Money is part of life, but living life to the fullest is part of being alive! Charities and other funding initiatives included.

big business

Fractal Patterns: The Secret to Big Business

In the last post, we talked about the main passive income streams that are being utilized today. As part of the post, I briefly talked about fractal patterns being the secret to the B quadrant and big business.

Since that post, I’ve been thinking about how quickly I went through that description. I’ve felt I didn’t do it much justice. 

So, let’s get a little into what fractal patterns or fractals actually are. And, even more importantly, how the apply to internet based business so we can use them to grow your passive income.

The Basics

So a fractal is defined as… 

a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation.

Here’s a few examples:


I reiterated this in the last post by talking about how we see these patterns everywhere. One example is with giant sequoias. These trees interweave their roots with each other so that no one particular tree supports the weight of itself. They’re tied to the mesh of these roots. It’s because of this that the trees are able to grow huge in size.

Behold, the Giant Sequoia Network!

In this example, the tree itself is a node where the root system connects the tree to others by acting as branches of a larger organism – a larger system, the forest.

As you can see in the image below, branches connect nodes to each other. Tree A has roots which are intertwined with roots of trees B and C. They, in turn, have their roots interlaced with all the others of the forest.

Parts of a System

They are part of a larger system.

Forms of Systems

So if trees are nodes in a forest, and a forest is system, what else can a system take the form of?

Well, if we understand the word system as “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network”, we can think of a city as a system. And just like we’re part of that system, we have systems that are part of us (circulatory, lymph, nervous, etc.).

That said, where we and forests consist of natural systems, a city is a form of a designed system.

Designed systems are systems which we as people have designed. And one such system is the internet. A fractal system built on servers (nodes) and communication wires (branches).

Interconnections of Facebook Users Across the Globe

How the Internet Changed the Game of Commerce

Before the internet, the only systems that existed which transported information were owned by large corporations. These included newspaper, TV, and radio companies. Since the big companies owned them, they were in control of the information which they transmitted. To this day, this is how these networks generally work.

However, due to the internet growing up and becoming the behemoth it has become, they’re having to compete with the open flow of data and commerce. And since they seem to not change how they do things, they’re losing quite a bit of money and influence. In the last 15 years, a lot of people have stopped reading newspapers, watching network TV, and listening to the radio.


As business owners ourselves, we can capitalize on this change of interest and focus. To do that, we can go where the eyeballs have gone – search engines and social media.

Leveraging Internet Commerce Today

At one point, about 10 years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much competition on the web for these eyeballs. Not only that, but the way that sites were indexed on Google and how posts were shared on Facebook was completely different. If you knew how to do SEO properly, you could rank fairly well on Google, and if you posted regularly on Facebook, you’d get plenty of exposure.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works today. Organic growth through posting has dwindled to 5% (if not lower) and there’s way too many people to compete with on search engines. 

So the question is, how do you use these particular systems/networks to get your business noticed these days? 


Well, unfortunately (or fortunately?) through ads on social media and search engines.

Remember that Facebook (and the internet for that matter) is based on fractal patterns. So what works for you on a small scale with a handful of clients can be advertised to those who share the same demographics.

However, paying to play in ads isn’t something they think they have a budget for. But, what they’re not seeing is the opportunity they’re missing. 

The reason you would WANT to post ads is that you can specifically market to the people in your niche. The more money that is spent, the more likely Facebook’s algorithm will figure out who exactly you’re looking for. For example, with America Multi-Sport we’ve been placing ads for years now every week. That’s plenty of time for Facebook’s system to know who you want to get in front of.

Of course, the algorithm can only do so much. You still have to create copy that creates a desire to take action.

Action Steps

I hope this gives you a little perspective on what fractals are and how they’re used to create passive income. 

Remember, even though I shared the idea of using the Facebook network as a system to make use of with ads, you can use others as well. 

In fact you can use your own! 

