Perhaps you haven’t really thought about it. It’s easy to get lost in the day to day and not think about who we are and what drives our net worth.

A balance sheet is an accounting construct that captures your assets and your liabilities to give a net worth at a point in time. It easy to think of the obvious assets and liabilities. Things like: cash, house, investments, credit cards, mortgages are front of mind because we deal with these every day. Go to the store and use your credit card to buy lunch, it affects your bank account immediately. However, a balance sheet can also capture other less-obvious assets and liabilities. On the liability side, there are contingent liabilities: things that might affect your net worth that are outside of your control, like legal actions, guarantees, obligations for rent, and family and medical emergencies for which you don’t have insurance. You can make allowances for some of these by building up “rainy day” savings or having a line of credit to draw on when needed, perhaps from parents or within your family group.

On the asset side what about your intangibles: the things that you have as a person that perhaps you take for granted. I was born with this, so I don’t need to do anything to develop this asset.

Everyone needs to maintain their intangible asset and there are six simple thing you can do to help yourself:

  1. Visualise the big picture: where do I want to go and how am I going to get there
  2. Set some goals: be realistic
  3. Never stop learning: finishing formal education is the beginning of lifelong learning
  4. Networking: be targeted; develop a network that supports and empowers you
  5. Online brand: a necessity in todays business world
  6. Wellbeing: essential to withstand the business pressures of the modern day

One of the things that has really helped me is to give back into the community. Serving as a volunteer, and in my case as a Board member has given me a real sense of purpose. You should identify a cause that excites you, about which you can be passionate and engaged.

By focusing on the intangible side of your balance sheet you will find that you get back far more than you give, and your net worth increases.

The contacts from years ago become future sources of work and build your net worth.