How many times this year have you been invited by someone to "check out a great opportunity?"
Have you ever wondered if network marketing and direct sales is for real, or if it's just a scam?
Although I have a successful and profitable business, even I have been invited to "check out," or meet with someone, about their network marketing/direct sales business at least 20 times over the last year!
So the question is: Are they just a scam or are they legit?
As a whole, network marketing and direct sales companies are an excellent, low risk way to make decent money. And in some cases, a lot of money.
Below are some pros and cons to joining forces with these companies:
- Low-cost version of a franchise - These companies usually offer a partial "done-for-you" system where they provide the product, take care of payroll, some training, and in many cases, marketing materials. This is great if you are just starting in business for the first time, or if you don't like building businesses from the ground up. All you typically have to focus on is marketing you, doing sales, and providing leadership to your team.
- Team Support - If you're on a team with strong leadership (which I highly recommend), you'll have a support structure in place where someone is financially vested in your success. They need you to succeed so they can succeed as well. As a small business owner, if I want support, I have to go find it or hire someone to offer me guidance.
- Low Risk - One great advantage to network marketing is you have a VERY LOW price of entry, usually a small monthly fee around $100 or so, to get in and you can quit at any time. If you decide the business isn't for you, then you can jump ship with little financial consequence.
- Part-time option - You can build it part time while working a job or being at home with your kids.
- Small Commitment - One of the problems of being low risk or low commitment is that many will not commit to making it successful. Many will join, but the financial risk isn't high enough to do the work necessary to make it a successful business. This is one reason why the typical network marketing/direct sales company will only see about 2.5% of their representatives making $1,000 per month or more. In a normal business, the consequences for failure are so severe, many will do their best to make it succeed no matter what.
- Lack of personal development and business training - This is the #1 reason why network marketing and direct sales companies get a bad reputation! I address this constantly when I coach networkers! Although there is some personal development training in the good companies, it's rarely enough. What I find is many top leaders who "get it" are stressed out because they struggle teaching the rest of their team how to control their scarcity emotions that cripple their businesses, manage their money, or develop the necessary marketing, sales, and leadership skills to be a successful business owner. Even normal business owners have a hard time with this, unless they get some outside training. This is usually why you've encountered someone that "turned you off" because they were awkward about their business.
- Making money selling without building a team can be very difficult - Nearly all compensation plans don't pay as well on selling retail than you would having a wholesale product that you sell for at least double your costs. As a result, you have to work a lot harder to sell only retail, and therefore, would need a team to make significant amounts of money. That's not a bad thing because that's exactly how it's sold.
- Too much "Hope-ium" - Many people get upset and leave network marketing because they don't see success as quickly as they expect. This is typically because many are told the extreme success stories where "Chuck & Ginger were able to quit their jobs, pay off all of their debt, and build a school in Africa in the first 6 months." Right? And all it takes is 3 good people to join your team, right? Wrong. I believe anything is possible, but some things aren't probable. If expectations are set that you have to work it like a real business, then you'll find more people will stick it out longer. The only people you'll turn away are those that don't want to work and you wouldn't want working with you in the first place, right?
So is network marketing and direct sales a scam? Absolutely not! The only reason it has had a less-than-stellar reputation is because people get into the business not expecting to work, or knowing, how to run a real business.
If you have work with:
- a reputable company,
- with strong leadership,
- a good product,
- solid personal & business training,
- and you're willing to do what it takes to be successful,
you can create a business as successful as any other business that you could do on your own.
With 2014 just around the corner, I wanted to give you a nice Christmas present before Christmas arrives, by giving you 14 ways to save money (free up cash) in 2014.
Here are some creative ideas that helped me pay down over $900,000 of debt in just 3 years! I hope this will help you as well so you can have a more relaxed and merry Christmas and a great start to your new year!
- Sell off assets - Find items, vehicles, and other property that you aren't using that you can sell off.
- Donate items to charity - You can donate to your local Salvation Army or other non-profit stores to write off up to $500/yr, or more, on your taxes. Use that tax saving to pay down your loan.
- Increase your tax exemptions - If you get a tax return each year, talk to your accountant about increasing your tax exemptions to take home more money every paycheck. For example, if you get a $3,000 return, you overpaid taxes by $250 a month. Instead, take that extra money home each month to pay down your loans right away.
