I don’t know about you, but this financially volatile world is stressing me out. Instead of fighting against the madness of the financial world, we should embrace it as the beautiful madness it is! But how the hell are we supposed to do that?
1. Accepting the human condition. Humans tend to obsess over their long climb to the top – conquering goals during an epic corporate journey. Once we get to the top, however, we begin obsessing over how it can all be taken away. This mania can be combated by having goals outside the corporate and financial realm. I like to give myself unusual goals like “make 10 more friends” or “host 1 dinner party per month”. I use fun goals to increase my circle of friends and distract myself from thinking about business every 10-seconds. All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy!
2. Understanding the market. I believe anyone who lived, worked, became unemployed and worked again (at slave wages) during the Great Recession will have a tough time adjusting to happier financial times. Much like the Silent Generation, we have been forever shaped by the years of financial suck that plagued us all. It greatly affected my generation – the Millennials – with a complete distrust of investments and the stock market. However, this fear is completely unfounded! The stock market goes through (on average) one correction per year. And a bear market (stocks declining by at least 20%) happens every three and a half years. You will likely live through 23 bear markets during your lifetime, most of these are completely relative to certain industries and will not affect you personally. Living your life glued to the financial news won’t get you any richer. Long-term held index funds tend to give a greater return anyway.
3. Lifestyle goals. There is a fable of a wealthy man who asks a fisherman, “How long does it take you to fish?” The fisherman says, “Not long. I pull one net a day. I sell them at the market for a decent profit. After that, I have free time to play with my children and spend the day with my friends and family.” The business man scolds him, “You should employ many men to pull numerous nets per day and amass a fortune!” The fisherman asks, “How long will that take?” “Years, and many hours of work.” The business man replies, “But when you’re finished, you’ll have a decent profit, and free time to play with your children and spend the day with your friends and family…never mind.” Don’t confuse riches with lifestyle! You can spend time with your family, go on vacations, and have a great life without millions of dollars.
4. Value your time. I personally, had serious difficulty letting go of certain chores and every-day work tasks. I admit it, I’m a control freak! One of the best improvements I made to my life was letting go of the mundane. In my personal life I have a housekeeper and landscapers. In my work life, I have a virtual assistant, designers, programmers, social media mangers, writers and editors. If I’m being totally honest, my biggest regret is not “getting over myself” sooner. Once I realized that I’m not the only person in the world that can mop my floor or fill out a report, it truly changed my life and business for the better. No one gets anywhere in life completely alone. We all need help to strengthen our weaknesses and free up time for more important tasks.