What's the one thing your clients or customers will NEVER tell you? The answer is:
"You should increase your prices."
The only time I ever hear this is when I hire a business consultant who looks at my business and says, "You're still underpriced." Ever heard or thought that before?
One big money leak I often find with entrepreneurs is that they don't value their services or products enough, and therefore, keep their prices low. People won't tell you because they know they're getting a good deal.
How do we know you are priced too low?
Because they keep buying your stuff! People only spend money if they believe what they are buying is more valuable than the money in their pockets. If you're rarely getting "no's", then you are REALLY underpriced! At least 20% of people SHOULD say "no" to you if you're priced correctly.
In my experience, I rarely every find an entrepreneur who isn't underpriced.
Because we love what we do, regardless of the money. It's crazy people pay us as well as they do for doing what we love! And that's EXACTLY the way it should be!
You may be afraid of being overpriced and "ripping people off" compared to what they pay you. You may wonder if you'll lose business.
These are good questions to consider. Let's consider these:
Am I Ripping People Off?
Here's a good way to know the answer to this - If they pay for your service or product, the answer is "no." Remember, they'll only pay if they believe you're services are worth LESS than what they pay.
If you do this with the intent to deceive or over-promise, then you'll see the evidence in the form of refunds and complaints, and you don't deserve to be in business.
Will I Lose Business?
This is always a possibility, especially if you might be in the wrong market. Find the market that values you the way you deserve. Even if you can help anyone, you shouldn't be focusing on everyone. Work with those that want to work with you. Offer products and services that people will be grateful for.
Whenever I have changed my market, I have lost business temporarily. However, the new market has often been more profitable and easier to work with. This is why I focus on entrepreneurs (not "wantrapreneurs" who love the idea of a business, but don't really have one) or 9-5 employees. What I have helps everyone, but I only focus on entrepreneurs that are success-minded, want to grow, and are ready to go from good to better financially. I'm okay letting other competitors serve "wantrapreneurs" and employees because I know where I produce the best results and happiest clients.
So should you raise your prices?
Most likely. Try it out. Watch what will happen. As I've valued myself and my services more, others do as well. The things I've told myself in my own mind about my value has caused more lost opportunity costs and leaks than anything in my budget.
So how much do you think you are worth?
Do you have those occasional moments, just like me, when something in your future doesn't look as bright as it did the day before? Where you get into a little "funk?"
I've noticed that there are days or moments when I slip into fear and scarcity for no reason other than that's the way I feel in the moment. I've noticed my clients doing the same things. They can have some of the most amazing financial circumstances going their way, but when something unexpected comes up, it throws them off.
I can completely relate to you as well.
My company had a record breaking month in my business in August, which is usually one of my worst months, and September is looking to beat that. However, I still find myself worried from time to time, thinking, "What if it's not enough? There's so much to do - how can I get it all done? What if I start coaching someone that drives me nuts?" and so on.
The secret to easily get out of scarcity?
I learned this one morning while I was out jogging in my old neighborhood during my hardest financial challenges where I was digging out of a million dollar hole. I remember telling myself before that that things couldn't get worse.
So I started changing my words to say, "It can always get worse. I'm grateful it's not."
Once I did that, things started changing for me. I became more open to looking at the glass 1/10 full (yes, some days felt like that). I even wrote in my journal an entry titled, "The Blessings of Being Broke" where I wrote down all of the things I received or learned from those experiences that no amount of money could have bought me.
I didn't have some miraculous turn around overnight, but things did begin to make a turn for the better. Within about one year, I was starting to have more cash flow than I had ever experienced in my lifetime. It required a lot of patience, self-discipline, and effort, but it was worth the wait.
Once again, the easy way to get out of scarcity?
Once you recognize that you are getting in a bad mood, you feel a lot of fear, or you just feel a little down, start appreciating what you have right now, and then, start seeing how bright your future can become.
Key Point - When you start to see things differently in your mind, you will begin to see those things with your eyes.
What are some other ways you get yourself out of scarcity?
What would you guess is the one thing where EVERYONE falls short with their money?
Even worse, they don't even know it!
It's not taxes (although that is true about 90% of the time)
It's not cash flow, although that is usually the case too.
The answer - Protecting your money!
This is the one place I can count on that every one of my clients have needed to improve, BUT will fight against it the most because they don't want to "invest" in protecting them and their money.
Most of us want to make more money, but few realize that it's more important to be a good steward and KEEP IT!
I have yet to meet anyone, including people that teach these things, that are fully protected from life's unexpected turns.
If you want to win the "financial game of life," you have to have a solid defense for your offense to work.