- Start a part-time business - Not only can you earn more money, but you can use the special tax advantages available to business owners on expenses you normally pay for anyways, such as vehicle mileage, some food, and phone/utility bills.
- Get an extra part-time job - One of the best ways to pay off debts faster is to earn more money.
- Ask your boss for a raise - Talk to your boss what it would take to merit a raise. Be sure to approach this subject from a perspective of adding value to your employer.
- Stop contributing to your retirement plan - This is a strategy that usually only makes sense for the short term. Remember - you are likely to save more in interest by paying off your loans than you'll earn in fluctuating mutual funds.
- Pay extra to one loan at a time - Instead of putting extra on all of your loans, only pay extra to one loan at a time. Not only will they pay off faster, but you'll feel a greater sense of accomplishment.
- Call the lender to reduce your interest rates - Like asking for a raise, it never hurts to ask. Call your lender and ask if they are willing to lower your interest rate. If they say "No" initially, ask to speak with a supervisor.
- Negotiate on some of your bills - You may have some loans past due or bills in collection. Ask them if they will accept a smaller amount if you pay in full today. Some may even be willing to accept 35-40% of what you owe.
- Ask for a forbearance or refinance your loans - In some cases (especially student or car loans), you can ask a lender to skip up to 6-12 months of payments. By doing so, you can apply the extra savings to your higher interest loans.
- Pay off the loan with the highest payment to balance ratio - Take each loan balance and divide it by the minimum monthly payment. The one that has the lowest number should be the one you pay off first because it frees up the most money with the least money out of pocket. For example, say you have one loan at $5,000 with a $400 monthly payment, and another loan at $5,000 with a $100 monthly payment. It would be wiser to pay off the loan with the $400 per month payment because you can now apply $400 to the next loan on the list, instead of only $100.
- Increase deductibles on your insurance policies - One easy way to free up money for most is to increase your deductibles on your insurances. In some cases, this could free up $20 - $200 a month!
- Track your money each week - When you keep track of your money, you tend to keep more of your money. Look for expenses that are excessive or not productive, especially when it comes to bank fees and food costs.
What are the year-end tax tips that you NEED, or you could end up wasting & paying thousands of dollars needlessly this year?
Every year, I watch at least a few, slow-acting small business owners who wait until the last minute or the next year before they finally start saving thousands of dollars on taxes. In some of those cases, TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars!
These tips are urgent because, for some of you, it might take you at least a month or so to get everything in order with your business to get these tax deductions/advantages.
In my experience, more than 90% of small business owners are unnecessarily paying too much to taxes!
Just imagine overpaying by only $5,000 per year (for many, it's more!) would cost you $100,000 in just 20 years!!!
So here are just a few tax-saving ideas that my CPA will find with my clients (Remember, I am not an accountant. I am just giving you commonly missed tax deductions that my accountants run into):
- Not tracking mileage or travel costs - Did you know that you can write off mileage, even if you have a side job? Also, did you know that, if done legitimately, you can write off family vacations? Yes, even Disneyland can be used as a legitimate business write-off!
- Not having the right business entity - This is a big one! I just had one of my clients save $10,000 a few weeks ago because of this ONE strategy! I have another client that is a leader in a direct sales company that I believe will save at least $25,000 this year because of this one thing!
- Hiring children - No, I'm not suggesting violating child labor laws. What I am talking about here is that your children can be paid for doing various jobs, such as marketing/advertising, cleaning, and even modeling. It just has to be a reasonable wage for the work. Imagine paying your kids the same amount of money to cover their sports, hobbies, clothing, etc and it was all a write-off!
- Home office - Some of you may do something similar, but if you have the right entity and structure in place, there are ways you can write off over $10,000 per year without lowering your pay, and not get taxed on it! That could be a tax savings of $2,000 - $5,000 per year while still taking home the same amount!!!
These are just a few ideas that could work in your situation. My experience has shown me that the more money you earn, typically the more you are paying needlessly. Stop that immediately!!!
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I wanted to share something publicly that I never have before.
Many of you have heard my story of struggle, especially between September 2007 to August 2009. I want to share with you my journal entry on Sept 28, 2008 that I hope will be useful for all of us. I wrote this with the thought "What have these experiences taught me that no amount of money could have bought me. So here is what I felt inspired to write one year before my life and finances turned around....
