Optimism and Jobs

Whispering Crane Institute chopHave we lost all optimism?

Maybe not all but there sure doesn’t seem to be a lot of peppy folks out there when it comes to where we are headed

The National Federation of Independent Business’ optimism index declined 5.4 points to 87.5, the lowest since 1980, the Washington-based group said Tuesday. The sales gauge dropped to the lowest level since records began 35 years ago and hiring plans were the weakest since the 1981-82 contraction.

“Case closed,” William Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement. “The economy is solidly lodged in recessionary mire.”

Since 1980, 1980 when things were tough, inflation, gas, interest rates, Iran . . . not the best of times.

What will happen in our industry? I’m not sure. I would think they would be some real belt tightening in our immediate future.

As I was thinking about this I remember a lot of folks getting home equity loans and using this money to improve their home landscapes. I really doubt this will be happening anytime soon.

Add in dropping home prices and who knows how long we are going to have these problems in the housing market.

The positive spin would be that folks are going to stay in their homes longer and maybe they will be motivated to make positive changes to improve their way of life, and upgrade their surroundings . .  hey, I can dream . . . can’t I?

I am really looking forward to going to the Conferences and Trade Shows this winter to hear what my friends and colleagues have to say about this falling economy and it’s effect on our industry.

I think I will come up with a set of questions or a simple form for folks to answer questions. Then put all that together and announce what I have gathered here on the blog. so when that happens I’ll be looking for some feedback from you.

The above quote comes from a Lawn and Landscape article on Small Business Optimism Falls, it’s short and sweet and worth the read.

Job Loss

Lawn and Landscape has another article about losing your job, if you are a Designer working for a company and you think your job is in trouble, or actually is in trouble check this out. And no matter what . . . be positive.

“Approach the time immediately after you’ve been laid off with the same sense of purpose you felt with your job,” Bayer says. “Resist the urge to think of unemployment as the end of the world, no matter how upsetting it may be. Think of it, instead, as an opportunity to improve yourself and to make a fresh start. You can end up better off than you were before you got the ax.”

The author goes on to talk about several options to take if the bad news gets to you.

Near the end he talks about working for yourself, it’s a tough way to go. So consider this carefully before you go down this road.

This type of commitment requires a completely different level of time, energy, and commitment. and determination, especially in a tough environment.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. I’m here to offer a note of optimism.

    My husband and I downsized by about a third last summer, by deliberate choice to have less stuff, less house to maintain, and live more simply. We’re fans of the “Not So Big House” concept.

    I don’t think we’re alone in thinking like this and in believing that owning less is a way to live more sustainably on the planet and to get out of the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses rat race. I’m betting what’s now a small movement will become a real trend.

    Unless the economy tanks a great deal more, we’re still the kind of homeowners who have the interest and the funds (less house, lower mortgage) to invest in landscaping and things that beautify the place we hope to be until we keel over.

    Hey Tammy,
    Great to hear from you again.

    Appreciate the note of optimism and look forward to hearing about more folks who are downsizing and still making their abodes place of great interest and beauty. The World needs more folks who are interested in harmony.

  2. I add that regardless of the economy, I only own this one home. It is my responsibility to maintain it and try and increase its value by landscaping. I intend to live here for many years and this cycle will eventually be normal again.

    Thanks for posting, and yes-most likely we will get back to “normal”. Though a few folks in the business will be hurt by the coming downturn.

    A downturn that will also bring folks into the industry who happen to have a truck and more than one mower.

    Keep up the good work!!!

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