Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Want a sweet business?

October 21, 2009

Do you think all businesses are suffering right now?  Well guess what makes the hard times a little easier to handle – candy.  There are many historical markers that show candy sales soar when the economy is in the tank.  As unemployment rises, so do sales of Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears and Hershey’s Kisses.  Terese McDonald, owner or Candyality in Chicago says her business is up 80% compared to this time last year.  She’s struggling to keep up with the demand for Bit-O-Honeys, Swedish Fish and Sour Balls. 

Nestlé’s profits surged a staggering 30% in 2008.  British chocolate maker Cadbury saw their revenue rise 10.9% in the same time period.

Remember the Great Depression?  Candy companies found a burst of growth in the 1930s as well.  Those hard times spawned the introduction of such candy great as Snickers (1930), Tootsie Pops (1931), Mars bars and Three Musketeers (1932). 

It seems candy brings back memories of better times before bank collapses and government bailouts.  And yes, sales of candy up and down Wall Street have exploded as out of work bankers and stock brokers look for a little sugar lift in a languishing economy.  Perhaps a small indulgence dulls the sting of no paycheck. 

Are you recognizing similar opportunities that may actually be fueled by the struggling economy?  Is this recession a help or a hindrance to your current business?  Don’t assume that every business is suffering.

Acedia — Feeling Down

April 26, 2009

I have always loved words that are rich with meaning.  Recently I was having lunch with a long-time friend who used the word “acedia” in describing his current sense of being in a dry spot in his life.

Acedia comes from an old Greek word describing a state of listlessness, of not caring or not being connected to anything in a meaningful way.  The person may experience sleeplessness, headaches, generalized pain, boredom and an overall diminishing of strength and resilience.  It typically implies a kind of weariness of the soul and can quickly lead to an unhealthy inactivity or slothfulness if not addressed. 

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church defines acedia as “a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray”.  Unfortunately, in our culture, we know the wisdom of washing our hands before eating even if we can’t see the germs we are washing away.  But we don’t share the same conviction about spiritual hygiene, often doing little to cleanse and refresh our spirits, and then feel trapped when acedia appears. 

If you find yourself experiencing acedia you need to take action.  Doing nothing will likely lead to a deeper sense of worthlessness, spiritual dryness or even depression.  Break the cycle by reviewing your personal mission statement and deciding how you can make deposits of success in each of these areas this week:  physically, spiritually, socially, personal development, in family, career and finances.