One of the books I’m reading called The Power of Who talks about how knowing just a few people will launch you to wherever you want to go. We each have a handful of people in our lives who are highly connected themselves. It’s your job to figure out who those people are and how you can leverage (notice I didn’t say use) them to get where you want to go.

Sure this method is a bit more manual and slower. But you actually have control of who your message is being delivered to.

small business accounting

Matt Baker – Small Business Accounting for the Rest of Us: Why Knowing Your Numbers is Imperative to Sustainable Self-Employment (AoL 160)

Small business accounting is a topic that many entrepreneurs needlessly struggle with when they’re getting their feet wet with running a business. For me, I have a simple tracking system of my expenditures. And usually, when it comes to invoicing, I usually opt to get paid on the front end. Outside of that, I really don’t have too much to keep track of.

However, I realize I’m not a true representation of most business owners. Most business owners need a platform that can do more than AR/AP. They might need something that takes care of payments and is a CRM on top of that. A one stop location for all of your financial bookkeeping.

That’s where Freshbooks comes in.

In our chat today, Matt Baker, VP of Corporate Strategy and International Expansion at Freshbooks, shares with us what numbers of business owners should be paying attention to.

We also discuss the process of de-risking the move to self-employment as well as what he’d recommend to entrepreneurs starting out in the Midwest.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • If Disney were to make a movie about Matt, what it’s genre be and how would it begin? 6:42
  • What’s Matt’s thoughts on going to college in today’s career climate? 12:15
  • How can someone de-risk the move to self-employment? 16:30
  • What would he recommend to folks wanting to start a business in the Midwest? 20:53
  • Is social media creating an unrealistic vision of what it takes to be an entrepreneur? 24:55
  • Who’s a realistic role model someone can follow to learn to start their business? 28:04
  • How safe is being a W2 employee for the foreseeable future? 29:59
  • What are some steps that someone can do to take control of their career? 33:56
  • What financial numbers should a small business owner pay attention to? 37:42
  • When things are going wrong for businesses in their finances, where does it typically go wrong? 42:18
  • What does Matt see himself doing the rest of 2019 and beyond? 44:49
  • What 3 influential podcasts does he listen to on a regular basis? 48:16
  • One gift Matt likes giving other people? 49:17
  • What’s an issue that more people should be talking about? 50:35
  • When Matt becomes overwhelmed or unfocused, what’s he do? 51:50
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 53:06

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

#imakealiving Los Angeles Preview

Creating a Genuine Brand in the Digital World

Bill Morrison on Learning on the Fly

How to Avoid Small Business Bankruptcy


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

passive income streams

Popular Passive Income Streams in Modern Business

Passive Income is a topic that many still struggle with today in 2019. And, I have to admit, while I understand why people aren’t too familiar with the concept, it still kind of blows my mind. Personally, I think it’s been 18 years since I first read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad and his second book, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant. Since then I’ve picked up the basics of developing passive income streams and understanding how it all works. In this post, we’re going to explore the top 8 methods of developing passive income.

Yes, it’s really that simple!

I Quadrant Opportunities

If you’re familiar with Robert Kiyosaki’s work, you’ll recognize his company, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Robert himself is a fan of all passive income opportunities, however, when he originally wrote his first book, his experience was via Real Estate Investing (REI) and Traditional Investing through Stocks, Bonds, 401k’s, Mutual Funds, etc.

Real Estate Investing (REI)

REI is probably one of the most well represented options out there. However, when most people think of REI, they believe that they can’t get in the game. In fact, I remember starting to read Robert’s book Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing when I was in college and thinking “When I get a real income when I’m out of college, this will be how I make my fortune!”

While I still haven’t gone that route, it’s definitely something I see myself eventually getting into.

If this is a track you might be interested in, I’ve had several REI success stories on the show:

Chris Prefontaine (AoL 155)

Damion Lupo (AoL 125)

Kevin Bupp (AoL 124)

Whitney Nicely (AoL 123)

Traditional Investing

Outside of REI, when most people think of passive income, they think of making money through stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 401k’s fit in this area as well.


