10 ways to stimulate the economy with your brain

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I don’t know about you, but I get mighty tired of reading newspaper articles and blog rants about the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of stimulus money on our economy.

What makes me frustrated is that we waste hours a day fighting with each other about things outside of our control, instead of using our own brains to do something about our local economy.

So here is my list of 10 things you can do, right now, to stimulate a small corner of your local economy without spending a dime:

  1. Mentor a new business owner.  If you know how to build an effective website or display goods more effectively on a shelf or close a real estate deal, share your knowledge with someone just starting out. Your input will lead to faster sales.
  2. Host an event at your local coffee shop.  If you have been meaning to gather friends together for a social event, suggest you meet at a favorite local haunt. The dollars spent there will be appreciated. I am sure you all know a place as great as Liberty Market.
  3. Send an email to friends raving about your favorite business.  It could be a dry cleaner, restaurant or babysitter. A personal note will make a big difference in their buying decisions.
  4. Give feedback to a business owner about something they should fix. We often speed through our day, annoyed at something in a local business that inhibits buying. But we never take the time to tell them. Tell them, and they may make more sales.
  5. Constantly promote others on your social networks.  If you see one of your trusted friends promoting a course or workshop or selling a great product, spread the word.
  6. Hook up people who should work together. Maybe you know a graphic designer who would work really well with your friend who is a copywriter. Make the connection, and both businesses can grow.
  7. Host a Laid Off Camp.  If you are worried about the amount of people in your local community out of work, host a Laid Off Camp like we did here in Phoenix this summer. Volunteer your time and enlist your friends to help get your workforce supercharged and employed.
  8. Attend a local Chamber of Commerce meeting. Find out what your local businesses are doing and see if you can support them.
  9. Rave about your local community, and encourage investment and tourism. I am a proud new member of the Phoenix community, and tell anyone who will listen what a great place it is to live, work and visit. Do the same for your favorite location.
  10. Use your superpowers for good.  This is a favorite expression of my dear friend Marilyn Scott-Waters, otherwise known as The Toymaker.  If you walk around being open and friendly and encouraging, everyone will feel better. The better they feel, the more motivated they will be to tackle tough problems and get our economy back on track.

There is a lot that is out of our control. But if we each step up our concern and support for our local businesses, we will make a difference in our economic recovery.

What did I miss?

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47 Responses to “10 ways to stimulate the economy with your brain”

  1. […] support for our local businesses, we will make a difference in our economic recovery.” Among her list of ideas: Mentor a new business owner. If you know how to build an effective website or display goods more […]

  2. frank says:

    to stimulate the economy the trash we throw away every week needs to be recycled.
    cans bottles glass plastic news paper cereal boxs soup can etc .10 cent each at weeks end this would put approx. 25 –to 50– dollars back to each house hold everyone has to get involved penalize with higher tax for not. 9 ( cost 2 bil per week ) each store has to buy back its trash boxs cans bottles etc. stimulus money to expand. expand = jobs . collect trash = jobs all trash to county landfill site for re distrubtion hauling recyclibles to land fill = jobs . containers special = jobs 500,000 sf. building at county landfill = jobs redirect recyclibles to in state industrial recycle plants — paper mill glass plant steel mill etc oh i almost for got. jobs. (note when you buy a used car the first thing you do is clean it up inside and out . and if you purchase a used house you do the same —you clean it up it usually doesent cost much more than elbow grease amarica is used and in dire need of a good cleaning let us start at home and then we will move on to washington. by the way we could start paying an additional 2 –to 3– % tax on any item that we buy and pay back the stimulis money. we need to do this. some one contact me this could be huge planet huge

  3. This is great tips for managing your economy.It is really useful to know about money how to balance that.Money is very important thing and you must know how to spend it.
    .-= Sophia Hudson´s last blog ..Benefits Administrator Interview Questions =-.

  4. You make a great point. We need to take control of our own lives. Each individual can stimulate the economy.

    When we stop fighting and create together, we can improve our own financial future. Get 10 of your friends to write a small article about ways they’ve made money and create an ebook. Sell it or give it away for free. People can always use new ideas to spur their own creative juices.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog ..Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Red Skin Edition =-.

  5. Dape says:

    Reading your list – good suggestions – like the image – well hard – Brain Matter is it constructed or some new micro lens work – a photo?

