I came across recently a story about the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. When it was completed in 1937 it was the longest single span in the world. Costing over $27 million dollars it stretched over 4200 feet and its deck over 220 feet above the water.
Half way through its construction a safety net was installed below its deck to keep the construction workers from plunging to their death in the frigid San Francisco Bay waters. At a cost of $130,000 (a huge number in 1937), the net became a morale booster for the workers. The net gave them confidence and they were able to work faster with out the fear of falling to their death. The knowledge that they were safe even if they should slip and fall allowed the men to devote their attention at the task at hand completing the bridge faster than if the net was not installed.
19 men fell into the net (they lived) and went on to form the Half way to Hell Club after the construction was completed.
Chances are your work is not as hazardous requiring a safety net. But we face a different kind of hazard: running out of money. I am not referring to running out of retirement dollars, but, for most of you reading this, a more pressing concern of running out of money during the month for whatever reason. It could be:
- Kids school tuition is due
- Unable to work due to a sickness
- Your insurance premiums went up
- Need to travel for a family emergency
- Your transmission goes out
- Your taxes are due
- _______________ (fill in the blank)
Having money set aside for the unexpected will give you confidence to devote your energy to your work, your family, or any other pursuit you deem worthy without the stress or fear of what lays ahead. Shedding the stress and fear can lead to increased creativity and more opportunity in your professional life.
Having an emergency fund is your financial “safety net”.