I’m going to apologize up front for deviating a little bit from leadership and personal development and talk about the stock market, for just a moment. Let me make this perfectly clear, I am not an expert in the stock market. However, I do actively day trade and therefore have more opportunity to observe the market than most of you. There is “some” indication, that the market is going to reverse in the near future and the economy may not be as healthy as some are now saying. Of course I can’t predict the future, so I don’t know this for sure. I can’t even tell you when or by how much. So why am I bothering you with this?
As a leader you must take an active interest in your financial well being. If you just sit back and watch what happens, you are giving up control of your financial future. I understand some things are out of our control, however, there are some things you should be doing as a leader.
- Prepare for the worst case scenario (also known as contingency planning). What are you going to do, if the economy really tanks? I’m not saying this is going to happen, but what are you going to do if the stock market goes back down, businesses continue to lay people off, and the real estate market doesn’t recover this year? My recommendations?
- Start putting away some extra money just in case you get laid off
- Look for alternative sources of income to help supplement a possible pay cut
- Pay off your debt early if you can
- Network, network, network – now! Don’t wait until you have to
- Look at your skills. What can you do to remain relevant in today’s job market?
- Stay informed. Whatever industry you are in, look at trends for the future. As a Project Manager, I am looking at healthcare and healthcare IT to be the meat and potatoes for me – probably over the next 5 – 10 years.
- Hope for the future. It is easy to let some of these things overwhelm you. Remember, none of these have actually happened yet. We’re just preparing for the worst. So, you also have to keep this all in perspective and hope for the future. The stock market might continue to climb. Real estate may recover this year, employment numbers may start to look better. Hope for these things – just don’t place all your chips on the table, assuming that they will.
- Continue to live your life. At times, life can be exhausting. Now is one of those times for many of you. However, regardless how beat you feel, you must continue to live life. Yes, save some money, but… don’t just disappear into your home for the next year. There are a lot of activities you can do that are relatively inexpensive that will enable you to keep it all in perspective. There are libraries for books, walks, jogging, picnics. You can swap DVDs with other families/friends. Instead of going to the local pub, invite some friends over who can play the guitar (or some other instrument) and have your own jam session. Live life. To sum this all up…
Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!
Lead With Honor,