While this isn’t necessarily a bad topic to think about, I will say that if you do the math, it takes about $1.25M to be invested in various assets to yield a comfortable $50k+ per year income.

Thing is, most people won’t ever smell that kind of lump sum amount in their career working a day job. However, there are tactics you can use to save a little bit here and there to eventually make that work out. Fortunately, you can read material by folks like Dave Ramsey to make this more of a reality than a dream.

Also, if this is an arena you’d want to play in, I’d also recommend checking out Tony Robbins’ book Money: Master the Game

B Quadrant Opportunities

If you’re already in the S Quadrant, you should definitely look at the B Quadrant!

In the I Quadrant, we’re mainly focused on making our money work for us to make more money. However, again, not everyone has access to that seed money to get up and running. So what’s one to do if they want to get in the passive income game?

They should totally look at the B Quadrant. The B standing for Big Business or Business Systems. These terms can be used interchangeably because you can’t have a big business without harnessing the power of business systems.

What’s great about the B Quadrant is that it’s the scaled up version of the S Quadrant. The main difference being that while in the S Quadrant you’re capped by the activity you can put in yourself, in the B Quadrant you can grow your business through fractal patterns or fractals. If you’re unfamiliar with fractals, a basic example is a tree in a forest. A tree has a trunk, limbs, branches, and twigs. They all are formed using a pattern of nodes and branches. Depending on the type of tree, however, the pattern might keep going. 

Most trees have a tap root that counterbalances the tree and keeps it in the ground. When the tree is growing, a lot of energy is put into creating that tap root.

However, Giant Sequoia trees have a network of roots that support the entire forest like a mesh. Sure, a tree can grow by itself and support itself, but Sequoias, being the largest trees in existence have evolved to support each other in this network. The trees themselves act as the nodes, while the roots act as the branches. 

So simply saying when it comes to fractals, the larger the network, the more potential for growth.

Traditional “Tried and True” Opportunities

The B Quadrant isn’t anything new. In fact, you probably already know of examples of people who are successful in this quadrant.

Insurance

As long as there’s been insurance, there’s been agencies. And insurance has been around a pretty long time.

When someone takes the leap from being an agent and starting their own insurance agency, then they’re taking a step into the world of the B Quadrant. Those agencies can continue to grow to a point where they train other agents and agencies. At this point they become a Field Marketing Organization (FMO). Their most basic role is to offer insurance products, services and possibly training to insurance agents or agencies.

An example of one here in Indiana is Gordon Marketing.

Franchising

Using the same idea as an insurance FMO, a business can eventually grow to the point where they franchise the model of their business.

Like insurance, the idea of franchising goes way back to the Middle Ages. However, the franchising that we’re aware of today didn’t really start until after World War II.

Of course, one of the most well known franchises is McDonald’s. And luckily for us, a movie was released about the man who built the franchise. The Founder is the story of Ray Kroc and his journey to create the business that we know today.

It’s easy to see that this method of creating passive income works. There’s more franchises today than ever! In fact, there’s so many suburbs of one city resemble those of another city.

Personal Franchising

When it comes to franchising, you can do it one of two ways. The first is the more familiar route we just talked about. However, one issue with this method is that it can take quite a bit of startup capital.

Most people don’t have a spare $10k+ just sitting around.

So they participate in the age old tradition of direct sales. Direct sales is defined as “The direct personal presentation, demonstration, and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs.” With that kind of definition, you could say that just about any kind of sales outside of a traditional store or place of business is a form of direct sales.

Many direct sales companies today allow their sales associates or Independent Business Owners to sponsor other people to do what they do. One of the oldest companies that is set up to do specifically this is Amway. In fact, the reason  Amway was created, was so that anyone could have the capability to start their own business. At the same time, they’d also have the support from those who sponsored them as well as the company itself. 

