According to Mark Cuban, one of American’s entrepreneurs, owner of Dallas Mavericks, and TV Personality, the biggest mistake most people make is to think that they have to raise money to start a business.
As a financial advisor, I totally agree with Mark. There is no such thing as a successful business that became successful because of funding. Yet every week I receive tons of emails asking for advice on how to raise money or if I would invest in their businesses.
The answer always is “No” and you will discover the reason at the end of this article.
While I understand that certain businesses genuinely do need funding, and while funding is necessary at certain stages in a business, I do not think that every business needs funding to get started. And in fact, the majority of funding needs are not real funding needs, but the lack of ability to create money from thin air.
Most Funding requests are disguised gap in creativity and sales skills. Because with the right sales and creative skills, you can create the amount of money that you want. And you can also break down your business into the version that you can fund with your own money.
Thus funding problem is majorly disguised creativity and sales problems. And quite frankly the lack of funding is a great excuse for people who are not really ready to start a business.
I know this because great entrepreneurs are not stopped by funding challenges. And the greatest entrepreneurs in the world all started in spite of funding challenges.
Amazon started out from the garage of Bezos’ in Bellevue, Washington. He started out with funding of almost $250,000 from his parents.
Facemash now Facebook started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and a group of friends. They started out with sweat equity, technical skills, and the ability to sell their idea and build a solid community.
Apple started out in Jobs’ garage on April 1, 1976, by college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. They started their business with sweat equity, technical skills, and the ability to sell a not so perfect Apple 1 product without a monitor, keyboard, or casing.
Bill Gates and his business partner Paul Allen built the world’s largest software business, Microsoft, from technological innovation, keen business strategy, and aggressive business tactics.
You will find a similar story for Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, Dangote, and so on.
These men built their businesses from the ground up with sweat equity, the right attitude, personal savings, or support from families. Funding did not stop them and funding will not stop you if you are serious about entrepreneurship. Quite frankly funding at the early stage of a business increases business stress, dilutes control, and expands leadership complexity.
So while you may fantasize about some strange investor sent by God coming along. To lift your business off the ground. In reality, this rarely happens. You must find ways to fund your way to a proven business model. Investors rarely fund ordinary ideas or struggling businesses. They fund businesses that are already succeeding but need funding to expand that success. This is why banks rarely lend to SMEs but do so easily to successful businesses. And why the majority of successful business owners started off on their own
So why do people still waste time looking for funding?
People gravitate towards funding for three reasons. The first is the Fantasy of overnight success. The second is the desire to use another person’s money to fix fundamental problems. That can only be solved through discipline and hard work. And the third is to make an already successful business even more successful.
Among these three reasons, only one is of interest to the investor. Investors are not on a mission to rescue your business or make you rich. They are on a mission to increase their wealth and achieve more financial success. They will only invest in businesses that can help them achieve their goals. And until your business develops this capacity you are not yet funding worthy.
Thus the only purpose for funding is to transfer investor’s idle funds or funds that are less optimized to a profitable business vehicle. That has the capacity to generate higher profits. This means that your business must have the capacity to turnaround investors’ money very quickly. If your business is not yet at this stage. You should focus on bringing it up to this stage and then attracting investor’s funding can become easy for you.
The key to successful funding is to answer the three funding questions. First, is my business fundable? Second, do I need funding for wealth-creating purposes? And third is my business at the stage where it can turn around investors’ money without losing it? Answering these questions is key to funding your business.
A business is ready for funding when it has certain key attributes. There are seven key attributes that attract investors and make a business funding worthy.
Watch out for the next part of this interesting series
Grace Agada is The Senior Financial Happiness Director @ Create Solid Wealth. She is an Author and Column Contributor in Six National Newspaper. She is a contributor at BellaNaija, Nairametrics and Proshare and she is on a mission to help working-class professionals and CEOs become more financially successful. To learn more about Grace and how she can help you send an email to [email protected]
5 Key habits of people who are very good at saving money
Let’s quickly highlight 5 key habits usually found in individuals who are very good at saving money.
Saving money is hard. Period. This is a well-known fact. Despite the vast amount of information on ways and techniques to save money out there, 90% of people still struggle with it.
A large percentage of the working demographic live paycheck to paycheck. A huge chunk of this percentage is swimming in an ocean of debts. Avoiding calls and burning bridges, in a bid to save face.
When it comes to personal finance and savings, there are two foremost arguments
- The Income argument
- The Individual argument
The Income school of thought argues that for you to be able to save money, you must be earning enough. This means that the art of saving is largely dependent on the income earned.
The Individual argument postulates that if you can’t manage the little you earn, there is no guarantee you will be able to save when you start earning more. This means that the art of saving has more to do with the individual involved than the income in question
Whatever side of the argument you lean on, I believe you must have come across people who are simply just good with money. it seems to come naturally to them. They have so much control over their financial life that other people confidently entrust them with their own money.
After a little bit of research, we want to quickly highlight 5 key habits usually found in individuals who are very good at saving money. There might be other factors, but these five habits are always present.
