Now that the global economy has entered a recession and the U.S. economy is in a full-blown depression, the question asked by many (if not out loud) is, “Are there any successful people in this economy?” This is an excellent question, because, as you know, not everyone can be poor at the same time. There are the ones who are actually making money during a recession, rather than losing it. What have they done to get where they are and what can you do to be like them?

Remember the myth of credit. Right now, the majority of people in the twenty-first century are in the habit, both mentally and financially, of believing in credit. They are also in the habit of thinking that, if you save, someone will take your money away, anyway, so you might as well not save. Both of these mindsets are the result of middle class, non-financially-saving employees complaining about taxes and income benefits and the fact that they may not be able to retire — at all — ever. Enough people are talking (complaining) about this and they speak of it often enough that you can be in very real danger of believing them and actually giving up hope altogether.

Giving up hope is dangerous. When you have resources, such as a steady income, it does not matter how small it is. You can work with it and create wealth from your own savvy financial skills, once they are developed. If you have to separate yourself from your friends and even your family members in order to avoid their discontent and destructive mental habits, do so.

Make your money work for you, rather than working for your money. This is not some lame, multi-level-marketing platitude meant to get you thinking in the right direction in general, but not actually having anything to do with real life. This is real life.

Taxes favor the individuals who are savvy enough make their money their private little bitch. It is naive to say that taxes favor “the rich.” The rich are wealthy because they make their money in ways which the Internal Revenue Service cannot touch. Remember the previous incorrect statement is part of the victim mindset of the poorer classes. Be stronger than that. Be smarter.

Active earned income, your regular wages from your job, is the most taxed by the IRS. Investment and portfolio income is the second least taxed form of income. Income from rental properties and all passive income is the least taxed income and, if done right, can actually not be taxed at all — at ALL. So, this means that, contrary to popular belief, the rich are not these devious overlords who are manipulating government funds into screwing over the “little guy.” They simply know that, if you are producing active income from regular earned wages, January through May is devoted entirely to paying off the Internal Revenue Service.

Forget the money, and follow the love. Oh, it’s all well and good to SAY that. You have bills to pay and mouths to feed and property taxes to dish out. I am not advising you to quit your job at Wal-Mart and immediately take up your passion for oil painting. I am saying that, with the right know-how, you can turn your art into an income stream on the side, or if you’re good at writing you can offer your services to students. If you understand search engine optimization, the new Google algorithms (as of March 2011), and how to set up and maintain a nice tight little web page, you can even turn your love of oil painting into a full-time income by selling prints of your artwork online. Unlimited prints mean that one piece of art can make you residual income for a long time to come. Think for yourself and stop listening to the advice of previous generations (unless they are fabulously wealthy). Yesterday was yesterday and today is today. Be innovative.