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On Emotion, the Economy & the Wheelbarrow


There is the old quote that I love:

Business is like a wheelbarrow – it stands still until someone pushes it.

The economy is currently in a state of some turmoil and a significant number of commentators are predicting “doom” with a drop in the price of iron ore flowing from decreased Chinese imports being the major driver.  Couple this with the federal politicians talking things down and the inherent uncertainty that has been cuased with the new taxes and imposts being imposed by them and you create an environment where people are very reticent to “have a go”.

The emotion that is currently prevailing in Australila (as perfectly demonstrated through the retail sector) is one of some distress and hesitation.  Combine this with well-publicised job losses in a range of sectors and I can understand the feelings that people are having.

But, when you look at the underlying fundamentals of the economy, we’re not in too bad shape.  Sure, debt levels are rising federally and the government has made a number of announcements that don’t impact on the budget for many years (all spending related) along with the introduction of some concerns regarding “sovereign risk”.

In a very real sense though, the level of uncertainty that is in the economy at the moment is causing people to save more, spend less and “trim their sails”.  Speaking with a number of colleagues around Australia, it would seem that a lot of businesses and individuals are sitting on piles of cash – scared to spend it due to the ambiguity they see in the economy.  In short, their emotions are constraining their desire to expand and develop.  At the current time, there are A$750bn of projects approved for development in the mining sector alone.  This will create thousands of jobs and allow the expansion of our export markets.

The issue is that businesses outside the mining sector simply aren’t taking any positive steps forward regarding their development and expansion.

If the emotion were to change such that people had a more positive outlook and regained some of the belief that existed prior to the GFC, we would see things improve rapidly. 

By clarifying your vision and goals, there is a distinct possibility that your own emotions will improve.  You will begin to see there is a definite way forward and you will begin to move in that direction.  This is going to have positive results and this will then set examples for others who will follow.  By doing this, the emotions that people feel will improve and become more positive, this will, in turn, see the economy start to improve.

So pick up the handles and start moving your wheelbarrow!

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