Money smart individuals are not impulsive when it comes to spending money. Put in simple terms, they buy because they need and not because they want. They seem to defy the general rule of marketing which believes that human beings naturally make purchases based on emotions and not logic.
They are not lured by the appeal of big brands and most times go for products that will last a long while
Individuals who are good with saving money make a lot of sacrifices for the greater good ahead. They just don’t set saving goals, they have the discipline to achieve them.
They readily sacrifice the little joys of evening shawarma to make rent at the end of the year without going broke.
Delayed gratification is one key habit that is always present in individuals who are very good with money.
Read Also: 10 ways to save and make more investments
Obsessed With Self Control
Individuals who are very good at saving money usually exhibit a high level of self-control in other areas of their life. A closer look will reveal that they portray the same meticulous approach they have with money in other areas of their lives.
Many were taught by their parents from an early stage, while some picked it up themselves while growing up.
Individuals who are good with money possess extraordinary willpower which keeps their human side in check. This helps them live below their means and always dredge up extra cash to save.
Big Record Keepers
Not many people know the exact amount they spent last month. It takes a meticulous individual who is obsessed with saving every penny to go that far.
Money smart individuals keep clear records of all their transactions. These records help them draw up a savings plan or goal.
Money smart individuals see shopping as a big occasion. They don’t trivialize the art of spending money as ordinary people do. They keep good records of all transactions made and always reflect on them.
They have a good knowledge of the numbers and can always tell when they are overspending.
Numbers are critical!
Every Penny Counts
Individuals who are good with saving money have equal respect for an N1000 note and an N20 note. To them, there is no difference between the two. They treat money as an entity and do not apportion importance based on value.
Ordinary folks see an N20 bill as easily expendable, Money smart individuals see the missing N80 to make it an N100.
Huge Fan Of Investing
Money smart Individuals always have a knack for investing their savings. The major driving force behind their saving habits is usually the love for investing. You cant be a successful investor if you don’t have idle cash to invest.
Money smart individuals are fund of making long term bets. They enjoy the idea of watching their money yield more money. They are obsessed with it.
They are always fishing for the latest smart investment opportunities available.
Their saving ethics is usually driven by the fear of missing out on a very good investment opportunity.
There might be other contributing factors behind the reason why some people are better at saving money than others.
We believe the above reasons are the foremost
The Good news is most of these habits can be adopted by people who are eager to join the elite club of money-smart individuals.
Today is the best day to start!
How to shift your livelihood from active to passive income (Part 2)
One way to truly achieve total financial freedom is to transfer your livelihood from active to passive income.
…continued from last week’s article and you can read the first part here
2.The Active-2-Passive Income Conversion System
The only way to move your life from active income to passive income is to build a passive income that overtakes your active income. To do this there are two steps you need to take. The first step is to determine the percentage of your current income that you want to convert to passive income. And the second step is to know the resources you need to build a solid passive income. Below I explain each of them in detail.
i. Determine the Percentage of active Income you want in Passive Income
The ultimate passive income goal is to convert 100% of current active income into passive income. The problem is only a few people can achieve this from the get-go. Thus the goal is to take a certain percentage of your current active income that you can comfortable converting to passive income. And build it up to 100% from there. We usually recommend that a person starts with converting 30% of their active income. And then build that up to 100% if they can. Not everyone can build 100% of their active income in passive income. Thus there are two types of passive income to build. The first is Necessity Passive income. This is passive income that can take care of basic necessities. And constitute 50-70% of your current income or whatever your current expenses are. And the second type of passive income is the Lifestyle Passive income. That is passive income that can sustain your current living standard. And constitute 100% of your current income. To build necessity passive income you need cash reserves of about N1.5m-N3.5m per Year. And to build lifestyle passive income you need cash reserves worth 3.6million -7million each year. The goal here is, to begin with what you can and build that up over time.
ii. Know what You Need to Build Solid Passive Income
You need five things to build a solid passive income. And these five things are all critical for your passive income journey. The first is Motivation. The second is a safe investment pathway. The third is start-up capital. The fourth is Investment vehicles. And the fifth is mentoring.
- a. Motivation
No one just wakes up and wants to embark on a passive income journey. People build a solid passive income when they have the right motivation to do so. Whether this motivation is achieving total financial freedom. Retiring early. Having peace of mind in retirement. Pursuing passion, or funding a business. You must recognize your motivation and stick with it.
Having a strong motivation will help you stay focused on your dreams and will make it easy for you to prioritize your passive income goal. Remember, only top priority goals get achieved. And you must value your own freedom enough to want to sacrifice for it.
Read Also: Smart ways to invest in real estate
- b. A Safe Investment Pathway
There are two paths to building a solid passive income. These two pathways involve trading speed for safety and safety for speed. The first pathway is the Risky Investment Pathway. This pathway trade safety for speed. It chooses investment vehicles that produce high returns in a short time but have a high chance of losing your money. It is sometimes called the “Maybe” investments. And is common with average and poor people looking for quick wins. If you are ok with losing some part of your money. And going up and down in life a few times. Then this pathway is for you.
