Why investing takes knowing where you are and where you want to go.
In October 2010, Robert and I sailed a new 58-foot Beneteau sailboat from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii with four friends. Even though I had almost zero experience sailing, I figured this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I took it.
I had never been so far out on a boat that I could not see land. I wasn’t sure how I would respond or what to expect. One thing was glaringly apparent once we were out of port and under full sail—you never, even for one second, stand still!
Depending on the winds and the waves, the boat was either on a slant to the left (port) or a slant to the right (starboard), and sometimes it was a back-and-forth motion. I was always grabbing onto something to keep my balance. Everything I take for granted on land was now a task to be mastered at sea—washing my face, clearing dishes off the table, carrying a glass of wine up five steps—all took extreme concentration and balance.
While sailing, I was always on guard because the boat, the foundation I was standing on and my only physical safety could shift at any time. I could never be complacent or assume that things would remain calm. I was never standing still, always moving to keep my balance.
Nothing happens until something moves
Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”
As women, we seem to be constantly looking for balance in our lives. While many think balance is a stillness, a calmness, I think balance takes constant movement. If you’re standing still, then there is no movement. When an unexpected event occurs, you’re thrown off your feet. So one of the keys to dealing with whatever comes at you is to always keep moving.
Know where you are...and where you're going
Your financial statements never stand still. They constantly change. Often, when we venture into the uncharted waters of financial freedom, we can feel like things are always shifting as we lose sight of the coastline. Things we thought would be easy become hard. Keeping our balance becomes a difficult task. In those times, it's important to know where we are and where we're going. Much like my time on the boat was rocky, I knew it was worth it because the voyage was fun...and we were going to Hawaii.
To know where you are today is a snapshot in time, but you have to take that initial picture and apply it to where you want to go. It is the foundation for your voyage, for where you want to go. To have a strong foundation requires:
Knowing what makes up the foundation you have
Getting rid of whatever makes the foundation weaker
Building and adding what will make your foundation stronger
No matter where you are on your own financial journey, you need to do a complete financial assessment of where you are today. I review my income, expenses, and cash flow twice a month. Yet, when the financial waves rock my boat, I easily can, and sometimes do, lose track of where I am today when it comes to my investments, assets, and accessible sources of money. In those times, it's vital that I take stock of where I am, where I'm going, and to keep moving forward.
Pick a point and go
Where do you want to be financially? Pick a point and go! If it's a business, start building it. If it's an investment, start learning everything you can and building your financial foundation to jump at opportunities as they come.
The reality is that we'll all get tossed back and forth on our financial journey. But if we keep moving forward, even if we lose our balance here and there, we'll make it to our destination. So, today, get moving and keep moving. That's my version of a balanced life.
P.S. - Speaking of knowing where you're going, a GPS is always helpful. I developed my GPS (Guide to Phenomenal Success) to help you on your journey to financial freedom. Learn more about the GPS here.
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