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turtle at a fork in the roadWhether we realize it or not, we all need to have a life plan.  Sure, you can wander through life, never planning how or where you want to or will work.  Or how you will manage your money.  But at the end of the day, formulating a plan for what you want your life to look like will result in a happier life.  Here at the Well Kept Wallet, Deacon focuses a lot on two things: helping people get out of debt, and teaching people about income-earning opportunities.

Why Your Life Plan Needs to Be Your Own

Deacon does great podcast episodes, often featuring a number of different types of entrepreneurs.  These exciting, motivating and informative podcasts are fantastic for teaching people about the different ways one can own and run their business.  Last week, however, Deacon published an awesome podcast with Bert Purdy.  Bert Purdy runs a terrific blog called The Intentional Employee.  Bert’s mantra, in a sense, is that business ownership is not for everyone, thus if you are one of those people who’s happier being an employee, then learn how to do it well.

The point I’m making by bringing up this podcast is that it’s vitally important that your life plan be tailored to fit your style, your interests, your personality, your needs and your wants.  Just because the bandwagon of entrepreneurship is hot right now doesn’t mean that you’re meant to be on that bandwagon, or will be happy or successful on that bandwagon.

My husband learned this lesson 4 years ago.  Coming fresh off of a layoff from a failing company, he and a co-worker/friend spent several months looking into business owning opportunities.  They looked at buying independent businesses, owning franchises and starting up their own businesses.  They spent countless hours in meetings with various people in the business-owning arena and came “this close” to buying two or three different businesses.

At the end of the day, my husband decided to go back to work as an employee.  Why?  Because he’s much happier knowing that a steady paycheck is coming each week and that the success or failure of the business is somebody else’s responsibility.  Rick felt that owning his own business, at that point, would’ve been much too stressful, and would’ve made him very unhappy.  He’d rather be an employee.

The same goes for one’s plan to pay off debt and to gain financial independence.  How you get to debt free, whether it be selling your house, getting a second job, cutting expenses down to the bare minimum or taking a longer route to debt free and enjoying yourself more, has to be up to you.  Your road to debt free or financial independence has to fit in with your personality, your lifestyle and your income.  It will be different than other people’s plans because you have a different income, a different debt load and other different factors such as family size, comfort level and so forth.

This doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t be open to change and to doing things differently.  Nor does it mean that once you have a life plan in place that it is unchangeable.  To the contrary, life plans can change often based on opportunities that come along. It simply means that, when formulating one’s life plan, that though it’s important to learn from others, it is equally important to blaze your own trail and make a plan that fits you.

Have you formulated a life plan yet?  How did you balance learning from others and yet making your plan your own?

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