  6. […] support for our local businesses, we will make a difference in our economic recovery.” Among her list of ideas: Mentor a new business owner. If you know how to build an effective website or display goods more […]

  7. […] support for our local businesses, we will make a difference in our economic recovery.” Among her list of ideas: Mentor a new business owner. If you know how to build an effective website or display goods more […]

  8. […] support for our local businesses, we will make a difference in our economic recovery.” Among her list of ideas: Mentor a new business owner.  If you know how to build an effective website or display goods more […]

  9. […] Slim at Escape From Cubicle Nation has put together an interesting list of things you can do, right now, to stimulate a small corner […]

  10. […] 10 Ways to Stimulate the Economy With Your Brain A nice post from Pam Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, which contains excellent ideas for stirring up commerce in your own backyard, with no investment or red tape involved. Although Pam’s focus is on boosting local businesses, not creativity per se, many of the tips either require a little creativity to get off the ground (or at least creativity’s second cousin, moxie) or are tips that will be a win-win for working artists who want to stimulate their own personal economy, as well as that of the community in which they live. To demonstrate my point, here are three of her tips I especially like. Host an event at your local coffee shop. If you have been meaning to gather friends together for a social event, suggest you meet at a favorite local haunt. The dollars spent there will be appreciated. Constantly promote others on your social networks. If you see one of your trusted friends promoting a course or workshop or selling a great product, spread the word. Hook up people who should work together. Maybe you know a graphic designer who would work really well with your friend who is a copywriter. Make the connection, and both businesses can grow. […]

  11. elizabeth says:

    Great list! And I love @Denise’s addition. I think am pretty good at promoting my city (seriously, Portland/surrrounds is fantastic – it’s hard not to) and supporting local, nice to have other ideas. Thanks for the wonderful reminder that we all have the power to make a difference.
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..i wonder =-.

  12. Excellent article and very creative writing… I just had to comment and tell you so!

    I am going to check out that free chapter. And I definitely will be checking out this site again in the near future. Thanks again for your effort!
    .-= Steven Handel´s last blog ..How Stress Ruins Everything And What You Can Do About It =-.

  13. Joe says:

    “What makes me frustrated is that we waste hours a day fighting with each other about things outside of our control, instead of using our own brains to do something about our local economy.”

    I love this point. It’s so true that and we’re all guilty of it in one way or another

  14. I can’t say that you missed anything! You laid out some really solid advice and, well, you got my creative juices flowin’… There’s a couple of businesses I think I could effectively reach out to and have some fun mentoring and I especially like the idea of hosting meetups/mastermind groups at a local cafe. There’s one here in the area that I enjoy very much and I’m sure others would as well!
    .-= Ricardo Bueno´s last blog ..A Couple of Books for Your Social Media Library =-.

  15. Nice list! I especially like the comment from Roy Murphy – “Value what you can bring to the table. No one has nothing to give.” I think recognizing that you can contribute something “even” if you yourself may be hardly hit by the recession is the first step to recovery.
    .-= Rich Money Habits´s last blog ..Increase Your Financial IQ Book Review – Part 2: Protecting Your Money =-.

  16. […] you are a strong willed business leader. So how do you stimulate the economy using your brain? Well Escape From Cubicle Nation suggests several different avenues to take such as mentoring another business that is in your same […]

  17. Great post, Pam. If I’m understanding you right, you advocate a positive, community approach to making a difference, which is much better than waiting for politicians or people “out there” to make things happen.

    My major takeaway from this was the idea to to a Laid Off Camp. It’s brilliant, easy to do, and everybody wins. I’m going to think about doing something like this in London.

    Best wishes!
    .-= Christine Livingston´s last blog ..What do you do when your life doesn’t go according to plan? =-.

  18. Hiro Boga says:

    Pam, this is such a great, timely post. #10 is my favorite: Use your superpowers for good. It’s an orientation of service and contribution to the ongoing weave of life.

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder of all the ways in which we can co-create the world we want to live in.
    .-= Hiro Boga´s last blog ..Whose Chakra Is It Anyway? =-.

  19. What a terrific post!

    I love the idea of ‘promoting people on your social networks’; great reminder that there are many types of capital, money just being one.
    .-= Whitney Johnson´s last blog ..N.E.D.: The Healing Power of Music =-.

  20. Nice list. Nice reminder.
    As they say, if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.
    Have a great weekend!

