Economic Collapse Is Coming – Working Towards Self Sufficiency

I believe we are headed for an economic disaster in this country that will be bigger and worse than the Great Depression.  After spending some time reading the Generational Dynamics website I am fully convinced of this. The site has a terrible design, but has a wealth of information and research on stocks, economics, politics, culture and historical events through the flow of generations. If you spend some time at GenerationalDynamics.com you will be shocked at how accurate and repeatable the trends of history are and the trend we are presently headed for.

In light of this, my wife and I have started growing our own food, composting, getting our finances in order (we’ve been doing that for years though), and generally working towards self sufficiency because we don’t want to have to depend on a system that is failing. That’s also why we have our own businesses, because we want to be in control of our income, time, vacations and lives as much as is possible. Self sufficiency in our income will come when my affiliate marketing earnings are enough to support the both of us.

With looming economic problems on the horizon, what can you do to make sure your affiliate business has the best chance of surviving? You know that being an affiliate marketer takes a lot of personal initiative, but that is even more important today. Being able to spot trends, figure out things for yourself and become innovative will be critically important with a radically changed economy. When people’s spending habits change, we as affiliate marketers will have to be able to figure out what they are buying and why they are buying it even more so than we do now.

The kind of products that will sell will be things that help people become self sufficient themselves, get out of debt, grow their own food, do something with the home they can’t afford to live in any more, work for themselves, stay secure and on and on. There will be a much greater opportunity in the near future in helping people solve their serious problems than there will be in putting products in front of them that give them pleasure and make life fun. Products of necessity will replace products of enjoyment.

Affiliate marketers that can’t think out of the box and in an innovative way, will be in a heap of trouble and those that expect to be held by the hand and led through every step of the money making process are in for a rude awakening. If you can’t innovate in your affiliate business, you very well may have to dig ditches or stand in a soup line.

I received a comment here on Affiliate Confession a few days ago where the individual was hoping I could lead them to an affiliate program featuring a web site that was already set up, that already had programs in place, that were making money and all they had to do was plug into the system. While it is understandable someone would want that kind of a system, anyone that has ever made a dollar on the net knows that just isn’t how affiliate marketing works. People that think they’re just going to plug into a system without having to do a heap of work and be innovative, may as well grab a number and take their place in the soup line.

Learning To Be Innovative

Even though tough times are coming and those that can’t adapt will suffer, you can learn to recognize opportunity, adapt sufficiently and innovate in your business. But, as anything else, it requires work. If you love to read, you’ll have no problem, if you don’t, then start. It is a good practice to consistently take time away from your computer and go to the library or Barnes & Noble and read something other than whatever niche you’re working in. At least once a week I’ll head to B&N and spend from 2 to 4 hours reading about technonogy, business, economics, franchising, business management, motivation, and anything from Seth Godin.

I want to know what new gadgets are coming to market and how the manufacturer is doing that, how businesses are run, what people are doing to innovate, how entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, why consumers buy the things they do, what new businesses are starting up, why companies succeed, why companies fail, what people did to overcome adversity and multiple other subjects. I’m not smart enough to come up with that much on my own, so I read about how other people have done it and then try to think like them.

But being innovative also involves taking risks. You have to see what works for you and what doesn’t. I spent a whole lot of money dabbling in the world of pay per click marketing without showing much profit before I found PPC Coach and completely turned that around. By watching all the videos and reading everything I could about how successful people at PPC Coach had made money I was able to almost immediately make a decent amount of cash and then come up with a system that’s working like a charm since I started it a couple of weeks ago.

Going through the lessons and reading the forums at PPC Coach taught me to see beyond the usual help files at Google Adwords and info on blogs and learn how to innovate and see what I hadn’t been able to see previously. But even then I didn’t just follow along and not try things on my own, I’ve taken the lessons and put them into practice to see what works and what doesn’t and then put together my own system. And that’s what’s going to be required in the coming months and years as the economy works itself out and we experience changes not seen in 70 or 80 years.

