Are you ready?

As we enter the last few months of 2018, my mind was drawn back to this time last year for our family. We had been thrown curve ball after curve ball…..and we had to respond in kind. Thankfully, and with gratitude beyond words, we managed;  and in some cases, we sailed through the challenges. This is due 100% to our amazing momma and daddy and their foresight to always plan for that ‘rainy day’ and the inevitable transitions of life. There is no better time that the PRESENT to look these possibilities and/or inevitables in the eye. Yes….I ‘get’ this is a bit outside of my traditional leadership topic….yet, frankly, I feel CALLED to share this….and I believe it actually is ALL about leadership. We are the CEO’s and LEADERS of our lives……we own it.

So, here are a few things to consider to be sure your life is fully ALIGNED and READY when certain unexpected curve balls head your way!

  1. Get your financial papers organized. Ok…..this means WAY more than just deeds to your house or your insurance policies being in a safe place. This means power of attorney (medical and otherwise), your will, your estate documents, your PASSWORDS (yep – we need to have these in an areas that SOMEONE knows where they are), authorization to access your bank and investment accounts (business and personal) if you are deemed unable to do so, and a list of how bills are paid (online and other) so if you are not able to do that either – someone can take the reins. Be sure on ALL your accounts your beneficiaries are updated.  Have you set up your advance directives? Have you designated a ‘money person’ and/or an executor? Yes….I ‘get’ that most of us are not NEAR the age where these things are perceived as ‘nonnegotiables’; however, I have now personally experienced (or witnessed) more than one premature loss and am beyond grateful to say they had the foresight to plan ahead. If you are over 18 – then these are ‘nonnegotiables’. Period.

2. Do you have more than one way to make money? Yes….I have offered this salient insight numerous times. Why? Because I coach people every day who in many cases have been unexpectedly laid off – due to age, redundancy of roles upon merger or acquisition, business downturn due to market changes……the list goes on. They are caught flat-footed with their 401k as their only safety net. Good – yet in almost all cases – not enough. The BEST defense if an OFFENSIVE move….which means way more than having invested in your 401k (though that is also über important). It means having numerous streams of cash flow……rental properties, investment proceeds, oil and gas royalties, direct sales business, book royalties, etc. The rule of thumb is that most millionaires (doesn’t matter if you aspire to be a millionaire or not, the lesson is applicable) have at least 8 streams of revenue. When you study these individuals – they have invested in property, companies, stocks, minerals (oil and gas, etc.) AND they have more than one way to MAKE money professionally by what they DO. So, before you shut your eyes and ears to this reality, don’t negate this point as only for ‘those that have money to invest’. Trust me – that is NOT the only method or answer. Take the initiative to explore other ways to MAKE MONEY (not just invest it). Investigate the ‘side hustles’ you keep hearing about. Or investigate the myriad of sites which offer ways to earn money doing what you normally do…..yes…..they are real.

So, as we end October and start the last 60 days of the year, let’s think about what you can do TODAY to shore up your life. What choices can I make to add to your nest egg? What decisions can you make and put in place to ease your mind, and prepare yourself AND your loved ones for that unexpected curve ball? Who can you call to help you make those decisions and set these things in place? What goal can you set for yourself to have this COMPLETED by 12/31/18? I can tell you from my own experience as a recipient, it is the greatest gift you can give someone….way more than a new iPhone or Rolex or trip……it is THE gift of preparation and Peace of mind. Trust me….you will never regret giving this gift.