This is my first blog post on Empowered Capital, the first of a series designed to help the willing to survive and thrive during the coming economic storm. If you are willing to pull your head out of the sand, observe and take action, this series is for you. Be prepared!
Have you read Anthony Robbins’ new book “Unshakeable”? The result of in-depth interviews with 50 of the most successful people in America. Tony calls it a “financial freedom game plan”; knowing how to prepare for, and capitalise, during times of economic volatility.
Listening to Tony in a recent interview he made two things abundantly clear;
- A financial storm of significant proportions is looming on the horizon; to those who are watching, the signs are visible and they are prepared.
- It’s not a matter of “if” but “when”. No one knows when it is coming, maybe now, in a month, six months or next year. But coming it is and only those who are securely-positioned will survive; some by luck and some by plan.
Do you really want to leave your financial future to luck? Or are you willing to intentionally work out a game plan for financial security and freedom? There is no time to lose!
When the market was crashing in 2008, Warren Buffett was cashing in on the economic volatility; he was the “go to” man for many companies in distress and he negotiated some very favourable billion-dollar deals, favourable for Berkshire Hathaway, of course.
I wasn’t so lucky back then!
The 2008 crash caught me in the wrong place at the wrong time, still desperately trying to “batten down the hatches”. I was too late. So instead of cashing in on opportunity, I ended up desperately fighting for survival.
In 2003 I had committed a small fortune to developing a stunning nature reserve near the southern tip of Africa. Had everything gone smoothly we would have surfed the wave of the property boom in 2004 and 2005.
But everything did not go smoothly. In fact, things went horribly wrong in a number of different ways.
By 2008 I understood what it must be like for a sailor heading into a mighty storm on the open sea, wondering if his yacht will survive the pounding of the next set of waves. Little did I realise that I was heading into the mother of all storms in a craft that was far from ready.
First we were swamped and then bowled over as each successive wave of bad news hit us.
It’s soul destroying watching your life disintegrate.
After Lehman Brothers crashed in September 2008, I knew that we had little chance of surviving the storm that was raging around us, that it was just a matter of time before the next wave would wipe me out. And it did.
The impact was devastating for me and my family but I soon realised that it didn’t devastate everyone. In fact many of the people I knew were completely unscathed.
Of those who rode out the storm, I recognised two classes of people, those who were lucky and those who were prepared.
- The lucky ones were mostly those with secure jobs in secure businesses that were not directly affected by the economic turmoil. They were lucky to survive the retrenchments and business failures that impacted so many others.
- Those who were prepared had taken the necessary steps to limit their exposure to the looming crash. They had been wise enough to keep their eyes open, and their wisdom paid off. People like Warren Buffet were not just surviving the storm, they were capitalising on it; like tugboat captains rescuing yachts in distress and making a fortune doing so.
I promised myself that I would not be caught unprepared again! Next time a storm strikes, I will be the tugboat captain doing the rescuing. That time is now!
Every storm cloud has a silver lining.
In “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill writes that;
“Every adversity has within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
That “seed” was the start of a new purpose and mission for my life. But mind you, Hill makes it clear that it is a “seed” and not a full-grown plant of abundance that lies within the adversity. And it takes time for a seed to grow into its full potential, sometimes years. In my case over seven years.
I made a ton of mistakes during the past seven years, some of them stupid mistakes but many of them “learning mistakes” as I developed new skills and strategies for my new mission.
So the crash of 2008 wasn’t all bad news! Although I would not wish the turmoil on anyone, least of all someone in their second-half of life, in a real sense, I am grateful for the testing and grateful that I have survived stronger and more resilient than before. My second half has just begun and I am excited!
I now hold onto the hope that, like Job after his testing, a new time of abundance is at hand.
Ready to be the tugboat captain!
Will you survive the storm or will you be swamped? That is the big question.
Are you relying on luck to survive the coming storm? Or are you preparing yourself to not only ride out the storm but to surf the storm waves that come with it? Many are far from prepared.
If you have a safe and secure job in a recession-proof company, then you may be lucky and survive unscathed.
But if you are in any other situation, you will be running a mighty risk relying on luck, hoping to survive, because chances are you won’t! Not in this storm.
Now is NOT the time to be asking,
“What are the chances that I will be hurt by the storm?”
Now is the time to be asking,
“What will the consequences be for my family and I if we are hurt by the storm?”
Now is the time to ask hard questions;
- What will happen to me and my family if I lose my job or my business crashes (as mine did in 2008)?
- What will happen if my savings aren’t enough to see me through the tough times?
- What will happen if the storm wipes out my retirement savings?
These risks all have potentially serious consequences that last years, maybe decades. Do you really want to leave the outcome to chance? Or are you willing to pull your head out of the sand (or your arse) and prepare yourself for the storm.
Hope to God there is still time to prepare! And there may be if you are willing to learn fast and take purposeful action.
Three things you need to do to thrive during the next storm.
Firstly, recognise that your current plan may not survive the coming storm, especially if your plan is called “Luck”! As the boxer Mike Tyson said,
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”
The fact is, everyone gets punched in the face at one time or another; sometimes it’s a slap in the face and other times it’s a knockout blow to the jaw. But remember that it’s not how many times you get knocked down that matters, but how many times you get back up.
Secondly, be ready to get back up! One way is to make sure you have a recession-proof source of income that is not directly tied to your job or business. A Plan B if you will. If you don’t have a recession-proof Plan B yet, you better get one NOW!
Thirdly, the quicker you get back up the better for you emotionally and mentally.
There is a big difference between a champion on a losing streak and loser!
The champion gets back up while the loser remains where he (or she) has always been. But, if the champion stays down too long, they may start thinking and feeling like a loser and that won’t serve anyone.
Having a recession-proof backup plan can serve like a springboard when you hit rock bottom. And landing on a springboard is a lot better than hitting the rocks at rock bottom. Trust me I know.
Be wise, listen carefully to those who really know what they are doing.
In my next blog I will discuss who will be at greatest risk when the storm is unleashed; it’s not going to be a pretty sight in a lot of sectors. And yet business owners especially, can do stuff now to build greater resilience into their businesses now.
Do you need a recession-proof Plan B for your life and business?
Contact me via the form below and we can discuss the possibilities.