I feel compelled to capture every lesson I have learned from my experiences of financial hardships. Once this is captured, I can more easily move forward with greater financial prosperity than ever before experienced.
- A knowledge that I have never starved, been homeless, or died.
- I could have taken a temporary, easy way out, but refused to give in.
- Grateful for what I still have
- Health to still have choices in the situation.
- Friends and family's encouragement.
- Faith to move forward despite objection of friends & family (love that one)
- Ability to determine what's important without money in the way.
- Recognizing the importance of tracking every dollar.
- Recognizing pride when blessed with money.
- Understanding what expenses are really productive.
- Seeing the importance of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Service and gratitude is key to success & financial prosperity.
- Temple service is always FREE!
- The things I desire most are not dependent on money, but money can amplify it.
- Sanctifying experience of humility.
- Power of prayer.
- Promised blessings of tithing.
- Seeing the the Lord ALWAYS gives us what we NEED to survive or continue moving forward.
- Increasing non-attachment to money.
- Temporary financial situations do not determine self-worth.
- Understanding that I cannot judge others without condemning myself.
- Focus on improving my spiritual, physical, mental, and social life.
- My persuasion of others is best when I am humble.
- Discontent + faith = Solutions (Gotta remember this one another blog!)
- Power of introspection to know who you are.
- I can be more financially free even when money is not available.
- Recognizing the importance of stewardship.
- Importance of using resources to build Kingdom of God rather than justify pride.
- Importance of using resources towards Soul Purpose.
- Don't do investments only to get money.
- The only way others can understand a situation is if they have been there.
- Grateful for a Heavenly Father that leverages people's experiences (another very good one about how one person's experience can bless others).
- Grateful for Lord's perfect timing & wisdom.
- Awareness to see more solutions.
- Increased creativity to solve problems.
- Willing to be human.
- Greater emphasis on the leveraging capabilities of each dollar.
- Greater focus on the long term
- Greater patience.
- Greater trust in the Lord.
- Value spiritual impressions.
- Greater faith and power to persevere thru adversity.
- Greater empathy for others' situations.
- Greater ability to help solve others' financial problems.
- Increased love of others.
- More optimistic, yet realistic outlook of future.
- Greater wisdom as spiritual power increases.
- More temple visits every month.
- Better communication & relationship with Lyndsie and the kids.
- Willing to listen to others more.
- Value blessings received when tried to the point of almost breaking.
- Learned value of taking action immediately.
- Learned the importance of asking questions.
- Ability to question what I think to be true.
- Greater trust in the Lord than men.
- Increased value of relationships.
- Reflecting light of Christ is more important than sales skills.
- People are more attracted to me because of my increased strength and faith - Great leader.
- Greater faith in my God-given abilities.
- Better game plan developed on how to use resources.
- Amazing lessons for those affected by my situation.
- Better listener.
- Better focus on what is productive.
- I understand myself more.
- I am willing to let others see my weaknesses and strengths.
As we can see here, these experiences molded me into the person I am today. Although it may not be a financial hardship, you might be experiencing some challenge that is testing you to your limits. For what little comfort it may be, remember that you don't usually know the end from the beginning and that this challenge you are dealing with right now could be more beneficial than it seems.
When I wrote this, I imagined that others would read or hear it and be inspired to act as if anything is possible. Today, I am making sure that that vision comes true.
What have tough experiences taught you to be thankful for?
If you received $1 Million, whether it be from an inheritance, selling a business, or even winning the lottery, what would you do with it?
I can finally check off my list, "Personally know someone who won the lottery."
One of my old friends from high school just won $1 Million from the Oregon Lottery last week. This situation caused me to consider a question I ask a lot of my clients about what they would do with a specific amount of money like this.
I ask this question because it reveals how you view money. If you want to save it, you've had savor tendencies in the past. If you want to spend it, you probably had spender tendencies. If you want to give it away, you probably feel guilty having money.
Remember this - Money doesn't make you anything you aren't already. Money is merely a magnifier of your soul.
So is there an answer of what you should do with the money?
This answer isn't as simple when it comes to strategy. For some, paying down loans, saving money, investing back in their business, buy a home, donate some to charity, or any combination of these could be acceptable answers. However, if you have ever heard me teach, you know that principles come first. Strategies come second.