If you’d want to know more about this form of direct sales, often referred to as multi-level marketing, you can check out our friend Robert Kiyosaki has to say on the subject. Interestingly, it’s how he met his wife Kim!

Like Robert, I highly recommend checking out this path if you’re stuck in the E Quadrant and want to quickly move to the B. Or even if you’re in the S Quadrant and don’t have enough to pursue the other options we’ve talked about so far.

Here’s a couple of folks I’ve had on the show who are experts in Direct Sales:

Mark Nathan (AoL 23)

Jeff Gamble (AoL 156)

Licensing

I’d be admiss if I didn’t cover the topic of licensing and what that means. Basically, it’s the sharing of Intellectual Property (IP) from one company (company A) to another (company B) in agreement that if the company B uses the company A’s IP, company A gets a commission. While it is similar to franchising, franchises differ in that they are in charge of how company B is actually ran. In licensing, while company A might have recommendations and regulations set, it’s pretty much left to company B to work out their own systems of operation.

As an owner of America Multi-Sport, I’ve had first hand experience to see how this can work out. While on the surface it might seem like a great idea since you’re skipping over some pretty hefty fees to actually make a franchise, there’s a good chance you’re going to fall behind. Since your licensees don’t have to operate to a certain standard, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Just with us, we’ve had a handful of licensees come and go in the last couple of years simply because they couldn’t do what we recommended to them.

However, just because it hasn’t been overly successful with us doesn’t mean it can’t be successful. The NFL got started the same way. Even though it’s had its ups and downs,  it’s celebrating 100 seasons!

Internet Powered Opportunities

Now that we’ve covered forms of opportunities that have been around 100 years or more, let’s look at a few things that have popped up in the last 20 due to the advent of the internet.

Scaled S Quadrant Work

If you’re more familiar with the podcast, you know that a number of the guests are simply people who have taken their service to the next level. They’ve found their Ikigai and have used technology to build a lifestyle that they’re proud of. Of the numerous hats I wear as an entrepreneur, one is helping people take their solopreneur business and scaling it through technology if they haven’t done so themselves. 

Of course, there’s different ways to capitalize on technology. You can become a digital nomad where the only work you do is through your laptop as you travel the world. Or you can start a brick and mortar agency that offers a service which can be executed online. Or perhaps you already have an agency and you’re up to your eyeballs in work and need help with all the work that’s coming your way.

There’s ways to do all of this. It really depends on what you want to do. Of course if you’d like help with this, shoot me an email. I’d love to help you get to the next level.

Affiliate Marketing

The internet has brought on another form of direct sales called e-Commerce or internet marketing. Today, most of us no longer go to places of business and buy something on the spot. We opt to do our shopping from the comfort of our own home.

Lots of online business owners get their start in internet marketing by pedaling other company’s products or services. Most of the reviews that you see on YouTube, have an affiliate link in their description that you can buy the product through them and they get a commission. 

In fact, Pat Flynn did pretty much this for years. However, as his platform grew, so did his need to create his own online products.

Influencer Marketing

When I first learned of Pat, I also learned of Brendon Burchard and his course called Expert’s Academy. Today I think he’s called it the Influencer Academy because more people are familiar with that term on Instagram.

The idea of Influencer Marketing is pretty straight forward. If you have an engaged audience, you have a list of potential buyers. The bigger the audience, the more potential buyers.

You make a product specifically designed for that audience, and there’s a good chance they’re going to buy from you. Why? Because of your influence on them through that engagement!

Typically speaking, those products take the form of digital products like courses and eBooks. That said, it’s not uncommon to see books, audios, and videos released by people in this arena.

Anyway, here’s the catch. It’s important that we never confuse three things. 

  • Don’t confuse your platform with your income. 
  • Don’t confuse your income with your career.

When people are getting started in the online entrepreneur space, many times they believe that they need to become an influencer way before they’re successful in making income. Problem is, you can’t really be an influencer unless you have some form of success in your career. They’re putting their platform ahead of their income.

