Come Out of 2020 Swinging
Hustling, taking on as much work as possible, cutting expenses, saving, and being a value-player will position us to navigate the world unraveling around us; idealism, socialism, and altruism won’t bring home a personal win, performance will. Stand up and fight. Set yourself up for long term success, your actions during this crisis will define you for the next decade. If you can come out of this swinging, then your value and effectiveness are obvious, and your future is bright. The sooner you take action to be a more valuable human being than you were yesterday, the more secure your future becomes; if this is your daily practice, imagine where you will be 5 years from now?
Get to Work, Cut Your Losses & Take Action
- Realize, nobody is going to save you and your family other than you and your family; be proactive and do more in efforts to shore up all facets of your life.
- *All family members (if of age) need to be working and earning. It is better to be working an unfavorable job now and contributing, than no job at all. It’s the #1 survival hack right now.
- *Make yourself more valuable than you were yesterday, be a true professional, and do this every day. The least valuable employees are the first to go and last invited back in until the last one remains. Entitlement is experiencing the first wave of its reckoning in the job market. If you are let go, this mindful practice will ensure that you have the high-value track record to secure another job quickly. Hustle, start cold calling, network, learn a new trade, get certified in your craft, and expand your toolset; don’t underestimate the power of your network. Update that CV with the new and improved value and skills you can offer, not a fancy new document format, style, and font.
- E.S.I. These three tenants should be everyone’s guideline for personal well-being and security.
- Earn. As long as you continue earning by whatever means necessary, you will be okay. In order to do that, make yourself valuable.
- Save. Do everything you can to save, bust out the penny jar, recycle aluminum and glass bottles, sell all luxury items to build-up your savings account now.
- Save enough for a year’s worth of living + 30% for an emergency fund.
- Invest/Hedge. We are heading into a deflationary environment. Educate yourself with the uber complex dynamics of money, markets, and the global economy right now. Seek-out professional advice and commentary. Here’s a couple of podcasts and key articles to light a fire under your arse.
- Cut your losses right now. Liquidate. Sell the fancy SUV and downgrade to a minivan. Extra vehicles or a Harley? Sell them. Sell all other luxury items that do not have a functional and soulful purpose; cut your cable, throw out your TV, do whatever you can. Proceeds must be deposited directly into savings accounts; do it right now, prices are trending lower as we speak.
- Live far below your means; learn to let go, now is the time. Run your life and finances like a profitable and growing business that has steady growth, strong cash flow, no debt, and capital reserves (Savings). Your fixed costs should be less than 30%-40% of what you are earning, so you can save and invest. If that sounds impossible, then re-evaluate everything, there is a high probability that a reckoning is around the corner. Only purchase what you need for day to day; most likely, you don’t need half of what you buy. Re-purpose everything from plastic bags to shoes and clothes. Luxury takes a back seat right now; you’ll be grateful later. If you are still shopping at Whole Foods and Pottery Barn, grab a frying pan, bonk yourself upside the head, stop it.
- Cash is king and there is a strong speculative analysis that shows the buying power of the dollar will rise in the short term due to a deflationary environment that has already started. Cash under the mattress and in the bank. There will be some lifetime buying opportunities in the markets; educate yourself, wait patiently, don’t be impulsive, consult professionals. FOMO is real, keep it in check. The FUD is real too. Cash, then hedge with gold, then a little bitcoin, then wait and seek out professional advice.
- Take advantage of the crazy deals that are available to reduce your monthly expenses. Try to negotiate a lower rent or move entirely. Change your car insurance policy and investigate how you can reduce the costs of the must-haves; there’s plenty of opportunities.
- Live an Active and Healthy Lifestyle. Plenty of exercise, vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, and meditate a few times a week. Stop watching TV and social media, you wills tart to feel so much better, less stressed, and not caught up in the hype.
- If you are well-positioned right now, practice the art of being grateful and helping others as much as you can afford. If you can’t afford to help with money, help with your time, knowledge, and hard work. Never sacrifice your self or your family’s well-being for others.
The only way out of this is to work our way out of it. 100%. Those getting busy, working extra, proving their value, hustling and doing everything they can instead of watching Netflix and buying stupid shit on Amazon are going to come out of this not just swinging, but connecting and driving home much-needed RBIs.
Those tossing their hands-up, thinking that paycheck will be there regardless or they can get another job if need be will become jobless, probably for more than a year, if not two. That’s what happened in the dotcom bubble, that’s what happened in 2008 and that’s what’s happening right now.
The least valuable is first to go and last invited back in. Heed this warning. The competition in the job market is rising logarithmically; survive, thrive or die. Nobody is going to put up with your bullshit anymore. It is in your best interest to get to work, to make yourself irreplaceable by increasing your value in all aspects of your life; to your company, your colleagues, your team, your family, and your community.
Why listen to me? Just two years ago I was standing at the very last open gas station with about 500 others pushing, nudging, and nervously chattering, trying to get just one last gallon of gasoline. When the station manager came out waving his hands and throwing tie-wraps on the pumps, the heart-felt sigh of the mob was a moment of despair. I stood there in disbelief with two empty 10-gallon containers in my hands. It was lovely to experience, living through a full-on uprising in the poorest country of the Americas. The economy of the country was shut down for effectively six months due to its own people blocking all transportation routes.
Think about the mess that arises when emergency services, power companies, and food distribution can’t drive (no gasoline or diesel) to solve infrastructure problems? Most were in denial as it unfolded and couldn’t see past next week. The economy dried up instantly and it didn’t get bad until months later when savings dried up and all the jobs were gone. The key ingredients of resiliency for some were plenty of savings in not just cash, but rice, beans, and fuel. And of course, a non-stop hustle for what little work was available.
Right now, in America, it’s easy breezy in comparison, but if you have been resting on your laurels, have tossed up your hands or seeing this as a most welcome vacation, snap out of it. I have witnessed a few on shared email lists say things like, “Unfortunately there is no school for now until the fall, I must stay at home with my kids, I’ll respond to emails and phone calls when I can…”
Yes, the family is most important and takes priority, and yes we want to slow the spread of COVID-19, and yes, it’s all tough to navigate. However, without the ability to pull-in income, the family is at even more risk. These individuals most likely will not have jobs in the next three months, making things worse for their family with a misplaced intention of doing the right thing for them in the short term and ruining their lives in the long term.
*Please share to raise awareness and motivate those we care about; their perseverance and resiliency depend on our support and tough love more now than ever.