I promised myself I’d get stuff sorted once I was back in the swing of things. My absolute favourite thing to do with my business is to grow my knowledge base BUT looking at the numbers is one of those things that never goes away. So, like me, you may as well get comfortable with them.
First principles – numbers! They apply to how much, with whom, what type, when, where, and why? I won’t pretend I’m even remotely clever with this stuff. So, apart from finding the right people to help me in my hours of need, it’s always budget time. In my earlier days, a budget meant something completely different. It meant cutting things out, slowing study courses down, going without in the short term to gain in the mid to long term. These days it is making sure I have more money than month. I remember the days of not breaking even, let alone making a profit.
Generally, I followed the guidelines of the associations I belonged to. They fairly dictated a lot of how I conducted my business. With time and experience, I learned that there were better money management options outside of these associations. Take insurance for example. If an association or professional group can negotiate insurance on my behalf then I am perfectly capable of doing it for myself. Compare and save!
When I first started out, the advice I was given from every quarter was “don’t give up your day job”. I refer to that phase as my schizophrenic existence. Simultaneous but very different rollercoaster rides, not much sleep, and not much money. I’m grateful I survived it but I wouldn’t recommend it as a way to get ahead. Another bit of advice I got was “why bother with weekend workshops in unrecognised courses when I could have a perfectly respectable career via university. Wouldn’t I do better to qualify in a “nice” profession”? Yes, it might have been nice but I would have definitely had more month than money and guaranteed failure because what I wanted to learn was not taught at university. Not only did the numbers fail to stack up monetarily, they didn’t stack up in time and probabilities. Money lost can be earned. Time cannot.
Numbers are black and white. Objective. They don’t lie if you know what you’re looking at. Life, however, is delicious, unpredictable chaos and mayhem that we all wade through to make some semblance of a decent way of living for ourselves. Subjective to the Nth degree. Remember that. It’s important. You can plan but life happens, regardless.
So, building a life on numbers!! Let’s have a look at that little gem of advice often given to those of you who want to get ahead – establishing a passive income. Quickest and easiest is learning how to manipulate money. It is costly to learn AND you have to have “extra” money to be able to use/lose for this pursuit unless you have family who are willing to spot you. Catch 22 much? With time it is an option but not when you’re staring out on your own. Easier as a couple so long as your stick to the plan. Oooh, how many of you are triggered by your money and relationship issues right now? Which brings me to the last, squirming piece of advice I was given: “you gotta do what you gotta do to get to where you wanna go.” It’s a personal choice where you are prepared to draw your line in the sand. Wherever that is, make it worth your while and good luck.