Recovering from financial disaster

When I chose the topic for my first few blogs, it was late December 2019 and I had no idea of the turbulence that was before us. Well, I had an inkling that tough times were coming but I certainly didn’t see it in the time or form that it came in Australia and throughout the world.

As we live and breathe, we face disaster from the time we are born and we are not promised our next breath but nonetheless we plan for a tomorrow, we plan for 10 years from now and many of us plan well in to old age.

In all of this planning, we factor in the inherent dangers of living and the possibility of disaster. Most of us do this so well that we don’t actually realise that we are doing it. Recall the many ways that you have meticulously risk managed your life from the time that you started to move, to walk, to talk. As your life went on and you took on more adventures, you also took on more risk and you have risk managed it superbly. You put on your knee pads when skateboarding… until of course you felt confident to go without; you waited, perhaps a little too long, to ask that girl to marry you but you waited long enough to be sure she said yes; you timed requests of your parents perfectly for the right outcome; you slept well before driving, you followed the road rules; you checked your smoke alarms; you outsourced dangerous household jobs; you avoided disease through good nutrition and medicines; you protected your family by getting your life insurances in place and every day you make many more decisions, big and small – almost all of them to avert disaster.

You are more equipped to manage life’s disasters than you think

It’s the skills that we have learned throughout our years of risk managing life in general, whether we realised that or not, that equip us well for the major disasters when they come. I am certain that you are more well equipped to navigate disaster when it comes than you realise. What I also know is that facing difficult situations or disaster alone, is not how we are wired. Being equipped and knowledgeable will take you a long way in your journey to recovery but it should never be underestimated how strong relationships and partnerships can help bring you through these times.

I recently created a post outlining the first 4 steps to take when faced with a financial disaster. It is very simple, but very important:

  1. Tell someone. They say a problem shared is a problem halved and whether that is true or not, what is true is that you should not face difficult times alone.
  2. Prepare yourself. Gather together as much of your financial information as you can find. It doesn’t matter how little or disorganised, finding what you can is a start.
  3. Contact an accountant. An initial consultation is either free or very cheap. I offer all our clients their first consultation for free, no strings attached.
  4. Breathe a sigh of relief. You are going to find a way through this.

Exec One Team is here to help you

I believe that each person is more capable and more equipped than they realise and I believe that together we can find a way through any business or financial disaster that you face (or want to avoid). Where do you want to be with your business and/or your personal finances? Do you need a wealth coach? Do you need budgeting and finance training or your own management accountant to help you achieve your goals?

If you aren’t sure, we are here to help. Exec One is committed to backing you in your business and personal goals and has the skills and experience to help you get there. Call us on 07-5636 9481 to see how Exec One can help you determine and reach your goals.

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The worst financial advice I ever received was from an accountant and I am one.

Well, I became one… because we need more good accountants, actually we need great ones. I became one and you can too. Accountants are people who do accounting and may also carry out the auditing or checking of a company’s books and records. You can be a qualified accountant and receive a formal delegation, such as mine (I undertook university studies and received a Bachelor in Business, majoring in accounting and went on to complete further studies with CPA Australia) or you can be a life student of finance and money.

The act of ‘doing’ accounting doesn’t actually require a university degree. Some of the best accountants I know haven’t undertaken university studies at all. What made them great at business and with money is that they took the time to learn and understand money, finance, business and indicators of business health. Of course, without being qualified you can’t charge for advice or open a practice but you can run your household better, you can make more informed investment decisions and you can be informed when you do visit your accountant so that you know the advice you are getting is good advice, no scrap that, you will know the advice you are getting is great advice!

Knowledge is Power

In 1995, I left school and attended Power Business College in Newcastle, NSW. I am not even certain if it still exists but something about it stuck with me and shaped much of my learning in the years after… their tag line was “knowledge is power” and in my opinion, never a truer word spoken. It’s not the kind of power that you have to wield over others, although I have recently come to learn that some people can view accountants that way (Lynda Steffens, Accountant and Founder of The Small Business Project talks about how often people view the accountants superpower ability to be able to absorb loads of information as more villain than superhero and I have absolutely experienced that but that’s a story for another time!), but it’s the kind of power, the kind of superpower, you can use to your advantage.

Make knowledge your Superpower

If I only get one point across to you, it would be – you can do this, you can learn about money and finance, you absolutely can. Not all of it, but more than enough for you and your family to be free from financial failure. Knowledge IS power, it is the power to manage your household, the power to make great decisions, the power to know when you can enjoy more and the power to know when to hold back, the power to help others along the way and the power to control your money and not let it control you! The power to know when you receive good advice and the power to know when it is bad advice.

