Are You on Your Road to Financial Independence?

You should be. Nobody is coming to save you. Save yourself.

At the end of June 2020, I took a huge leap of faith and quit my full-time job. It is now almost 2 months later and I still think to myself, Michelle, you’ve made a huge mistake. That’s when I want to go run and hide. Whatever made you do that?

Well, if you will indulge me just a bit. In 2013 I opened my own fashion design business with a lot less experience than I have now. I didn’t know how to sew, but I knew that African print fashion was popular and knew that people would pay to get their hands on a good dress. I decided to make those dresses.

I set up shop with one part-time seamstress, store-bought patterns and just the sheer will to make this thing work. I posted some samples in the local classifieds where people normally go to look for jobs and second-hand stuff, not dresses.

I landed my first customer, and after a lot of trial and error, the dress was complete. I asked if she could write us a review and also post pictures of her in the dress. It was an instant hit. We received many calls for similar dresses and the rest was history.

The company ran successfully for 2 years and unfortunately due to mainly a lack of management skills and some cash flow problems, we had to close down.

To this day I’m still amazed at how smoothly it ran once my mind was made up and we got everything set up. There were long nights, tight deadlines, someone needing a dress for Saturday and they come and see you on Wednesday!

A lot of it was common sense. Deliver on time, deliver the best. Everybody wants to look beautiful. I don’t think they realise that they were already beautiful, the dress maybe added 1 percent. Anyway, we had a happy customer. And another and another.

All it takes is a mindset shift. If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t. Every single person reading this has all the tools they need to start a successful business or make money. Even if money is not your number one goal, it sure helps not to start stressing when the rent is due.

Also, you want to get out of that cycle that kept you and your family trapped for so long. The baton has been passed on to you. Don’t disappoint us. There is no-one else.

With the worldwide economic crash and businesses closing down, there is absolutely no safety in job security any more. You could be laid off any day. It will be an unemotional decision, a business one. The company needs to survive. Don’t be the one on the receiving end of that message. Now is the time to create multiple streams of income.

Start something on the side. Put time in over weekends and evenings. Just the mindset shift alone will set you apart from the others at work. Those who are content with their 9–5. The problem isn’t the 9–5, the problem is the mindset. People that think their job is safe till retirement. Those days are long gone. Don’t be the one left out in the cold.

Secondly, build up your savings. It will save you from financial ruin should anything happen at work. Don’t spend everything, every month. You don’t need a new car or another big screen tv. Those things can’t save you. Have a sit down with the family and let them know that you are trying to build a better future for them, to get away from living paycheck to paycheck.

I have now decided to set up my virtual administration business. Most people call it a virtual PA, but there is so much more to it than being an assistant and answering the phone. I have done a lot of administration and operations during my working career and know that the skills I have may be a match for some small businesses and entrepreneurs out there.

It could be as basic as managing the incoming email inbox with customer enquiries and complaints. It could be managing the customer database or performing marketing tasks like creating a newsletter or content for the website.

The perks of the job are that you can work from home and manage your own time. You can have multiple clients with different needs which keeps the job exciting and you can learn a lot of new things. You just have to be open to it. Scheduling your time and hours is key. It helps you not to drift around aimlessly during the day.

I have also written 2 e-books and am busy with a 3rd. So far I’ve made only $50 in sales. I am in no hurry. Don’t expect anything in the first year. Just put your head down and put in the work to build a reputation. The glory will come afterwards when you have forgotten about it. A lot of people give up just before the big breakthrough.

Just the thought of working on something for yourself that can help you in the future is quite inspiring. A lot of people won’t be inspired with you. They live for the now, they want to spend everything today, their time and their money. Keep building up your reserves. If nothing else, you will slowly become a different person.

A person with goals to a better future. A person who has already started to put the steps in place. In 6 months from now, you will be way ahead of someone who never started.

There are so much talent and no lack of resources to get started. Only if you really wanted to. We are on the cusp of a new era, of a new way of earing and investing. Invest in your future. Start today. So many wish they had all the advantages you have.

You don’t even see them because you’ve always had them. A talented mind, a decent computer, uninterrupted wi-fi, free time on your hands. Don’t take it for granted, not for another day. Start today.

In 6 months you will be a different person. Only because you made the decision to start. Good luck with your journey!

Before you go! Get a copy of my e-books here!

