Winter-Proof

Does the fluctuation in the market affect your mood? Does knowing that your holdings have plummeted keep you awake at night? Do you get paralyzed, even frozen, during this crypto winter? Well you are not alone. However, there are things that I would like to share here that can give you another perspective.

By the way, this is not financial advice. Nor is this a technological advice. So this is not fintech advice. We could make this a funtech advice, though. Because we are using technology in a fun way. At the end of the day, whoever has the most fun wins. If you are not having fun, perhaps you are in the wrong industry. Perhaps you are even in the wrong job position.

Once again, I’m not a financial advisor, nor am I a technical person. I’m just an average Joe, or overage Joe. Because I’m a late bloomer. I consider myself such, because from my perspective, I have learned things late. But what I have learned I am willing to share with you. It may work, it may not work. Figure out what works for you. Cherry pick the ones that you appreciate.

What I’m about to share is what I believe to be the factors that keep me calm during this crypto Winter. In fact, I am even more anxious when the next bull run hits. But perhaps that’s a story for another day. For now though, here are some points:

Emergency Fund

Do you have an emergency fund? It is recommended that a thousand dollars that is liquid can be handy in an emergency. You may have illiquid assets, but you have got to have about a thousand dollars that you can just grab in an event that you need it. It’s fascinating to know that more than half of Americans don’t even have a thousand dollars for an emergency. That’s crazy; that’s more than 150 million folks!

Now you may not have a thousand dollars. That is okay. You can start with 400 dollars. Any amount that you can set aside for an emergency is going to serve you well. Trust me, your future self will thank you for doing that. And if you do already have a grand for an emergency, whether that’s in your debit card or in notes stashed under your bed, congratulations. You are ahead of more than 150 million people, let alone people around the world.

Buffer

Before, it was recommended that you had to have about 6 months worth of savings to cover for your expenses should you lose your income ability. But after the pandemic with all the uncertainties, it is now recommended to have about 12 months worth of savings. This doesn’t have to be liquid though. You can even choose to have a 3 year worth of savings should you lose your job.

This gives you leverage to choose which project you want to be a part of. You don’t have to be in a desperate mode to jump on the next job offer even though it doesn’t fit you personally. This is a healthier way of looking for a project that truly resonates with what you value and with the people who appreciate your output.

Insurance (other countries not required)

Do you have insurance? If so, what kinds do you have? Will your family receive a large sum should something happen to you unexpectedly, like you know, die? Will you have your insurance company cover you if ever you need to go through a medical procedure? The sheer number of insurance products out there can be paralyzing. But you can stick to the basics: hospitalization, life, accident. And better if you buy them separate from what financial advisers’ recommend. You will be paying a higher premium including their commission.

I have just renewed mine this month. And now I am covered for another year. I don’t want my family to undergo the same agony that they had to go through when my father got sick for seven months and eventually passed away. We had to pawn the family properties just to pay off the bills. Up to now, my mother still owes a lot of people a handsome amount of money from bills incurred. That’s what insurance is for. It’s a shared risk. Now since we know that unforeseen events happen, we buy insurance.

Budget

Do you know how much your monthly expenses are? Are they lower than your income? Or are you spending more than you take home? Well, that’s a personal choice. But at least figure out how much you are spending on different categories of your operation as an individual. You have to have a measure of feeling that you are in control. You don’t have to go neurotic about it and track every penny. Some people do.

In my case I have different categories. Here are some: housing (rent or mortgage), utility (electricity and water), communications (phone subscription, internet connection), transportation (fuel, maintenance) chemicals (soap, laundry powder, dishwashing liquid, shampoo) food (this is the biggest category). I buy fresh whole foods in the market almost every day. This is because I don’t eat out. I make sure that I have all my nutrients taken care of at home.

I use a bicycle for transportation. It’s good for cardio workout. The sweat becomes my moisturizer. I get inspiration from perspiration. This is because of BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor). It gives the brain some boost with creativity and mental work. BDNF can be released when exercising. So if your city is bicycle-friendly, you can choose to travel on a bicycle. Make sure you consult your physician first to determine whether it’s safe for you to cycle. It can be a virtuous cycle. ;)

Craft

What is your craft? What is your medium? What is that avenue of your work that you are trying to improve so overtime you can be known for it and people are willing to pay you for it? Conventionally there are a handful of mediums: written, audio, video, graphics, public speaking. But in some sense there are other mediums, too. It can be starting new ventures.

Let me quote Ken Robinson: “People who work creatively usually have something in common: they love the media they work with. Musicians love the sounds they make, mathematicians, love numbers, entrepreneurs love making deals, great teachers love teaching.”

If you love to code, that is your medium. If you love to build communities, then that is your medium. If you love to analyze whitepapers and talk or write about it, that is your medium. Own your medium. Then share it with the world. You may be able to monetize it later on, you may not. But if you love it, you are good at it, and you don’t mind doing it, that is your medium. I cannot exhaustively enumerate all the possible mediums humans can have. But by now I hope I have given you a clue of what it is that we are talking about here.

Moreover, your medium must be an avenue where there is room for creativity. This is because you want to create, not compete. If you compete, it may be harder to stand out. But if you have an authentic medium where you can be creative, then you own the market. This is because even if other people try to copy your style, they won’t last long. You own you. And having your creation appreciated by others can be fulfilling. This is because we feel that our authentic expressions are appreciated.

Even if you have not found your tribe yet, keep doing your craft. Eventually your tribe will gather around you to celebrate your work. This is what they call your one thousand true fans. No matter how niche you are, you will eventually find that “target market” that your creation is fit for.

Regardless of the market condition, as long as you have your beloved creative medium that you are good at and people appreciate and value and are willing to pay for, especially if it’s a hard skill, then you will always have income coming in. If you are not a professional crypto trader, then you can just focus on your craft.

Conclusion

We live in a time where it has been tagged VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). There are so many things to consider. And if you overanalyze them, you may end up like a deer in the headlights, paralyzed by the goings on. However, we must bravely move forward as we navigate this murky world we find ourselves in.

So, despite the outside turmoil, let’s take control. Stash an emergency fund, set up a buffer, secure basic insurance products, find your craft, wait for your tribe to show up, and see you in the metaverse.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/snowy-forest-235621/

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