Planning for the New Normal

The storm is lasting longer than anticipated and THE ONLY CERTAINTY is UNCERTAINTY: The new normal.

We know for a fact that the Pandemic has brought uncertainty and timing is not an exact science during these testing times. Many of us are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and hoping that “season” will bring the relief that is so desperately required. That breather that will just keep our heads above water. 

My message this morning to you all is straight and to the point: to plan for the uncertainty that is a given and a fact. I am not even going to attempt to speculate on the next wave and when this will happen. Or will it be looting and riots or whatever catastrophe will be the scapegoat for not planning for uncertainty.

Uncertainty is the new buzz and the secret contender to our success in trading and making a living in our troubled economy.

On a personal level, take a long hard look at all the luxuries that you mollycoddle and decide what is “have to have” and what is “nice to have.” Decide if your personal financial ruin is worth the temporary safety blanket of “nice to have” or NOT! Get rid of all these “nice to haves” that are contributing to your slow and painful financial degradation. Cancel the accounts and the debit orders, do not sign binding and long contracts if they are not absolutely necessary for your existence. Get rid of costly contracts, unnecessary subscriptions, memberships that you do not use to the capacity. 

In most instances, there are free substitutes for many of these “nice to have” items. All you have to do is to speak to friends and do a little searching on the internet.

Relook personal debt and call in the help of your bankers. Pay these debts as soon as possible to save on unreasonable interest rates, and if the bankers cannot assist, ask for alternative suggestions or options. Before you engage with debt counsellors, be sure to do your homework and get contactable references from their past clients. Avoid just digging your hole deeper. 

Now that you have taken a good look at your own personal finances, you have a good understanding of the trepidations that your employees and colleagues are experiencing. 

Nobody likes to deal with their dirty washing in the open. Unfortunately, this is the elephant in the room, and eight out of ten are going to need assistance to manage the process that you just went through yourself. Be the responsible employer and friend.

Put yourself out there and offer your help; someone is drowning and you might be their lifeline…

The secret to this process is taking action. Nothing will change if you just sit and ponder and feel sorry for yourself. Inaction will just drag you deeper down this bottomless hole. 

Now that we have taken care of our own personal financial well beings, it is possible to focus on business, the hand that feeds the hungry. Due to the fact that our own personal finances are healthier, we have a lighter financial burden to place on our business. All employees can survive on working slightly fewer hours if it might become necessary due to the fact that their personal finances are in a better state than before and under active control. 

Take your business expenditure line item for line item and ask yourself if you really require the expense interrogated. If you decide that it is really required, decide if you have to afford the service every week or month and if the intervals cannot be stretched slightly. “Nice to have” items are cancerous and slowly they will drag you down that bottomless hole. Rather plan your path going forward without these items, until the certain uncertainty is not our main contender to financial freedom and success. 

I speak to you from within the trenches feeling the pain of the crippled hospitality industry. We have to stop shouting from our personal little hilltops about all our problems into a howling South Easter! We have to stop hoping for handouts and stop complaining about unfair treatment and decisions made – take action and take our future into our own hands. Life is unfair and the better we plan, the fairer our lives, and the harder we try, the luckier we will become!

The storm is lasting longer than anticipated and THE ONLY CERTAINTY is UNCERTAINTY! The new normal! Let us plan for action against it!

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