To correct this, we need to learn how to separate the idea of these two. Sure your income will be multiplied as you become an influencer, but if you don’t have any income, you’re essentially multiplying by 0. 

So the next time you hear the phrase “become the next influencer” and think it’s a great idea, make sure that you already have a proven business based on the material that you want to help the masses with.

SaaS Platform

Finally, the last option I’ll mention because it’s the last category I’m personally familiar with is building a Software as a Service (SaaS) Platform. Now, doing this is just like building any other kind of business. You have to start small and in a well defined niche.

What I learned from Dane Maxwell (AoL 56) and his program called the Foundation is that if you’re creating something from scratch, you really need to do your homework up front. Find out what the people really want.

However, because it’s a product and not a service, you’re going to have to learn how to do a little bit of pre-selling the concept. Especially if you’re creating it without using your own funds. Why? Because hopefully, you’re going to hire someone to do the programming for you! 

Once you have the online tool built with the help and funding of your “champions” and early users, then you can market it and build your influencer platform like any other online business.

Action Steps

So, lots of information here! 

Hope that it provides some value and gives you a bit of clarity.

Again, if you haven’t, I really recommend getting started with reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the Cashflow Quadrant. Everyone should be financially literate and these are great starting manuals on passive income. 

From there, feel free to connect with me. We can do a strategy session based on where you’re at and what your needs are.

best nootropics

Prady Tewarie – Peak Performance in a Bottle: How Body Building & Business Systems Lead to the Best Nootropics Based Supplement (AoL 159)

When it comes to peak performance, most experts on the matter suggest that we learn how to care for ourselves, plan, and execute accordingly. However, even the most disciplined of us will have problems from time to time. Whether it’s a physical ailment or a mental breakdown, we all have issues from time to time. Thankfully, there’s some supplements on the market that can really impact your mental state. In fact, some of them contain some of best nootropics in existence.

If you’re not familiar with term nootropics, Veronica and I weren’t either before this interview. However, the way that our guest, Prady Tewarie, described them, it almost sounds too good to be true! Something better than coffee?! Blasphemy!

In today’s conversation, Prady shares with us his journey in starting his business Azoth, one of the fastest growing nootropic supplement companies today. What’s cool to me is that his entire journey in starting his business has been rather organic. He didn’t force it by starting a business first and then finding a product. In fact, he did it the way that it should be done.

If starting and growing a business based on your interests is something you’re wondering if you should do, let Prady’s story inspire you to give it a shot.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • After spending so much time going after a law degree and becoming a lawyer, what inspired Prady to become an entrepreneur? 9:32
  • How did he realize that fitness was essential to being in the right state of mind for his business, partners, and clients? 11:46
  • Where did the idea for Azoth come from? 14:56
  • How did Prady come to realize that systems were critical to building his business? 21:44
  • How did Prady find himself getting involved with Real Estate Investing? 33:10
  • What is he looking forward to in the end of 2019 and beyond? 40:40
  • If he could add one book, one song, and one film to the national curriculum, what would they be? 42:33
  • One thing under $100 that has changed his life? 44:07
  • What’s a believe, behavior, or habit that he’s started in the last 5 years that’s helped him improve his life? 46:16
  • What’s something he believed when he was 18 but now feels is inaccurate? 47:44
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 49:19

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Prady and Justin Hall on Having the Right Info on Supplements

Enlightened Millennial: Why Hard Work Is Not Enough!

Should I Quit my 9-5 and Start My Own Business?

The Reason You’re Not Achieving Wealth


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

starting a consulting business

Michael Zipursky – Make Real Income with Your Expertise: Key Concepts in Starting a Consulting Business (AoL 158)

For many people, starting a consulting business is something they’ve thought about doing at one or another. But just like most entrepreneurial endeavours, many don’t get started because they don’t know the way to find real success. And many times, they don’t know anyone who is a “successful” consultant to learn from.

