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June 01, 2007

If Walmart is Cutting Back New Store Openings Isn't That More Telling Than the Dow at An All Time High?

Periodically, I like to post little snippets that indicate what is really going on in this country.   Despite stories of the subprime mortage fiasco; in spite of increased bankruptcies, large corporate layoffs like Dell's most recent indicating they will reduce their workforce by 8,000 employees, the media reports "consumer confidence is high."  It doesn't matter that we have just had the slowest quarter for growth in five years, live it up! 

I think we should be watching the growth of Walmart to know what is really going on.  Did you know Walmart lobbied to raise the minimum wage claiming without an increase in the minimum wage consumers couldn't afford to shop in their stores.  In Walmart.  Just something to ponder.  Also, ponder this: high end retailers are not suffering at all from loss of sales.

Rising gas prices and the housing market are delivering a one two punch to the auto industry:

Dana Johnson, chief economist for Comerica Bank, says the one-two punch of fuel prices and home sales hits consumers on both ends. On one side, they are struggling to deal with an increase in an essential budget item. And on the other, the housing decline and tightening credit are making it harder to tap their homes for credit.....(read more.)

What has this got to do with going solo?  It helps you to gain perspective when considering whether or not to go into a private rented office with overhead, a virtual office, a share space, or a home office.  It helps you to consider the type of overhead you want to carry in terms of personnel and accessories and if this is the best use of your hard-earned dollars..soon to be even harder earned.  It gives you pause when you consider the practice areas that you want to enter. Will there be funds for the practice areas you are choosing as people are wondering how they will fill up their gas tanks?  It makes you rethink how much of each dollar you really want to take home ....how much you need to take home to support yourself.  It forces the question, "Do I want to work harder...or smarter."

And if you are working for another you will have to start asking yourself, "Am I expendable?  Am I overhead or making rain?"  If I am expendable, will I fall hard because I am unprepared to not be gainfully employed by another, or will I fall softly, prepared for any eventuality including striking out on my own? 

No profession is recession proof.  In good times, even mediocrity can be profitable.  In tough times, it's every person for themselves and only the cream rises to the top. 

Just pondering on a Friday night.


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