I was recently called into the office of the corporate monster I have been working for this last few years.
There was a palpable awkwardness. I knew something what was coming. I saw it coming months ago when oil prices slashed themselves in half.
Then the boss shuffled out from behind his desk and asked me to take a seat.
You already know the rest.
You see, times are tight around corporatopia. It’s time for everyone to fasten their seatbelts and buckle in for a stormy ride, and a lot of guys have been caught unawares, with families, mortgages, credit card bills and mouths to feed, but no jobs. As anyone who has worked for a big corporation knows, your needs matter not. It’s all about the bottom line, and if your family starves for the man to save $1000, so be it.
Of course, that’s just the way it is and I knew this going in, so it didn’t catch me off guard. It’s nothing personal, so there’s no need to behave like a bitch when it happens.
You see, I have learned from bitter experience that a man needs to have at least three plans. A plan, a backup plan, and a backup plan for the backup plan.
Any less than this, and you are in one word unprepared. You know what they say about the unprepared right? “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
While most other dudes I know have been working hard on the rigs then going off on massive benders, blowing cash on hookers, Jack Daniels and 5 star holidays, I have been preparing for this exact moment.
I have been ready, because I understand how the economy works and I know that oil is a boom-bust commodity. I have been rolling in hundred dollar bills for years, but I knew it wasn’t going to last forever.
I decided to learn. I read books. I educated myself, and as a result I can understand a storm when I see one coming.
So now what? There is an air of terror about the rigs I have been working on. Guys are sweating and wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, tell their wives and finance their out of sync lifestyles.
Me, I’m going to be doing a lot more of this:
You see, I had my chat with my boss, who is a nice guy and is just doing what he has to do to defend his business, told him to give me a call when business picks up, then I went home, had a little chuckle to myself, and took a nap.
I was concerned exactly zero about being out of work for the foreseeable future, even though my son is due to be born next month, because I am prepared.
How Did I Prepare For This Moment?
The first thing I did when I entered the oil business is start talking to and bleeding knowledge from guys who have been in the industry a long time. I began to ask questions about their stories and experience, and I got a pretty good picture from day one that things go in cycles in this industry. That’s step one to being prepared – learn all you can from those who have already walked the path you are walking.
The second thing I did was manage my money correctly. Just because you have cash in your pocket doesn’t mean you can afford to spend it. Getting into the habit of saving, investing and building up a fund for yourself is something that will leave you prepared for anything.
That way when the main source of income dries up, you won’t have a panic attack, but will have enough cash squirelled away to give yourself options. You then have space and time to breathe, think and plot your next move.
The third thing I did was locate myself somewhere that I could live within my means. That meant moving to Asia, more specifically The Philippines. As a result of this prudent move I can live for almost a year on what I could only get by one for 2-3 months back home.
If you can, I advise you to relocate somewhere that will allow you to save cash for the future. Even if this is just for a few years before you decide to go back where you came from, it’s still a good idea and will build a lot of life skills in the process.
The last thing I did is work on my side business instead of jacking off and playing X Box in my spare time. As a result of those efforts, extra income is beginning to flow in and will, I soon predict, become a raging river of green dollar bills.
Now that I finally have the free time to focus 100% on these projects, I predict things will take a swift turn upwards. If I even spend half the time on them that I spent working offshore, I will make major bank from these projects in the near future.
The lesson? Never, EVER, get all your water from one well – because when that well runs dry, you will be f**ked.
So there you have it gentlemen. The need to be prepared is something you need to pound into your head until it finally registers. Don’t make the mistake all the silly egoists do and think you are the exception to the rule, and that the dice will always roll in your favour. It won’t, I can guarantee you that.
No matter how cosy your nice little position in life is, you’ll be getting smashed in the teeth by unforseen circumstances at some point, you can bet your bottom dollar on it.
So, when that happens, are you ready? Have you been snoozing while the storm has been brewing? What have you done to set yourself up for when the next downturn happens, the next banker induced bubble bursts, or the next major change happens in your life? What’s your plan, your backup plan, and your backup plan for the backup plan?
Think about that. Meanwhile I’ll be writing more on how to be happily unemployed from my hammock with a nice cool cocktail, safe in the knowledge that I deserve every single moment of it because I followed one simple mantra:
“You can play now and pay later, or pay now and play later”.
I paid my dues. Now it’s time to play.
Desire. Decide. Persist.