How to survive Brexit and how to benefit from it
Brexit is all over the media headlines again
It has actually been a hot topic for three long years now, but at the moment it’s getting even more coverage because of new Prime Minister claims he wants to leave the EU at any cost. I can’t even remember if we ever experienced such a roller coaster.
I thought I would share with you a few thoughts about how to effectively deal with such enormous events affecting the lives of millions of people.
I think you’ll agree with me that the matter of being absolutely certain is essential in business and finance. When we feel certainty, then we are working better and create more. We make better decisions, more rational and balanced ones.
On the other hand, the crucial factor determining our perception of reality is politics – which regularly brings change. And change makes us feel uncertain.
Whether this is real change or just virtual (superficial) – that’s a separate thing, but from time to time political actions produce uncertainty in our lives. And this is what Brexit has brought to the lives of millions: uncertainty! (At least according to the mass media.)
When you review the media from the last three years you will notice that the phrase “Brexit uncertainty” is one of the most popular phrases mentioned, whether they are pro or anti Brexit.
Why am I telling you about this? Is it just another rant on politics? No. It’s about business and your personal money.
It’s good to know how to calculate external circumstances you have no control over like Brexit within the context of your life, your business and your personal finance.
Today the big question is what to do about Brexit uncertainty? What can you do about something you can’t control?
Behave perhaps like stoics who choose to ignore what they have no influence over? Not really; I like stoicism a bit but it’s not my favourite life philosophy.
Before I share my favorite life and business philosophy let me start with a personal account to show you what my solution to Brexit, uncertainty, politics and wellbeing is.
Here is a short video on the same topic if you prefer:
As a Pole living in the UK, I could have a lot of reasons to be emotionally involved in Brexit. For Brexiteers I belong to the “immigration category,” and immigration has been one of the negative essential factors since the 2016 referendum.
Who can feel the famous Brexit uncertainty more than an EU citizen (from Eastern Europe) living in a time of the UK leaving the EU?
I can also add to the current “uncertainty” the Polish national sensitivity, that is a direct result of our turbulent modern history – which probably doesn’t help Polish living in Brexit Britain.
But I don’t feel any uncertainty related to the Brexit drama and I don’t perceive it as a personal issue. Seriously!
There are two reasons for me to see it like this:
The first reason is what I think about uncertainty. Certainty and uncertainty are illusions. They don’t exist until you decide what you want to bring to your life. Until you decide. You or someone who has an influence on you.
If both are illusions then which one to choose? This one which is more productive and can be a positive force in your life: certainty!
You can gain certainty through your deep, personal decisions and positive life plans. We create our lives, at least most of the time. This is the essence of my beliefs. This is who I am and this is my life philosophy.
If you want to gain certainty, you need to create certainty. Create and bring certainty into your life through your decisions, your goals and your commitment to accomplishing your plans. You cannot wait until there are changes in external circumstances. It never works.
And the second reason is the way I define politics.
For me, politicians are not what they pretend to be: a contest of values or sincere care for others; care for voters, care for us.
It happens sporadically that there are some positive values in politics through the actions of some individuals. But most of the time, in 9 out of 10 cases, politicians are ruthless; they sometimes play ruthless and sophisticated games.
If you are not a politician, never allow yourself to be involved personally and emotionally in politics. Modern politics is a high stake game and your role is to understand the rules of this game. Sometimes you too can play the game if you wish. But nothing more than playing the game!
Do you like investigating what is behind official political statements and behind headlines from the front pages of newspapers? If so, you know why did Brexit happen.
Brexit happened because of a few powerful organisations behind it, like, for instance, Cambridge Analytica – the company that used (albeit in a quite creative way) social media algorithms to shape users’ opinions on the EU and Brexit. In XXI century any mass movement must be initiated by those who have enough resources. We should not maintain this romantic vision of a few million good people who suddenly and spontaneously organize themselves in a patriotic movement to liberate their oppressed country. Of course, it’s a nice vision but it’s fundamentally false. It doesn’t happen in real life.
Of course, there have always been traditional separatist tendencies in the UK, this feeling of being a bit different (or special) from the European Continent. But they had to be organized in political action with powerful propaganda in order for Brexit to happen.
