Home – New Forums Starting your journey Please. Don’t make the same mistakes I have made.

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  • #1244446
    mediaman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 148
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    30-something years of running a small business and I can honestly say it has only been in the last year or so I have realised I have done it all wrong in a big way and I also realise that perhaps I am not a business-person’s butt-cheek.

    I hear some of you say: “well, you must have done something right if you are still here after 30-odd years!” and I guess to a degree that is correct. But the fact is, I am just on on the right side of 60 and still relying on my weekly income with little super, no investments, no savings and a huge mortgage. All I have managed to do for most of those years is keep the wolf from the door. Just.

    To say we are living by the skin of our teeth would be an understatement.

    To be clear: I am not blaming my situation on anyone but myself. But in hindsight, I can see how I got here.

    I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. They weren’t financially literate. Even though my Mum used to always tell me to save my money instead of spending it on the cars that I was spending it on, I wasn’t interested in property, investing or how to make my money work for me. I just worked for a weekly wage and did some playing in a band on the weekends to get some extra money. To spend.

    I started my own business in 1987, doing so because it was a way to earn money without having to take orders from someone else. 5 years into running the business, it was doing really well, but at no stage did I think I should get some sound financial advice. My cousin was my accountant through those years and at no stage did she ever tell me to pull my head in and start investing in my future. Not blaming her…my point is that I wasn’t surrounding myself with the right people.

    The only positive thing I did was buy a house in 1996 which I live in today, but as the business wasn’t run correctly and the industry started to change, my income went down dramatically and the start of many home refinances began. Massive tax bills ensued, sucking any goodness I had left in the house. And, in fact looking back, I wasn’t buying a house as an investment. I was buying a house so I could say “I had a house”. Just another way of spending money.

    My point is this:

    If you are starting a business today, or thinking of starting a business, make absolutely sure you have the right people around you teaching and guiding you with what to do with the money you earn. It’s basic business sense, now that I see it.

    When you’re young, you believe you have plenty of time to right your wrongs. But when you’re my age, and you haven’t taken the right steps to secure your future, then it’s a horrible feeling realising that you are now “in your future” and have probably run out of time to make a difference for yourself and your family’s well-being.

    Do what I didn’t do: Get yourself a good accountant. Get yourself a good financial advisor. Get yourself a good solicitor. And start hanging around people who are successful at business, wealthy and financially intelligent. Ensure you invest some of your income instead of spending it all on things you think matter at the time, like I did. I guarantee you those things won’t matter in 30 years time when your friends are selling one of their investment properties for massive gains when you can’t even afford to buy your first one.

    I just cannot believe it took me so darned long to work it all out.

    Good luck!

    #1244558
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,488
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    Good post!

    I like to think also that part of my job is to try and see around corners and to prepare and position the business for what is to come.

    We tend to think about today a lot and tomorrow too little but a fundamental question like where is my market headed and how can I best position myself for the change is something that should be done at least quarterly.

    You have a great message. I hope it is read and understood by many.

    Thanks for posting.

    Cheers
    ~Paul

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