This post orginally appeared on Larry Winget’s site - http://larrywinget.net
by Larry Winget
I get a lot of questions and am interviewed on radio and television about what people should do in these troubling times. I decided this time to tell you what I am doing instead of just telling you what you should be doing. Maybe you will find something in what I am doing that can help you when making decisions about your own life. These are things I am doingpersonally, in a few weeks I will give you the five things I am doing professionally. Hope you enjoy this blog and learn something as well. If you see something you like, please help both me and your friends by sharing this blog with others.
Five Things Larry Winget Is Doing Personally In Challenging Times
1. I am being realistic. Things are never going to be like they were. My business, in fact, my entire industry has changed forever. Chances are that yours has changed forever too. Technology has changed the way we do business in every way. I find it easier and cheaper to order toothpaste from Amazon than picking it up from the grocery store. People would rather read a book on a computer than to hold a real book in their hands. I watch more movies and television and listen to more music on a device the size of a pack of cigarettes than I do on my 60 inch flatscreen with stereo system attached. I never would have believed that technology would have made such a difference in the way we all think, shop, how we are entertained and educated. Technology has changed the way I make money. It’s not enough to stand on a stage now and talk or to write books, it takes technology for me to survive financially. Bet the same applies to you. And technology will change our world even faster and in bigger ways in the future. I fought this for a while and in some ways, I will continue to fight certain areas of it in my personal life. However, I am realistic about it and know that my life and my business have to adjust to deal with the changes and the technology.
I am also realistic about the state of the union. Yes, our country. We are in trouble. I mean serious, serious trouble. I love my country and have great faith in our strength when we pull together. However, we don’t pull together very often anymore and from what I can tell, we don’t even want to. I am no longer as optimistic as I once was about our possibilities. And while I am not a full-on pessimist yet, I have become a realist.
2. I am constantly defining and redefining my priorities. Time, energy and money always go to what is important to you. I have said this for years and believe it completely. Read my books for more details on my thinking regarding this idea. The same principle applies to me. My age, my family, the turbulent economy, the amount of free time I have and want to have and many other factors cause me to look at my life differently than I did just a year ago. Much of what used to be important to me has lost its appeal. Spending more time with friends and family and doing/experiencing things I have missed by working too much to enjoy have become more important to me now. And while I have never much cared about what people thought, I am more that way than ever before. I live my life on my terms, making sure that my actions are in alignment with my principles, my goals, my words and my beliefs and honestly don’t give a rat’s ass whether people like it or not.
3. I am watching my money.
Spending: I don’t know of anyone regardless of their income who is spending like they did a few years ago. Income is harder to come by these days for everybody at every level. So while there was a time a few years ago where I never gave what I was spending a second thought, now I give it a third and a fourth thought. Every responsible person should do the same in these chaotic economic times.
Saving: While I have always been a saver, I tuck away a larger percentage of my income now than I used to. Why? Because the future is more uncertain for everyone than it used to be. Having higher reserve funds is going to be more important in the future than it has ever been before.
Cash. I have always been a big believer in having cash on hand, but now I stash extra twenties away more than before. I have a cigar box and a big gun safe that is well protected so it’s all very secure; but even if you don’t have those things you should be tucking away some bucks someplace. Besides, if the power goes out, that ATM machine isn’t going to do you much good and your credit cards aren’t going to be much consolation either.
Investments: Diversification in your investments is now more important than ever. If you have the cash to buy real estate, it hasn’t been this cheap in a long, long time. Gold and silver still seem to look good but I wouldn’t sell everything to buy it like some are doing. However, a portion of your portfolio in precious metals makes sense. Mostly, I am reminding myself what any smart investor knows; investments are long term. And now, really long! Stop checking your money every day, every week or even every month and take a deep breath. Don’t react emotionally to this chaos. Investments are for the long haul and if you are trying to time the market to make a fast buck, you are crazy, just like the market.
4. I am preparing. I have written in my books, “Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst.” I think most of us are great at expecting the best and do very little to prepare for the worst. This is evidenced by people’s saving accounts! But I think it’s time to take preparation to the next level. Therefore, I have become a prepper. No, I am not one of those wacko survivalist youtubers by any stretch of the imagination. However, as I said earlier, I am a realist. Our economic system worldwide is a disaster. The US is so upside down on its debt, with no solution at hand to fix any of it, that I am not seeing a good way out of our mess right now. I don’t think our entitled citizens are above revolting like we have seen in France, Greece and the UK. Natural disasters are increasing causing power outages and other issues that either force people to leave their homes or force people to stay in their homes. A report this week by the government said that our power grids are particularly susceptible to hackers. Our borders are weak and our enemies are strong and sneaky. There are many people and nations who simply don’t like us and wish us harm, along with many individuals right here in our own country. We are vulnerable on many levels. Even FEMA suggests that every person have at least three days worth of food and water stored in case of emergency. Our grocery stores do not carry enough food to last three days if they lose power. So what happens to you and your family if your area loses power for a week, or even a day? Or if a natural disaster hits your area? Or if there is a revolt due to economic collapse? Are you prepared?
If you live in a climate where there is snow, you know you should put a blanket and some sand and other supplies in your car in case you get stuck in the snow. You probably carry a jack and a spare tire and jumper cables in your car ‘just in case.’ Yet that is most people’s entire level of preparedness. Most people don’t have enough food in their homes to make dinner tonight. If every fast food restaurant in their neighborhood closed for the day they wouldn’t even be able to have dinner tonight. That’s dumb, naïve and irresponsible. I have food and water put away to last my family for six months. It’s easy to do and not much money. I have a generator and plenty of gas to keep it running for months. I can cook even if all power is gone. I can defend my family and my property if needed. I am prepared in every way I can think of, not out of fear but because I am smart and have taken the time, the energy and the small investment it takes to care for my family ‘just in case.’ You may think this makes me a crazy survivalist, I think it just makes me a responsible person. And while I hope none of us ever have to be tested in these regards, I won’t be one of those guys who looks back in regret because I couldn’t be bothered with it or was afraid of how it looked or sounded to others.
5. I am focusing on right now. The future is determined by what you do now. That applies to your money, your health, your relationships and your career. Work hard at your job today. Eat healthy today. Exercise today. Be nice today. Have high standards for yourself and others today. Expect more from yourself today. Save today. Spend wisely today. Prepare today. Enjoy today! Today is all you have, give it everything you’ve got!
Five time WSJ/NYT Bestselling author and television personality. For video clips, interviews, products and other information go to www.larrywinget.com. Follow me on facebook at Larry Winget Fan Page to get daily rants, opinions and more.