In a word: Skill Development.
Ok, so… two words.
Try and think of it like this:
When you’re building a house, you don’t start assembling the walls first. You make a cogent plan that affords you what you’re looking for, and then you lay the firm foundation.
Like the foundation in a house, the base of skills you develop are the most lasting element – they can’t be taken, burnt down, and are only destroyed by significant trauma. That’s analogous to the concrete upon which you build the house. To me, these skills are the most dire and often useless. They’re skills like how to feed, protect and shelter yourself in the absolute worst case scenarios.
The frame of the house is your family/friends and community. Those you surround yourself with. They’ll hold up your protective efforts down the road (the roof).
The insulation is the things like keeping cash on hand, wisely allocating your money, holding Precious Metals. Perhaps most importantly, having adequate supplies of food.
The doors and windows are your abilities in dealing with people; how you manage unknown and known contacts, how you address external personalities. You can bar them up, keep them locked or leave them unsecure, and circumstance will dictate how that works for you.
The Roof is what ultimately protects you – like the foundation, this is one of the least visible parts, but perhaps the most important. It’s your composite skillset that encompasses your occupation, abilities and knowledge. It’s rarely acknowledged and often underappreciated. With luck, it’ll not be tested, but like a roof, it needs repairs, maintanence and support.
So, a quick breakdown on how I plan:
1. Plan your “house” – The skills you want, the location and the purpose of the structure.
2. Lay a firm foundation: Identify the skills you need to survive. Check the WSID series here for some excellent insights on where to start.
3. Frame your life with good, productive people.
4. Begin building your roof – identify the skills you need to thrive and pursue them, maintain them and always look for leaks.
5. Insulate yourself with methods to protect your wealth; tangible PM’s and tools to protect your and your family from the “elements” (negative influences)
6. Fill it with good memories of the adventure and decorate it with experience.
I hope this helps.