February was a strange month. That was largely due to still being in lockdown with nurseries still closed. I’d be lying if I said it has been an easy last month. The truth is it’s been bloody hard, but with that comes the recognition of achievement and pushing forward in spite of the external environment.
This month I’ve launched a new podcast with my good friend Chris, called Purpose Over Profit, and it’s been something which I’ve had great fun recording. On the coaching side, I had my best month ever and have continued to grow my 1-2-1 client base. I also launched my Purposeful Living group coaching programme again helping people find their purpose and progress in their lives. I’ve also really enjoyed doing some fantastic weekly ‘lives’ in my facebook group, Purpose To Progress, and we’ve had everything from meditation masterclasses to deal sourcing lessons from building our own property portfolio.
Meanwhile, on the investment side, it’s been all go: I’ve had some challenges with the HMO project that I’ve thankfully overcome; we’ve picked up keys for another flip project in Carmunnock; and last week I agreed another purchase in Ayr. We’ve also been progressing some refinances, and speaking to our existing and new private investors about our most recent deals.
My over-riding thoughts on February were just getting through the month. Unfortunately, now both Gill and I are out of full time employment, if we don’t work then there’s no money coming in. We’ve not been able to rely on any COVID grants as we’re not eligible, so we just had to crack on with it. This meant there was no hiding place and, frankly, we just had to suck it up. We dealt with this in the same way we always do – we make a plan.
I have to admit that I love a plan…almost as much as I love spreadsheets. I’ve tracked our monthly budgets for years and was always looking ahead to where the pinch-points would be from a financial perspective. Of course, now we are both self-employed with our income fluctuating from month to month, this task is even more important. One thing that makes this transition that much easier is having the portfolio income there to draw on if we need it, which we prefer to leave alone and build over time. The other thing is the flexibility of our mindset. Gill and I have had to be creative in generating income building a 7 figure portfolio over the past few years, whereas take me back 5 years ago and I thought my only income choice was my salary. Now we have multiple streams of income that we can dial up or down when we need it, which makes things so much easier.
So, this month I’ve been thinking a lot about something I tell my clients and that was drummed into me by my audio mentor Jim Rohn many years ago: “The same wind blows on us all. What matters is not the blowing of the wind but the set of the sail“. Therefore, I could spend my energy saying how unfair it is that the nurseries are shut or any other number of challenges but where would that get me? The setting of my own sail has been a mix of acceptance about where I am and what’s going on, coupled with what are the things I need to focus on to get through it.
You see life is all about transitions, and I recognise I’m in one just now. Sometimes it will feel shit, and sometimes it will feel like everything is going great. The important thing to remember is that nothing lasts forever, not even COVID (fingers crossed!)! Therefore, for those good and bad times, I want to set the sail towards humility or better seas respectively and always keep sight on the shore.