Published: 7.14.22

How Current Macroeconomics Affect Business

How a team works through the highs and lows they experience together speaks volumes to the character of its company culture. 

The current macroeconomic landscape is anything but stable, leading to challenging decisions for business leaders that have long-term effects on people and companies. By thinking with possibility, asking for perspectives, and focusing on what leaders can control, we can help one another take a sustainable approach to decision-making, even in the midst of uncertainty.

Macroeconomic Factors Shaping Our Lives


The current state of the economy didn’t evolve overnight. Several smaller trends laddered up to result in an unclear future over time. Factors that contributed to today’s economy include: 

  1. Global tariffs, supply chain issues, and higher shipping costs increased the price of goods being shipped internationally. 

  2. Increased discretionary income plus a greater demand for products led to inflation of common goods. 

  3. Labor shortages + inflation influenced competitive wages.

  4. The Federal Reserve increased interest rates which had the intended effect of slowing spending. 

  5. Major events bred uncertainty such as a months-long Russian war on Ukraine, divisive decisions made by the Supreme Court, and the potential of an n-th wave of the pandemic.

These trends lead to whisperings of a bear market on the horizon, in which the stock market would decline for an extended period of time. While the facts present a stark reality, businesses can weather the storm by being intentional about sustainable operations over the long-term.

Unclear Path Forward for Businesses

American mathematician John Allen Paulos said, “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is.” 

When looking at the next six to 18 months, uncertainty is the best description of what’s to come for businesses. One point is clear: spending will continue to slow down in the coming months. 

The “recession” word is getting tossed about, but ultimately seeing how the economy shifts, and how businesses are affected, will take time. Even though significant changes are imminent, business leaders can find opportunities in how they intentionally think through important decisions.

How Br8kthru Is Being Intentional

The reality check of a prolonged downturn encouraged us to slow down and be more sustainable about our long-term decision-making and planning.

A quarterly theme we’re embracing is “Hold the line,” so we’ve revisited our Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG, courtesy of Jim Collins, and One Page Strategic Plan, or OPSP from Scaling Up, to stress-test the direction Br8kthru is headed. This exercise showed us where we need to think carefully about major decisions, such as moving to a new office + how the commercial real estate market may shift over time. 

Our OPSP is aligned with our mission and values. While it remains our guiding vision for growth, we’re staying flexible with how we get to our end goals. At Br8kthru, we’re focused on sustainable and steady growth. Being realistic about our goals is one way we can control that. 

3 Lessons That Shaped Our Approach 

  1. Think with possibility.

Countless possibilities can come out of a single situation. Unfortunately, if the reality is grim, it can be difficult to see past the obvious negative outcomes. Our team pushes one another to think beyond the probable to encourage a balanced perspective of favorable outcomes.

  1. Ask for perspectives.

Siloed thinking can be detrimental to making smart decisions. We encourage our team’s participation in industry groups, which often results in cross-shared learning among one another. 

  1. Focus on what’s in control. 

The online talk track around an economic downturn is often negative because bad news gets clicks. At Br8kthru, we narrow our focus on the aspects we can control, and even more specifically, on optimizing just 10% of our business that’s within our control. That laser focus helps empower teams to band together toward a common goal.

Questions We’ll Leave You With 

Thinking with possibility, asking for perspectives, and focusing on what we can control aligns with our value of continuous improvement, a commitment to constantly improving our craft. We want to leave you with two questions that can help you position how you approach decisions in the coming months.

  1. In your life + career, what has helped make you successful?

  2. Within the framework of this market outlook, what is possible?

We posed these questions to our team at Br8kthru to help ground our collective approach as we tag-team our actions on the road ahead. 

The current economic state warrants an “approach with caution” mentality for major decisions. Even though uncertainty is here to stay for a while, don’t become paralized by indecision. At Br8kthru, we are moving forward with confidence by focusing on what’s in our control and thinking with possibility about potential outcomes. 

We’ll leave you with this: what got you this far is likely what will get you to the next milestone. Keep going!