If you have taken any sort of class on goal setting or business planing you have probably heard this phrase before. Basically it is about deciding what you want and then working backwards to determine which tasks are necessary to accomplish the goal and focusing on those tasks each day.
Gary and I have had many financial discussions in the last few months. Our income is great, but it is not the same as it was a year or two ago. Many of these conversations have been good and long overdue. I had a light bulb moment last week, though, and the phrase, ‘begin with the end in mind’ took on new meaning for me. About a year and a half ago when the market started to turn I had a personal assistant. In all honesty I held on to the assistant for 6 months longer than I should have. Why did I do that? For a number of reasons. I wanted to be good to my employee. I wanted to be positive and know that if I did all of the right things it would turn around quickly and all would be okay. The result, I am still paying on debt that I incured while struggling to pay her salary.
The lesson ~ in the heat of the moment it is often difficult to see what is truly going on and the effect that it is having. In beginning with the end in mind, however, going forward when I have an assistant again I will be setting parameters for myself BEFORE I hire someone. I will determine how much I am required to bring in each month in order to warrant the assistant’s salary. If my income dips below that for 3 consecutive months it will be time to lay off the assistant.
It may seem harsh but I believe that it is vitally important. I have seen many people struggling financially recently and in every case one of the biggest things that I have seen is people not responding quickly enough to rising debt and shrinking incomes. So set your parameters up front and stick to them.