Mar-GUN  

Despite a slight uptick in some economic indicators, including increased spending on corporate training (yay!), I'm finding that people are still scared. And that means they're still making poor decisions. When you're worried about putting food on the table, it can be hard to put a lot of effort into designing a good-looking publication, sourcing the best talent or doing your best writing/editing. And yet, that's exactly the time you ought to be doing those very things as well as possible. Because the key to staying employed/getting paid is to turn in quality work that proves your value to the organization.

This isn't just someone talking. Yes, I'm very busy, and very grateful for it. But my husband hasn't had an education gig in 18 months, which means I'm the sole bread-winner. I had one large client pull all its creative back in house, and another cut my contract by 75 percent. So I know what it's like to lose more than half your income (thanks, state budget cuts!). I know what it's like to watch that bottom line shrink.

But instead of freaking out, I made a choice. I chose to put the energy that would normally go to panicking into producing. Together, we came up with a strategy for developing new business -- yes, in a crappy economy -- and focused on going above and beyond for existing clients. It's not always easy. And, yes, there are times when I feel the fear nipping at my heels. But I've actually gained some new clients, and made good relationships with clients even better.

Turns out people like having someone around who can act strategically during times of uncertainty. Who continues to deliver when the stakes are higher than ever. Who can help them feel a little less wiggy in the face of it all.

What are you doing today to fight the fear -- your own or someone else's?