The second pathway is the Safe Investment Pathway. This pathway trades speed for safety. It chooses investments that preserve invested capital and produces high returns over a longer period of time. This pathway is common with the wealthy and those with a wealthy mindset. If you value peace of mind and economic safety. This is the pathway for you. Choosing speed over safety or safety over speed is a decision you must make throughout your investment journey. But the worse time to choose speed over safety is when you are just starting out. It rarely pays off.
- c. The Startup Capital
Every passive income investing requires start-up capital. That is the amount of money you need to set up a solid asset base. This amount can be big or small depending on the percentage of your active income you want to convert to passive income. Typically a cash reserve of N1.5m-N3.5m is appropriate for creating the necessity passive income. And N3.6million – N7million is appropriate for Lifestyle passive income.
- d. The Passive Income Investment Vehicle
There are broadly two types of Passive income Investment vehicles. The first is the Hands-off Passive Income Investment vehicle. And the second is the hands-on passive income investment vehicle. The hand-off passive income investment vehicle is any vehicle that once set up can run on autopilot. This means that these investment vehicles do not require ongoing maintenance and investments to thrive. Once set-up, investors simply enjoy ongoing passive income cash-flow without stress.
The hands-on Passive income investment vehicle on the other hand requires ongoing maintenance and investments to thrive. That is you need to occasionally infuse cash into them to keep them going. The key to passive income success is to have both the hands-off and Hand-on Investment vehicles working for you.
- e. A Passive Income Mentor
When you are trying to achieve a goal for the first time one of the smartest things to do is to get someone who has experience in that area to guide you. So if you are not yet familiar with passive income investing, chances are high that you need some help. This is where your passive income mentor comes in. The role of your mentor is to help you kick start your passive income investments. Keep you focused on your journey. And Guide you until you achieve your passive income goals. With this kind of guidance, you are sure to skip through mistakes. Be protected from adverse market conditions, and achieve your passive income goals with speed.
So these are the five things you need to build a solid passive income.
Now that you know what you need to build solid passive income. Let’s now look at the final component which is the Passive income time wasters.
3.The Passive Income Time Wasters
There are certain activities that waste, delay and postpone your passive income goal. Below are a few of them.
i. Looking for a Magic investment List
The most common request I get from people looking to invest for passive income is this. Grace, send me your investment list. First, I do not send any such list because such a list does not exist. Different people need different lists so why maintain a generic list for everyone. Besides all the investment list you need is out there in the open. The problem is you cannot make sense out of them.
Since 6000 years ago the traditional investment list has pretty much remained the same. They are no exclusive list for anyone. And everyone including Google draws from the same list. The only new investment that has shown up in the market since then is Cryptocurrency which is still struggling to gain mainstream acceptance.
So rather than look for a list look for an effective investment strategy. The secret is to a solid passive income is the creativity of an investment strategy. And the ability of an advisor to develop sound investment strategies. And apply these strategies, to the right investors and at the right time.
ii. Investing under financial pressure
The tendency for most people who have small savings and want quick returns is to look for high-risk investments that can produce quick returns. While this may seem like a quick plan, it never really works. These investors end up losing more money. And it may take some 2 or 3 times losing money to get the message. Investing under pressure is a big time waster
iii. Not having a Freedom plan
The only way to build solid passive income is to have a freedom plan. That is an investment plan that actually leads you to freedom. What most people have is an investment plan that leads you to returns. Especially erratic returns that you cannot depend on. This kind of plan only benefits the investment company and not you. To achieve financial freedom, you must work with a Freedom plan and focus on investing for financial freedom.
iv. Eating investment proceeds while still building a passive income.
A lot of people invest but only a few make meaningful progress. The majority of people go in investment circles. They invest eat the investment proceeds. And repeat the process all over again next year. You can never build solid passive income this way. To build solid passive income you must focus on reinvesting your proceed until you establish your passive income.
v. Postponing the work until the last minute
Building solid passive income takes time, discipline, and commitment. And the only way to build it cheaply is to start on time. Most people leave passive income planning until the last minute. After all else has failed. This is why we still have a large population of broke investors in retirement. If you leave passive income planning until the last minute. Chances are high you would not make it. The smart thing to do is to build your passive income first and then you can pursue other goals.
The truth is the only way to achieve total financial freedom is to transfer your livelihood from active to passive income. And the passive income that can set you free is the economy-protected passive income. To build this kind of passive income you need cash reserves. So if you have cash reserves and want to kick-start your passive journey, send an email to [email protected]
Grace Agada is a recognized leading Financial Expert on Nigerian Soil. She is a Renowned Speaker, Author, and Column Contributor in Punch Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, Vanguard newspaper, Business Day Newspaper, Leadership Newspaper, The Tribune Newspaper, and Online Platforms like Nairametrics, Proshare, and Bellanaija. Grace is the author of “The Multiple Income System, “The Passive Income Investing System”, and “The Wealthy Business Blueprint”. Grace is on a mission to raise the next generation of Wealth Creators who are passionately creating wealth for themselves, their families, and the nation. Grace has been featured on BBC Africa. Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. And has consulted for Numerous Top Organizations, Company Directors, Senior Executives, and Top performing working Professionals.
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