Or in other words, you can't win the money game if you don't keep what you have...and then make money on top of it. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY FINANCIAL FREEDOM CAN BE POSSIBLE!
Below are some questions to ask yourself, and answer these honestly:
- If I were to lose my income today, how long could I last on the money and assets that I have in place?
- If I were to become badly sick, hurt, disabled, or have memory issues, how would I take care of my family?
- What would happen to my family if I were to die today?
- If my spouse and I passed away, would the court system take it all in probate (Yes, this happens even when you have a will)?
- If I were to get sued, would I be alright? Am I sure about that?
- Am I using my corporation appropriately to separate my personal assets from my business assets?
- If the stock market or real estate market tanks, will that change my plans?
Feeling depressed or upset yet? GOOD! ;)
Notice these are a lot of "what if" questions. We can never be financially free if we can't answer these questions confidently.
NOTE: If you believe the Law of Attraction will save you because you ignorantly turn off your brain to this, you don't understand the Law of Attraction. You can't ignore something from ever happening, In fact, you'll only attract it more!
If you are a rancher who wants lots of cattle, and you have the land to do so, what do you need to build to ensure you can start building your cattle empire?
A fence, right?
What if you didn't build a fence? How much cattle would you keep?
What happens if you don't "build a fence" for YOU (first and foremost) and also your money?
This is why smart business owners and investors "invest" into having a strong defense to back up their growing offense.
Go to our homepage to get our free money tips each week that will increase your confidence with your money, and teach you simple ways to find more, keep more, and make more money!
I get asked constantly,
"Chris, you talk a lot about how investing in 401k's and IRA's can be bad. So where should I be investing?"
The answer is pretty simple:
Wherever you are very knowledgeable and passionate!
Most people lack the discipline to to take the time to really master any investment. Most hope for something to be served up on a silver platter. This is why many just throw away money into things like 401k's, IRA's, annuities, certain types of life insurance, or anything else that a salesperson (aka financial advisor) asks you to put money into. We're just taught to trust in experts, and forget that you can create your own investments.
There are 4 general areas where you can invest:
- Real Estate
- Paper Assets (stocks, options, mutual funds, derivatives, etc.)
- Commondities (Gold, silver, oil, corn, etc.)
Ask yourself, "Which ones do I have the most knowledge about, or want to know more about?"
For many of you, it may be your own business. Yes, your business can be your investment. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. I'm grateful to one of my family members who owned a business for several years and taught me that no financial advisor can beat the returns of a true entrepreneur.
If what you're doing is already working, why would you want to take time away from that? Invest in what you have a lot of knowledge about.
If money were no longer an issue in your life, would you still do that investment? If the answer is "no," then I can promise you one thing:
You will lose money in that investment, and it will feel more like a job to you. And when it feels like a job, financial freedom is not possible!
I asked most of my 200 students that I trained to trade stocks & options, "Beyond the money, why are you doing this?"
Their response was, "Nothing. I'm doing this so I don't have to work anymore." or "So I can make money in my pajamas."
Ironically, the ones that gave me this answer didn't make much money, if at all, after we were done coaching them.
However, those that said, "I'm doing this because it just seems like a lot of fun," have continued to make money to this day.
Successful investors do it because they love it, not because they only want to make money.
So what would you want to invest in, even if you didn't need the money?
So what's the right investment for you? Anything that you have a deep knowledge and passion for.
If you ever ask me, "Chris, do you think this is a good investment for me?" my answer will be "NO! Because if you have to ask me, then it isn't."
If it's a good investment for you, you will know it!
Please comment below which of the 4 areas you believe are the best investments for YOU.
Some of you might be thinking, "Chris, can debt really be used wisely? Shouldn't it be avoided?"
On the other hand, others of you might think, "I love using debt!" However, you might be struggling paycheck to paycheck as well.
So how can debt be used wisely where it doesn't affect your peace of mind?
Whenever people hear me speak on this subject, it's pretty easy for them to accept, even though it's not popular.
It's not about debt being good or bad. It's about whether you are a good or bad steward.
A great way to illustrate this (regardless of your religious beliefs) is the Parable of the Talents from the Bible.
In this story, there are 3 servants given from their master a certain amount of money, called talents, and commanded to make more with the money he provides. The 1st is given five, the 2nd is given two, and the 3rd is given one.
Notice that it's not their money. They are indebted to this master.
After a certain period of time, they are asked to return the money and anything they have made. The 1st servant with five talents made 5 more. The master rewards him with his stewardship of his kingdom because he was wise with the little he was given.