In my experience, there are a few well known names out there that come to mind when you’re talking about becoming a decent consultant.

Today’s guest is one of those names.

Michael has been a consultant since the age of 19 and since then, he’s been honing his craft and helping others along the way.

Since 2007, he and his cousin Sam have empowered 34,000 people from over 80 countries with their company Consulting Success.

To Michael and Sam, success is not about numbers or material gains. Instead, it’s about being in a place where money isn’t a concern anymore. It’s the ability to go out to enjoy a meal or a trip with family. It’s having the certainty you need – in an increasingly uncertain world – to take charge of your future. It’s the freedom to live life on your own terms.

If consulting is something you’ve thought about getting started with, I’d highly suggest getting to know Michael in this chat with Veronica and me.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How has his family and traveling across the world played a role in Michael’s career? 8:54
  • What was the trigger for Michael and his business partner to take their consulting work online with Consulting Success? 14:05
  • How can consulting set entrepreneurs free? 18:31
  • What models are available for consultants to use with their business? 20:34
  • What are the 6 principles of running a successful consulting business? 24:56
  • What does making better decisions within a consultancy mean? 27:46
  • How does someone know what to offer and how much it should cost when they’re selling their expertise to others? 36:50
  • What is Michael excited about in the rest of 2019 and beyond? 42:41
  • What is one book, film, and song he’d add to the national curriculum? 44:38
  • Is there anyone he could interview that would cause him to be starstruck? 48:06
  • What message is out in the public that is actually a disservice to youth? 49:06
  • In the last 5 years, what new habit or behavior has most improved his life? 50:26
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 52:44

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Avoid Information Overload by Using the ACTION Approach

The Unprofessional Professional – Your Thoughts?

Veteran Consultant Testimonial

From Corporate World to Consulting


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

entrepreneurial finance

Real World Strategies in Entrepreneurial Finance

This past week I had another chance to go to a business accelerator event here in Indy. This one was hosted by Techstars, who helps sports based businesses with entrepreneurial finance here in Indiana.

As I was listening to the pitches by various companies, (some I’m sure you’ll be hearing about soon in your everyday life!) I started thinking about how some of them had seen such great success in fairly quick periods of time.

Not only were there founders from these various companies in the room, but they were joined by representatives from sports partners from around the city. This included the Pacers, the Colts, Indiana Sports Corp, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and others.

Soon I started thinking about a common connection of the talent I saw in the room. The success here was different than you hear about from the online entrepreneurial world.

The companies in the room were talking about sustainable growth and building opportunity and jobs in the community. Online, you hear more about “earn $5k in your first month doing…”.

In short, it’s looking at long term decisions yielding true wealth vs short term hustle.

And, really, I think successful online entrepreneurs are doing their followers and students a disservice. On top of how to create income online, they should also teach them how to leverage the funds they already have to keep growing!

The Hustle Approach to Finances

When we think of online business, many of us think of 24/7 hustle. We think if you’re not working, than you’re limiting yourself. Why hang out with friends and family when you should be out there making content or the next deal? It’s only when you’ve been successful doing these things that you’ll have your Ferrari and nice high-rise apartment. 

So go out and get it done!

Well, for one, that mentality doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone in business. There’s people who aren’t the best hustlers, but they’re great at making the hustlers around them more efficient.

And, two, this thought process suggests that you can always outearn any financial issues that you’re having. If you just bring in more income, you’ll be richer.

That isn’t necessarily the case.

In fact, I’d say that more often than not, when people earn more, they’ll spend more. And if your goal is to be wealthy in all aspects of your life, this method isn’t going to get you too far.

That said, there’s other bad financial decisions a business owner can make. So let’s take a look at those before we start improving our decision making.

Bad Entrepreneurial Financial Habits

When it comes to where people go wrong with their finances, there’s a few that are pretty widespread. Here’s a few examples:

No Personal Organization

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met first time entrepreneurs who don’t know anything about keeping records of their business. They don’t have a system for receipts, they don’t have a business banking account, and really, they’re not sure what their actual profit is.