After that terrible financial advice I received in my early 20’s, I determined that I would never allow myself to be in that position again. I have been in finance and accounting now for over 20 years (see – if you know numbers you can even work out my age!) and I have been able to achieve my personal financial goals, help numerous businesses succeed at their financial goals (and challenge them to have bigger goals too) and also help a lot of individuals, friends and family along the way.

Knowledge is power but financial knowledge is superhero level power. Don’t leave it to others when you can find your way through this.

Exec One Team is here to help you

I believe in this superpower, I believe that together we need to make it happen but whether you achieve superhero power or not, the destination we reach is dependent on the direction that we determine and then take. Our personal and business goals are no different. Determining our destination and then making sure we get on the road to that destination is the only way we can ever hope to actually get there. What destination have you chosen for your business and/or your personal finances? Do you need a wealth coach? Do you need budgeting and finance training or your own management accountant to help you achieve your goals? Would you like to have a virtual assistant who can take some of your workload? What do you need to help you achieve your superhero status? If you aren’t sure, we are here to help. Exec One is committed to backing you in your business and personal goals and has the skills and experience to help you get there. Call us on 07-5636 9481 to see how Exec One can help you determine and reach your goals.

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How to start a revolution – 3 simple steps to changing the world.

Starting a revolution is not for the feint hearted but in my opinion, the time has come for us to have a financial revolution, will you join me?

Can we actually change the world in 3 steps?

I say, why not?! Everything starts somewhere. If we think of the world today, in very simplistic terms, everything revolves around money. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful, whatever our thoughts are about money, it is needed by everyone, everywhere to achieve the things we want in life. We cannot even meet our very basic human needs (to clarify for my friends that believe Mollini’s are a basic need – I am just talking about food, shelter, warmth) without money so it’s not a question about whether we want money, but we need money. So why is it that so many of us are earning money and spending money, without actually understanding money?

Have you heard or said things like “the school should teach them about that (money)” or “I’ve never understood how to run a budget”? We recognise it is something we should understand or could have learned in school but it’s not something that everyone treats as the life-saving skill that it is. If you ask me, I think it’s because it scares us that if we understood it then we might have to change our lifestyle and deprive ourselves of the things we want. I want to assure you though that it can be the complete opposite of that! Being smart with money can help you achieve even more that you could otherwise.

But what about how money affects others? Why are we in a world where there is so much and yet we still have extreme poverty? I have heard many arguments posed over many years that talk about the fault of government of those countries, of corruption, of greed, of misfortune of geographical birth places etc and I hear all of that but what if how we, you and I, spend our money could actually be perpetuating poverty?

Conversely, what about extreme wealth? Why do we accept extreme wealth? I hear many arguments for this too – talk about the wealthy being entitled for their hard work, for their fortune into the family they were born, the fortune of geographical birth place etc and I hear all of that too. In fact, I don’t discount any arguments on any sides, I see the sense in all of them, I just don’t think we have to accept it as the end of the story. I don’t believe it needs to be the status quo.

Let’s do something

I assume because you are reading this that you and I share something very special in common. That we want the world to look a little different tomorrow than it does today and not by just sitting around and talking about it, but by actually doing something. I am no historian by any means, but what I do understand about a revolution is that there comes a time where a group of people who are tired of inequity decide to take action against the status quo, to effect change for a different tomorrow.

So here in lies why I believe, that it is time for a revolution, time to put things back in balance, time where all men who are created equal, are afforded equal opportunity. I believe this starts with you and I and how we treat money in our own lives.

3 steps to a financial revolution

We can revolutionise the world we live in by starting with our own world. We cannot expect change on a global scale without first revolutionising our internal world.

  1. Learn (get financially literate)

Learn, learn, learn – you simply must learn about money, money management, where your money goes, how your spending creates poverty and how it creates wealth. This can be personal research, taught through formal studies or we can help you with this through our Personal Finance Coaching but however you do it, do it like the revolution depends on it, do it quickly, do it thoroughly and do it now. It doesn’t matter your age or circumstance, you simply MUST understand money, it is a lifesaving skill.

How much do you need to know about money and finance? As much as you can, but not as much as you think is the right answer here. There is so much out there and even as a fully qualified CPA accountant, there is much that I will never have time to learn or know but that’s the beauty, you don’t need to know everything. You need to know enough to keep you in the driver’s seat, enough that no one can take advantage of you and enough to ensure that your money decisions contribute to a world you want to live in.

If you are comfortable with your current financial knowledge, why not take one of the numerous financial consciousness or financial literacy quizzes available on the internet and double check that you are reaching the highest possible scores and there is no room for improvement before you dismiss the idea of learning more. However, if you are reaching the highest possible scores and there is no room for improvement, please contact me, I want you on the Exec One team!!