That means that the so-called average voter believes in patriotic reasons or in pure values as the main power behind Brexit. Meanwhile, it is quite the opposite: the voter’s beliefs are shaped and used by businesses and politicians to play their power games.
Brexit is also interesting because of the way ideologies work.
Ideologies create us. We think and speak and live in a specific, characteristic way without even knowing it. We think this is absolutely normal and objective. That it is as it has always been. It’s like Monsieur Jourdain, the character from a brilliant play by Moliere, “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme” who did not know he was speaking …prose!
Remainers and Leavers have also their strong ideologies. They behave like religious groups or football fans. What is really interesting is that Remainers and Leavers are not only the British themselves but also their European colleagues who have been seriously affected by Brexit.
Every Ideology has a self-serving mechanism. The mechanism works like this:
The first point: We are right.
The second two: If we are not right, then see point 1.
This mechanism is a kind of vicious circle or kind of proof of consistency, if you prefer – depending on which side you are on.
In my ideology group, whether I am a Leaver or Remainer, this pattern of thinking is proof of consistency and that I am not a chameleon who changes its views whenever it suits them.
But for the opposite group, it is evidence for my limited understanding and lack of flexibility; it simply means I am not open-minded.
When you compare The Guardian, one of the main bastion publications of the Remainers, and The Daily Express, which is one of the staunchest backers of Brexit, you might think that we live in parallel universes.
The same events are interpreted in a totally different way.
Both groups are totally polarised in their point of views.
The weaker pound might be a sign of economic problems for Remainers or, for Leavers, an opportunity to export more British goods.
Hardline negotiation positions (you see them on both sides) might be read as proof of consistency and patriotism or equally as evidence of close-mindedness.
Immigration might be the factor for economical growth for one side, or spells disaster in public finance for the other.
So what you can do about Brexit?
Simply don’t allow it to negatively affect your life and personal relationships. We can be good citizens without being involved in politics too much. Even more: a healthy distance can give us access to a bigger audience, and help us connect with more people when we don’t have so many political biases.
We can love our countries and our homes without radical political views.
Next thing is It’s better to benefit from Brexit and any other disruptive and life-changing events than to be involved for the benefit of politicians.
It is relatively easy to survive Brexit, but how can you benefit from it?
Here are three examples:
1. Decide which option is the most probable and invest your time and money in it.
Do you think the UK will leave the EU and will prosper?
If you think this is true, then invest your money in the pound and in British companies.
Do you think the UK will leave the EU and will face economic decline?
Then invest in foreign currencies like the dollar or the Euro, and find good businesses from outside the UK to invest in.
However, you can invest in both options. This is what big corporations often do – they sometimes donate to one party and, just in case, also support the opposition.
Don’t have any scruples, my friend. When you think for a moment you must come to the conclusion that in the entire world there is only one person who can properly look after you. It is YOURSELF! For most politicians, you are only a voter.
2. Check what new people’s needs are and what they would pay for in these turbulent times. Then set up a business and deliver products and services that meet these needs. This is a fantastic way to make a difference, to help others.
What businesses? Commercial representations, agencies, travel, staycation, financial services, transportation and so on.
3. Generate money from price fluctuations. They occur anyway so why not to take advantage of them? They are just prices, so why not benefit from them?
Check very carefully, avoiding the mainstream media, what are the differences in prices and how Brexit influences specific industries and businesses.
Any other ideas? Please share them below this article.
But before we finish this article let’s consider one more option to survive disruptive events like Brexit. It is having an effective financial and business education. This is the fastest path to achieve your ambitious goals regardless of your circumstances.
Imagine yourself living your dream life. Do you know what your desired life would look like? Do you know how much money you would need to make your dreams come true? Would you like to achieve your dreams, no matter how much they cost?
If so, join us for this one of a kind online personal finance course entitled “100 essential questions and answers about your personal finance and business”
The course comes with super bonuses and additional business opportunities for you. The details are here.
Someone stuck in uncertainty is passive and fearful. Action, however, cures fears and brings results!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my article! If so, please share the article and comment on it.
I am founder of The Financial Manifesto, a startup from London, where we run financial and business education projects including Carol – our personal finance management app which will be launched soon.