  21. […] 10 Ways to Stimulate the Economy With Your Brain @ Escape From Cubicle Nation. In this post, Pam Slim offers some great advice for using your talents, or simply your dollars, to stimulate your local economy. Good stuff. […]

  22. Srinivas Rao says:

    Thanks Pamela. This a really great list. AS somebody who was unemployed up until this last week, I can really relate to all of these. It’s amazing how much good you can do when you are not working. I started my blog, became a hardcore surfer, and made some really positive changes in my life. Thanks to my unemployment Ive connected with so many bloggers and even started to explore joint ventures with them.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..How to be a connector Part II: World Domination =-.

  23. Dale says:

    #3 is the one I like… we vote with our dollars, so by getting people to patronize the businesses we think are great, it helps capitalism work. There’s a great BBQ place, family run, that I go to. I tell everyone I know to go there too because I want them to stay in business (for my own selfish reasons). Better to vote with our own dollars than having the government vote for us.

  24. Kimmoy says:

    Great post Pam! You’re always so practical and these sugestions are not only helpful but fun! I really like these ideas especially the one about giving feedback to business owners on how they can improve. I can channel my inner Peter Perfect from his Business Makeover show which I absolutely loved 😉

  25. Tisha Morris says:

    Great post!
    Sometimes just good ‘ole common sense is all that is necessary! Not to mention taking action instead sitting around talking about it. Those are some great suggestions… thanks!
    .-= Tisha Morris´s last blog ..Mind Body Om Featured in At Home TN =-.

  26. Steve says:

    It’s a theme of your book… but I’d include even starting your own business. The small business/entrepreneurial components of our economy are always submerged by news of big corporate layoffs, bankruptcies, etc.

    Small businesses employ the majority of American workers. Recovery is coming from the bottom up, not from the top down.

  27. Hey Pam, thanks for this inspiring post. We CAN make a difference! What would I add to the list? Compliment sombody who you catch doing something right. My wife is very good at this. For example, when a waitress gives us good service, she calls her and asks her to call her manager. Invariably, the waitress thinks there is something wrong, since most people only complain. Then, my wife gives the manager a glowing comment about how well the waitress took care of us. This positive reinforcement can really make a difference, and it costs us nothing.
    .-= Mario Sanchez Carrion´s last blog ..Rediscovering Your Personal Brand Assets =-.

  28. Larry Rumming says:

    Great list! In many ways we are in a ‘media recession’. Don’t let them drive your thinking with their negative reporting. Look for and create the positives in your daily lives.

  29. fas says:

    That super power bit seems little doubtful to work. But ill try!
    .-= fas´s last blog ..Questions & Answers – Round 3 (Modification Decision) =-.

    • Pamela says:

      Are you kidding me Fas? You totally have superpowers. You are such a regular and supportive commenter on this blog, for starters, and that always gives me an extra boost in my step.

      We ALL have superpowers. 🙂

      -P

  30. Denise Green says:

    I love the list.
    An addition: avoid cutting out “luxuries” that keep others afloat. For a while, I stopped spending. Then I realized the combined impact that would have if we all cut services with people living on the edge, with no healthcare and with families to care for. So I continue to have someone clean my house every two weeks, mow the yard, and highlight my hair. I can cut elsewhere where the impact is smaller.

    And we keep designing new coaching services and products. And to get the word out, we deliver them for free. We get practice and feedback, they get to feel more success, support, and ease, and we get advocates.

    I am a proud, delighted resident of Oakland (quick, what came to mind when you read Oakland?) and I shop and eat in my local neighborhood. I’m dining out Saturday in a restaurant that got abd review in the paper a month ago. I think they are probably motivated.

    • Walter P. Little says:

      Denise, I love your addition…. I never thought of that but it is SO true. I went to a locally owned and operated restaurant the other day after not having been there for quite a while. The restaurant was sparsely populated, not at all like the jumpin’ joint I remembered. Their hours sign had more “CLOSED” days than there used to be. And you could see the impact in the owner’s face. We’re all so focused on cutting back ourselves that it doesn’t occur to us that there are friends, neighbors, and otherwise cool people out there who are REALLY stressing out because their income source of 20+ years is greatly diminished (if not gone completely, we’ve seen a lot of that in our community as well).

      Thanks for putting things in perspective, Denise!

    • Pamela says:

      I love your additions Denise!

      And you know the community that I used to live in before moving to Phoenix? That’s right, OAKLAND! I lived at Lake Merritt and absolutely loved it. By far, it was my favorite part of the Bay Area, and I lived all over it, as a native Bay Area-in. 🙂 I will shout out the benefits of Oakland right along side you, so many people don’t realize what a great place it is to live.