We are facing touch times no doubt, but it doesn’t mean the end of civilization just yet. Every affiliate marketer that succeeds in the coming collapse of the economy will have to be able to rely on innovative thinking and the initiative to implement their ideas.

Sorry to sound a little doomsday here, but I don’t want it to be said that I didn’t sound an alarm. Get prepared.

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16 Responses to “Economic Collapse Is Coming – Working Towards Self Sufficiency”

  1. I agree, I did a similar post last week … my wife and I are on in the second year of our garden. Amazing what can grow in such a small space in the backyard.

    Protect your wealth. There could be some huge opportunities in the next few years …

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!

  2. having lived in a third world country, where economic uncertainties is a way of life – what we are experiencing right now in the west is nothing. back there, times are always tough and as a businessman i have to compete with a very small market of ready-to-spend buyers against thousands of other businesses similar in service or product with mine. now that i’m living west and have a business as well, i don’t feel the same pressure i had when i wasn’t here yet. although we’re in a tight situation now – we’re still lucky to be here so there’s no cause for panic. plus the fact that we are involved in affiliate and internet marketing makes our position in great advantage over other business people who have only local presence. we just have to keep searching for and cranking up profitable niches no matter how small those niche contribute to our bottom line. we will survive this mess – i’m sure.

  3. The current administration is bankrupting the country. There is no way we can afford all this spending, whether you agree with the goals or not.

  4. Those are defiantly scary economic times- i am glad the economy where i live is one of the strongest in the world – its saskatchewan. We are one of the olny provinces in canada that has positive growth this year.

  5. Might not want to publish this…. but here’s my two cents worth.

    A. The problem with your business model is that it is the exact opposite of what you claim here – to be independent. Instead you are entirely dependent, not only on Google, eBay, et. al., but on the click-advertising market as a whole. Nothing wrong with your business model (as your success testifies), but I think it’s misleading to attempt to persuade (as you seem to be doing – but maybe I’m misreading this) others to follow in your footsteps. In my opinion, being independent would require that a person’s skills make them independent of the market. In other words, a carpenter with mad nailgun skillz is still valuable, whether or not there is current demand for his/her skillz. An “affiliate marketer” is only valuable to himself (no offense). Of course, there’s nothing to prevent you from churning your current status into that of a gun-for-hire SEO expert – which I think you would find increasing demand for presently, while ad rates continue to plummet.

    B. I’m at B&N at least as often as you – and I never see you there. And I go at all different times.

    C. I don’t think it’s right to encourage people to browse B&N as if it is a library. That’s why they took out all those big fluffy chairs – to keep the lurkers out (finally!). I buy a book a week from B&N – to support the economy and my personal career library. These are $40 books, mind you. I think it’s only fair considering how much time I spend there. So, yeah… go to B&N, but buy something. Else, if you don’t have money, go to the library. That’s what it’s for (and I’ll refrain here from speaking about the unconstitutional nature of government spending on public libraries).

    D. Seth Godin is a marketer to marketers. He has accomplished absolutely zero in his life – other than to convince myriads of marketers to read his manifestos. I suppose there’s some genius in that, but we’d all be better off in this culture if more people read Winston Churchill’s biographies, or even some classic novels.

    E. As far as your final admonition goes, it’s the one area I agree. You probably didn’t go strong enough. The bottom IS going to fall out from the internet – the second big dot-com bust IS coming – probably this summer. It is going to get a LOT worse for a LONG time before it gets better.

    Quite frankly, having a job at $8/hour at a liquor store is probably the best bet – or moving to Chile.

  6. Hi Alan,

    I think the make money online and how to work from home sites will have an increment of people looking into the net as an alternative for all those layouts. Maybe be in these niches will be a good time ahead to make money helping others to make money.


  7. Ah well, it’s a natural cycle, and well we are on the downward spiral right now. Sure we all worry and it will probably be hard, we should just hope that the world has evolved enough to get through this without too many wars, then it should be ok in a few years again. The downswing is coming, they should just not screw it up too hard, the gouvernments that is. Black Fridays come, black fridays go, at the end money is just money, better to live in peace with problems than at war for a bit of resources with plenty of more problems.

