Our world changes fast, what was essential yesterday might become obsolete in tomorrow’s world. What is impossible today, might be possible tomorrow, and vice versa. Corona has shaken the naïve believe in certitudes, especially in economic ones. But there is a way we can prepare for tomorrow’s economic turning points today, it is called economic diversification.
We all know you should never put all eggs in one basket. When it drops, all eggs will be broken and you will have nothing left. The same applies to big companies: when going on a business trip, they will never put all employees in one plane, because if the plane crashes, so will the business.
Yet, today with Corona, we’ve seen how fragile some people, places, and companies are neglecting this simple genius principle of life. This applies not only for businesses and politicians, but as well for any single person, for any household, for any community.
Think of your resources, your time, money, and energy, as a fluctuating liquid that can be either stockpiled in one barrel or in various interconnected barrels. In case of the latter you can let your resources flow from one barrel into another depending on the circumstances, which can be both internal and external, under your control, or without your control.
Your barrels are the different projects you have in life. They can be non-profit, like family and friends, they can be non-economic investments, like studying, travelling, networking, or hobbies, and they can be for-profit, like your current work, as well as work at the side.
You need all barrels at all times, to feel happy and satisfied in life, since they represent the three basic needs of life, being connectivity, autonomy and mastery.
Not coincidently many western societies have seen a steep increase of burnouts and bore-outs with the increased individualism and capitalism over the last years. In both cases, the focus went too much to the profit-barrel, while the non-economic investments and non-profit barrel dried-up. No matter how much you put in one barrel solely, you’ll never feel fulfilled or satisfied, because those other ones are crucial to meet our human needs, and hence for genuine happiness.
Once you have some resources in any three, you can start experimenting with your resources, your time, energy, and money. Depending on what is demanded, possible, feasible, achievable, and desirable you can put more into one barrel or another.
You can even create resiliency by creating more side-barrels. Especially when it comes to the economic barrel, it is wise to have a back-up plan. This could be a side barrel connected with the non-economic investments, since studies or experiences can add to your professional value, and eventually to your profit-barrel.
If your economic situation is stable and you have some savings, you could put more of your resources in the non-profit barrels, and in the non-economic investments. Moreover, you can prepare today for tomorrow’s world and demand. Since the more options you have, the more resilient you are. The wider the variety of your possibilities, and of your investments, the wider the rewards.
During lockdown a lot of people experienced economic hardship. But the ones with resources stowed in interconnected barrels, rather than in one, drove better. Not only were they able to enjoy the rewards of the other non-economic investment barrels, such as friends and family – even over distance – and crafting personal skills or future professional skills. These fulfilled the basic needs of connectivity and mastery. Some of them could even turn their non-economic investments into an economic opportunity, that suited better with the changed times.
Even better could it have been for the ones that had several side-barrels on their profit-barrel. It could have been a small side track, not resulting in as much money as the first barrel, but at least in some; giving more peace of mind and feelings of autonomy.
On the large scale, every social system, from being a household, over a company to a geographic entity such as a town or country, needs the same system to stay alive in times of crisis.
As we’ve seen in times of Corona, those social systems who didn’t live according to the barrel system, and had put all their eggs in one basket, lost everything as soon as Corona hit the only barrel in which they had stored all their resources.
It can be a household of which all revenue was sourced from one source solely, this can be a couple working at the same company, or a single having one professional career option. A lot of people have only one career, but they have more career options if you start really thinking about it. It might require out of the box thinking, it might not be your preferred option, but options there are nonetheless.
It can as well be a business depending entirely on one kind of customer, or one kind of product, hence if demand collapses, so does the business. It can as well be a business depending too rigidly on one business model, hence when this no longer matches reality, so does the business.
It can be as well one town or region depending too much on one big economic driver, being demand, or offer. Such as towns based on tourism solely, or the classic story of dried-up mining towns.
If this town or region wants to survive in times of crisis, it must have more economic diversification; it must generate value out of different sources, being one of the three barrels, and economic revenue out of more than one economic activity.
It can be a country depending too much on export or import, and not having invested enough in the local supply chains, local production and demand. If something endangers this export or import lines, the local economy is endangered as well.
We live in an interconnected world, where a breeze at one side can cause a hurricane on the other. 3,000 deaths in China preceded 440,000 deaths globally. Therefore, the interconnected barrel system should be an integrated part of our life, our businesses and our towns or countries.
Map your own barrels, spread your resources, and see where you can create more value. What are your career opportunities if this one dries up? What are your side-barrels? What are your non-economic investments? What is your weakness and your strength?
Start today investing wise, spreading your resources wise, and fill up where you have lacked. You don’t need more, you just need to invest and spread wise. Plan wise. Life wise.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- How this too shall pass
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breath taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- About how Music Connects
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- About turning obstacles into opportunities
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About coping with incertitude
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- about when the poppy flowers
- about what’s in a number
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
- Why education matters
- How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
- The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
- the remarkable rewards of health
- The queeste for global health care
- Health Heroes
- Pains and Gains
- Solidarity 3.0
- Work-Life Balance
- Home sweet home
- Real Connections
- Leadership 3.0
- gratitude 3.0
- Respect 3.0
- Humanity 3.0
- Change Management
- Economic Catharsis
- To consume or not to consume?
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark time.