No Tax Strategy

So, of course, because they’re not actively keeping track of their expenses and profit, there’s really no existence of accounting. So, everything gets cramped up to the last 2 or 3 weeks before the yearly tax deadline. And really, that makes things so much more stressful than it needs to be.

Money Is Earned to Spend

On the podcast, one of the questions I occasionally ask the rapid fire question segment is “What is something that all high school students must know?”. Often, the response is something to do with the management of finances.

We live in a world where we’ve grown up with media telling us to “Buy New, Buy Now”. Consumerism is king. If you don’t actively participate, you’re not part of the “in crowd”. So without financial education in schools, thinking that you have to keep up with the Kardashians is pretty prevalent.

As I’ve found out, wealthy people and successful entrepreneurs know how to create cash flow, but they also know how to manage their finances.

Changing Your Financial Paradigm

If any of the above sound like habits that you use in your business and life, it might be time to make a few tweaks.

Here are a few basic concepts I’ve learned about managing wealth.

Think of Money as Water

When I think about money, I look at it as a resource. In fact, I look at it like I would water in a post-apocalyptic world like you’d find in The 100 or Mad Max.

In that type of environment, water is more than just water. It’s a commodity. And because water is vital to life, clean water is going to be in short supply. Just like money is today for so many people.

If we had a way of providing clean drinking water in that world, we’d have the potential to be on the top of society.

Same thing is true with your business and its ability to make more money at will.

With that type of mindset, I think it’s easier to get a grasp on how money should be used. Here’s a couple of habits you can practice to be more successful in this arena.

Keep Track of It

If we’re looking at money as a resource that we have to be smart with we need to have metrics on where we’re at any specific time. In our analogy, we need to know how much is going out to the market. We also need to know if anyone is stealing any.

So with that in mind, it’s important that we get used to regularly checking our bank account. On top of that, we need to keep track of income and expenditures. 

Get used to asking yourself and tracking:

  • How much do we plan to make versus how much we actually did. 
  • How much do we predict to spend versus how much we actually did.

Cut things out when necessary.

Build Up a Reserve

If you’re the person in charge of delivering clean water to a community in this new world, you might want to consider something.

What if there’s a problem in getting the water? What if the rain doesn’t fall or the wells don’t work? How long does it take for you and the leaders of the community to start growing concerned?

If your business functions on the funds that you get directly from income, then you might have a potentially huge problem. Be prepared and build at least a month’s reserve of cash for emergencies. Or even better, perhaps 90 days or more. The bigger the reserve, the more insurance you give yourself to be able to dig yourself out of a bad situation.

However, just like water that sits in a reservoir or lake, if money isn’t moving, it’s not doing you any good. Naturally, if water is stagnant, then it tends to go bad. A great example of this is the Salton Sea in California. However, if there’s inflow and outflow of water such as a river, then the water is useful for sustaining life.

Same thing for money. If money is stagnate, then we tend to get overprotective of that money. Being frugal and smart with money is one thing. Being a miser and potentially those around you miserable, is another. You don’t want to be a Scrooge from a Christmas Carol.

Leverage Your Position

As this successful water provider, you’re doing your job well when everyone is getting an adequate supply. If people feel like this isn’t a problem, then it’s one less stresser in their life. Heck, the more they have, the less they think about it.

What if your community has such a huge reservoir of water that you can start using it to trade with other communities who might not be so lucky?

At that point, you’re leveraging your position with the excess of your resource to get things in return. Sure, you might not have as much water left over in your reserve, but you are gaining things in exchange for it. Which those might be more valuable in your own community than water.

In our business, it’s a bit more simple. The more money we have in reserve, the more options we have. We need to know the difference between liabilities (fancy cars, eating out, partying, etc.) vs assets (using better tools, hiring a team, etc) when it comes to making more money. The more assets you have, the greater potential we have for generating more income.