The 2nd servant with two talents made 2 more and was rewarded exactly the same.
However, the 3rd servant was afraid of losing his one talent, buried it, and then gave it back to the master. The master was angry and cast him out of his house because he didn't follow his commandment to be a wise steward of that money.
To make this story more interesting, it would have been neat to add a 4th servant who's given three and returns with nothing. Just kidding.
The moral of the story is this - Wise stewards make more with what they're given. Unwise stewards do not.
Therefore, debt only works if we are wise stewards where you know you can make more with it. For example, if you get a $10,000 loan for your business that costs you $100 per month, but you can make $1,000 per month immediately as a result of that money. Wouldn't that be a wise use of debt?
Unfortunately, those that are Consumers (unwise stewards) only use debt that takes money away and doesn't give back. Some of those even gamble it away in speculative ventures or "investments" and lose it all. That is bad stewardship.
Wise stewards (Creators) looks for ways to take as little risk as possible with their debt, and then find ways where it can be paid back quickly.
Note - You can be an unwise steward for trying to pay back debt TOO quickly without considering unexpected curves that life can throw at you.
I've experienced both personally. I've used debt to make more money than it cost me, and I've also used debt where bit me in the rear, including paying it down too quickly and not having enough savings as a result. The risk wasn't the debt....It was me!
So the next time you consider getting a loan, ask yourself:
"Am I being a wise steward of this loan where I know I am getting the return I need, or will this hurt me more than help me?"
How has debt hurt or helped you?
How many times have we heard....
"Just think big and your dreams will come true?"
When I hear people say that, INSTEAD I think of Pedro from the movie "Napoleon Dynamite," when he says....
"Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true."
Both statements in my mind are just hot air. What does that really mean when they say to "think big?" Thinking, in and of itself, is useless. There's a reason why the "Thinking Man" statue hasn't moved. Thinking alone doesn't change your life!
Instead, I prefer to say this....
"Dream big. Think small."
What do I mean?
I believe it's necessary to dream big. You have to challenge yourself, question the status quo, and find ways to progress, even if it seems unreal in the present. The "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King was inspiring and helped propel a revolution. It wasn't a current reality, but that vision was necessary to move us forward as a society.
As it says in The Bible - Proverbs 29 verse 18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
This is where many visionaries and entrepreneurs fail. They believe they can just "Dream Big" and somehow the world will give them what they want. However, they quickly realize that no one will just hand them prosperity on a silver platter.
Once you have a big dream (or vision), then start working on your first steps. The money is in the details so be sure to not avoid them. This is where you go from being a "dreamer" to a "doer." Doers get paid. Dreamers get nothing but more unfulfilled dreams.
My Own Example
I remember a phase that I went through where I just had big dreams as a financial advisor. I talked a good game, but I was still broke. By the way, it's not bad if you are broke for a short period of time if you are doing productive things. Sometimes it does take time to see the fruit of your labors.
However, I wasn't being productive. I was just being busy. Lots of activity, but little results to show for it.
Everything began to turn around when I focused only on being productive and cutting out wasted time and energy. For example, I started focusing on serving people, not doing business. I valued my time more and had people come see me rather than the other way around. I also focused on getting work done early so I could see my family. All of that led me to focus on the small details that produced the biggest results. Things began turning around, I left that financial advising industry to stay in integrity, and then made a lot more money in my own business.
So before you just go out there and "think big," focus more on having a big vision for what you want, and then focus on the details (first steps) to getting there.
You don't need to know all of the details. You only need to know where you are, where you're going, and what the next step is.
One of the biggest money leaks I see in my clients is they are so focused on the expenses, they forget about making money.
As you'll here me say time and time again, dollars follow the value you create for others. You need to be a creator, not a consumer, if you want to make more money.
Below are 5 easy ideas to earn more money fast!
- Get another job - You've probably thought about this one and cringed. I'm starting with the easier answers for a reason. I've told several of my clients that it is probably a good idea to just get another job. Trading time for money isn't ideal, but it's better than doing nothing, especially if you are having a hard time getting your business off the ground. When I first started out in business, I recognized that I made more money in my business when I wasn't worrying about money.
- Ask for more - If you work for an employer, ask them, "What can I do for you and the company that would earn me a raise?" Get the answer and hold them to it. If they are elusive, keep asking what else you could be doing that they would value more. If you are in business, look at increasing your prices without increasing your time involvement. I've had many of my small business clients raise their prices, especially if it's been awhile. If the person who comes in every week to simply clock in and clock out can get a raise every year, why shouldn't you?
