLION dollars, as a band-aid. And, it enrages me to hear that some of the released money is already being used for extravagant (multimillion dollar) parties and huge bonuses paid out to “captains” who ran their ships aground, out of greed…

What part of this smacks of “right?” How can creating a debt for my son’s sons, possibly be a good thing? Am I just too stupid to see the logic in giving an un-supervised and un-policed industry that has already sold us into slavery, more capital to continue doing it with?

Is it just me? Oy Vay… I feel like I just left the Proctologists office…


For the last five or six years, it feels like we’ve all been fooling ourselves into believing that we are infallible, and living in the reverie of a false sense of security.

However, I think that reality has finally set in. It’s fallout time, and the sky is falling like lava from Mt St Helens. I’m a firm believer in the entrepreneurial nature of man, and our resiliency. But folks, it’s trial time…

We have weathered many economic downturns, and we’re looking at the end of the “boom.” So, it’s time to prepare for the times to come, because no matter how good things are for you in this moment, it can all change in a heartbeat.

So how do we get prepared, to brace for the oncoming storm? Well, here’s a few suggestions;

Number One: Do Not Panic!

In any emergency, the last thing you need to do, is lose your bearings.  A calm response to crisis can help any bad situation substantially. Start by using your analytical abilities to measure the damage. Figure out what you do best (in my case, it’s screaming like a little girl…LOL!) and then do it.

Wait, lemme’ rephrase that. IF what you do best will help your situation, then do it. IF what you do best will only make your ship take on more water, either do it (and blame someone else for the mess you make – that’s what I always do! LOL!) or… don’t hesitate to ask for help, if you need it. Search for people who have weathered similar storms, and ask them how they steered past all the obstacles.

Second: Focus on your strengths.

After analysing your situation, make a plan based on the current circumstances. Remember the rule of thumb:”Action-Reaction!” Consider doing some surgery to cut your losses. What’s going to define you here, is your reaction to the situation you face.

Third: Examine your credit, and then manage your cashflow carefully.

Since the financial economy is failing, credit is going to be hard to come by. Look for banks that understand you, and what you’re trying to achieve.

If you have a relationship with your local bank, by all means, exploit it. Nurture that relationship like it was a child! It will give you a much better chance of getting any assistance you need. If you have outstanding debts (who doesn’t?) find creative ways (besides counterfeiting!) to pay them down.

Fourth: Forget about big ticket expenditures!

That new furniture or that cool car you’ve been lusting after, may end up being a boat anchor around your neck, if you aren’t careful!  Now is NOT the time! Nobody knows how this is gonna work out, and the last thing you need is more debt, right now. It’s like carrying a bucket filled with gas to a bonfire!

Fifth: In troubled times, corporations ALWAYS protect the top floors.

And that means that companies are going to start downsizing like crazy, and jobs are gonna get really, really scarce! Good pay, and steady work are an illusion in this day and age. Working for a large company, having a powerful union, or having years of tenure over everyone else doesn’t guarantee you job security!

So, pursue your work with ferocity! Try hard to set yourself off from your co-workers! Think about going to your boss with a request for feedback about your job performance. One of the cardinal rules of business is to use “downtime and downturns” to strategically prepare for the return of good times. Make sure that you’ll be a part of it!

(Sure, your co-corkers may give you some grief… But they don’t feed your family, you do! G_d gave you a middle finger for a reason. Don’t be afraid to use it. LOL!)

Sixth: It’s all about how you sell yourself.

It’s “Go Time,” folks. Now is the time to start marketing yourself like you were the next best thing since sliced bread. People who make sure to invest in their potential survive where others fail. Now is the time to make new relationships, with people who can help you through the troubled times to come!

(And as a quick insight into “The World According to Ronin,” I’ve carefully scrutinized my family’s checkbooks, and I’ve proudly proclaimed myself “too huge to fail!” But, due to “unforeseen  liabilities tied to stagnation and a weakened dollar, I need a “bailout,” too! I expect the funds from the US Treasury to be wired into my checking account, any day now… about a million dollars should do it! Okay?)

Now, I know that I promised you ten ways to get thru all this madness, but frankly, I lied. If I was that smart, I wouldn’t be sitting in a lousy “falling down around my ears” apartment in “Lower Mississippi” trying to figure out how to save my own family, right?

(Plus, I can only count to six.)

So, take it from here, and write yourself some rules to round out this list.

And, if you come up with any good ones, that don’t involve “anatomical impossibilities,” drop me a note. I’ll pass them on!

Stay tuned!
The Renaissance Ronin


3 Responses to “Ronin’s Top Ten Ways to Survive the Failing Economy!”

  1. Ashish November 20, 2008 at 6:36 am #

    Number One: Do Not Panic!
    Who said I am? 😛

    Second: Focus on your strengths.
    Is this a body-building competition how to or a financial one? 😛

    Third: Examine your credit, and then manage your cashflow carefully.
    Okey dokey.

    Fourth: Forget about big ticket expenditures!
    Dammit! There goes that solar power America annihilator.

    Fifth: In troubled times, corporations ALWAYS protect the top floors.
    I’m on the top of the food chain! Yee haw!

    Sixth: It’s all about how you sell yourself.
    You’re advising everyone to become prostitutes? Is the situation THAT bad? 😛

    Boo! only six! I want my money back!

  2. Sue August 28, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Always remember that God is there with you if you will put your faith in Him. Our true wealth is in the Heavens and not here on earth where stored up treasures can and will disappear. Yes I have a home, and like most of America, hopeing to keep it, I have four children and the total investment so far has to be in the millions. My family has insurance but I do not, I pray for good health each day, I pray for strength and guidance as well. It is not written on the walls of my home as to how to deal with things, but God does promise that he will be with us if we just submit our lifes to Him, that does not guarantee that our financial situation will improve, but you will have the strength to endure what ever comes your way. Instead of consulting your neighbor, I suggest you consult a Christian counselor who can help you to find the strength to endure lifes toughest problems and devote your time to God and searching for answers in Him.
    I pray for you and your situation. May God lead you and give you and your family the strength to endure and to see where your real treasure is and may He give you the means to provide a home for your family.
    May God Bless You and your family.

    • renaissanceronin August 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks Sue,

      My Rabbi and I see things in a similar light, where devotion to faith is concerned. Thanks for your prayers.

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