Action Steps

So, to help you make this transition, I have a few recommendations for you to start getting better at finance. 

The first thing I’d recommend is read or listen to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And really think about anything that the author Robert Kiyosaki has to say. He has a good enough track record that students at Purdue’s entrepreneurship department used his info in creating their own businesses when I was there.

Next, I’d recommend getting a business bank account. Keep business money separate from your personal money.

Also, I’d develop something (maybe even a spreadsheet) to monitor your cash flow. Again, how much are you forecasting yourself to earn? How much did you earn in comparison? Same thing with expenditures? Where can you cut out if necessary? This information is great to have if you ever hire an accountant to help.

Finally, I’d look into subscribing to Quickbooks and anything else that might make your accounting easier. If you don’t have a business credit card that you put all your expenditures on (which I highly recommend) then you’ll need to manually keep track of receipts. You can do it as you go with Quickbooks, but if you like waiting to the end of the month, you can use a service like Shoeboxed to do it all for you.

smart real estate

Chris Prefontaine – Smart Real Estate Investing: How It’s Possible to Build a Rental Property Business without Banks or Your Money (AoL 155)

If you’ve ever read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you probably know that the author, Robert Kiyosaki gained his wealth in Real Estate Investing (REI). Since the release and rise of popularity of the book, there’s been all kinds of methods revealed to the general public about how to make passive income.

There are two passive income quadrants: Investing (I) and Business (B).

When it comes to passive income, we’re usually thinking of the B quadrant.

For example, most of us are familiar with the thought leader approach. They create content, develop a tribe, and provide services or products to that tribe to help them achieve more. The larger the tribe, the more potential one has of making a good income.

Yet others might be more familiar with drop shipping through eBay or Amazon. Pretty much the same idea, but instead of developing your own tribe, you sell to the customers on those sites. Because of that, you have to share a percentage of what you earn with the company.

A hybrid of both of these is using Facebook ads to get your name out there to Facebook users so that they can convert in your sales funnel.

As for the I quadrant, it tends to stay off limits to most people who are seeking passive income.

Mainly because most people think that to work in that quadrant, we have to have money available to invest.

Truth is, that’s not necessarily the case.

In fact, today’s guest, Chris Prefontaine, has one of the coolest systems I’ve seen to help people develop wealth in the I quadrant.

In this session of the AoL Podcast, Veronica and I learn how it’s indeed possible to build a passive income portfolio without using money from banks or our own pocket.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What did Chris learn from being around his dad’s business growing up? 9:06
  • What are some of the benefits in having a family owned business? 10:17
  • How does Chris enable those in his business to succeed? 11:30
  • What’s his perspective on helping charities with a new business? 12:44
  • How was getting started in Real Estate Investing (REI) different than it is today? 15:01
  • What are some strategies he recommends for people just entering the market or already have holdings and don’t know what to do next? 20:31
  • Is there a way to prep oneself for another recession? 22:37
  • What does it means to buy and sell on terms? 23:58
  • What’s Chris’ advice when it comes to working with agents as an Real Estate Investor? 30:49
  • Is there ever a good time to get into commercial real estate investing? 32:00
  • What’s the day to day operation look like when you have to hang onto an investment property for years? 34:03
  • Is there a good way in keeping up with all the laws, ordinances, and taxes? 35:32
  • What’s Chris looking forward to in the not too distant future? 37:21
  • What podcasts have influenced or inspired his own podcast? 38:33
  • What’s a book, film, and song he’d add to the national curriculum? 39:45
  • Is there something he’s learning about right now that he’s looking forward to implementing? 40:49
  • What’s one thing every high school student must know? 41:32
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 41:51

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

What does it take to Crush It in REI?:

How to Communicate with Buyers

Deal Structure Sunday: Part of the SREC Origin Story

SREC Podcast Episode 103 with Mike Makredes


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