We are right smack in the middle of a crisis, and we are yet to see some ripple effects that will profoundly impact almost every aspect of our lives. Now is the time to be prepared and take some essential financial actions that will allow you to seize the opportunities that come once the worst is over. In the first episode of this two-part series, Patrick Donohoe elaborates two of the five things you can do to make the best, financially speaking, of the opportunity the current crisis presents. He talks about having the right state and mindset and creating a structure from which you can anchor your goals on. Join in and be prepared to make the best out of the situation and thrive in the post-crisis world.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Top 5 Financial Actions You Can Do During Times Of Crisis (Part 1)
I’m doing this one solo. There are going to be two parts. The first part is going to be probably number 1 and 2 of what I consider the Top Financial Actions to Take During Times of Crisis. Part two will consist of the Final Three Actions During Times of Crisis. I felt it was important to speak about this. The guests that I’ve had on before, we’ve all spoken to what’s going on with regards to COVID-19. The disruption to the economy. As I’ve had some time to digest, to think about, what is going on? What are the ripple effects based on this rock in the water? How long is it going to last? What are they going to be? What to pay attention to? I’m finally ready to start speaking to that. Things that you as an audience can do to prepare yourself to capitalize on the situation. That’s what I’m going to start into. There are a lot of updates that we’ve been making through the show. We’re creating our resources page for you. You can find it at TheWealthStandard.com. It consists of some of the businesses of guests that we’ve had. It also consists of courses that I’ve done. Let’s go ahead and get into it.
As I look back the world has changed dramatically and it’s happened quickly. I remember 2008, 2009 where I was in some pretty rough shape. I was starting a business and having the financial crisis in sue, it felt quick. It was one week after another week, and it continued to get worse then it gets better. It was one step forward, three steps back. I look at where we’re at as a society and it’s been interesting. It’s easy to talk about the things that you can’t control. It’s easy to put blame on media. It’s easy to say this or that regarding where the virus came from and what China did or didn’t do? What the president should or shouldn’t have done? There are many things that we focus our attention on that we have no control over.
I got caught up in that and I get it. These are some dire times and often when we start to hear statistics and soundbites, it engages this unconscious part of who we are and we start to react to things. I’ve caught myself to that a number of times. At the same time, the guests that we’ve had on and what we’ve talked about, as well as some of the material that I’m reading, videos that I’m watching with a lot of time to study and reflect that I didn’t necessarily have before. I’ve come to at least conclusions to the point of, “What can you do to influence your life?” Some things that you can do, you can control things to be aware of so you can make the best of this and you can capitalize on this opportunity.
Firstly I’m going to dive into is, we’re going to be experiencing some ripple effects. What’s a ripple effect? Ripple effect is, a drop us a stone in the water or rock in the water. You can even have an earthquake under the ocean and you have a tsunami. There’s obviously a spectrum of how big a ripple could be, the magnitude of a ripple. We don’t realize that it wasn’t an earthquake of sorts. It wasn’t a pebble or a rock in the water. It was an earthquake. The earthquake waves are still coming. Some of the statistics that represent this is, if you look at quarter one January, February, and March, we only had disruption to the first quarter in the latter part of March. If you look at productivity, there are different measurements of productivity of people.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a couple of them. It was down in quarter one by negative 2.5% which is huge. You have the velocity of money not to get into the complexities of it. When I spend $1 at a coffee shop, the coffee shop then pays their employees and the employers spend money, and then the businesses that the employees spend money. There’s this money multiplier. M2, which is one of the common ways to measure the velocity of money has also gone down significantly, and the stimulus that is done. Whether it’s quantitative easing since 2008, whether it’s what they’re doing now, it’s not working at all. It’s keeping things at bay.Humanity rises in times of massive disruptions. Click To Tweet
We had some employment figures out, which were shy of 15%, but it didn’t take into consideration some critical weeks. There are estimates that unemployment’s 20%, 25%, maybe even more when you count underemployed in there. GDP is going to take a massive hit because nobody’s out. Nobody’s spending. That right there is going to be a big indicator as to how severe, what the magnitude of this earthquake is. The psychological impact that we’ve experienced. I was talking to my parents, they live in Massachusetts and it’s different here in Utah. I’m from Connecticut, partly from Massachusetts. There’s a term called “maskhole” and it’s coming out when it comes to the masks.
My dad got shootout by these old ladies when he was standing in line and he goes down the wrong aisle or doesn’t go the right way in the aisle. The psychological damage where people are afraid. Whether there’s a reason for that or not, it’s the fact that there is psychological damage associated with people washing their hands, wearing a mask. There are some psychological things that are going to inhibit business, whether it’s theaters, transportation, going to stores in general, people interacting, which is going to have long-term effects. You also have travel. We’ve become this connected world.
