Wow, the ideas just keep rolling in. Look at this opening for a press release. Start with the problem, and tag the problems of the day:

Palo Alto, Ca, November 25, 2008 — With unemployment rising, stress due to job and financial insecurity in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the last eight months. 57 million people in the U.S. today are suffering from emotional pain, stress and depression. Job stress costs the U.S. industry over $300 billion annually in productivity and compensation.

And then show how you’re solving it, plugging your business. In this case, right after the problem posed above, we get the solution:

To help local companies to cope with rising stress, Silicon Valley based Emotional Fitness Clinic,, is hosting on-the-job group relaxation trainings and individual one-on-one relaxation sessions for business executives.

Let me make this clear: I don’t know this company, I don’t recommend it, I’ve never used it; I just received the press release over e-mail. Still, it does get your attention, doesn’t it? I’m posting it because it’s a useful example. I wouldn’t include the link, but that would be mean, since I’m liking the angle.

Turning a bad business climate into a business opportunity. The old lemon and lemonade trick still works. Here’s the next paragraph:

As life become less and less predictable, we experience more emotional stress. “Stress is the result of unexpected crisis,” says Dr. Robert Sapolsky, professor of neuroscience at Stanford University.

Hmmm. Endorsed by Dr. Sapolsky sounds really good, because he’s a real expert. My daughter took his class and loved it, and she really liked him, and I posted his Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers lecture on my other blog. And while I’m sure he said what the release says he said, I really doubt that he intended to endorse this business. Look at the way the company uses him in context, making his statement seem like an endorsement. Good stuff, no?

Yesterday I posted about how the maker of the prosperity candle has a booming business. Now today it’s one-on-one relaxation sessions for business executives. See? New business opportunities are all over this dark and depressed economy. You just have to look in the right places.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.