I learned about that when I lost everything to a series of bad (but well-intentioned) business decisions in 2001. Facing the loss of my house, the maxed-out personal and business credit cards, and my target market that was reeling from the effects of September 11, I made the decision to drastically reduce my “financial footprint.”
That translated into selling my dream house and moving to the least expensive—yet safe—housing option I could find: a mobile home on a little lake in South Florida. I had never been inside one before in my life, but the numbers looked right.
Just that one move cut my fixed monthly expenses by over 70 percent, and gave me the breathing room I needed to decide what to do next. It allowed me to “reinvent” myself in a much healthier, balanced space.
(Just as important was the fact that my fixed expenses determined the level of all the rest of my expenses. Funny how that works …)
That decision seemed very logical and sane to me. But I remember most of my friends’ reactions: “You’re going to live where?” “You, Sharon, who lived in penthouses and posh Paris addresses?” “You can’t do that, what will people think?”
Ah, that was the rub. What … will … people … think.
Times are very different in 2010 than they were in 2001. The housing market has tanked, the economy’s a mess, and discussing personal financial difficulties is far more acceptable than it was then. But the lessons are the same.
Many of us have gone through life making decisions based on the moment and allowing ourselves to get wrapped up in the day-to-day without thinking of tomorrow. (“Tomorrow’s another day.” “We’ll worry about that tomorrow.”) Well, now both today and tomorrow are very present in our minds.
I’ve discovered that those past decisions are surmountable. But they require letting go of “what people will think” and making some tough decisions: the decisions that will put you on the steady path to future financial security.
If a decision is gripping you in your gut, my heartfelt advice is to follow that old adage: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
The peace of mind that comes from taking full responsibility for yourself by making the tough decisions is massive. And the pride that comes from knowing that when Life throws you a curve ball, you catch it and throw it back, is what will ultimately lead you to a future that is solid and financially secure.
(By the way, those concerned friends? Their homes are larger than ever and many are struggling with foreclosure or renegotiating mortgages. And, whereas I’m debt-free, they’re in more debt than ever. Fortunately, some have already called and asked me how to do what I’ve done.)
So, if you’re looking for some good company on your journey to financial security, or proof that someone else has done it and done it successfully, click here to follow me on Facebook where you’ll find kindred souls.
You have my 100% support!