This idea of globalization where different countries are doing different tasks. We’ve created a global supply chain because of it. Demand comes from this country, but yet a piece is manufactured in China, in Europe, in South America, Africa and everything comes together. That’s all been disrupted. The earthquake is hit but we haven’t seen the waves. We’ve seen some ripples or maybe some signals as to what’s coming. There are many different reasons why we could be concerned for all of this. These are things that are outside of our control. On this show, I’m going to keep repeating this, it’s based on things that are within our control, having the information that we have.
It’s powerful to look at this from how I view things because I’ve gone through some difficult times, but these are difficult times and nobody’s ever gone through. It will be interesting to see how humanity rises to the occasion. We’ve talked about the idea of creative destruction. Joseph Schumpeter, the idea that, “When there are massive disruptions, humanity rises.” Humanity is going to rise. I know that they’re going to rise. They’ve done it for millennia, they’re going to do it again and figure out ways to be more efficient, ways to create a product, and ways to create the new ways of being entertained and the list goes on and on.
The biggest thing I would say is as this disruption occurs, it’s in a person’s mind as far as what they think something means. The meaning of things is being created by the populous and collective. That’s why it’s important to have your own individual perspective information, trying to prove and disprove not just your opinion, but other opinions so that you can come to the truth. If you could do this, it is known that these are the times where the greatest opportunities are. There’s a field of study called Behavioral Economics, which talks about how people behave around money. It relates to everything.
It’s behavior in general as far as stimulus and then the response, what a person does given a set of circumstances that they are exposed to. There is a curve. The curve that I’m going to post is the investor mentality, but I’d also say it’s the business mentality because, during these times, there’s a story going on in people’s minds. We’re going to go back to the way it was. We’ll be able to hang on for a month and then we’ll do a lot of business and be able to pick up there. Businesses are going into the hole. It’s hanging on, hoping that things come back. This curve states that the point of maximum financial risk is where there is maximum euphoria. The whole idea of nobody buys low and sells high, everybody buys high and sells low.
I often post at my other company Paradigm Life our eLearning in our courses called the Dalbar Report. Dalbar is an independent research group. It studies the average returns people receive. It’s mainly alluding to the impact of human behavior when it comes to rates of return, not necessarily market indexes. These emotional stages that you euphoria where everyone thinks everything’s amazing this is leading up to 2020. 2019 was an amazing year for people, investors, markets, businesses, capital, and liquidity. This is the next stage of the curve, which is anxiety and denial. There’s some anxiety now. You started to see sell-off, but there’s like, “I need to get back to work.”
You see people protesting. Denial that this is going to have a long-term impact. Fear is the next stage and then it’s desperation. These three are the ones to pay attention to, denial, fear, and desperation because they can oscillate back and forth. After desperation is panic. I don’t think we’ve seen desperation yet. There’s the next stage, which is the capitulation. Maybe the investment and this business isn’t right for me. You start to see people file bankruptcy and retire early. You have despondency and between despondency and the next phase, which is depression, this is the point of maximum financial opportunity.
State And Mindset
There are other perspectives as far as this is concerned but this curve is consistent with how humans behave. Most of our behavior is unconscious. It’s pre-programmed and we operate in a similar way. That’s why this field of study has been created. That is number one, as far as what you can do to prepare yourself to capitalize on this opportunity, which is state and mindset. I consider this being the watchman at the gate of your mind. What does that mean? I’ve tried to structure the way in which I lead, do podcasts, speak, show up for my family, and show up for myself, is in a sequence. The sequence is state, story and strategy.
State is something I’ve discussed in the show. State is a function of our physical well-being, where we’re focused, and the language that we use. It’s how we describe things. There’s a difference between like, “Crap,” and “Wow, this is interesting.” Even though it can be applied to the same situation. I also look at focus. It’s what I have, not what’s missing. What I’ve gained, not what I’ve lost. You can look at anything, any situation, any circumstance, and find that there is something you will gain from it. This is all unconscious, at the same time most people gravitate toward what they’ve lost. For me, what I’ve focused my attention on and improving is my leadership capabilities, my leadership state.With the right mindset, you can look at any situation and find something that you can gain from at the moment. Click To Tweet
Being in a zone so that I show up for my team, the audience, and my family because I know that most people are not going to respond in a strategic way. They’re going to respond in a carnal instinct way. How do you do this? First off, you’re going to recognize that there’s going to be way more bad news than there has been already and a lot of it is going to be economic. The economic is going to cause even more ripple effects. It’s a main ripple effect and then multiple ripple effects. As some of you know who’d been reading, when we started to shut down, I sent my office home when we had an almost 6.0 magnitude earthquake. I was here in the office. I was the only one. The building was shaking and swaying back and forth. It was crazy.