- Build a business - This one can take some time depending on the business. However, if you have a hobby or the ability to consult others, you might have a simple business that can start paying you quickly. You can set your own hours and pay. What's better than that? If you don't know how to start one, team up with a company that does direct sales or network marketing. They take care of many of the business aspects for you and often have great training to improve your business skills.
- Become an affiliate - If you have a gift for referring people to other businesses, put that talent to use and see if there is a referral fee or marketing kickback. This method allowed me to retire when I was 28 because I was able to connect potential customers/clients with quality business owners. Everyone would win, including me.
- Become an investor/partner - This one is a bit more sophisticated, but can also be rewarding. Could you put your money, credit, and/or knowledge to good use and earn money? Would you be a great consultant inside someone else's business where they would offer profit sharing or even a partnership? Remember! You don't have to build a business, but you still need to provide value in some way where the compensation is reasonable for your abilities and skills.
The simple truth is this - There is never a reason to say that you can't make more money. I just listed 5 easy and powerful ideas to earning more money. If you find yourself making excuses, then your biggest money leak is happening between your two ears.
What are some other easy ideas you have used to earn more money?
Have you wondered if now is a good time to invest in real estate?
Are things starting to pick up in your area?
Many of you know that I didn't have the best experience with real estate. Part of the money I had to pay back was because some of my real estate went sour.
So is it a good investment?
The better question to ask is "Am I the right investor for real estate?"
For excellent real estate investors, it's almost always the right time to invest in real estate. They find ways to make it work in virtually any kind of market.
The problem is many people want to gamble in real estate only because they want "Mailbox Money." I can attest that how most people define "passive income" (money comes in without any work) is bogus. Real investors know that it takes focus, work, and passion to make it work.
Gamblers only make money when the markets go the right way. Unfortunately, by the time they realize it's the right time to buy real estate, the markets don't go up very long and then they lose money. They'll talk about the one good deal they did, but fail to mention the majority of deals that they screwed up.
By the way, gamblers flip properties. They lose money because it only works in up-trending markets. Real investors buy real estate to produce long-lasting cash flow.
The choice is yours - Do you want to be a gambler or an investor?
So is now the right time to invest?
Ask that question up above "Am I the right investor for real estate?"
Also ask, "Would I invest in this if money weren't an issue for me right now?" And ask, "Do I know what I'm doing?"
There are always good real estate deals to be found somewhere. There is an abundance of opportunity, but there's not an abundance of real investors that can find them.
If you do have that passion, find a way to learn more. One investor, Ron Phillips, owner and creator of the Wealth Accelerator System, is having a free dinner for those of you in Utah. If you want to learn more, just like I do, you can register online to claim your seat.
So to sum up, investors make real estate investing the right time because they are the right investors. Gamblers are only lucky to find the right time, and even then, it's fleeting.
Be sure to have a passion for real estate investing, regardless of the money, and get well educated by those that are doing it right.
Although I've been talking about this for 6 or 7 years, I'm making a bold prediction that most in the media ignore because it's NOT comforting for the average person. In fact, it's down right frightening!
(Don't despair too much. Unlike some of those conspiracy theorists out there with no answers, I do have a solution to this)
PREDICTION - Within the next 5 years, it will be common knowledge that faith in retirement plans will be drastically lessened and people will start panicking because the Baby Boomers will still need to work due to small retirement funds. And if you thought 2008 was bad, just wait!!!
Right now, I find a lot of Baby Boomers (and Gen X'ers, like me) ignoring the writing on the wall. In fact, just last night, I had a 60-year old tell me that between social security and his $70,000 of retirement savings (that hasn't been taxed yet) should be okay. I called "bull!"
- Have you noticed prices doubling at your grocery store?
- Have you noticed taxes going up?
- Have you noticed there are a lot of Boomers hoping someone will bail them out?
- Did you know that if we went off of unemployment calculations from the Carter era, we'd be at 23.4% unemployment?
- Do you realize that government policies are destroying company profits which will, in turn, destroy your retirement plans?
- Do you realize that because of the Baby Boomers' refusal to want children, there are less workers to provide any government benefits to them?
- And did you realize that because of all of this, and more, there will be a domino effect (in housing, stock markets, and inflation) that will ruin any hope of retirement plans working for the younger generations who will NEVER be able to save enough to provide any decent retirement using their 401k's and IRA's?
THAT is why I'm concerned about our future. Shouldn't you be as well, or do you want to wish upon a star that "things will just work out?"
Gone are the days of the ideal retirement where you can save in your retirement plans, pay off your debt, and be enjoying your days with a perfect tan and flowing hair at the beach or golf course! The banks and financial institutions show you those pictures so they can continue making money while you beg for scraps.
