I believe the one thing that is most dangerous is fear without direction.
Naturally, many people are reacting to the global pandemic with fear. With the disruption we’ve all seen to our business and personal lives, that’s understandable.
But here’s what’s missing: A plan. With direction, the fear of the coronavirus (or anything else) subsides and the panic slowly goes away, because now there is action being taken. There is a plan in place, a set of steps you believe will make you safe.
COVID-19 has challenged one of my core beliefs: “Everything Happens For Me, Not To Me.” Seeing opportunity in chaos is what separates you from the masses. It’s what makes you great.
But how can you protect your family and business while the world is panicking? How can we all support each other and come out on the other side of this stronger than we went in?
Like you, I can’t control whether I’m going to get the coronavirus or not. But I can control a few things:
I can bulletproof my financial security to weather the coming storm
I can be a stabilizing force for the people that depend on me, like my team and clients
I can be open to ideas in other areas of my life and look for ways to turn panic into something great for myself and the people I care about.
Not sure where to start? The beginning is a great place, and for most of us that means making a budget.
Chances are, you have always hated budgeting, even before COVID-19 hit. Controlling expenses is the number one thing businesses do to stay afloat, but it’s also something to consider for yourself personally.
Number-crunching is about as fun as eating dry toast, but if we channel fear and uncertainty with our finances into action so we can do the things we’ve never wanted to do before.
The first step to cleaning up your finances is to create a budget. This helps you develop high levels of awareness around your expenses, which leads to smarter decision making and increased purchasing power over time.
There is a three-step process you may want to follow as you set out to conquer fear with a budget:
Step One: Gather the documentation about your expenses (your credit card statements and bank statements, your projected income). This can be as easy as pulling out your checkbooks or throwing together a spreadsheet.
There are a lot of great tools that can make this process easier. For personal finances, I’d recommend budgeting tools like Mint or Personal Capital. For business accounting, you may want to look into QuickBooks or Xero. There are plenty more in both categories, so a quick search may be in order.
Step Two: Once you have a clear picture of your expenses and your income, you can determine how conservative you want to be with future spending. The more conservative you want to be, the more you need to plan which expenses you can reduce.
Step Three: Get help! This could be anyone from a friend who is good with numbers (if you’re just budgeting for a small family) to a cash flow coach who can hold your hand and provide as much guidance as you need.
For several weeks, I’ve been talking with real estate investment coaches, professional contacts who work in my field (asset protection), and my network of +10,000 real estate investors and entrepreneurs to see how they are dealing with fear in these difficult times. There are lots of smart men and women out there who are ready and willing to help you deal with fear by helping you make a plan.
So in closing, COVID-19 has presented a unique opportunity for us to take fear and channel it into power. Let’s use this situation to overcome the important obstacles in our lives that we’ve been reluctant to address before. This visus, this disease, this fear—it is happening for us, not to us. You will come out the other side stronger than you went in as long as you’re proactive and start taking action now.
You don’t have to know how to do this, you only have to take action. There are professional coaches and providers that can help you overcome inertia and turn your fear into a lifelong plan for success.
Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. His law firm, Royal Legal Solutions, helps thousands of real estate investors and entrepreneurs in all 50 states protect more than $1.2 billion in assets. Since 2014, he has published over 1,000 posts and articles on BiggerPockets and has appeared on hundreds of podcasts