"I wanted a PlayStation!" (Source: Pixabay)
But then something does go wrong. Something terrible. Disaster strikes – whether man-made or natural – and you lose it all. The house is gone, you no longer have money to repair the car, and your business goes into a downward spiral… Any or all of these can happen, and it can be just a few months away from taking place.
What do you do? How do you get back from that? Was there any way to protect yourself from this sudden tragedy, and nobody bothered to tell you?
Yes, I tell you, there always was. You just got too comfortable. But fear not, because I have created this guide for you to see the way out before you even have to through with the tragedy itself. From the survivor of a national crisis to you, a potential victim of one, I bring you: The Guide to Financially Defeating the Effects of a Disaster.
Write this down in big, bold letters and make it your life’s mantra: Never get too comfortable. Ever. Your job may be paying you big right now or your business might be flourishing, but there’s nothing worse than feeling overconfident and not preparing yourself for a tragedy.
Just another day in London. (Source: Pixabay)
Do you think that the people lying in hospital after a car accident or a heart attack were expecting those events to happen to them? Do you think that the gunshot victim of a robbery or the man who got stabbed a few hours ago were thinking “Hey, I better start preparing for an imminent tragedy!” when they stepped out of their home this morning? Of course not!
But that’s exactly why you need to be ready for whatever happens, and prepping mentally is the first step. It’s not paranoid to get a life insurance plan for yourself and your family, it’s an investment; it’s also not foolish to think of some self-defense classes, it’s being careful. Keeping a large amount of money at hand in cash is also not being cheap – you could be saving the life of a loved one if anything goes south!
Nothing is more valuable than the life and wellbeing of you and your loved ones, and spending on safety and healthcare can and will go a long way in the future.
This is what somebody should have told us when we were young. We spend so much time making money for our current situation that we end up having nothing to show for it when it really matters.
"No idea how I'm going to understand what I meant to draw here later on, but okay" (Source: Pixabay)
For all the times I’ve personally heard “There’s no time like the present”, “Do it”, or the more recent term “#YOLO”, I’ve come to learn there’s typically a mistake being made a few moments later. You may “only live once”, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to live exclusively for the present. You must prepare for the future, now and always, considering that you’re living in possibly the best and most productive decades of your life right now.
I bet you’ve heard this before, but every dollar invested now can become up to five bucks within twenty-five years (before inflation), meaning you could be making a massive head start on your retirement funds by simply ensuring you have something in the bank or invested into a daring business venture. Consider something timeless when investing; specializing in goods or services that can go obsolete could mean your absolute downfall.
Yeah, we also wonder what this is supposed to mean. (Source: Pixabay)
Many people will attempt to instruct you on what to do next when you’re lying in the dirt. They’ll give their opinions – some in good faith, others not so much – but nobody is standing in your shoes except for you, and this fact alone will be decisive when push comes to shove. Be smart, and don’t allow the tide to drag you wherever the heck it is going. Make your own decisions. It’s your money, your fight and most importantly, your life that you’re taking control of here.
Measure their intentions and make decisions accordingly: do you think you can do things differently? Perhaps there was something that you learned on your own that can allow you to be stronger, smarter and better now. Just because you’re suffering currently, it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the wisdom you’ve acquired during life. Use that wisdom to get out of your mess, and you’ll soon realize why you never needed anybody’s opinion at all!
Drastic times call for drastic measures, or so they say. People typically cave when enough pressure is applied, and this can lead to a skewed point of view on the matters of life. What didn’t look so bad previously can now seem massive and life-threatening, and we can be guilty of making a mountain out of a molehill.
"Look, my hand is bigger than my body." (Source: Pixabay)
When facing a crisis, you may decide to make huge decisions that you would never have even considered in situations of normalcy, leading to foolish thoughts and rash choices that can change your life or that of your loved ones for good, taking away the world you knew forever. Whether you decide to take your son or daughter out of their private school and put them in a public one against their will; walking out of your job and quitting for good without a backup plan; or packing your bags and leaving on the next plane out of the country, you will want to do it right.
Don’t forget – some of the rashest and most careless decisions you’ll ever make are those that are a reaction to something bad happening around you. Our mind is programmed to make quick decisions when we’re under threat, and this can sometimes lead us to say or do stupid things that end up costing us later on. Control yourself and don’t let the situation overwhelm your presence of mind: you could be rescuing your future and those of the people you love.
I mentioned above that I’m a survivor of a national crisis; trust me, this is no joke or exaggeration. At the time of writing this, I live in Venezuela, South America. You may have read about this nation and the way it has plummeted into a state of humanitarian emergency, where many poor people are out rummaging around trash bags for food, workers have to walk across the city to get to work because public transport has disappeared, and any lawful protests are quickly quashed with violence, tears gas and bullets. The minimum wage is around $30 USD a month. To some, this country and its struggle represent a living hell.
