What do you do when overnight your sole source of income disappears with no idea if it will ever return?
That is the predicament I found myself in March 2020. My husband, an airline pilot, was furloughed indefinitely and the aviation industry went in free fall with COVID-19. Unfortunately, due to living in the Isle of Man, this meant that the furlough payment was £200 per week for a family of five.
Unsurprisingly, my stress skyrocketed. Some days it felt like I was going under but with three young kids in tow, this was not an option. Initially, I intuitively felt that the most important thing to do was to look after myself so that I could get back to my problem-solving mode! My primary focus was on eating, sleeping, exercising, and relaxing. Joe Wicks got me out of bed each morning and the flood of happy hormones helped immensely.
Once in a place of stillness and calm, I set about making a plan as to how to best deal with the situation. My immediate feeling was that it would take many months before we would know if the salary would return.
Thankfully, I had spent the last five years studying with a wealth mentor and we had several layers of protection in place to help counter the lack of income. This was a huge blessing and massive source of relief to know that we had many months of cover for essential expenses.
The silver lining of this situation was that it highlighted a vulnerability not previously observed, and I was determined to ensure we would never again be dependent on one source of income.
Amazon, property, and financial advice were three areas which I chose to focus on. I set up two property companies, with a specific cash flow strategy, with friends with similar visions and complementary skill sets. The first buy-to-let property was purchased in December with a further two completing in February.
Several obstacles presented such as not being able to operate without being a qualified Estate Agent in the Isle of Man. I completed this qualification in two months despite the usual timeframe being 18-24 months. I achieved this despite my husband being back to work in Belfast and home educating two of my children.
Revalidating my financial advisor qualification was also key as I sought to both support those struggling financially and give back via a community effort. Amazon pursuits proved testing but despite the many challenges I secured multiple brand management contracts and a number of profitable product lines.
2020 was without a shadow of a doubt the most challenging year I have experienced but I now face 2021 as a multi business owner, single parent indefinitely and home educator. I feel that the blessings of 2020 far outweighed the challenges I experienced.