The principle you should remember is this:
You should do the best you can to be a good steward of those resources so that it can create increase, whatever that might look like.
Money is meant to flow and grow, not just accumulate and stagnate!
Some people are so scared of losing it that they lock it away in fear. I do believe you should be wise and careful in how you use it. However, if you were scared with a little bit of money, wait until you get more of it. You'll end up more fearful (I've been there and done that).
Money is meant to be used, but used wisely. Ideally, the money should be used to produce more value in this world. It's okay to consume it too, but too many consume it and then wonder what good it did.
By the way, doing good with money doesn't mean you have to donate it to charities. You could use that money to help others that are also wise stewards. Could you loan the money to someone who will make a return on it so both of you benefit? Could you use that money to start a new business or non-profit where you could serve many people, rather than just yourself?
Ponder on this question this week - "What would I do with $1 Million?" Try to be creative too. Too often, I'll hear people say, "I'll pay off my debts and save the rest. Maybe we'll take a family trip." My reply to that is "Then what?"
If you don't know what to do with it now, get educated now how to be a better steward so you don't end up like a few of my other friends who lost it just as quickly as they got it because they gambled it away or gave it away.
When you start to really ponder this question, you start to learn what money really is - it's just a piece of paper that can be used to accelerate how you create value, or how you consume it.
The choice is up to you.
Many of you have heard me speak about saying "no" more often because you tend to say "yes" to too much.
This time will be different.
Now, don't let this give you permission to start saying "yes" too much again. Remember Warren Buffett's quote?
“The difference between successful people, and EXTREMELY successful people; is that extremely successful people say ‘No’ to almost everything!”
However, I have also seen people pass up on several opportunities, not because they aren't for them, but because the person is not seeing the opportunity when it presents itself.
Were any of you during your dating days, just like me, where someone really liked you, but you were oblivious to it? Did they even try to make it more obvious? In many of those cases, I had blinders on because I only had my eyes set on one or two girls. However, I would later find out that the girls who tried to drop me hints were girls I would have dated at a drop of a hat.
The same thing is true of business or financial opportunities!
How to See the RIGHT Opportunities
Here are a few helpful hints to identify the right ones:
- Know when to say "no" - Be sure you aren't saying "yes" because you don't believe in abundance of opportunities. There are ALWAYS more than enough opportunities for you. Say "no" most of the time.
- Know what you REALLY want - Most don't know what a good opportunity is because they don't know what they want. Get very clear about what you want, write it down, and make sure the opportunity will help you get there.
- Be the kind of person to make that opportunity work - Most often, it doesn't work out because you are not ready for it. Each day, do a morning routine to get yourself in a place physically, mentally, and spiritually where you not only see the opportunity, but you work productively to make it successful.
- Stay Focused - Once you pick it, stick with it! I see so many jumping from one opportunity to the next before they give it enough time to be successful. Be careful to make your decision in the beginning, and then stick with it, even when it gets tough (which it always will). Persistence pays greater dividends than giving up.
My challenged to you is to keep your eyes open to opportunities, but your eyes shut to distractions. This way, you won't overcommit, go crazy, or go broke. Instead, the right opportunities will present themselves to you at the right times.
I am often asked, "Chris, what do you think about retirement plans, like IRA's and 401k's?"
If you work for an employer, I can see why those are tempting, especially if they match you money. It won't likely do as well as you hope it would, nor is it likely to be as good as other options, but if you're wanting to not have to think about money, it is better than doing nothing.
On the other hand, if you are a small business owner, is a government controlled plan, like IRA's and 401k's, really your best option for retirement?
To answer this question, you need to see through a few myths.
1. Tax Advantages?
This one throws many people off and is usually what is a deal-breaker when I interview accountants. There are NO tax advantages to IRA's or 401k's! You have to pay taxes on these eventually. Even if you don't pay while it grows, you do pay on all of it you take out. Even worse, do you think taxes will increase or decrease in the future? Anyone who has ever turned on the news in the last two decades will likely agree that taxes are likely to increase, especially since they are at some of their lowest levels since the federal income tax was introduced 100 years ago. By the way, most accountants know this to be true but they will tell you it will save you tax because you won't pay tax on that money today. That is why it's a deal-breaker for me.
