How do you transform your personal finances in a hurry? One way is to utilize existing models for institutional transformation.
Often times, one of the most difficult aspects of transforming your personal finances is simply building the inertia of getting started. So, how do you meet yourself where you are, and use your natural strengths to transform your financial well-being?
In healthcare, a large proponent of redesign has been the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. IHI offers insight on some important components of achieving this goal. In this article, I will highlight IHI’s rules for fast-tracking redesign from my perspective as it relates to your personal finances.
1. Change the balance of power.
Honing your personal finance skills and literacy can seem intimidating. You may feel that at best any attempt is likely to produce another black hole that consumes what little time you have available to you. The fact of the matter, your financial obligations and health are not going to budge unless you meet them head-on and begin actively shifting the balance of power in your favor.
The way to change the balance of power in your favor is to start small. This is what I mean by meeting yourself where you are at, and setting yourself up for success with the momentum of small wins. A lot of us tend to dwell on the thought of waiting until point “x” in your life or until you’re earning “x” income. Although this is important and should be part of planning, it must not a barrier to getting your financial health on the fast track to being fit.
Achieving solid fundamentals is so important and takes absolutely no money, but it does require effort. Effort is abundant, and free for the taking.
In addition, build up your arsenal for shifting the balance by partnering with those within your support system. As a reader of financial sites like this one, you are investing in yourself and gradually shifting the balance of power in your favor. It will not happen overnight, but with small purposeful action, it will happen.
2. Standardize what makes sense.
Standardize the aspects of your financial health that makes sense. Whatever you current situation is, work to standardize the process of how you approach your finances. This will help you establish a baseline that gives you the clarity to identify the key areas to be addressed. A lot of errors in the manufacturing realm and other settings occur due to deviation from the process. Cultivate your process and starting reaping the rewards.
3. Customize to the individual.
You have to develop your WHY: Why do you want to be financially fit? Why do you work? What does success mean and look like to you? In an ideal yet realistic situation, what would your vision for financial health be? And lastly, what’s stopping you from achieving that?
4. Promote well-being.
Focus on outcomes that matter the most to people, appreciating that their health and happiness may not require money. Well-being, although closely linked to finance, goes well beyond dollars and cents. This point warrants emphasis, as good process will result in good outcomes. Take the time to make sure the outcome is what you actually want. In a prior post, I highlighted the need for creating a clear and unified vision. This will help anchor all other efforts and garner the support from those that are affected by your actions.
5. Create joy in work.
Transforming your financial health should bring joy to your life. It’s an area that fuels itself, in that as you grow your savings, investments, and overall financial health, you will appreciate the small wins that in time grow exponentially. Try and make it a game and a source of joy as you work on it.
6. Make it easy.
Continually reduce waste and all non-value-added requirements and activities. We have discussed the application of lean principles to your financial life and working to reduce waste will without a doubt make the process easier.
7. Move knowledge, not people.
Being a member of the digital age gives you tremendous leverage in terms of ability to acquire knowledge without requiring the amount of resources that where needed even 10 years ago. However, I would also add that it’s important to be patient and allow your investments to grow. As we talked about in the last post, attempting to time the market is mired in issues.
8. Collaborate and cooperate.
Collaborative leadership has the potential to transform organizations and using the principles for collaboration will fast track your financial redesign. One great skill that comes with collaborating is the ability to network. You should always build and maintain your network as it will help not only now, but down the road by bringing about opportunities for growth. There is strength in your weak ties, as these individuals are most likely to have new thoughts/opportunities when compared to strong ties.
9. Assume abundance.
If you want to be financially fit, it is entirely possible, and the opportunities to achieve financial health are abundant. Continue to build your growth mindset, and change the balance of power and effort. Assuming abundance will also help you persevere through the redesign.
10. Return the money.
Reinvest in the process of transformation by returning the money from dividends and other sources of income to eliminating debt and building your financial health. Another option is to give back through charity, to continue building the world you envision as possible.