It's fairly routine to hear people grumble about how the media only report bad news. It's much less common that those people do something about it.

David Brady, president of Oak Design & Construction, in Oak Park, Ill., is one who did. Weary of the doomsday attitude that prevailed in most popular coverage of the housing industry, he started reading Forbes magazine, which — because of its pro-business slant — tends to present negative information as challenges with solutions, rather than as omens.

By reading this and other information sources, Brady has developed a more positive attitude toward his business. “[It's easy] to start thinking that the country is falling apart,” he says. “But there are a lot of positive things going on. You have to temper the negative information with your own intelligence.”

Brady also finds himself well-armed when clients or prospective clients hem and haw about a job because of the current economic climate. “It's the remodeler's job to be creative,” he says, “to provide solutions [homeowners] don't even know exist.”