10 Ways to Make the Next 142 Days Really Count

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

For most of us, the last time anything made sense was in March. It is now August. Five months have gone and we can’t account for where that time went and what we did.

I know this is a generalization and hopefully, for most of you, there is something to show. Like a new job, starting a business or a side hustle.

What we all agree on is that we cannot waste away another minute. Life is just too short. We have already lost 5 months of 2020.

There are exactly 142 days left to 01 Jan 2021. The next steps will show you how to make those 142 days really count.

1. Stop waiting for it to end. It won’t.

We cannot live our lives for the day that things will go back to normal. There is no normal. That is gone. The sooner we start facing some real truths, that the circumstances we currently find ourselves in can only be solved with the tools we have at our disposal at the moment. There is no going back. To anything.

That is gone. That was yesterday.

Look forward. That’s where you’re going.

2. Show gratitude

Be grateful for what you have. If you still have a job, be grateful for that. If you can keep relatively the same lifestyle as before without any major changes, you are lucky. Show some gratitude. If you still have a business and did not have to lay off 50% of your workers, you are in a better position than some other businesses.

Count your blessings. Every day.

3. Make peace with WFH (working from home)

It was exciting in the beginning to work from home. No more commuting. No more sitting in traffic for 2 hours. You can have a 2-hour lunch break. You decide which hours you work. When you are most productive.

However, the blending in of work and home makes you feel like you can never switch off. You should be always on, always connected. Online meetings have become the norm. Get used to it.

4. Make peace with having your children around

There were days if you can still remember when you could drop your kids off at the school gate and get on with your life. Go to work, do your thing and get back to them later in the afternoon.

Now you have to deal with homeschooling and online learning and Zoom meetings. And making sure tasks are completed. Wait, is that not the teacher’s job?

School was never meant to be a daycare centre. It does allow for the parents to go to work though. The sooner we stop feeling flustered and get the children into a routine that works for everyone, the better. All children need are rules and boundaries. If you don’t set them, they will.

And yes, those without children won’t have a clue and that’s ok too. It is what it is.

5. Pay off your debt

I know everyone says it, you’ve heard it so often, but with lay-offs being the order of the day at most companies, debt is a real threat to your survival and wellbeing.

Pay it off as fast as you can. Get rid of that car note. Think twice before getting a big-ticket item. Nobody cares, nobody is looking.

What about a challenge? What if you decided that you are not going to buy anything new for the next 142 days until 01 January 2021. Nothing besides the essentials. Let’s try that!

6. Build up your emergency fund

If your boss told you tomorrow that you don’t have a job anymore (that is a reality), how long would you be able to cover your monthly expenses? One month, three months, 6 months. At a bare minimum, you should have 6 months’ expenses saved up.

It will buy you time. You can decide on the next steps without hyperventilating or feeling like an anxiety attack is imminent every single day. Remember, you are doing this for yourself.

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

7. Visit your parents

But they said no home visits. You don’t want them to get sick. Yes, of course, that should be your main priority. If now is not the right time, that’s fine, but do it as soon as the opportunity allows.

Years later when they are not around anymore, you will either cherish the memories of the good times you spent with them, or you will regret that you did not spend more time with them. You don’t want it to be the latter.

8. Cut toxic relationships

Just because someone was your friend since high school does not mean you still have to hang around with them. People grow up and grow apart. Priorities shift. The same goes for family. There is no need for hangers-on who just drain you and hinders your progress.

It sometimes is an emotional decision to stay with the crowd. No-one else knows you like them. Don’t let your whole life pass by and realise all this time that you were a crowd-pleaser.

9. Get your body in shape

Not for anybody else, but for yourself. As we’ve said before, if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.

It also means wearing a mask, not because the government says so but because it is the right thing to do.

We are not sure whether masks work, but shouldn’t we rather err on the side of caution? Rather wear a mask and look ridiculous than end up with a ventilator. It’s a no brainer.

10. Become a philosopher

Make time to reflect. Make time to be alone and just think. Think about where you are in life. What you want to achieve. Where you are heading.

There is so much noise out there. One can quite easily carry on and not even realise that they’ve hardly had a coffee with themselves lately.

Make that date with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar. Meditation helps. It calms the mind. When you have a calm mind you can achieve anything. Unless you make a concerted effort to stop and take time out, it will just pass you by. Make the time.

11. Smile (bonus)

You’ve got this!