What is with the recent trend of one-word titles?!? First, Resilience. Then, Iceland, of all topics. (OK, there was a break for a more mundane piece, Employment Budgeting Issues for Florida Businesses to Consider for 2021, about Florida’s unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation rate developments.)
But Self-Care? A topic which connotes mindfulness, meditation, green juice, and yoga. What does that have to do with personal and business legal matters? Everything.1
As mentioned many, many…many times before, this series has an intentional focus on proactive risk management, under the operative principle it is less consuming in terms of time, talent, treasure (meaning $$$), creativity, and patience. Which means a specific focus on observing, absorbing, adopting, and adapting real-world, real time events, as they do (or might) affect one’s present and future actions and reactions. And that in itself entails mindfulness. (OK, green juice, meditation, and yoga if you also wish.)
The end of a year – particularly such as this one (I simply cannot type the four digits…) – opens a meaningful opportunity to give concentrated thought to (1) review what occurred, (2) analyze what was learned during that period, and (3) position oneself for the next year (and here I do type 2021).
Let us look at just four examples, which can apply to both people and businesses:
- As a general matter, it is critical to constantly and always keep a close eye on one’s strengths and weaknesses (which is directed inward) and opportunities and threats (which is directed outward), and is technically called a ‘SWOT’ analysis.2 For businesses, that means evaluating the material/personnel/financial resources they have (or have available). For people (and families), it means the same thing, but also includes a check on health.
- As a specific matter – and this is absolutely a lesson from the year not to be mentioned – saving and maintaining resource reserves, and particularly liquid cash resources, is essential. If hard times come, it will be valuable (and psychologically comforting) to have a pre-established ‘safety-net’ in place. Truly, it is never, ever too late to start building that net.
- In order to accomplish both (1) and (2), it is necessary to have an accurate inventory of one’s Assets and Liabilities. (Capital letters are used here to indicate that the accounting definitions of those terms are not being used; instead the widest possible collections of both are the topics.) Which means one must engage in correct, complete, and accurate record-keeping, and also upkeep and upgrade those lists. (Likely you already have those sorts of lists of your musical and video downloads, or even DVDs, CDs, vinyls, and, for a few, eight-tracks, so do the same thing across the full spectrum of life.)
- Back to #2. One proactive way to be able to respond reactively to losses is to obtain and maintain sufficient insurance policies. Yes, it costs to do that, but insurance can serve as the referenced safety net.
There are, of course, several (almost infinite) topics one could add to the list above, but those four serve as a common-sense starting place.
With that in-mind, take a deep cleansing breath, center oneself, and let us all take the first step on this journey. Mindfully. Because… 2021.
1 Irrelevant yet entertaining factoid – This article was written as the Navy / Army game plays in the background. Without disclosing this writer’s personal preference in that game, best wishes for fair winds and following seas to one of the teams. Guess which one?
2 The materials in this piece are based upon this writer’s business school lectures.
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For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration and Levin College of Law and is the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
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