This morning I woke up and just didn’t want to do anything related to business. The past couple of days have been hard on a personal level. Actually my knees have been knocked out from under me. This happens. Our personal life comes up and whacks us on the head.
A member of my family has a terminal cancer diagnosis. The diagnosis came this fall, and we have had some time to get used to the idea, but Tuesday it became REAL. Chemotherapy was withdrawn and the doctor’s office called hospice. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. We spend time together, and the increased fragility and decreased strength was very evident. But it was still shocking. I just wanted to wallow.
How can I run a business while wallowing? Hmmm. I took a minute to think about what my goals and priorities are.
- My number one priority is spending time with my family and being connected to my family. My husband and children need to have space to deal with this loss. How can I help them with that? I can make sure the bills are paid, and that I have time to spend with them.
- My second priority is my spiritual life. Taking time for my spiritual walk is key to handling times like this. I need to exercise and meditate. I did that and life looked a little less grim.
- My third is to those I serve in my business. I need to be creating quality services and products for my clients. They don’ deserve the dregs, just because my life is imploding. Luckily I have processes in place, so on days like today, I don’t have to be at 100% for my clients to be getting good service.
When I get stuck, I take a short period to wallow. Take time to feel the crap. It is real. We need to process it. Having a daily routine can pull you back into life, for at least a few minutes. My calendar is my anchor and helped me to recenter today. I am slogging through the mess.
Having systems in place allows that to not completely derail the business when you have to hit the pause button.
More polished thoughts on this topic will come soon.
You’ve heard all of the common financial advice at least 100 times. How about a few tips that you might not have heard before? A new perspective can generate new thoughts, ideas, and actions. A new perspective might change your financial future.
Some financial tips that can change your outlook:
- A car can last a lot longer than five years. It’s just a hunk of metal and plastic rolling around on four tires. If you can avoid attaching your ego to your automobile, you can save a lot of money by driving your car for several more years. Dings and dents don’t stop the car from working…keep driving the car.
- Know the five types of financial emergencies. Are you prepared for each of them?
- Home-related issues, i.e. a furnace breakage or a leaking roof
- Major car repairs
- Funeral-related issues. Paying for a funeral or traveling to one
- Medical issues
- Job loss
- Spend five minutes on your finances each evening. A single TV commercial break can last five minutes. Review all of your financial transactions for the day. You’ve got 5 minutes to spend on this!
- Create small money goals. These should be doable.
- I’ll spend less than $75/person on food this week.
- I’ll save at least $25 each Friday and deposit it in my savings account.
- Acquire renter’s insurance. It’s only a couple of dollars each month but can replace your items in case of theft or fire. Even your old computer and milk crate shelves are worth something to you.
- Find ways to entertain yourself that are free. Much of the money you spend only serves the purpose of making you feel better. Instead of distracting yourself by purchasing things you don’t need, find some free forms of entertainment.
- Books and videos from the library
- Attend free concerts or listen to music at home.
- Throw a Frisbee.
- Play cards with friends.
- do craft projects with what you already have
- Plant a garden.
- Pay off your small debts first. You’ll build momentum this way and feel a greater sense of accomplishment. The other alternative is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. It makes more financial sense, but it’s not as satisfying. Decide for yourself.
- Consider how much it costs to use an item one time. People often don’t like to buy an expensive mattress, but consider how many times, and how many hours, you’ll use it. Even an expensive mattress only costs a few cents each night over the lifetime of the mattress.
- How much would a $75,000 Mercedes cost to drive each day? Assuming you keep the car for 5 years, that’s roughly 1800 days. You’d be lucky to sell the car for even 50% of what you paid for it. $37,500/1800 = $21/day. That doesn’t even include the cost of insurance or the interest on your monthly car payments.
- Avoid having too much in your savings account. Unless you need the money in the very near future, there are better places to store your money. Put your money to work for you with investments. Make a list of a few and choose the one that makes sense.
- Create a financial mantra that supports your financial goals. Use it each day.
- I only buy things I need.
- I bring my lunch to work.
- I save 10% of my income.
A little unconventional advice can be a good thing. Open your mind to new ways of looking at old challenges. You’ll find solutions you’ve never considered.