Don’t Waste a Good Crisis

Key Takeaways

  • Although we tend to think of a crisis as a bad thing, there are many positive things that can come out of a crisis.
  • Big changes might be uncomfortable, but we can position ourselves to take advantage of them.
  • Consider these three elements of change the next time you’re faced with a big crisis, and they might help you see the good that can result.

Winston Churchill is credited with saying “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” More recently, Rahm Emanuel stated, “Never waste a good crisis,” referencing the great financial crisis of 2008. What did they mean by this?

Well, in both cases, there was massive change happening in the world. Churchill and Emanuel were acknowledging the need to, in one way or another, take advantage of this change.

In the present day, we of course have another large-scale upheaval: COVID. You may ask how anything good could possibly come out of that. And while there has been incredible loss and tragedy due to COVID, good can come out of just about everything. It may depend on how you look at things – do you see the glass as half full or half empty?

When looking at change, there are three different elements to consider.

First, it’s not usually as bad as you think it’ll be. Now, for those who are optimists, it probably won’t be as good as you expect either. But it likely won’t be as bad as the pessimists think it will be. The end result will likely be somewhere in the middle. So don’t let fear drive you, but don’t hold unrealistically high expectations for the change either.

Second, the majority of new businesses are created during crises. When you look back at business cycles, this holds true. When we go into recessions or endure a pandemic, it tends to force business owners out of business and people lose their jobs. But then people look for something new, and we see a lot of growth. It’s a bit like evergreen forests where new trees only grow after a fire, when the seeds are activated.

The third element is embracing failure. That may not sound very appealing, but you’ll find that as you go through major changes and you grow, failure will happen. It becomes part of the landscape, and it happens more as you learn more. We learn through failure – and we keep trying.

Even if you’re retired and the COVID crisis hasn’t affected your income, it’s certainly caused change in your life. You’ve likely had to adapt to things and figure out new ways to connect with loved ones and new ways to fill your time if you were used to traveling. There are still many ways to grow.

It’s not as bad as we thought it was going to be. That’s a phrase to keep in mind as we deal with the crisis of COVID or any other crisis we may face in the future. And there will more likely than not be another crisis, so don’t waste it. Figure out what positive things can come of it – for you, your family, and your wealth. Until next time, enjoy.


If you’d like to read more on this topic, here are a few of our past Coyle Blog posts that you might enjoy:

Embracing Failure

Change Is Inevitable…Growth Is Optional



Gary Klaben serves as a Financial Advisor, and visionary for Coyle Financial Counsel. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Learn more about The Coyle Process, approach designed to get your arms around the big picture, so you can make informed financial decisions. Ask Gary about The Coyle Process and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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