I am broke, but not broken! Do I have your attention? Should you feel sorry for me? Do I need help? Perhaps, I need a psychological evaluation? My answer is simple, don’t worry about me! You can take away my credit cards, my job and my money! That’s right, everything including the car, home and Rolex too. Have you ever thought about it? What would you do?
Let’s face it is an important issue and one that you probably do not think about very often. What if you lost everything? Could you start over and make it again? Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce! One of the biggest reasons for divorce is financial pressures. Whether you are married, divorced or single, we all have financial pressures! You may have to go back to work, sell assets or make big changes. Do you have the skills and knowledge to start over?
Divorce is not the only way to lose everything! If you bought real estate in 2008, you would be underwater! In other words, the value of your home is lower than your mortgage balance. This situation prevents you from selling the home unless you have the cash to pay the loss out of pocket. It also prevents the homeowner from refinancing in most cases. If you cannot refinance through HARP, you will probably fall into foreclosure.
Loss of job is another way to become broke! Although the economy is improving, unemployment is still very high. Although losing your job is bad, the inability to find work affects you emotionally as well as financially. Unless you have savings or a side business, you will certainly have to make changes to hang on while you look for work. You may lose your home or increase your debt while you are looking . You may have to move in with your parents or some other choice to reduce your expenses.
If you are like many of us, you have thought about starting a business and some of you probably have. Years ago, I started businesses and some did better than others. Starting a business in the real world is risky. You need capital to start a business or you borrow the money to start the business. If you borrow money from a bank, you may have to put up collateral such as your personal residence. If you lose your business, you will likely lose your home too. Can you imagine losing your home and a source of income? It is possible!
As bad as it sounds to lose your home, job and savings, there is an upside! Successful people have made mistakes and lost money too. They may have lost their home, job and savings too. They just lick their wounds, regroup and start over again. They all have good skills and experience to do it again. What is it about successful people that they keep trying despite mistakes? They know that they rely on their knowledge and skills to get through life. The mistakes do not even faze them!
Everyone talks about education as a basis for success, but it doesn’t stop there. Education prepares you for a career, but it is just a start. In some ways, it is all the practice you do for a marathon. The marathon is the test of your practice. Your career and experience demonstrates your knowledge and skills. The more experience you accumulate, the more skills you have to transfer to your next assignment. Your success is very transferable and you can achieve success again.
All employers or entrepreneurs want people who are successful! Your track record of actual performance or accomplishment can be used to find work. A resume that chronicles your accomplishments is exactly what employers are looking for. Bankers want a track record of performance before they will loan you money. This is true for personal or business loans! That is why lenders check your credit history and FICO score. A good score will get a preferred interest rate and a bad score may exclude you entirely or you may pay a higher interest rate.
If I were really flat broke, I still have more than thirty (30) years business experience and twelve (12) years teaching experience that I can rely on to help me start another career. I am fortunate that I have a varied background with skills and experience to draw upon for a new opportunity. It may be easy to be optimistic because I am not in this situation, but I am confident that I can transfer my skills and experience to almost every opportunity.
I am sure many of you probably do not think about what you would do if you had to start over, but it is a good exercise to go through. When I do long range planning and think about my choices in life, I examine both sides, success and failure. Some people feel that they should only consider success and never think about failure. I approach my decisions realistically and have to consider failure. I think it makes me think in terms of multiple income streams because I know that things can happen. Let me know in the comments. Do you ever think you could end up broke or do you only think of success?
Photo by: pedrosimoes7
Do you ever think you could end up broke or do you only think of success?
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