2. Government Has Good Rules
You won't hear someone say this very often, but many will say this about Roth IRA's. They'll say, "Look! You can save money or roll your other IRA monies into this Roth and not pay any taxes when you take it out!" Although that is technically true right now, they always fail to mention that the government has the right to change these tax rules, or any rule for that matter, when you take it out. Do you trust the government that much?
3. I Need a Retirement Account
Many small business owners are told to get retirement plans like these because "that's what you're supposed to do." Think about this - Do you ever hear the wealthy talk about their 401k's and IRA's (other than the politicians who never use them for themselves)? How about Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett? Of course not! The entrepreneur/investor mindset doesn't support saving money in government programs.
An entrepreneur's best retirement plan is his/her own business!
Business is one of those rare investments where you can be paid serious cash flow and then turn around and sell it for more because of the cash flow. In other words, the more profit you have, the more you can sell it for. It's possible that your company could be sold for millions...and that's after providing you a nice living! How many tens of thousands of dollars per year would you have to save into a retirement plan. Oh, and by the way, you can still save money for later while getting paid nicely from your business.
These myths exist because the financial industry doesn't want to lose your money!
I went to lunch with a financial planner who told me that he doesn't think small business owners should be investing money back into their businesses because it's "too risky." His solution was to put money in IRA's, 401k's, etc (aka: Junk he sells).
I prefer to go by Carlos Slim's philosophy (richest man in the world) when he says about investing his money in his business - "Reinvest. Reinvest. Reinvest."
So are IRA's and 401k's good investments for small business owners?
Generally speaking, I would say no. I do believe, however, there are ways to save for retirement differently than the mainstream. I just don't like saving money in places where you get a penalty for taking it out, especially if it's being used for investment purposes, such as investing into your business.
So where do you save money? Put money in liquid places where you can access it for your business.
There are many ways you can do that. Check out our scheduled events to get more details.
How important is integrity to you?
I was doing a call for my clients the other day about successful habits necessary to see life-long growth and prosperity. The final point I ended on was having integrity with yourself.
So why would I mention integrity when talking about creating wealth?
My own experience, and that of coaching hundreds of others, has taught me this important point about integrity....
The more we feel we are in integrity with ourselves, others, and our lives, the more money we make!
Have you ever had a time where you felt your life was out of balance? Where you weren't living up to your commitments? Or where you knew you were dropping the ball?
The resulting feelings of guilt will cause you to question whether you deserve blessings and prosperity and as a result, you tend to suffer and wonder why you aren't getting what you want.
Warning - No one has perfect integrity. We're on this journey together. Be patient and forgiving of yourself and others as you strive to improve on this.
At the same time, there are some out there that have a destructive belief that we should only drift through life however "the universe" wants to direct us. That will only make you "peacefully poor" while you sit in the lotus position pondering on how there is no truth.
That's like being in the middle of the ocean in a lifeboat with an oar, and refusing to use the oar because you believe you should just be at the mercy of the waves. You have the ability to take control of your own destiny, so use it!
There are natural consequences and laws at work all the time. Be sure to be patient with your integrity, but not so passive to where you have no standards.
Definitions of integrity include being sound, whole, in perfect condition. A building has perfect integrity when it's structurally sound.
In what ways can you be more whole, complete, or sound in your life?
How about your business?
With your family and other relationships?
With your health?
With who you are?
The more we are in integrity with ourselves, the more we prosper because we whole-heartedly believe that there isn't any reason for us NOT to receive the desires of our hearts. We have that quiet confidence that we WILL receive what we desire.
THAT is how integrity creates more wealth. Anything we desire becomes ours because we believe we are worthy of it.
So where can you improve with your integrity?
I have had these thoughts running through my mind for the last several months, but it's taken an event like the "government shutdown" to inspire me to write about it.
I am not a politician or a political expert. I'm only writing on things I have observed that some might see as unrelated, but I believe them to be part of the same problem.
I am frustrated with the government as much as anyone and I hold them responsible for what's happening in their stewardship. However, it isn't surprising to me that this is happening because we, as Americans, have been doing the same thing.
Politicians are only a mirror image of the people that elect them.
When I hear people say things like, "Politicians are corrupt", "Politicians are idiots", or "Politicians (on either side of the aisle) are too stubborn and need to start working together", I wonder why others don't see that THEY ARE US!
