• Madison Investing, LLC

The "Black Swan" is here, now what?

~9 minute video blog where I breakdown the 4-step process in managing through a crisis, and which stage I think we're at, currently.


It's been about a month or so since I've put a video out there on social media. And the reason for that is because of two things, really.


1) Things have been very busy.

2) I've been struggling.


This post is about vulnerability and navigating and managing that struggle that you may be going through, if you're anything like me - being in that I'm a human - and so are you. I just want to share some things that I hope will be valuable for you. And, you know, every day is gonna be a little bit different when it comes to this crisis that we're all navigating. But the primary two emotions or sentiments I want to share before we go into that content are gratitude and empathy. There are people out there like the nurses, the doctors that are risking their lives quite literally to go in and take care of the people who need the care the most. They're in some cases, sewing together homemade masks to protect themselves and therefore protect their own families from this this virus.

I think that is some the most heroic stuff that I can possibly imagine, so I feel a deep sense of gratitude toward them. I also feel a sense of gratitude towards educators and teachers who are overnight having to become technologists. You know, they have to become Zoom call hosts. There they are learning how to do videos at home and do their own content, their own social media content of sorts to bring education out of the classroom back to the home so that people that, so kids that are in their classes can still continue learning and give some backup to the parents like myself, who are now educators and small business professionals and we're trying to somehow balance the many facets of life within the confines of our home. And I feel very thankful to have a home amidst all of this. So I want to just convey that with that context up front. Thanks for being with it. Before we get into the actual content, so the content for this video is this.

I know I hear folks occasionally going out now and declaring they have answers, answers about what's to come. I have no answers for you and I you know, I'd be a little late leery of those that do have answers for you, and what I mean by that is if you study crisis management and if you look at the different frameworks for how people navigate it, whether it's companies or people or organizations about non-profits, how do they respond to crisis. And I think that framework is relevant now. I think it's relevant to us as individuals and business owners and investors. Because here's the four steps of a framework that I have come to believe are going to continue helping me. They've been helping me for the past four weeks. Step #1, listen and observe.

Step 2: measure, Step 3: assess, Step 4: respond.

Now, I'm taking some liberties there with some verbiage because I didn't like some of the very corporate-y on some of the frameworks that I would look at and study out there. But over the past couple of weeks in particular, I have really, really enjoyed getting some kind of reprieve and refocus and productivity by letting myself off the hook to have clear answers and definitive answers when we're not supposed to have them yet. And that's the point, guys. The pressure you are feeling in that lack of comfort you are feeling, it stems from a great many things, a lack of security, a lack of social connection, particularly for those of you extroverts out there that are craving that and a Zoom call it and scratch the itch. But the key step where we are in right now is to listen and to observe. We haven't even gotten in the stages of this crisis. If I'm like if I'm a working professional, W2 professional, if I'm a investor, a small business professional, we are still in the "Listen and observe" stage of all of this. This is not necessarily me commenting on how you are supposed to run your business. That is not what this is about. This is about making the big picture strategy decisions about your wealth, about your life, and about how you want to go and allocate resources amongst all of that together. Clearly, if you run a restaurant, you need to be reacting, now.

You need to already have pivoted to offering delivery. And my heart goes out to those restauranteurs and people that we know personally that have already met somehow manage that transition with a surprising amount of grace. So I just want to do recenter on the core principle here and we'll talk more about it in the coming days. But there's plenty of eloquent people out there putting out gratitude videos. There's plenty of amazing people out there right now lifting up with positivity and sharing their enthusiasm with others. And I don't want to say please keep doing that. I wanted to do something that was unique here and deeply vulnerable. And the vulnerability that's crucial for, I think all of you to hear right now, at least just from another person that's going through it like you are, is I was craving clarity to come back and be able to say this is what the new world is. This is what the new decisions to be made about investing are. Here is the best way to take the next step forward in your life. Here's how you should be going and spending your efforts and your time today. I don't have this for you and I don't have this worry because I shouldn't. It's irresponsible for me to act like I have them. And I think that right now you're supposed to be surveying.

Listen, measure. Assess. Respond.

The "measure" one - we're not going to go through all these today. But, to comment on measuring, we can't even begin to measure. Well, we I guess we could start, but we can't we can't really measure truly. "What are the key KPI is that we need to look at to start re-evaluating certain decisions?" If you're on the and if you're in the investing conversations around real estate, one of the bigger changes that you can now start to really wrap your head around a bit more is how our lenders, for example, lenders are reacting now by tightening their lending standards. Which is quite a normal and expected response. My last job was at a lender. So the way the way that they underwrite excuse me, the way that they underwrite is gonna change. And it already has. You know, you're seeing some formal guidelines change and come out from agency lenders just as recently as this week. So. Don't stop observing. Don't stop listening. If anything else. I mean, if nothing else. Just double down on the questions that you ask and then be OK if the answer comes back as not sure yet. And that's the bottom line. I was going to leave you guys with. Be OK, as best as you can, just saying, you know what? I'm going to lean into things that I know to be controllable directly for me right now, such as learning and doubling down on content development, you know, doubling down on the relationships that you do have already established. If you haven't reconnected with other people out there recently, all of those things are great things you could focus on right now beyond the immediate within your own family, but... before you go out and you build your new 12 month strategy, your three year plan, your five year plan, you just don't have enough information yet to really do that in terms of revisions.

So I just wanted to leave you with that. And also just let you know, listen, measure, assess, respond. We are not necessarily even close to being in the respond yet at the macro level for any of the stuff, guys. So I really hope that you can take some value away from this for today, and I will do my best to add value back with some more content in the coming days. So feel free to reach out. You know, if you want to send me a DM i've been getting some really helpful as well as re-assuring and really thoughtful messages from people via email and text and and Linked-In. So thank you for those and I wish you all the best. If you have kids and you are trying to get the work done and they are at home with you.

You know, if you're anything like us, all of our childcare support falls into the elderly category. So it's just us.

There's no chance for kid coverage and reprieve, you know, we're full time parents. And that is a beautiful thing. I would say that we've actually connected more deeply with our kids in the past two weeks than we have in quite a while. So it's in that regard. It's been beautiful, but lengthier video.

Hope you get some value out of it: learn, observe, listen and connect.

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