I’ve kept pretty quiet about this Coronavirus malarkey, mainly because I know my opinions on it won’t amount to anything. Plus I’m just a random bloke, so I’m probably wrong.
That’s not what this blog is about. Maybe when it’s all over I will write one about the way humanity has responded to this threat.
At the age of 24 (and I vividly remember this), it occurred to me that the pursuit of material goods was complete madness. That was when, working as a VT, I had managed to save up the grand total of £300, only for that to disappear into the midst of time and space due to the excess on car insurance and an unfortunate accident in a shabby Ford Escort.
You will all have had events that shape your personality. This was one of mine. It occurred to me, on that day, that the more expensive a car was, the more money it would cost to keep it on the road. I had also lost the buzz of that “ooh I’ve bought a new car” feel, the smell (that comes from a can) long since percolating away.
Now whilst it is possible to use expensive cars as an investment, most people squander vast sums of money on a box with wheels that they drive to impress people they don’t even know. From that moment forward I made a vow to never spend more than £X on a car, and I’ve stuck to that.
But we aren’t talking about cars here either. Today we are going to discuss the following phrases
“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”
“Spend less than you earn, save and invest the difference.”
In my younger years, despite my philosophy on cars, I was foolish with money. I wasted a lot of it on ridiculous escapades whilst fooling myself that I was somehow “better” because I wasn’t buying fancy gadgets and designer knick-knacks. It was only when I bought a practice that I began to realise the cost of doing business, and once again, my mentality began to change.
If you read past through previous blogs, you will see the following mentioned countless times:
- Have 6 months’ expenses in the bank
- Don’t live off your overdraft
- Build your business up from the profits you accumulate rather than the money the bank gives you
- Put money away for your tax
If you want to buy something (none business-related) buy it with cash that you have saved up. Then calculate how many more months after your proposed retirement date you will have to work to make up that shortfall. Then calculate how much that money could make you if you invested it. Then ask yourself if you still want it.
When I sold my practice in 2017, I suddenly became very minimalist in my thinking. I sold my 4 bedroom house and moved into a 2 bedroom flat. I rid myself of clutter and simplified my life as much as possible.
Recently, on the rare moment when I am allowed to drive about, it occurred to me that most of the businesses that are presently shut are there just to give someone a job and to give someone the opportunity to spend money they probably don’t have. They don’t actually bring anything of value to your world.
Now that you are stuck at home, I wonder how many of you see it for the opportunity that it is?
- Think of all the books you can read
- What about the books you can write
- You can finally start that exercise regime
- What about starting that online business?
- Now that you are basically trapped in it, does it matter how big your house is?
- Some of you might even want to start that spiritual practice
What can you do, right now, to enhance your life? What can you do, right now, to increase your income whilst sat at home?
We may well look back and think that what we are seeing now is an overreaction. So far this year 120,000 across the world have died of flu and 500,000 have died of malaria. There are some who will thus be critical of the way the world has responded to Covid -19.
What I do know is that it has changed everything, just as 911 changed the world. The governments of the world, at the very least, have now had a dry run on how to deal with a pandemic. When the next one occurs, you know what to expect.
- Will you and your business be ready?
- Is the present model of dental practice viable in this new reality?
- What industries are going to completely disappear because of it?
- Can your retirement investments stand up to further shocks like the one that has just rocked the world’s stock markets?
- Are you ready for the next one
Just some thoughts to see you through the weekend ;)