  1. Share (your newfound knowledge)

Share, share, share the knowledge you have gained and what it has done for you. Don’t keep it to yourself, the more people that are in control of their own finances and understand their place in the world of money, the better it will be for you and everyone around you. Spread the word like the revolution depends on it. Friends, family, co-workers, children, acquaintances can all benefit from your knowledge and your encouragement for them to go out and learn for themselves too. Don’t presume that everyone understands finance. I have been shocked over the years to find people I saw as wealthier than myself have very little financial knowledge. Yes, their income might have been bigger but it didn’t make them wiser and certainly didn’t keep them out of financial trouble. If you don’t feel comfortable with sharing, then refer them to learning the way you learned and then strike up conversations about what you have both learned. Iron sharpens iron, so be sure to talk about it with as many people as you can but, please, just talk and share – please don’t provide advice unless you are qualified to do so.

PS. To add to my word of caution here – please be mindful when talking to people who say they know about finance through their own experience but have never taken any form of training. Their experience may be very limited to their own circumstances and without understanding finance, they may give off some impressions that will not work in your circumstances. I’ve seen too many times where someone has been given some ideas about mortgages based on what their friend did, the tactic was successful for their friend however they have now been left with $10,000’s additional costs over the life of their loan (that was not necessary) because their situation was different. What worked for the friend, didn’t work for them. Qualified accountants and financial planners are trained and experienced to take your specific circumstances and goals into account. Contact the Exec One team and we will match you with the right person to help you out if you are looking for direct advice on your finances rather than undertaking your own learning.

  1. Spend (where it counts)

Spend, spend, spend! Who would have thought an accountant would recommend that you spend, spend spend? Well let me qualify that by saying, spend where it counts and only what you can afford. Once you understand money and you understand where your money goes, you can make decisions about your money that go towards the world you want to live in. You will no longer be spending based on society expectation, tradition or suggestion but rather on your own solid understanding that the money you earn and the money you spend contributes to the world you want to live in. Spend like the revolution depends on it!

Will these 3 steps change the world? Well, the way I see it, every day we make decisions about how we spend our money that is keeping the wealthy, wealthy, the poor, poor and often us far from our own dreams. Someone either loses or benefits from those who haven’t acquired money knowledge. Sometimes I feel as though money knowledge appears as a bit of a secret formula but by starting with Step 1 – Learn, you will be starting a ripple effect that has the potential to change your world, the world around you and the entire globe.

The world I see

I see a world without extreme poverty or the perils of extreme wealth. I see a world with only true riches, one where the very least are seen as equal to all others. I see a world where all people understand the necessity and impact of money and where financial knowledge does not separate rich from poor. I see a world where each person is empowered to get ahead and a world where advantage is available to everyone.

Exec One Team is here to help you

I believe in this revolution, I believe that together we need to make it happen but whether we start a global revolution or not, the destination we reach is dependent on the direction that we determine and then take. Our personal and business goals are no different. Determining our destination and then making sure we get on the road to that destination is the only way we can ever hope to actually get there. What destination have you chosen for your business and/or your personal finances? Do you need a wealth coach? Do you need budgeting and finance training or your own management accountant to help you achieve your goals? Would you like to have a virtual assistant who can take some of your workload? What do you need to make a revolution in your world? If you aren’t sure, we are here to help. Exec One is committed to backing you in your business and personal goals and has the skills and experience to help you get there. Call us on 07-5636 9481 to see how Exec One can help you determine and reach your goals.

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All that glitters.

Before I get on to virtual assistants, a wealth coach or other business professionals, I want to share a quick observation. A few years back there was a Gold Coast Bulletin headline that read “All that glitters is not gold”. It was talking about the changing ‘glitter strip’ of the Gold Coast and I recall a dear colleague being so proud of that headline because she had been instrumental in the team leading the rebranding of the Gold Coast and changing the perception of it from being just a ‘glitter strip’ to being a growing, healthy city that rivals global competitors and offers endless opportunity for everyone. 

Just a few tweaks

Over the years since, I have seen a few tweaks unfold in to a new story and a new future for the Gold Coast. With our massive infrastructure growth and the overnight birth of new businesses including cafes, craft breweries, night markets as well as attracting new major business to the Gold Coast, it’s hard to believe that we were considered anything other than a boutique global city. But that’s what a few tweaks to anything can do. The destination we reach is dependent on the direction that we determine and then take. Our personal and business goals are no different.

A new destination

Determining our destination and then making sure we get on the road to that destination is the only way we can ever hope to actually get there. What destination have you chosen for your business and/or your personal finances? Do you need a wealth coach? Do you need budgeting and finance training or your own on call CEO, CFO, COO, Management Accountant or other business professional? Would you like to have a virtual assistant who can take some of your workload? What tweaks do you need to make to unfold a new story for you? If you aren’t sure, we are here to help. Exec One is committed to backing you in your business and personal goals and has the skills and experience to help you get there. Call us on 07-5636 9481 to see how Exec One can help you determine and reach your goals.

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