Think about it. They are elected by US! The reason they're in office is because we felt they represented our viewpoints best. And typically, politicians are elected from among ourselves. They weren't bred as a separate species of the human race. They aren't any better, or worse, than any of us.
In fact, if you believe that they are the best from among ourselves, we should be more seriously concerned about where we are headed as a society.
"It's not my fault. They are the problem."
Ever heard politicians say this before? How many times have you heard others not take responsibility and blame you for something? Have you said it yourself? Did you ever say, "I wish someone would do something about this?"
When are WE going to do something about it?
When are we going to take responsibility for our own decisions too, or will we continue to complain and moan like Jim Carrey's character in "Liar, Liar" when his car got towed and honestly admitted he wasn't going to do anything about it.
"Why can't they come to an agreement?"
If you have ever been on Facebook, you should know the answer. Look at how people respond to others' opinions on social media. (In fact, how are you responding to mine right now?) It is a rare treat to see two people disagree on a subject, but walk away either finding common ground or "agreeing to disagree."
We have become so convinced our way or opinion is the only way it can be. "I'm right and you're wrong! If you disagree with me, let me unfriend you. That'll teach ya!" I'm not saying that everyone's opinion makes sense, but if you want to be listened to, try listening to others' opinions first.
A woman disagreed with me about whether we need health insurance. We both got a little fired up in our opinions based on our experiences.
However, in the end, we both agreed that we respected each other and our opinions, and acknowledged we had different experiences that shaped our viewpoints. The end! I didn't need to call her names, try to ruin her reputation, or argue until I turned blue in the face. I didn't have to call all of my friends and tell them how stupid or ignorant she was. But how often do we see others doing that to each other? I've seen more friendships and marriages ruined because we think if we are right. Is it possible that the others' point of view could be right? Do we really think we are the authority on every subject known to man?
The only way we can be right is to admit that we are often wrong! (My wife reminds me of this constantly)
By the way, if we call politicians dumb, and they are supposed to be the most qualified and smartest people to make these decisions for us, what are we saying about our intelligence?
Let me sum up the last several decades of politics in a few sentences...
We elect politicians and insist that everyone else is wrong.
Those politicians fail us.
We blame them and don't acknowledge our responsibility for putting them there.
We elect someone new hoping to get a different result.
How has that worked so far?
My proposed solution (that's only an opinion):
- Work on our own attitudes and morals by becoming the type of person we want to elect
- Encourage others, especially those in our families to take responsibility for our actions, stick to morals of love, integrity, and honesty, listen respectfully to others' opinions (especially when they differ from our own), and look for common ground.
- Take the time to elect individuals we feel exemplify those values, and even consider running for office ourselves. I would LOVE to vote for someone that follows these first two points!
This is only my opinion and subject to debate. I welcome it and respect you for having a different opinion. Who knows? I might even agree with you!
Have you ever seen times in your business where, even though you’ve been profitable, you feel like you should have been better off or more profitable?
Do you ever feel like you work too many long hours for the profits you see come home?
Having shown hundreds of entrepreneurs, especially chiropractors and dentists, how to find, on average, an extra $34,000 per year, I’ve noticed that it’s not how much you make.
It’s how much you keep… and then make!
I learned this firsthand as I was working with the financial education firm, Freedom FastTrack, back in 2007. I had come out of retirement to help start that company, and we were in our first year of business. Start-up expenses were high and I had given up some residual streams of income to be there. I noticed that I was depleting savings and beginning to run up loan balances. I finally had the courage to look deeper into my numbers May of that year, and what I found both shocked and frightened me all at the same time.
Between my business and personal expenses, I was short by $16,000 each month!!!
I knew at that moment that changes had to happen quickly or I’ll be sunk.
However, sometimes the worst experiences provide the best lessons, don’t they?
Although it wasn’t pretty, I got creative in finding ways to make my expenses as productive as possible, while looking for ways to increase my income. By 2009, I was well in positive cash flow territory, and over the following few years, I was able to pay off over $900,000 of debt.
There is a law that I refer to as the “Law of Atrophy/Decay.” Whatever you ignore will eventually atrophy, decay, and disappear. If you ignore your health, it will leave you. If you ignore your family, they’ll leave you. And if you ignore your money, it will leave you too!
