I was fresh faced and 18.
With just $350 to my name I moved to Calgary, AB and got my first job digging holes (yes, really) at a whopping $9 an hour.
I got that job 7 hours off the plane - and I wasn't even looking yet.
For the next 12 years Alberta's jubilant economy continued to be very, very good to me. I got the shot I needed to start my own business and work from anywhere.
A sobering visit:
Now, I live in BC. Last week I was back in Alberta for a visit. I was not at all prepared for the heartbreak. I had no idea how powerfully the drop in oil prices is affecting the business owners I care about - until I saw the fear in their eyes...
The fear that oil prices won't rebound. The fear that they won't be able to pay their bills or their mortgage. The fear they won't survive this recession.
The unbridled optimism and energy in the air has been replaced by a heaviness and uncertainty.
And sure, there have been downturns before. Albertans have always pulled through. But this time feels different. More serious. People are using the R word. The radio preaches doom with no end in sight.
Tears & Grit.
What brought hot tears to my eyes was that some Albertan business owners seem to have forgotten what they're made of...
You have to be tough to live in Alberta. Very harsh winters and unrelenting winds under big skies test your capacity for discomfort.
And as an entrepreneur in Alberta, you have to be even tougher.
Riding the waves of the booms and busts without losing your cool, your shirt or your business has become something of an art form. I made it through the rough patch that was 2008 and it took everything I had (and money I didn't) to pull through.
Having made it through those hard years taught me what I want to remind Alberta's entrepreneurs of:
Just like the last bust, some businesses failed, and others emerged stronger than ever, their competition decimated. The difference was that the businesses who survived had low overhead & debt loads.
The survivors also got scrappy, they got innovative and they did not stop marketing.
There is great opportunity here - should you decide to take it.
If you live in Alberta, decide now. Your business will make it through this recession and rise to the top. Intention is very powerful.
Promise yourself you will not be frozen by fear, that you will make a plan and act on it. Trim your costs. Look at how you can innovate and adapt.
The fact is, some businesses will fail. Homes will be repossessed and families will suffer.
This is the time to roll up your sleeves and do what you need to do to ensure you make it through this recession.
And for survival's sake - make sure you're effectively marketing online.
The web is a powerful and free tool that generates millions of dollars in revenue every day. It might just be the difference between your survival and annihilation.
I've built my business (since 2006) on the power of the internet to drive sales, and I owe that in large part to business owners in Alberta.
I want to help.
I've learned a lot since the days of digging holes in dirt, and I want to help.
I'm sharing some of the tools and knowledge I've developed in my last 13 years in online marketing:
1. Click to grab your free copy of my book here. It will show you exactly how to use Social Media to generate warm leads- in just 17 minutes a day.
2. Click here to check out my YouTube channel- I provide free online marketing tips each week.
Join me in helping those who are destined to emerge victorious from the recession in Alberta...
If you add me on social media (either or all of Facebook, Twitter or here on LinkedIn) and you share this post to your network, I'll give you 5O% off my standard pricing for strategic online marketing services, until the end of April.