Me? I see a challenge.
I have watched classmates, friends, family members and colleagues flee this country in the past few years, stating that it is no longer a place to be in, and that there is “nothing to do anymore”. I have always disagreed with this, especially considering that nothing changes if you don’t make it change.
You have to face your fears and your problems to accomplish anything, and the best way to do so is standing in front of them and standing your ground. This can be applied to any challenge in life, whichever it may be: you can only ever recover from a disaster if you have the guts to fight, and if you are ready to stand your ground and not flee in cowardice.
Reinvent yourself – start doing something new if your old job suddenly doesn’t cover your expenses. Take advantage of your skills and monetize them. Cater to new markets. Find new products to sell at your business. Ask friends for help: offer them goods in exchange for advertising or work. Go out and show the world that you can handle anything it throws at you. Your life will be thankful for it. I would have loved to have been able to tell more people this before they left… I’m sorry if I know you and never did.
Now, we may have gone through the steps to get through a crisis, but none of the above steps are worth a damn thing if you haven’t got any idea of how to channel it all into one simple task. Don’t worry, though, we’re about to explain it in full…
This step is valuable, so much in fact that it may decide whether you truly do recover from whatever crisis you’re going through or not.
Have you ever heard of the famous Gold Rush that took place in 19th Century California? Around 300,000 people crossed the nation or the world to make their way to the ripe goldfields that had just been discovered on the West Coast of the United States. This caused varying consequences for the lands and peoples of the area, but what is most important is that the people who made the most money and kept themselves safe from all of the trouble that the mining of gold entailed weren’t those who were actually getting the precious metal… it was those that were selling the shovels and providing other services in the local area!
This is how economy works in real life, believe it or not. Recognizing opportunity (selling shovels) is more valuable than simply being a hard worker (mining gold), no matter which way you’re looking at it. You have to think outside of the box, however, and this is not something you can be taught. Precisely this is what separates somebody who can execute this step and somebody who probably never will – recognizing opportunity is an art that very few have, and one that even fewer can ever master.
But what does it involve? And why is it so important?
Knowing what sells and what doesn’t is the first part of this step: you have to know how to direct your research, getting to know the audience and finding out what people are searching for, regardless if they’re investing any cash in it or not. Finding interest is key to recognizing opportunity, because that very interest can and will translate into revenue in the future if you know how to manage it.
Next, you’re going to need to establish just what it is you’re going to offer. Why doesn’t this come before getting to know the audience? Why, because you’re going to sell based on what people want, not create a need for people to decide if they want to give you their money or not. You are the one that has to adapt to the market. Think of the shovel-sellers again: they could have sold picks or wheelbarrows, aprons or oil lamps. Yet it wasn’t any of those objects that were going to make it rich – it was the shovels, because that’s what the miners needed the most. The best shovels were not only more durable, but they could withstand the continuous digging that these men and women performed for hours and days on end.
The final part of this particular step is to make yourself and your business different. What does this mean, though? Simple: why will the miners buy shovels from you, and not from any other shovel-seller out there? You want something to be unique about what you do. Not over-the-top unique, but just different enough for you to stand out. This is accomplished through the marketing side of the business. You have to invest in standing out, in seeming like the better option in shovels, and not just another company selling these tools to miners.
But I guess that deserves its own post, doesn’t it?
For now, let’s conclude this one with a recap and a conclusion…
It isn’t easy when life gives you a slap in the face, especially when you’ve been cruising along and watching the dollars roll in for as long as you remember; it can be a humbling time for you, and you can lose your way. Losing your way leads to mistakes.
Thankfully, it isn’t that hard to get back to lofty positions like the ones you were previously in if you know what you’re doing and have an idea that can raise you up and put you back where you deserve. Still, life isn’t always about the ups, you know? It is also about the downs, and I have learned that the hard way. It’s not about how good you are at reaching the top that defines you; it’s about how good you are at rising from the bottom.
Pictured: You, in a short time. (Source: Pixabay)
I really hope this guide serves you well in your times of need and that you can find your path after applying these steps in whatever trouble you may find yourself in. Bouncing back from a crisis is possible, as difficult as it can be, and you are bound to achieve success if you follow each step.
Don’t forget: prepare, visualize, believe, be wary, fight and evolve. These are the keys to glory.
Do you have any experiences of getting back from a financial disaster? How did you beat those challenges?
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Founder, Head Content Creator. Chemical Engineer. Entrepreneur. Instructor. Writer. Traveler. Once a cog in the traditional workforce machine, I decided to stake my claim in the freelancing business and haven’t looked back since. Working remotely is the first step to freedom, bringing you the ability to call your own shots and organize your own time. Now, however... I'm going to teach you how.