Keeping Things in Perspective
I struggled with how to start this blog post. I’m typically fairly upbeat…until I’m not. I’m going to be candid and say that this year has been stressful for a ridiculous number of reasons, and this fall even more so. I’m the type of personal finance blogger/podcaster/influencer who acknowledges the bumpiness of my financial journey. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve tripped myself up, and I’ve made choices that I’m sure I’m being judged for. These were all actions that I could control. What if I had to deal with something that I couldn’t control.
For the past 5 months in particular, it has felt like every time I wake up there is some kind of crazy, epic disaster that has happened.
- From the crazy fires currently burning in Northern California. Leaving entire communities decimated. When I watch coverage (and that’s sparingly) I’m reminded of past movies that depict a nuclear bomb going off-basically leaving nothing as far as the eye can see.
- Crazy hurricanes leaving Houston, parts of Florida, and entire islands in the Caribbean completely destroyed (including, but not limited to, Puerto Rico).
Then, I got a text message from a dear relative letting me know that another dear relative has cancer. I’m heart broken. The thing is…a couple of other things happened this Fall that I don’t even want to share because you’ll be like…dayum. Horrible, heart breaking stuff. And, all of these things were totally out of my control.
Sometimes I’m really hard on myself about the choices that I’ve made both personally and financially. But, ultimately, I am left with the realization that:
- I am still healthy
- My entire neighborhood is still standing…unlike those areas that I mentioned before. If I wanted to sell my possessions-I COULD because they are still INTACT. Think about that for a second. If you’re currently feeling a little frustrated or not sure what you can do to better your situation. If you can walk outside your front door and you see buildings that are intact, businesses running, and every day happenings occurring…you’re doing all right.
- I have a network of people that I can reach out to who can and could potentially connect me with opportunities to better my life, make money, or even find romance.
- I have plenty of food in my home and my biggest issue is that I could lose some weight…because I have access to enough food that I have over indulged.
- I have a phone, car, bike, an old MacBook Air, Chromebook, and a MacBook Pro. That MacBook Pro is currently broken, but it’s getting repaired this week and I will be able to continue to use that device to earn money.
There are times when you just have to step back and look at the big picture. No, it doesn’t mean that what you’re worried about or dealing with isn’t important. Of course it is…but, things could always be worse. When I’ve been painfully broke (has happened several times in my life) I’ve been able to connect with opportunities to make money: brand-ambassador gigs, freelance writing, selling stuff, affiliate income, one day labor, etc. Because my town is still in tact I know that those opportunities are available to me. Unlike the people in the places that I mentioned before. Think about that for a second…everything that you know:
- Your town
- Your livelihood
- Your home
And, the list goes on…it’s just gone. I’ve spent some time really thinking about what I have. Being appreciative, being kind, and wearing my Blessed t-shirt because I am. The only things I can control are: my actions and my reactions to the situations that I’m dealing with. I’m trying to focus on kindness and being compassionate with others. And, I’m taking daily focused action to grow my income and improve my life.
This past week I had a string of frustrating things happen all at once. I lost my debit card, I broke my phone (have never done that before), and I broke my brand new laptop. Of course, none of these things happened at a time that was convenient for me financially or personally. And, as I was about to get crazy angry I would see images on the t.v. and watch people who’ve lost everything…who were just in shock. What in the hell were they going to do? What if they had never dealt with adversity before?
I’ve dealt with so much adversity that if they gave out merit badges I would get one. I realize now that all of the hard-times that I’ve had were helpful to me as I dealt with whatever crazy sh$t came my way. But, this blog is ultimately a personal finance/lifestyle blog. I want to leave you with some thoughts and some actionable steps that you can take before the sh$t hits the fan.
- Save money-If you haven’t been good about this…focus on earning more money. Take daily actions to attract and bring more money into your life.
- Review your insurance coverage. It’s ridiculous how much I spend on various types of insurance. But, it helps me with my piece of mind. I currently have:
- Health Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Learn how to share and sell your skills online. I LOVE online businesses because they scale fast once your are consistent and committed to your online profile/business. You don’t have to do this full-time…just know how to do it so that you can make money from anywhere.
- Backup your computers constantly. This is controversial for some people, but, I can access my data from any of my devices because they are synced via the “cloud.” I am currently typing this blog post via my Chromebook while my main computer is getting fixed. My old MacAir still works but it struggles a little bit. But, I will still be able to run my business in the meantime.
- Make copies of your favorite pictures and upload them to the “cloud.” So that you don’t lose memories. For most people over 30 years old, that probably means spending some time scanning our own baby pictures because most of our adult lives are already online.
- Create an evacuation plan. Be clear about what you absolutely need to take with you in the event of an emergency. For me that’s:
- My computer-because I will be able to work and access my accounts. Clothing is donated to people in droves.
- Cell phone
- Cash and a debit card to access my cash.
- Pay off your debt and minimize your monthly expenditures. Stream line your financial life as much as you possibly can.
If something happened to Denver, I know that I would move to Seattle. I already know this. Yes, this is a bit depressing, but people don’t spend enough time thinking about this type of thing. Once a year review your plan, look at your money, and take action.
If your money isn’t where you need it to be do something every single day until it is. Again, normally I’m an upbeat person…but, remember, I also had to support myself and my mom on Starbucks wages. Currently, I’m spending the next year (or two) focusing on wealth building. I am cutting travel drastically (except to see my relative), I’m not going to conferences for the majority of the next year, I’m basically 150% focused on making sure that I’m ahead of what life can throw me.
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