blog barnacle

2020 - a barnacle and a blessing

Near the turnaround point on a long sunrise walk to kick off a new year, a new decade, I found these treasures. They sit on the corner of my desk and are a daily, visual reminder of serendipity in action.

Walking along the beach that brisk early morning, I spotted a large, intact barnacle, just sitting there, looking up at me, begging to be picked up and inspected closer. As I stooped down to pick up the barnacle, inches away, my eyes caught the glimmer of...what IS that? And what is it doing here?? The serendipity of the situation was not lost on me and I paused to revel in the moment. I was reaching down to examine a barnacle, the bane of a boat owners’ existence. They are so tough in their resolution to stay where they want, despite treatments and incessant scraping. This large, fragile, barnacle shell was a reminder of survival and grit. I was so curious about it. In contrast, the other treasure, laying inches away, was a work of art, a reminder of someone’s Panamanian vacation. Why was it here, on the beach in Aptos this morning??

I put them both in my pocket and placed them on my desk the next workday where they’ve lived all year, kitty corner to my favorite Serendipity definition “Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.” They make me smile, and contemplate, and giggle, “I was reaching for a barnacle, and I found This!” As in, “Don’t underestimate what’s available.”

As I look back on the circus that 2020 revealed itself to be, I find much deeper meaning in these silly sea treasures. For the most part, 2020 was a barnacle. But the blessings...the blessings are the treasure.

It would have been so easy to get caught up in and dwell on the hard and the frustrating events of 2020, and there were PLENTY! The vacation treasure represents all the beauty and positivity that was woven into this year. It would be very easy to miss, especially if you’re focused on the barnacle.

Not every new business deals with a Pandemic during their first year in operation. As rough and scary as it sounds, I have a solid 20-year career behind me to back it up, a viable business plan and a vision. It was actually incredible in a foundation-building sort of way. It was actually a big fat blessing.

My plan to add more joy to my practice and establish my boutique business, working with people I enjoy, turned out to be genius!

In March, fresh into my new business, as Coronavirus took hold and the market plummeted, I reached out to all my clients to check in. Incredibly, they were equally concerned about me and my family’s wellbeing as I was about them. Gone were the angsty clients who already had a hard time taking my advice for whatever reason. How refreshing! My smaller book of business also allowed me to take measures to help position and preserve client accounts as necessary and fine tune their financial plans, including examining market risk.

In March, I also hired a marketing agency to help me deliver my brand to the right people, in the right manner. It was an extensive and intense undertaking. That project should wrap up in February 2021 with the launch of our new website. Right on time.

As distracting as it was, I was also simultaneously studying for the Series 9/10, a 2-part licensing exam that will advance my business plans. I passed the S10 and, just before we went back into lockdown again, I committed to powering through the S9. By the time my new website launches in February, I’ll have my exams out of the way. I’m not wasting a minute of this pause.

It would be easy to think of 2020 as a barnacle, but all of the blessings make that impossible for me.

How about you? Was 2020 a barnacle or a blessing?

Any opinions are those of Serendipity® Securities and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.