Here in England, doing your homework or revising is also called 'Swotting'. These are the habits of the people who tend to get higher marks and possibly get better career opportunities and all the benefits which that brings. But you are probably aware that a SWOT analysis is a means of identifying strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats in any given situation. You can also use it on yourself for identifying strategies for building income, reducing losses and eliminating debt. Yes, it's a decision making tool.
You can focus on your skills, knowledge, experiences and jot down how these can hep you achieve your objective. You can also look at what areas of your lifestyle or habits are posing a threat to your objective or goal. Perhaps your current employer is holding you back from developing.
- Perhaps you are being underpaid for the work you do.
- Are there any skills you could develop (at low cost, no cost or paid for by someone else) that could help you increase your income?
- Perhaps you already have access to resources that you are not making any use of, for instance, is there access to online training through a professional organisation that you are a member of?
- If you are paying for a subscription, there may be opportunities for continuous professional development, that would help bolster your CV or job applications. Get more value from the money you spend!
Yes, if your intention is to get rid of debt, whichever strategy you choose to do it with, you will want to manage all areas so that the hard work you accomplish with your strengths, isn't eliminated due to your weaknesses or a predictable threat. You also don't want to spend all your time working on your strengths (or cash cow) only to miss out on investing time, effort or money in an opportunity or weakness (question mark or problem child) that later emerges from a rising star. This model of decision making (Rising Star, Problem Child, Cash Cow and Question Mark) is from the Boston Consulting Group Matrix business model as below.
But these are the choices you have to make. If you are uncertain about your focus, your attention will be everywhere, no decisions will be made or committed to and you will lose out on opportunity, money, time and resources. Your time and resources are expendible. The only way to appreciate if the investment of your time and money is taking you to your goal, is to put it into PRACTICE as soon as possible.
The Boston Consulting Group Matrix
Everything has a lifecycle and we can only attempt to make the most of the opportunities we have in the present, while anticipating if what we are involved in, is in the growth stages or declining stages. We can use our results or instincts as feedback and plan ahead accordingly.
For example, if something is in the growth stages, we can decide to invest more resources or time into it. If it appears to have reached it's peak, then we need to look at finding alternative ways to use that product, opportunity or skill, while developing new opportunities, product or skills.
If what we have is in a declining market - we either need to find a new market in which to promote it, which is showing signs of growth, or divest (remove our investment of time, energy or resources) and use them elsewhere.
For example, if you were investing in property, you may wish to draw out the maximum equity without it going into negative cashflow, in order to invest in a high yeilding property. Above is a diagram of how the Boston Matrix (also above) integrates with the product or business life cycle. You may also apply this to your own personal circumstances, such as your career, relationships or an asset which you use to generate income.
Be warned though, some things, skills and assets have 'evergreen' qualities or become vintage and therefore they can hold value or their value increases with time and rarity.