  8. Lonny,

    I’m not quite sure where to even start with this one.

    I realize that I’m somewhat dependent on certain things in the internet marketing world, such as depending that I’ll have electricity tomorrow so I can run my computer and that the internet will still be in place as we know it for some time (that is unless Al Gore hits the off switch). I’m suggesting people be as self-sufficient as is possible for an affiliate marketer.

    When you say, “An “affiliate marketer” is only valuable to himself (no offense).” that leads me to believe you haven’t quite yet grasped what we affiliates do. Affiliates generate millions in revenue for businesses in thousands of different niches all over the net. While a small percent of this revenue is scammy stuff, affiliates for the most part act as an extended marketing department for thousands of companies that don’t have the time, resources or skills to do it on their own.

    Also, being dependent on the click advertising model is only part of the equation. While ad rates plummet, as you say, this creates cheaper clicks for the Adwords advertiser on the other end, thus increasing their profit margin. Thanks to cheap ad rates I’m working on a record month, by more than double my previous record.

    I’m only pointing the increased revenue out because it is directly tied to a down economy with the service I’m being paid for. I’ve found a niche that is only profitable because people need this service right now. It probably wouldn’t work in good times. And that’s the point I’m getting at in the post. When you are creative and innovate, you can spot the trends and figure out what people need regardless of what’s happening financially.

    Just short of a Zimbabwe type meltdown there will always be money to be made in the USA. And if Obama turns out to be Robert Mugabe crazy and that total meltdown does happen, look for me selling vegetables on Palm Bay Road sitting in a folding chair reading a Seth Godin book.

  9. Affiliate marketing is a service, just like anything else, and definitely a skill. I think Lawrence was getting confused with affiliate marketing being about selling the “scammy” stuff that Alan had pointed out.

    It’s no different than a marketing company designing and executing a promotion campaign to build a brand or draw attention.

    However, where I definitely agree with Lawrence is that (depending on your business model) affiliate marketing may infact, not be as independant as you think it is.

    PPC is completely relying on the same companies whose stock price has been cut in half. Of course it hasn’t happened yet (but then again, I’m not an affiliate marketer), but I wouldn’t be surprised if CPC rates go up or if Google/MSN/etc do something a bit more creative on their end to recoup profits, which ultimately may hit the PPC affiliate marketer.

    Just like any business, your independence (and ultimately, financial buoyancy) in a bear market will depend on how creative you get. PPC is just a business model in online marketing, but no denying that if you think creatively you can market online via many many other avenues.

    It takes a bit more effort, and more time, but it may be the only way that separate your success from the next guy.

    I have no idea how Lawrence drew the conclusion that the internet will bust. Our whole corporate world is built around the computer, it’s only a matter of time if our business duties will become even more dependent on the computer in an attempt to speed up day-to-day business and connecting worldwide.

  10. I’m reading that website you recommend, interesting stuff, but dear God your right about it needing a redesign.

  11. Although time is though now, chance is still here and there,
    money only flows to the man which can best fit the environment.

  12. I agree completely, there are still lots of viable opportunities, and I am not sure I agree with you on the fate of the economy.

  13. History does repeat itself when it comes to the economy. Being in the affiliate marketing industry, you have to be able to identify needs and trends in any economy. It’s good to keep up on what’s hot.

  14. I have a more optimistic view of the economy and a greater confidence in the foundations of our economy. These days are tough, but the fundamentals remain in place for our economy to come back. Sure, it could get worse before it gets better. But a collapse seems very unlikely in my humble view.

  15. Minnesota Attorney,

    I think we have a lot going for us too as a nation, I just wonder how we’re ever going to pay back all the money the government is spendinig to supposedly get us out of this mess.

    It’s up to $12.8 trillion so far:


  16. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I enjoyed reading. I too am hoping for a better outcome of our economy, but I’m not quite sure it will be a pleasurable experience.

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