The reason why I brought that up is that there have been aftershocks and there’s still going on. It freaks my wife and dog out. For me, I look at, “We’re going to get a lot of aftershocks.” When the earthquake hit, we’re going to have a tsunami, ripple effects, and aftershocks. Those are going to carry ripple effects as well. The worst has not been seen yet in my opinion, from an economic standpoint. I look at being prepared, being in the right state of mind, is going to position you to create a tremendous amount of value for people and capitalize on some amazing opportunities. People will identify leaders more in this environment than in any other environment. In the euphoria environment, it’s difficult to stand out as a good leader.
In times of crisis when difficult decisions need to be made, that is when true leadership steps up and is identified. It’s the yin and the yang. The more severe the state of things in the environment, the more it creates like, “That person is an amazing leader.” The other end of the spectrum is also extended. We’re seeing murders, suicides, home invasions, and tons of crime. People are going stir crazy. The emotional intelligence that exists in people is low. What that does is present a huge opportunity for you to step up as a leader and help a lot of people with who you are in the state that you’re in.
The idea of state leads the story. When you’re in the right state when you’re looking at the glass half full as opposed to half empty. What you have versus what’s missing, what you’re grateful for as opposed to what you haven’t been given or what you deserve or you feel entitled to, it’s also one of those ideas of words because words describe what our story is. What words are we using? Are you using unbelievable or are you using, “This is horrible?” Unbelievable is a word that can connote whether good or bad. At the same time, it doesn’t have the tone or the psychology piece to it to be bad. It’s carefully choosing your words.
Being the watchman at the gate, not letting those thoughts come in, knowing how to position yourself so you can do something about it. The final thing that I would say in regards to a state in mindset is another sequence. The state that you’re in, your physical well-being, what you’re focused on, the language that you’re using, the story that you’re telling. What is going on? It’s disruption. This is a great opportunity. I have a lot of opportunities to serve. Finally it’s strategy. It comes down to the how. First define what the how is, what is the outcome that you’re looking for?
You start to create your game plan based on that, but you don’t create the game plan before you’re in state and then have the right story associated with it. The final thing is, another sequence that I’ve been using a tremendous amount, especially when it comes to financial advising, are principles, processes and products. Principles are laws of sorts. Gravity is a principle of nature. Honesty is a principle of morality. You also look at other principles when it comes to finance, interest rates, and evaluations. There are principles out there that can be identified. There are also principles of commerce exchange, exchanging with one another, exchanging your services and getting something in return. You also look at principles in people.
People are the true assets. I look at relationships as some of the most valuable assets. Its processes, which is the structure of things. This is going to be number two. Number one is state in mindset. The reason why I want to use structure is because there’s only so much energy we have during the day. It’s an allotment of energy and keeping yourself healthy, keeping your head and I’m going to get into some structure and some strategy as far as how to do that. Being able to have energy focused on the dynamic. Not the approach reoccurring or recurring, but the dynamic, it’s powerful. That’s why structure is powerful because you can set yourself up so that you don’t have to think about things.
Things are done in a certain way. You have a routine, you have habits that allow for all the energy to be focused on dynamic things the day-to-day decisions that you maybe didn’t have to make the day before. The decisions for an opportunity, new content, and ways in which you can be a better leader and do those things. It’s establishing essentially a structure so that all of the routine things you do on a daily basis are pre-programmed. You don’t have to waste your energy on that. An example I heard maybe to illustrate this point is, when we get up in the morning with an alarm clock, the buzz when that goes off, it ignites in every human being an adrenaline rush.
Our DNA associates that sound the same way you would associate being attacked by a Saber-toothed tiger 10,000 years ago. When that happens, it jars us out of bed and expands the majority of our adrenaline, testosterone, those chemicals that have our body respond that way are expended for the day and they’re gone. There’s a strategy there as far as waking up with peaceful music, which doesn’t necessarily waste those valuable chemicals that you expend and allows you to apply those at different points during the day. What I would challenge you to do is, start to establish a structure for this summer. The next few months are critical. Some of the hardest times are going to come after the reportings from Q2 or quarter two ends in June. The reports usually come out mid to end of July. Creating all of this now is going to prepare you. When a lot of these things go sideways, you have structure, you’re not trying to figure it out then. It’s optimizing your energy.
