Kevin Jungel did what many of us will never do in our lifetime: move to a foreign country. He moved more than 6,000 kilometres from home. Into an environment with a different culture, a different language — heck, even a different side of road to drive on.
He moved from Germany to Canada to establish a North American headquarters for WEICON, a manufacturer of specialty products used in industrial production. That was 2008. We all know what happened next: the economy took a dive.
But what does Jungel say? He says that this kind of economy is actually a perfect opportunity: “When times are good, people just don’t have the time or willingness to explore new products and ways of doing things. But now that everyone is trying to tighten their belts, they are more interested in learning about alternatives and to hear how our products can optimize productivity.”
Now that’s what I call taking the “lemonade view.” It’s different than “seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses,” because that suggests that you’re not really seeing reality. Instead, it’s taking something tangible and sour — like lemons and an economic downturn — putting in some hard work, and coming out with lemonade.
The lemonade view pays off: Jungel has already hired additional staff and WEICON is expanding into a larger, 4,000 square foot facility.
If this economy is hitting you hard, you might enjoy visiting the site Lemonade It. You’ll find positive and practical solutions for moving forward.
WEICON is one of a number of companies I recently interviewed and profiled for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. I was given this opportunity through Peter McKinnon, a writing colleague. The full article is here: http://investincanada.gc.ca/download/823.pdf.