You may not realize it, but you have a lot of bad habits. OK, sorry I said that but it had to be said. All baby boomers have bad habits. I have bad habits. You can't go this long in life without having developed some imperfect patterns and impulses in your decision-making.
Admit it -- the ways you approach negotiations and politics at work have become second nature. You have become comfortable with your decision-making and compromises with your wife, family, and friends.
When you have been doing things as long as we have it's just natural to fall back on trusted behaviors that we have used for years in order to reduce stress and anxiety that comes with day to day decision making.
But are your behaviors always the best for modern day diplomacy? Things have changed radically in business, personal and social environments. Have you?
Maybe your built-in decision-making mechanisms and bargaining conventions are no longer serving you efficiently from a financial standpoint. Maybe your gut feelings and ingrained choices are costing you money.
Let's see if any of these 5 habits below have crept into your personality and how we can reverse them.
1. Are you a perpetual finger pointer?
Do you spend a lot of time pointing out and blaming external factors for your own shortcomings? Is it always "something else" that causes you to miss opportunities or lose a deal? Is the grass always greener somewhere else?
If you are constantly seeing the bad side of life then maybe you need to take a good long look in the mirror. You may have become a constant complainer that can't see the real opportunities around you. You're too busy making up excuses for your failures rather than planning for your success. When you miss opportunities, you inevitably lose money.
Going forward, look at every new discussion and negotiation as an opportunity to create a "win-win" outcome. Make it a point to accept the fact that your decisions and their outcomes are up to you and only you. You decide your future, so take control.
2. Do you prefer not to negotiate?
Even the best baby boomer business tycoon can become complacent from time to time just to make life easier. You're older, more financially secure, and sometimes feel like you don't have to win every hand of cards.
Don't let that happen to you. Don't lose your competitive edge. Everything can be negotiated.
Sure, you almost always bring your "A" game when engaging in big ticket deals like buying a new car or re-negotiating your salary but don't underestimate how much you have to lose in your day-to-day transactions.
Don't let your skills fade during the more common deals you make every day. Always be looking for an add-on benefit, a discounted cost or something for free. Pull out that old "Karrass" book on negotiation and sharpen up your skills. You will definitely benefit from it financially.
3. Do you buy things without a solid reason?
Next time you head to the store to buy something ask yourself: "Is this something I want or something I need?"
Again, as we have gotten older, we have become more financially secure so it is easy to find ourselves trying to "keep up with the Joneses."
First, you have to understand why you are making a purchase. Then you have to decide if there is a better course of action. How many "things" that you thought you really needed are now collecting dust or are being stored in the garage?
Save and use your money wisely because you never know how long you going to be around and need it.
4. Do you think short-term rather than long-term?
I know you are saying to yourself that "There really is no long term anymore." It's not like you have to worry too much about the affect of your financial decisions 50 or 60 years down the road. Well, us baby boomers are living longer now so we really do need to take into account what consequences our decisions will bring over the next 20 or 30 years at least.
Is it the right decision to buy a vacation timeshare now? Are you too busy at work to get your aching back looked at? Do you really need that new Corvette and motorcycle?
Make sure you think a little about the future when making decisions today. Always keep this old adage in the back of your mind: "Failure to plan is planning to fail."
5. Do you sell yourself short?
Do you have business opportunities that interest you and you ignore them because:
A. You don't think you have the expertise to pull them off
B. You don't think you have the finances to make them happen
C. You are afraid of failure
All I can say is "DON'T." Don't underestimate yourself. You have been on this planet for 50-some odd years and have done some pretty incredible things. If you are unsure of your skill set then educate yourself. The resources online are endless. If you think finances are an issue find alternate sources of help. You can work out loans with family, tap into your social circles or even try crowd funding.
Be confident and follow your passion. The longer you're stuck on "can't", the more you'll be losing money.
If you found my blog helpful, interesting, or even funny, I bet your friends would too.
Please forward it to them or tell them about it. The more baby boomers we can help, the better place we make this world!
Thanks for joining me.