Craig Ballantyne who wrote The Perfect Day Formula is applicable. Some of you maybe had your routine and it wasn’t necessarily as valuable as it should be. Revisiting daily routine, structuring your day, and your priorities. Perfect Day Formula from Craig Ballantyne is ideal for that because Craig is a genius at that. He’s done that with many entrepreneurs and business owners. It’s a short book and it’s simple. Perfect Day Formula as a resource there where you can start to structure your day and you systematize the predictable. There’s a saying that we started using with my other company Paradigm as how we’re operating and what we’re looking for as far as opportunities are concerned. It’s a saying by the Four Seasons Hotel, which is called “Systematize the predictable so that you can humanize the exceptional.” What that means is, it’s all those routine things that you do on a daily basis. It’s the setup structure for those things. One way in which I have re-evaluated my goals to finalize the redo of some of my annual goals. The way in which I’ve done that is using what’s called the Wheel of Life, which is a self-assessment.Identify the areas where you can make the biggest difference and create your goals and routine around them. Click To Tweet
The Wheel of Life is essentially a wheel in which you rate the different aspects of your life, your physical well-being, financial well-being, mental well-being, spiritual, relationships and physical situation. You rate yourself there and it starts to help you evaluate where the areas are that you can make the biggest difference in. You start to create your goals and your routine around that. This is important because the goals that you may have set, they’re probably not realistic anymore given that the environment has changed, at least not all of them. That’s why I’ve reevaluated all of my goals. Looking at establishing where those goals are, that’s going to help propel the daily routine.
Craig talks about it in The Perfect Day Formula, you can start to chip away at some of those goals and have something simple to do on a daily basis and make those micro improvements toward the end results. The morning routine as far as structure is concerned is huge. I’ve redone my morning routine. I come to an office and there’s nobody here. It’s completely quiet and dark. Everybody’s working from home. We have a daily standup with my team, but it’s given me the opportunity to not have any distraction or disruption. I always get the knock on the door when I’m in the middle of something. I don’t turn people away. It’s one of those things where it’s allowed me a lot of time too to be consistent with some of the things that I find valuable.
What I started using is a neurofeedback device called Muse. Muse is a feedback part of meditation. What it does is it allows you to see where you’re at when it comes to your mindset. It’s not expensive at all. I do it on a daily basis. What it does is it shows you where your brain activity is with sounds. When you’re active, all over the place and thinking about this and this, you’re in an active mindset and it measures that by the severity of weather in the environment. You have to wear earphones associated with it, but you’ve got the desert, the rainforest, and the ocean. There’s one that’s general sounds, but when you are active, not calm and not focused, the weather is all over the place. What it does is, the weather and it gets less severe and calm the calmer you get. Eventually, you have birds that start chirping when you are calm and in the zone.
There are days where I don’t get any birds or 1 or 2. There are days where I get 50, and this is in a ten-minute timeframe. What it does, it gives you feedback so that you’re not telling yourself stories. It gives you actual feedback so that you know where you’re at and you know how much time and attention you have to focus on your meditation, your gratitude getting in the zone. That’s one thing that I’ve started doing. Now that I have my goal is getting restructured, I’m sitting back and once I’m in the zone, I start to ask myself strategic questions.
These questions, you don’t have to ask them all in one day. I usually ask 1 or 2 per day. I learned this from Keith Cunningham, Keys to the Vault and there are a few other books that he’s written. The questions are insightful and asking yourself these questions in the wrong state can be catastrophic. That’s why being in the right state, doing meditation, getting in that zone is powerful. The questions are like, “What do I want? What in my control is preventing me from achieving that? What don’t I see? What if I’m wrong? What is the result that I would be ecstatic about? How can I make the biggest difference? How can I be the best conversation on somebody’s day? Who do I need to call? Who do I need to write? Who would benefit from a conversation with me?” This is a big one. Maybe a whole thinking session dedicated to this. “Why am I paid? What must I believe about myself to be paid more? What are the ways I can go above and beyond what is expected that I am not paid for?”
Here are a few others. “What is the least amount I can earn and live an unbelievable life? What am I spending money on that is not producing the result I want? If I could devote time to one thing, what would it be? What about if my life gave me tremendous enjoyment many years ago but doesn’t now? Is there an opportunity there?” These are a few. These are profound, insightful questions that you can find online. It may not feel like it’s that significant, but asking yourself these questions creates tremendous breakthrough and insight as to where opportunities are. The reason why I wanted to start here these first 2 of 5 things to do in a financial crisis, is because being in the right state, having the right mindset and then structuring your day so that all the different routine, things that you do, don’t expend any unnecessary energy. It will position you for making the best decisions given what’s going on.
The next three are going to be cash and cashflow, dry powder and investments, and assets. I wanted to cover this again because it sets the stage for where the opportunities are, as well as a dry powder, which is more opportunity fund. If you are familiar with the language I use in the book, Heads I Win, Tails You Lose. Finally, investments and assets and we’re going to revisit the financial, the behavioral economics curve when it comes to most the collective state of mind. Where in that state of mind are the best opportunities and the worst opportunities to make a decision or take action on something? Thank you for reading this episode. I will talk to you next time. Take care.
- Paradigm Life
- Dalbar Report
- The Perfect Day Formula
- Keys to the Vault
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!