Saturday, February 13, 2010

3 Factors for Successful Survival?‏

So I've read every post on your blog. I have your book, about half way through it. Implementing as much as I can, as money become available.

My question is this: If you had to pick three things that you did, three pivotal events that occurred to you, or three circumstances you & your family were in; that helped you & your family keep your head above the water, that keeps you in a better position than your fellow countrymen, what would you answer?

In all my reading the conclusion I'm coming to, is survival isn't so much about what you have, or where you are, but more where you are headed. Surviving is a direction, not a condition.

I'm sure having as little debt as possible & owning your own business/ having your own stream of income would be on that list, but I'm hoping maybe you could point out a few other small discriminators to success.

Thanks for all your work & advice. I check the blog daily for new posts.

Hi Richard, you pretty much nailed it there. Its not what you have, but the way you decide to live you life.
There are of course some material things that simply cannot be improvised, but mindset is more important.

The three pivotal differences between me and most Argentines;

1)Family: While growing up I had a family that was pretty unique in many ways. Economically speaking we were middle class, maybe just a bit above average middle class income. The big difference was that while our neighbors went out for dinner every weekend, while they bought expensive cars, toys, quads, jetsky, my parents invested their money.

We also had traveled some, you could say that was our only real luxury, and we had lived in Boston for three years when I was little. That gave us a different perspective of things regarding a) We knew better than our own country B) The idea of moving somewhere else and starting over wasn’t something that scared us or was beyond our limits.
Education was also a priority. Bad grades where simply not accepted and we were expected to always be among the top students of our classes. We also knew the value of a second language, and its has been by FAR the most valuable tool we took form school.
My brother, my sister, they both got their jobs within their different lines of work thanks to their fluent English. I sure ended up using English a lot as well. :-)
Tip: You want to do something for your kids that will give them an invaluable tool when they grow up? Get them Spanish lessons.

2)Mindset: Unless you are a certain way, you don’t think about preparing for difficult times. The mindset you have, the way your brain is wired leads you to prepare for blackouts, store supplies, batteries, food, water, so having certain mindset is crucial and leads to other preparations. I also had lots of luck regarding firearms training.

When I was 15 years old I took my first shooting course.
One on one with an Army Major, the complete course lasted about 3 months or so, several times a week learning to fire autos and revolvers of various calibers and models, as well as shooting under stress and target recognition. These days classes such as that are almost non existent. They usually last a day or two, if not just a couple hours. So that gave me a good edge as well. I wasn’t winning shooting tournaments or anything, but at that age I could handle firearms safely for self defense.
Mindset also makes you learn new things, plan ahead for problems, learn from history and prepare for events.

3) Finances: Thanks to smart family investment, when things got ugly, we had financial investments that allowed us to get by.
Please understand what I mean by family investment:
While our “rich” neighbors spend their weekend partying, going to restaurants or spending a couple days on some cabin somewhere, we would spend our weekend working to restore a small “fixer- upper” house to resell, painting, carpeting, polishing floors and gardening. We all worked pretty hard. I also learned to use tools and fix just about any thing in a house as well. When you teach your kids these lessons at an early age, they understand the value of money, investing and hard work.

When there was no jobs to be found, there were still things that could be done in the family. We had a small accounting office, and that’s were my sister and I worked for some time when there were no jobs around. Not much money to be made, but some is always better than none.

Currently I’m self employed. Thanks to the success the book had, the blog and other projects, I don’t suffer the inflation and unemployment as much as others in my country do. This is a huge difference and certainly a key point to keep in mind .
For an American, this would be the equivalent of being able to work for UK or European countries as the local economy goes down. Of course its not easy, but having the ability to do so makes all the difference during a crisis.

Tip: Having a family business of some sort or being your own boss and being self employed is a key element during times like these. People will generally go for it once things get ugly or they already got fired. Trust me, its better if you start right away, before you’re desperate for income. Even if its part time or just done on weekends, its better to start right now.

As for things I recommend doing:

1)Get your minimum supplies sorted out. The ones I made reference to before, the ones you simply cannot do without such as a generous water and food supply ( 6 months minimum, at least a couple weeks worth of water already stored)

2)If you don’t have a firearm, do get a good handgun and learn how to shoot it. Air, food, water and shelter keep us all alive on daily basis. But having a gun has saved me before more than once. So did antibiotics, by the way.

3)Improve your home security and your security habits. As things slowly change world wide you can expect more crime in most places round the globe.

4)Get your finances in order. Maybe you’re paying for your home but get set financially, and get rid of unnecessary debt that will slowly kill you. Work towards having an emergency fund. Yes, even before you pay off all your house loan.
Its also important to at least have some investment. You can read a bit, talk with a frined in realestate, and invest in a small appartment that will give you rent some day. There's more than enough cheap places on the market these days.

5)Learn the skills needed both for preparedness and better financial possibilities. At the very least, self defense, CPR and basic first aid. Knowing Spanish or a trade that could earn you a living would be nice too.

6)DO ALL THIS STUFF. Its of no use just reading it here guys, if you don’t put these things into practice it will do you no good.



Uncle George said...

That is a good thumbnail explanation of necessary preparations. Having been self employed most of my life, I can attest to how good it is, especially in turbulent economic circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Great site. Sorry but I don't know exactly where to leave this comment.
Part of preparing for the inevitable is accumulating a nice retirement nest egg (of course keeping the government is another matter). How would you recommend we protect ourselves financially from the confiscation of our retirement funds as they did in Argentina?
Here is an excellent article about just that (sorry too long to print).