Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 James Kash
 Where We Live
 Behind The Scenes
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Meet The Staff
 Meet The Authors
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

Reaching for the stars
during a recession

By Dave Duffy

Dave Duffy

Issue #125 • September/October, 2010

Toby is the volunteer assistant golf coach for the team this magazine sponsors, the Gold Beach High School Panthers. He has spent hundreds of hours of his own time teaching golf to high school kids. Not only teaching, but showing them how to have confidence in themselves, how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles on the golf course, and how to do their best no matter the circumstances. "I've been telling kids for years to reach for the stars," he told me. "I think I'll take my own advice."

We're all rooting for Toby around here. My family and several of the high school players will travel the 300 miles to the northern part of the state to watch him play the 36 holes in one day required for the playability test. If he shoots low enough (the equivalent of about a five over par on our local course), he'll be eligible to play on the Nationwide Tour, which is kind of a minor league for the PGA Tour. He'll also be eligible to be hired as a golf pro at a golf course. "I'll either succeed or fail," he said. "Either is better than not trying."

We could all learn from a man who is suffering from the current recession, yet who intends to pursue a lifelong dream in the midst of it.

"When the housing market was booming," he said, "I couldn't afford to pursue my dreams; I was making too much money. Now that there's no work and I'm running out of money, it presents me with an opportunity to do something I believe I have the talent to do. If not now, when? The recession has opened a door for me; I'm going to walk through it and see what's on the other side."

I'll buy that philosophy, and I'll expand on it. Maybe most of us don't have the talent to become a professional golfer, but we have talent to do something that we've thought about doing at one time or other in our lives. A hobby or just a desire to do a certain thing can be turned into a powerful business tool. This magazine was my way of pursuing both a writing talent and a need to get away from civilization. I, too, was floundering when I began it, but my desire through years of hard work made it a success. What are your talents, needs, and desires?

The typical successful small town business I have encountered in my life has been owned by someone who took an interest in or a love for something and turned it into a business. Their spouse went along for the ride and made valuable contributions to the business. The makeup of just about every small business in my town consists of husband and wife teams. Usually the husband provides the physical labor, and the wife is the organizer and bookkeeper. Most aren't making a ton of money, but they're surviving, even during this recession.

If the recession is affecting you, or if you're out of work, why not examine your stored-away dreams and hobbies and see if you can find a business idea in them. Take a try at doing something you've always wanted to do. Maybe you'll reinvent yourself. Later on you can thank the current recession for prompting you to reach into your box of dreams and launching a new career.

Toby Stanley's dream of playing professional golf has been tucked away in his mind for about 11 years. He kept it simmering by teaching high school kids to play golf. As he taught, he too got to practice and hone his skills. Now circumstances have caused him to put his dream back on the front burner. It could be a life-changing decision.

This recession is going to be with us for a while. It's intractable, the economists now say, and I expect it to deepen next year as major federal tax cuts expire on January 1. Although I'd like to be optimistic, I think the whole economy will sink deeper into the mud, unemployment will rise from its current 10% (more than 15% if you count those who have stopped looking for jobs), and bigger businesses will begin another round of layoffs.

Why I have such a dismal economic outlook is the topic for another column, but you only have to read the analyses of non-government economists, or even the Wall Street Journal, to view the tottering economic colossus that was once America. But I also believe difficult economic periods offer tremendous opportunities for individuals who are bold enough to reach out for them.

Toby Stanley gives us an example of someone who will not allow himself to be swallowed up by overall economic events. If he passes his playability test, it will be the first step in a potential new career. If he fails, he'll think of something else to pursue. It's his attitude and willingness to try something else that really matters.




Read More by Dave Duffy

Read More Opinion / Commentary

 
      Please address comments regarding this page to editor[at]backwoodshome.com. Comments may appear in the "Letters" section of Backwoods Home Magazine. Although every email is read, busy schedules generally do not permit personal responses.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.