I see it all the time: "It's so tough in this economy!" "No one wants to spend money right now." "I'm struggling to get enough business to stay open." They might be right; maybe it is hard right now. I guess from my perspective, it's always been hard.
I graduated high school in a recession when it was almost impossible to get a job. I did, of course, get a job— in fact, I got three, working minimum wage and 14-hour days. I could be wrong, but it seems if you're willing to work, you can find work in even the toughest of times.
I paid my own way through college and took a job as a veterinary technician. Vet techs don't make large salaries, unfortunately, and I came to the realization that to support my horse hobby to the extent I wanted to be involved, I'd need to continue side-hustles. I trained horses, made leather goods, house-sat—whatever it took.
When you start a side-hustle, no one wants to pay you very much. It's also hard to evolve it past this stage because your focus is spread thin (work, side-hustle, family, personal goals). So I didn't have a social life, and I sacrificed my 20s to the grind. At least the grind was horses 24/7.
Then the next natural evolution came. I figured out how to disconnect my earnings from hours worked. That's a hard step, but I did it. I didn't have to work 14-hour days anymore; I could work 10-hour days instead, and I could gain some traction on my finances and work-life balance. Right around the time I gained any traction in my young career (10 years into the grind), Covid-19 happened, and the years of uncertainty followed it.
So now, with my young thriving business, when I see others complaining the market is down, I can't help but think: this is all I know! If it is down and we can succeed in a downturn, just imagine what we will do when it is up! So it isn't an excuse. Keep going.