Has your life gotten hammered by a job loss, general uncertainty & anxiety, or disrupted daily routines? Do you feel like your sail has been ripped off your boat and now you are floating aimlessly in a sea of uncertainty?
With more than 36 million Americans unemployed in recent months, many economists are projecting even if there is a pickup in activity, many jobs will be lost permanently. Many people will have fixed expenses like car payments and mortgage payments coming due. Add to financial stress the disruption in daily activities and you may be wondering if we can ever return to normal times. How can we not only project a position of strength, but actually BE in a position of strength to restore our sense of self worth and control?
Like you, I’ve been affected by the Covid19 virus. However, preparations I’ve made in the past have made this pandemic a virtual non-event and I’d like to share what I’ve done to stay resilient during these uncertain times. I’d like to explain 5 actionable steps you can take to handle the current crisis and prepare yourself for the next one. Don’t sweat it! This is a time of learning and self-improvement for all of us. Be humble.
- Have multiple streams of income
- Diversify investments
- Live small
- Practice extreme focus
- Work harder than ever
1. Have multiple streams of income
If you’ve lost your job recently, side income from freelance businesses or online stores could help cushion the blow. Also, if you’ve managed to save and have dividend-paying stocks or interest-bearing accounts like Certificates of Deposit, the income will keep coming. If you haven’t done these things, you can start now.
If you already set up passive income streams & work hard now, the difficult times like now actually won’t matter because your future income will rise more than it normally would have because you put in more effort now. Something to put in perspective. Multiple income streams take time to play out. A lot of time. Passive income can compound just like interest. Be patient. (Explore my posts on Financial Independence, Retire Early)
2. Diversify investments
If your retirement account or brokerage account took a large hit during this downtown, ask yourself, “is my portfolio REALLY diversified?” In my most diversified account, I am up over the past year. I would classify asset diversification as stock ETFs like SPY, bonds, oil & commodities, and gold.
3. Live small
If you keep your expenses way below your income, you never need to worry. If you pay off your mortgage, you don’t have a mortgage payment. If you pay off your car, you don’t have a car payment. If you live in a city, you don’t even need a car probably. Personally, I hate driving and like to use a bicycle / public transportation when I can. Imagine how much you could live on if you had no debt, and try to eliminate all debt in your life. You will be shocked how little you could live on. Also, with fewer bills comes less stress. During a pandemic the last thing you want is more stress. (Explore my thoughts on this in-depth)
If you are saddled with car or home debt, don’t think it’s the end. You can sell the vehicle or a home. Look into geo-arbitrage and consider getting paid in U.S. dollars and living in a cheaper state or different country entirely. It can be a new adventure.
4. Practice extreme focus
I think this pandemic has forced our hand. We are focusing on what’s most important in our lives. We are focusing on our health, our work, and our families. Plan a set of tasks that will set you up for a routine to knock out work as fast as possible. Repetition will create skill. Skillful repetition will increase your productivity. Research YouTube videos and see if there is someone accomplishing tasks you want to accomplish but maybe is doing it in a different or more efficient way. Tony Robbins likes to say, “where focus goes, energy flows.” I agree.
Use timer apps to help you focus and complete tasks on time.
5. Work harder than ever
A lot people say the fastest way to reach your goals is to work more / harder. I get it. Your hours don’t cost money. You know a certain number of hours are required to reach a goal. From my experience there are only two things you can do: increase your energy levels to get more done during the day and acquire tools to accomplish tasks faster. For energy, I exercise and eat healthily (smoothies w/supplements / low-carb). For tools, I use Web apps like Buffer and browser extensions and Mac apps like IA Writer to speed content creation.
Macro Trends in Place Before and After Covid19
A lot of the trends to survive Covid19 have already been in place. Working from home and entrepreneurship were already strong trends. Finance tools to manage your money were already in place. Web Apps and phone apps were already available to take our productivity to the next level. All new technologies and trends have been accelerated. Many people are now forced to accept them. Don’t delay. Embrace new technologies, time savers like working from home, and lifestyle choices like drinking coffee and exercising from home. The more time you can make available, the closer you get to achieving your goals and true stability in any environment.
The 5 steps outlined have helped me continue to be able to thrive. Me and my business are rock solid. I haven’t needed to resort to any government bailouts. My mind is alert and focused. I’ve accomplished more recently than in recent months because the pandemic forced my hand. These times could be the best medicine. You just need to open your eyes and be consider changing your lifestyle. Be the vulture, not the meat.
P.S. If you need advice on this topic feel free to contact me. Maybe I can help you make a life-changing decision.