10 Sep Profit First… I LOVE You!
So I Like to Plan…
So much anxiety, so little time to process it all. August 2020 was another hard month in the world of pandemic for small businesses across America. It turns out that as a driven entrepreneur, I am very much glued to my expectations of what I had planned for 2020 to look like. The reality is that there is very little of 2020 that meets my expectation of what I had planned for things to look like, and it has been a hard pill for me to swallow. The facts are that I am a very Type A/driven individual, in a normal environment. Fast forward six months into pandemic and my Type A/driven personality is actually destroyed because this environment has not allowed the planner in me to plan, or to count on any certain organizational structure that will result from my efforts. I never would have thought, back in early March, that we would be sheltered in our homes for months on end. Surely, after a few weeks the shelter-in-place would lift, and I wouldn’t be rationed on my bacon supply when I shop at Costco. Surely we would be able to enjoy outdoor festivals in the summer of 2020 and those wedding and graduation parties that were postponed during pandemic would be rescheduled before we go back to school in the fall. Surely my kids would go back to school in the fall in-person and get out of my hair and back to learning in earnest. Surely there would be enough teachers to teach the kids and there wouldn’t be mass internet outages as their teachers struggle to teach remotely. Surely my kids would get to go back to the sports and activities they love and we as parents and grandparents would be able to cheer them on in person as they compete, just like before. These are all things that I was dependent upon in my expectations for 2020 and not one of them has worked out like I had planned, not one of them is normal for me… The list goes on and on for each of us, slightly different but still very much the same.
What, Me? Worry?
A good share of my anxiety has been financially driven. My family has been fortunate because neither my husband nor I have lost our jobs, but we are still financially set back by the results of COVID-19. I have lost sleep and fretted at the lack of stability in our personal finances and I know I am not alone in waking from sleep to thrash about in my mind how we are going to cover all our bills. So many of us are feeling this financial pinch. I have become accustomed to a more conservative spend approach because we just cannot afford it all. How grateful I am at this moment for actively executing Profit First in my business! Because of Profit First, Reconciled Solutions had an emergency fund in place to help hold us over in leaner times. Because of Profit First, I have peace of mind that I will not spend more than I earn since I am doing my allocations based on cash collected. Because of Profit First, I have money set aside to cover my tax burden and to pay my staff and operational expenses, and to pay myself through Owners Pay, systematically and based only on what has been collected. We have married the concepts of sound financial practices with the ability to identify the necessities to financially survive in this economy. Because of Profit First, we have reverse-engineered our numbers so that we also know what we need to maintain our current financial position and what we need to actually thrive in this environment. Having this level of visibility and clarity when it comes to my small business financials in this crazy environment gives me confidence and stability. I won’t make poor decisions out of fear or shock, because I have a backup plan in place, I can take the time to process the financial options we are facing and to consider all options prior to choosing a path.
The “Aha Moment”
Thank you Profit First, for putting Reconciled Solutions in a position of confidence and stability! This story from my own battlefield helps me put perspective around the past six months of instability and fear. At some point during the summer of 2020, we realized it was highly unlikely that our 3 kids would be headed back to school in the fall in person, that there would likely be remote learning involved. Being the parent of 2 teens and a tween, we evaluated each of our children’s needs and decided that the older two have a longer attention span and can at least give it a try to learn remotely. However, our youngest child did not fair well with e-learning in the Spring and we decided to look for other options. We were thrilled to get one of the last spots at a private school in the area, at which kids would be going back to school in person, 5 days per week. We quickly filled out the application and submitted our registration fee. He was accepted and a new pile of forms and paperwork arrived in my inbox, part of it being the tuition agreement. Coming from a public school system, I was not prepared to spend that kind of money on a private education and even though I quickly completed the enrollment paperwork and picked a payment plan, I fretted and fretted for the past month, worried about the extra cost. It was only last week that I had an “aha moment” and realized that it was because of the spending habits we had already established through Profit First that I was able to quickly and confidently fill out that paperwork for my son’s tuition. What a blessing it is to have the stability to know that it was the right choice for my child, and even though it was not what I had planned to spend money on at the beginning 2020, I was able to act quickly and change direction. This would not have been possible had I not married the concepts of Profit First into my personal and business life, and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you Profit First, from the bottom of my heart; you helped me find stability in a year full of instability and anxiety. You’ve calmed my mind and allowed me to get back to sleep when I wake up in a panic. I couldn’t do it without you. I am eternally devoted to you and would marry you all over again!