Many moons ago, back in the early 1990’s, I was a financial advisor.
I loved the job. Sure, the hours were long and unsociable but I didn’t care – I was passionate about the contribution I was making to people’s lives.
For me back then, there were few jobs more important, or more fulfilling, than helping people protect their families in the present and plan for financial certainty in the future.
I’m still of the same opinion. And in many ways I’m still doing the same work. The only thing that’s changed is how I go about it.
Now unless you suffer from a serious impediment in your ability to think inductively, financial certainty – both now and in the future – will have a very high priority in your life. So here’s a question for you: where is and where will, the all-important financial certainty in your life be coming from?
Here’s what I can categorically guarantee: it won’t come from the government, it won’t come from retirement funds and it won’t come from the well-intentioned investments you’ve made in stocks, bonds and mutual funds through a financial advisor.
Now I fully appreciate I’m ignorant to your financial portfolio and, unless I work with you at some level, your personal background and circumstance. But unless you’re both educated and experienced in the investment vehicles used by the financial free to build personal wealth, one of which is to “play” the stock markets to your advantage, it’s very likely, in good faith, you’ve handed any surplus cash over to a financial advisor who put it into the hands of fund managers and truth be told, from there onwards it’s a matter of “hoping” it’ll turn out okay, right?
I can’t speak for you, but “hope” by my reckoning doesn’t equate to an intelligent way of ensuring financial certainty in life. So why then do we do it? And I use the word “we” deliberately because it wasn’t so long ago I found myself doing exactly what I’ve just described.
Here’s why we do it. You and I were raised and programmed – very successfully – by parents, authority figures and society at large – to follow a very specific financial roadmap, a well-trodden path.
We’ll call it “The Plan”, and it goes like this:
1) Get an income-generating occupation in order to…
2) Earn a salary or dividends to…
3) Save money in order to…
4) Pay off debts and…
5) Buy homes and…
6) Invest in stocks, bonds and retirement funds
Now, again, I’m not qualified to comment on the state of your financial education but I do know if you went through the same schooling system as I did, the curriculum didn’t include how to manage OR how to leverage money in your life.
And I’ll wager you too were programmed to see your primary goal as getting the best qualifications possible to secure jobs that pay well so you can earn a “living”, put a little money aside in savings each month for a “rainy day”, get a mortgage to buy a house and save for your retirement.
Ring any bells?
And maybe, even though you run your own business these days, you’re still, to a large degree, following “The Plan”.
Here’s the problem with “The Plan” – it drives money out of your life not into it.
“The Plan” is built on a model where the bulk of your money is spent paying off bills (otherwise known as liabilities) while any surplus cash gets parked in saving and investment vehicles of which you have little or no control over.
Whichever way you look at it, money is flowing out of your life not into it.
“The Plan” has YOU working for money rather than your money working for you. And it’s built on increasing liabilities in your life rather than increasing assets.
Now consider this: if all you’d done to deviate from “The Plan” is to stop working for someone else and start working for yourself and in every other sense you’re still following “The Plan”, you’ve only increased your liabilities.
Consequently, you’ll earn the least money and pay the most tax.
No one can afford to follow “The Plan” and yet millions are, including the vast majority of business owners who know no better.
So what’s the solution? How, as a business owner, do you immediately turn liability into asset?
The answer is simple. You invest in your business. You feed the only vehicle in your life capable of bringing you financial certainty.
And what do you “feed” a business with? The most important “nutrient” it needs to survive: customers – the kind that values who you are, what you do, the value you bring to them and are happy to pay the price you demand as a consequence.
And how do you find those?
By marketing. Effective, profitable, marketing.
The most important investment you’ll ever make in your career as a business owner – aside your own self-improvement – is by first educating yourself on how to market your business profitably and then putting what you’ve learned to work in your business.
The bottom line is, you can’t afford not to be educated in the only form of marketing that works for small business owners. And the longer you remain ignorant to it, or willfully resist becoming educated in this crucial area of entrepreneurial life, you’re not only severely restricting the financial certainty in your life today, it’ll be that way forever – because the longer you leave it, the less time you’ll have to make it happen for you.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here