Ignite

February March 2020

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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Rita Plaskett, president of Agendum Inc., a Toronto event planning firm, says of event entrepreneurs, "I think there are a lot of people who just decide to do this but they don't think of the 'what ifs.' And the 'what ifs' will hopefully never happen but if they do, you need to protect yourself." Plaskett calls financial planning the "job on top of a job." While financial planning can be daunting and it doesn't get your day job done, being proactive is crucial. We asked Plaskett, a veteran third-party event planner, and two Toronto-area financial planners for advice on meeting the financial challenges of self-employment. As an event professional, by definition you spend a lot of time meeting other peoples' needs. But let's turn the focus around for a minute. Reframe your perceptions: Chris Enns is both a professional opera singer and a financial planner serving self- employed creatives through his business, Rags to Reasonable. He sees financial stability as possible but says for entrepreneurs it isn't "tied to a big corporation that you're pretty sure is going to pay your paycheque every Thursday for the next 40 years. We can't make that kind of stability but we can get a lot closer." Are you protected in case of an emergency? Saving for retirement? Ready for tax season? In other words, have you been applying your well-honed planning skills to your own financial health? Improve your financial skills: Even if budgets, tax forms and RSPs aren't your jam, there's hope. Financial planners liken financial literacy to exercise—it hurts, it takes time, but you'll get stronger. Know where you stand: Want to sleep at night? Working out the numbers can help you build real stability. "Start out with the right processes, because if you don't and get behind, for some people it could be almost impossible to get caught up," says Plaskett. Define YOUR success: Too many people omit this, but Enns says thinking about how you define success is important. "It's really easy to take the financial checklist, where you're supposed to be at age 30, 40, 50, 60 and just say 'Oh that's success.'" He recommends questions like "What is my money for? What am I trying to do?" before you stuff money into financial vehicles. How do you define success? 32 | Ignitemag.ca | February | March 2020

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