I’ve seen this time and time again with many entrepreneurs. Common money leaks include:
- Not tracking money closely enough, allowing money to slip through their fingers
- Losing money in overpaid taxes (even though they all have qualified CPA’s)
- Not tracking productivity of your team/employees (huge costs in customer conversion and unnecessary overtime wages)
- Not valuing your services enough where you could be generating more revenue
- And many others.
And this doesn’t even include ways you’re leaking money at home!
In the last year, I worked with two dentists that freed up anywhere between $10,000 - $15,000 per month, just in their practice, by “trimming the fat” and looking for ways to make their expenses more productive, and that doesn’t include the thousands per month we found at home too!
Whether you're a dentist, chiropractor, coach/mentor, etc, you are leaking money, whether you know it or not. However, when we're trained how to find those leaks that most do not, then it's possible to keep the money we have and make a lot more too. At that point, you'll begin to feel like you're being paid more in your business and at home!
My call to action to you is this:
Weekly track your money by reviewing your Quickbooks accounts. If you have a bookkeeper, have them send you a weekly report so you only have to spend a few minutes getting a pulse on your business. It will amaze you what you’ll begin to find and it’s easier than you might think!
Just imagine how much more freedom and peace of mind you can have just by controlling this one little area!
Remember, it’s not how much you make. It’s how much you keep, and then make on top of that!
As I sat in the immaculate, Xango headquarters, in Utah, awaiting my meeting with two of their founders, I didn't realize how much that half-hour meeting would change me for the rest of my life.
At the beginning of 2009, I was the "Financial Advocate" for a company called Freedom FastTrack. I was just starting to gain confidence in my message and my own abilities as a coach, even though my financial life was a mess. Through some fortunate connections in network marketing, I was able to set up a meeting with Joe Morton, one of the founders of the nutraceutical company, Xango.
As I walked in to their plush office that looked like they bought out IKEA, I started to get nervous as I informed the front desk receptionist that I had arrived. After she had me sit down in the waiting area, I realized that my heart started pounding harder, my palms started sweating, and my mind starting asking things like, "What are you doing here? Who do you think you are?"
Feelings of inadequacy quickly surfaced. These guys just past the $1 billion mark and I was in the midst of my own personal financial crisis. Our business at Freedom FastTrack was barely surviving. I hardly even took home any pay because it was often wrapped up covering expenses in the company.
"So why would they even want to meet with someone like me? Who am I to be here?"
Almost instantaneously in that same moment those thoughts occured, I felt a firm, yet soft voice enter penetrate my down-trodden heart and say,
"You know who you are! You're their brother. Now go and exchange value with them!"
At that moment, my heart started calming down, my palms stopped being slimy, and I began to breathe. Right then, the front desk receptionist told me they were ready for me.
I traveled up 3 floors, was escorted to a conference room, and sat waiting. As the door opened, not only did Joe walk in, but his brother, Gordon, did as well. I confidently stood up, walked over, and shook each of their hands (with a much drier hand, I might add).
Not only did we talk for the assigned half an hour, but it went another 20 minutes longer. We had fun talking about sports, our favorite TV show at the time "The Office", and the importance of personal development.
I didn't walk out that day with a huge contract to educate their entire network marketing organization, but I did walk out with something much greater - a increased amount of self-worth and confidence.
What a gift that has been!!!
Although my feelings of inadequacy come up from time to time with regards to my business, I still know that I have a lot of value to offer those that I encounter each day.
Here are 3 simple keys to having more confidence (not arrogance) in your business:
- CLARITY - You need to know the direction you are going. You don't necessarily have to know how to get there. But you do need to be clear and know what you want. Clarity creates confidence.
- PURPOSE - I know you've heard how important it is to know you're "why." It's still true. Your purpose drives you beyond the problems that inevitably arise. Having a deeply rooted purpose will anchor you during the roughest storms.
- UNIQUENESS - Know that you are one of a kind. In fact, no one else on this planet can bless people's lives quite like you do. Get very clear about how you go about creating value for others with your gifts, passions, character, experiences, education, values, and roles that you play in life.
When you have a clear vision, know your purpose, and have an understanding of your uniqueness, you will stop asking, "Who am I?"
Instead, you'll begin asking, "How can I best serve my brothers and sisters." Then, and only then, will you have sufficient confidence in your business to leave your unique footprint on this planet and fully enrich the lives of others, including your own!