- Who wants to buy the skill/service/product you have? Your employer may be your first thought but if they are quickly running out of money, they can't buy what you are selling.
- Who else wants to buy what you are selling? Think outside of the box.
- Can you tweak what you are selling to draw more customers? If you are designing software for the general public that doesn't much differentiate itself from what is currently on the market and which the public is not really buying at this time, consider tailoring your software development to entities that do have the money and the need--government perhaps? The medical industry? The banking industry (Lord knows they have enough of our bail out money)?
- Note that if you can sell something to others that will help them make money, be more attractive/popular to others, or make them feel better about themselves, you will have lots of customers. Think about the diet industry, hair growth products for men, etc.
- Can you take the lemons of your current job situation and make lemonade? If you are a realtor, houses may not be selling and people are being foreclosed on in record numbers but these people still need a place to live so maybe you can turn some of your "for sale" homes into rentals until the market gets better. This is a win-win situation--people get a place to live and homes don't sit empty earning zero money for the owner.
- What do people need now? There are things that people will always need/do no matter the economy. They will still get married, they will still have babies, they still need food, and they still want to be entertained. Instead of having the yuppiest bridal service store, maybe change and focus on classy budget weddings instead. The need for financial advice, fixing things (instead of buying new), and new job skills are also more in demand now because of the economy.
- Are there new skills that you could/should develop? Maybe your days as an automaker are numbered, but you have always enjoyed animals. How about learning how to train guard dogs--a cheaper alternative to home security systems?
- Don't forget to change your lifestyle to match your current situation. Your former job as a hot shot realtor may have included a Mercedes, tailored suits, and expense account lunches, but if your job/income is cut in half, then it only makes sense that you expenses get cut in half as well. Your ego may be dinged but realistically, people spend a lot of time and expense trying to impress others who really don't care about them. Your "friends" may think you are "the man" when you are picking up the bar tab for everyone but when you fall on hard times, are they there to pick up the tab for you? Often not, so why worry about impressing them now?
The bottom line is that you aren't entitled to an income, a job, benefits, or anything else. With this in mind, you ARE free to analyze the market, make an educated guess about people's needs, and develop ways to meet these needs; therefore earning the money you need to pay for your next lunch, make your bills each month, or become a multi-millionaire.