      -P

  31. Karen Hodges says:

    I love hooking up people who can benefit from using each others services or expertise!
    Look around you at what you’d like to have in your community. I am missing two local women’s networks that are no longer active but here is a need just waiting to be filled.
    Today I thought about investigating meet-up groups—it’s on my “to do” list for tomorrow.
    .-= Karen Hodges´s last blog ..The Not-So-Obvious Bad Clients =-.

  32. Jim Taggart says:

    This is breathe of fresh air, Pam. Thanks. I especially liked points 5, 6, and 7.

    As for anything to add, I would suggest “Share what you learn.”
    .-= Jim Taggart´s last blog ..Are You Ready to Take an Ethics Oath-and Will it Make a Difference? =-.

  33. This is good for the economic conditions. I tried to make some short list on my own but you have a better one.

  34. Great post! If there’s one positive thing to come out of the economic debacle of the last year, it is (hopefully) that people are waking up to the potential of local communities and our own individual power to make an impact.
    .-= Curt Rosengren´s last blog ..Just say no…to saying no =-.

  35. Tim says:

    Wow, great post and ideas! I loved the picture of the brain matter, as well. You are so right. There are many things we cannot control in this world…but more important, is what we can. As someone looking for work, I get frustrated by what seems like a lack of opportunities out there. But I think about the Escape From Cubicle Nation seminar here in Chicago that I attended, as well as ways to help other people and use our brains and I become inspired and motivated. Please keep up the great work that you do.
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..10 Things I’ve Learned From Getting Laid Off =-.

    • Pamela says:

      Good to see your smiling avatar Tim! Let us know what kind of work you are looking for, and we can activate our networks.

      Sending good job-finding mojo your way, hope it happens really soon!

      -Pam

  36. Nate says:

    Ditto on the community support. I live on the northside of Chicago and I love promoting local businesses such as shops and restaurants in my area. If I try it and love it I’ll spread the word to all of my friends or leave a comment in Metromix orYelp.

    In general, and maybe it’s just me, promoting other people who you think kick ass is just a good thing. I love helping other people and promoting others who are making the world better in their own unique way, whatever it is.

    Spread the word!
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..Get Living or Die Trying =-.

  37. Dave Kaiser says:

    If cash is tight, trade services

  38. Nona says:

    Pam, what a great list! I, too, get tired of reading the debate… blah, blah, blah. Action is a wonderful thing in situations like this and I love what you prescribe. In fact, positive actions like these are good for any old time, good or not so much!

    Thank you for being your awesome self!
    .-= Nona´s last blog ..Do nothing with me this Thursday… =-.

  39. Angela Duffy says:

    I love, love, LOVE #10. That’s the kind of superpower that we all have and it does make a difference!

    My one addition is this: Apprentice at a local business that does something that you want to learn about. We have a new herb shop (SWHerb) in the neighborhood where I recently took an herbal medicine class. Like everything else, that knowledge is “use it or lose it”. They need help and I need to use (and hopefully expand) my knowledge under the watchful eyes of a registered herbalist. It’s great for both of us.

    The flip side is, of course, to offer apprenticeships for your own business. Kathy does just that on her website – which is what gave me the idea. By doing that, she is building a community of similarly minded people that are engaged with and connected through her business all while sharing her unique skills and knowledge.

  40. #11) Stop trolling, and start doing something productive;
    #12) stop talking, and say something

  41. Walter P. Little says:

    Pam – you rock! This list is fantastic! These are all things that are good to do regardless of how the economy is doing. Communities become better, stronger — organically — when people in them take on the mindset of being helpful whenever they can. Thank you for sharing!

  42. Roy Murphy says:

    Nice list. I’d also add

    Simply asking ‘who needs help’ around your contacts, associates and networks you’d be suprised the amount of folk who need business/marketing/common sense advice but are afraid to ask. Use the usual suspects twitter, facebook etc…to reach out and open up your experience, ideas and skills to everyone else. Good things happen when people do things with no recourse to payback.

    Don’t be the person who has it in their mind to use that local service or shop only to find out when they eventually get round to trying it, that it has dissapeared into the nether. Support your local business, it makes sound economic sense and you get a warm fuzzy feeling inside (although that could just be the hot toddy from earlier)

    Value what you can bring to the table. No one has nothing to give. No shrugging shoulders and saying ‘next time’ this time. Solid.

    Now, who needs help?
    .-= Roy Murphy´s last blog ..roymurphy: New Update http://chir.ps/1Zq =-.

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