| 1.1°C Belfast

Us northern folk can weather anything, so keep smiling in 2012

There's nothing like a bit of unseasonably warm weather to make you feel uneasy. It's just not right to be this mild in January and you can't help thinking we'll pay for it later.

Of course, the latter worry reveals a very negative mindset, one which could be attributed to a large part of the Northern Ireland psyche and will have all you business coaches out there shouting at this page.

But we're getting better as the global borders of our economy are blurred and we take on a more can-do approach, one which is more prevalent in the likes of the US.

In fact, had our confidence not been knocked by the blasted credit crunch, we probably would have been walking with a swagger by now.

Thank goodness then for the downturn, one which has taken the edge of our smugness and made us a little less gung-ho when it comes to business.

This may sound a little counter intuitive, coming as it does after advocating a shot of confidence in this column, but it pays to look at both sides of the argument (it also pays to try and look for the positives from a fairly dire economic situation).

Because we should all be glad of the experience we've had while making it through one of the worst downturns of this century, one which has left us ready to cope with anything.

It's been suggested that several years of booming financial markets left traders without the experience to deal with falling prices when the credit crunch came and, as a result, the slump has been exaggerated.

The same could be said for our own property market and anyone who got burnt by the violent slide in prices won't make the same mistake in a hurry.

The same can be said for other sectors of the local economy where during the good times business was easy to come by. All of us working in the current environment may not realise it but we're building up skills, whether it's fighting for a deal or cutting costs, which will leave us primed to take advantage of the upturn. So, we can weather anything, even unseasonable weather, with a smile on our faces.