As we come together on this last day of 2020 to ring in the New Year we look ahead with hope to 2021 after a year marred with struggle, turmoil and unrest. I think I would be hard pressed to find someone who was not ready to bid ado to 2020. There has been loss and heartache to spare for everyone, much angst and pain. The world has been affected by the fallout of a pandemic that is not over yet, even as we look for hope in a new year.
Chances are that you or someone close to you has been directly impacted in some way by the events of this year. Regardless of where someone assigns blame, or what version of events in the world you believe; everyone has felt the repercussions to some extent. Now is a time to come together, not fall apart on our differences. We have all been lied to, disenfranchised, coerced, subjugated and divided to an extent. Many people have fallen on hard times as jobs and businesses have collapsed under heavy handed regulations. We have been separated from our support groups by social distancing, whether that is friends, social clubs, churches or schools. People are weary and hearts have been hardened or crushed.
Now is the time to come together.
Much like the people from my grandparent’s age who survived the Great Depression, we will long feel the effects this has laid on our economy. I want to seek one silver lining going into the new year, take one win from 2020 before we bid it farewell.
History is a great teacher if you will listen.
So before you take the plunge with your New Year’s Resolution or dive into whatever plan you have for 2021 (let us know in the comments what you are going to do in 2021), I want you to take a few minutes with me and learn so you can make 2021 even better.
Some lessons from 2020:
You need to have some financial reserve built up. We all knew we should do it, but apparently it takes a lot less to cause us to “need it” than anticipated. Find a way to build up some emergency funds.
As a business owner you must at this point find a way to take your business online. Now I understand that this is much more difficult than just saying it. I would never try to make light of the work that a business owner already puts in. You need to expand your offerings somehow to incorporate online business. Maybe that means adding delivery or shipping to your business model. Maybe that means becoming mobile. I don’t have the answer for your specific business, but if you haven’t figured it out yet, you better.
You cannot leave your kids’ education solely to the system. As parents we all should be involved with our children’s education already, but we have trusted the system for too long to be the solo foundation for education.
You need to grow and adapt to the changing times in far more facets of your life than you thought. I remember when my dad got his first computer at a job, he hated it. He railed against it. Grow, adapt, and survive or you will fall. That is our greatest strength as humans.
You need to diversify your income streams. There are 7 or 8 (depending on your “expert”) types of income and you need to know what they are. The one most everyone is familiar with is called “Earned” income, it is what you get from a job you work for an employer. If you are not working on developing other streams of income then you are putting yourself in a bad position. I don’t generally compare to “the rich” but you will not find a truly wealthy person who only has one income stream. Get to it!
You need to have basic skills like: How to shoot a gun, how to start a fire, how to cook, first aid, CPR, how to build basic things and basic hand to hand combat skills. I am not trying to be an alarmist, but with various civil unrests these basic skills are important. I do not think or at least hope that you are not looking for a fight. You should never be unprepared if one finds you though. Be prepared if a substation or transformer gets knocked out due to protest or something else. If the lights go off, are you ok? Check out “Gas Station Ready” by Josh Bryant.
You need to continue learning. There is always so much more you can learn, but have backup skill sets. I have seen so many jobs outsourced over the years and have been grateful to see some come back the last few. It happens all the time, my brother-in-law had his job outsourced over 20 years ago. Don’t be caught with no alternative.
Most people will continue to act in their own best interest, they are there to take care of what is theirs, not you.
You cannot trust the news media, it does not matter what your political affiliation is. This is a non biased statement. They are there to get you to watch them, they sensationalize everything regardless of which news station it is. For example, I use Yahoo finance watch list which means I see Yahoo news headlines once a day (Terrible news source in my opinion). This morning had two conflicting headlines on the same page. The first said, “Jobless claims rise by 787,000 new claims coming in lower than expected.” The other banner on the same page said “Jobless claims down to 787,000, lower than expected.” Do you see the difference that makes? I have no idea which was correct, based on other sources I would wager the 2nd one. Makes a big difference and that was the same news agency. Talk to other people, and find a news source you think you can believe, but then watch one that follows outside your normal realm too. You will find the truth is something boring in between.
Community makes us stronger, even if we don’t see eye to eye. I loved watching our community do the #strongertogether thing.
Small businesses make America great, support your small business as best as you can; those that have not been crushed already.
Politicians will ALWAYS be on their own side. “In most cases, those who want power probably shouldn't have it, those who enjoy it probably do so for the wrong reasons, and those who want most to hold on to it don't understand that it's only temporary.” – John C Maxwell
I hope you have had some enlightenment this year. That you have learned things that will make you stronger and better going forward. If you have been trying to you probably picked up more than you know. I have been working on getting my financial house in order, if you are a regular reader you know. I discovered how woefully lacking I was in my financial education in early 2020 and have dedicated the year to working on it. This morning I surprised myself as I headed to work, I contemplated running and getting a couple of energy drinks for the next 2 days of work. The going sale is 2 for $4 of my favorite and it works out to about $4.23. I had a realization of how far I have come mentally when I mentally scolded myself. “You have coffee at work, which you are going to drink anyway, that money would be better invested in your business or investments, crypto is down right now!”
The ideas I have been working on in my journey are taking hold better than I realized and I bet if you have been working on something specific you will find yours have too. Take the lessons from this year to give you better direction and guidance into next year. I did a Podcast/YouTube video (both) on being more successful with your new year’s resolutions you should check out if you are considering making one of those.
Thank you for taking a little time with me as we look forward by looking backward. I am truly grateful to anyone who is reading this for honoring me with your very valuable attention. I pray that 2021 is a magnificent year for you and your loved ones and know we will be right here to encourage you as you grow and develop yourself into the very best version of who you are meant to be.
Be better next year, because of what you do today!
Be safe and Happy New Years!
The Fallible Man