Try this: turn on the TV and switch to a show that you like to watch. THEN, ask somebody else to sit next to you and turn on the radio, or play videos/music on their phones…at the same volume as the TV.
It is difficult to concentrate 100% on the TV…right? You want to watch the TV, but you have this distraction going on right next to you. Every time there is a quiet moment, the distraction takes over.
Now imagine that you are running a business, and you can’t pay the bills at the end of the month. Or imagine you have a job, but you can’t make the mortgage payment (or pay the rent) on time. The fact you can’t pay for things (that you need…not frivolous things) on time permeates every facet of your thinking. You try to concentrate on running your business, doing your job, being a good partner, being a good parent, socialising – but every time you let your mind wander – there it is – that reminder that you are out of money and struggling to find a solution to the problem.
You spend a lot of time and energy thinking “if I do X and then Y pays for Z…then I’ll be okay.” Or “if I sell XYZ, I should be able to clear the debt and have enough left over to pay for ABC.” Timing issues are critical, and you are always watching the clock, the diary, the phone, the tablet, the computer for the message that Y actually paid on time.
All short-term/band-aid solutions. The stress created by all this causes you to make decisions that you might not otherwise make – for example that additional credit card, or selling assets at rock-bottom prices etc. Consequently, you “aren’t there” your mind is somewhere else. This causes relationship stress…and business goes downhill too. How many times have you heard somebody say (about somebody else) they are having “money problems” to explain why they are tense…or split up…or can’t pay?
We’ve all been there. YES…we have ALL been there at some point in our lives. Think of the most successful people you know – Richard Branson for example – read his book…he nearly went broke. Kerry Packer? World Series Cricket nearly caused his empire to come crashing down around him. I know what you are thinking: yeah, yeah…they had ways of getting out of debt…they are not like me.
Well, guess what – you have ways of getting out of debt too. Here is a 5 step plan to get you there:
1. Talk to Somebody That Understands Numbers
Talk to somebody that understands numbers – and more importantly can explain to you why you are in the situation you are in. No more short-term band-aid measures to bail you out of the “you-know-what”. If money is tight, there are plenty of financial counsellors that operate out of charities that can help you.
2. Get Your Head Straight
Numbers people are great…but it helps a lot if you can talk to a friend, or maybe somebody you know who has been in business that can mentor you, or (if you can afford it) a paid mental health professional. I can’t stress how important this is.
If you follow step one, and get them to analyse why you are where you are, chances are you will see a pattern of behaviour that brings you back to the same predicament time and time again. You know what I mean – the time you had some money come in – you cleared some debt, but then after a while, you ended up being in the same predicament.
The great Albert Einstein said: If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” Mark my words, you will always go back to your default habits if you don’t get some help from somebody who can show you where your weakness are and give you strategies to get around it.
3. Do a budget – and stick to it.
I put this after “getting your head straight” because if you don’t control your mind and your habits, you won’t stick to the budget. Review this budget (and your performance against it) daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Plan…monitor…adjust…over and over again.
4. Exercise Daily
Do some exercise every day – something you enjoy – get those juices flowing. It will put you in a positive frame of mind. There is a lot of truth in health body/healthy mind. Even a 30 minute walk around your suburb or on the treadmill will help. You don’t have to break your back at the gym.
5. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Allow time to reconnect with your family and loved-ones every day. After all, they are the people who will continue to have your back no matter what happens in your financial or business life. When the chips are down, these are the people who will dust you off and pick you up again.
Our clients do better because they know better. That is the secret. The most successful people in the world are not “up there” because they don’t make mistakes – rather they LEARN from their mistakes – and they seek help when they need it.
This article was provided by Dom Papaluca from Rise Business Solutions. Dom is a qualified accountant and CPA and the director of Rise Business Solutions in Perth. If you’re struggling with debt why not reach out to Dom and discuss how he can assist you.