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Guest opinion: Start saving now


By Kate Banasiak | President and CEO, Diversified Management Services

Twelve weeks ago I was lucky enough to have an acquaintance from a board I’m on approach me and give me some advice that stopped me in my tracks, making me rethink my approach.

This board member told me he saw me doing lots of great things for my company and the community. Before I could thank him, he interrupted me and said, “I am highly concerned that I don’t see you taking the time to deposit good for yourself and someday you will wake up with nothing in your savings for what you want and need for your future.”

I had to stop my jaw from dropping to the floor because he was so spot on. I had been running on fumes for a while. While I was working hard on making change in so many areas for my clients, my business, my employees and my volunteer opportunities, I was not being strategic about advocating for what I needed.

He pushed me to start rethinking my logic — that I always had to advocate for everyone else first. I need to instead start asking myself, “Am I leaving space to deposit good back to myself and my family?” If I can’t solidly answer YES, then I need to reassess.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I work as both a volunteer and a consultant for nonprofits where we advocate for the greater good every single day, but that does not mean there isn’t space in the equation for what I need.

So how on earth do you start investing in yourself when the world seems upside down? Start your day by looking at what you have scheduled or what you’re working on, and see where you are depositing good back to yourself. When I started doing this, I had to write it down so I wouldn’t cheat myself. It won’t take long for you to see what is not working. Once you’ve identified the problem areas, you can start making a plan for how to adjust your approach for forward movement.

While it can feel uncomfortable in the beginning, over time you will feel empowered as you start to see your “savings” build up.

Kate Banasiak is president and CEO of Diversified Management Services. She graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in business management. She is the past president of Lead Like a Lady and volunteers for several other civic organizations. Banasiak is a 2012 graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and a 2014 graduate of Goldman Sachs 10KSB Small Business, and has also been recognized in the Business Record’s Forty Under 40 for 2013.

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