Because everyone else is trying to take care of their own needs, no one will be there to bail you out. You, and your family, would be scrambling to find ways to make ends meet. If you think it's hard now, just wait and see!
Can you see why I have such a passion to serve you and make a large impact in your lives?!
Fortunately, there will be some of us that won't be affected as much. Although we'll feel some of the impact, we control our own "economy."
We don't rely on government programs or retirement plans where we have no control over the outcome.
We don't put our heads down like work horses (or do nothing) and then "hope for change."
We focus on investing in ourselves and in our ability to provide value for others.
We store our money in places that we can control and won't be affected as much by whims of the markets.
We are investors, not gamblers
We focus on cash flow, not savings and debt so we can someday "live off the interest" which would require most to have at least $2 Million in savings to maintain a middle class lifestyle.
We prepare for the worst, but expect the best.
We provide jobs while others complain and feel entitled to mooch off others' labor to support them.
We create our lives while others want someone else to solve their problems.
We are those that rise out of the ashes, happy, full of hope, and making a difference.
We are wise stewards of all we have.
We are abundant while others suffer in scarcity and lack.
We are free and prosperous.
We provide value for others, and as a result, have everything that we need.
WE LOVE OUR LIVES AND THOSE IN IT!
Which person will you be in 5 or 10 years?
If you choose to be the solution and not one of the inevitable statistics, take the first step by downloading our free ebook on our homepage. As a bonus, we'll send you weekly money tips to help you in this journey.
Also, feel free to check out our events where you will be surrounded by others, just like you, who are willing to make a difference in their lives too.
Even though I've coached hundreds of financial clients across U.S. and Canada and been interviewed on TV and radio, I've found teaching one group of people to be the most challenging of all....my 5 kids!
Do you feel like this sometimes too?
Teaching kids about money isn't always easy when they are constantly bombarded and surrounded by scarcity and the poverty mentality.
This can be even more challenging because we're so emotionally connected to our families. Although my oldest is only 9 years old, I've learned that there are a few things we can teach our kids about money where they can be more abundant abundant and they can be better stewards than their parents ;)
Below are just 3 ideas you can start teaching your kids today, one of which was quoted in an article in US News:
- Money Is Abundant - Money should be a positive conversation. When parents talk about money like there's never enough or a "necessary evil," my experience has shown that those children grow up hating money and struggle with it throughout their lives. The first thing I do on a daily basis is to avoid phrases like "We can't afford it" or "We don't have enough." Instead, use more truthful phrases such as, "It's not a priority right now", "I don't think it's worth the price", or ask questions like "What can we do to find or earn the money to get that?"
- Earn Your Keep - One problem I see with the parents of the rising generation is they want them to have what they didn't with little sacrifice on the part of the child. As a result of spoiling and helicopter parenting, more kids have an entitlement mentality and have not developed a good work ethic. In our home, we do a point system for every chore that they do. Points are taken away if they don't do their work. As they accumulate points, they can use those points for "technology time" (one point consumed for every hour of video games or TV) or they can cash them in. They earn a dollar for every 10 points. Find ways that work for your family where they can be rewarded for providing value and especially going that extra mile.
- Pay Charity and Yourself First - As our kids earn money, I have them set aside 10% to give to our church (or charity, if you choose), 20% to themselves to save for college, and let them choose what they want to do with the other 70%. Be sure they have a reason to save because money is meant to be used, not hoarded.
There are obviously a lot of other great financial concepts you can teach your kids and even have fun with it. However, start somewhere and do it simply. One of the best ways to teach them is through your own example.
Because I know you're just like me, a caring parent that wants what's best for your children, to help you out, CLICK HERE to register for free to get my weekly money tips so you can take immediate action and change your family's life for the better!
Often, when working with my clients, they'll ask me, "Chris, should I get a business loan?"
My answer is typically the same - "That depends on what kind of business owner YOU are."
Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star, Mark Cuban, offers some pretty bold advice on this subject.
What are your thoughts on this? I have a hard time making blanket statements, like Cuban, but he makes a great point....
If you NEED a business loan to make it successful, could you be making a mistake?
Loans aren't good or bad here. It's about whether you are a good or bad business owner. Will more money REALLY solve your problems?
Do you only want the money so you can pay yourself...and then the business will be starving for more?
Have you been successful using a smaller amount of money in your business, or do you just "believe" it's going to work out? If you're not willing to invest your own money into YOUR business, why should anyone else?
Only get a loan if you KNOW that you can make more than what the loan provides. Otherwise, it's a bad idea.
What do you think about this?