What kind of man makes to conquer a mountain only to wind up lying in the valley at it’s foot?
There are so many directions to approach such a question though I’ll take the least embarrassing one…
…truth be told, it’s taken me some time to realise the irony of my situation. That situation is that I’ve enjoyed a view of the stars, not because I stood among them but because I stared up from the flat of my back.
To be honest with you, everything about my current situation just screams Alanis Morissette.
“It’s like planning to become a millionaire, only to end up worse for wear..”
(I know, could have worked more on the rhyming part…)
…but now that I’m past those first 5 lines of self-pity, I can get to sharing.
The first thing I wanted to share is that the last month has been spent working on Roarender, my digital design company. This includes door knocking, “warm calling”, bringing on skilled talent to carry out the work and realising, “Crap, I have less money now then I had before I started the 80-Day Challenge!” I then followed this up with a classic Tim-Allen-quizzical-grunt (not really but you get the idea).
For a second, I floated the idea that this is how all great founders of successful design firms and studios feel and live. It mostly came to me from an email exchange between Tim Miller, founder of Blur Studio, and a Mr. DiMauro. A summary of the exchange can be found here, quite colorful really though a mere shadow of the complete conversation.
In it, Tim wrote something to the effect of taking pride in being paid less than his staff members. Of course than I snapped out of it and realised Roarender isn’t Blur Studio and I was still a ways off becoming Tim Miller.
The challenge is that in order to succeed at Checkity, my “online venture”, I require the capital and time to build as well as support it through the initial stages. This is where my design firm is supposed to have come in. By running a successful and profitable company, I would then have the “much needed coin” to invest in the development of my website while ensuring my family stays fed.
Problem is, setting up a company is one thing, setting up sales is a completely different can of worms. Well, a more honest statement would be that the real problem is my ability to get appointments with prospects.
This has been true over the last 3 weeks where I decided to focus wholeheartedly on selling “the benefits” my services could offer. I believe it was a culmination of a weak sales process, undisciplined work ethic and poor organisation skills which reaped the poor results I rightly deserved. I also failed to track and evaluate my performance, a fatal flaw in any process.
This resulted in me needing to revisit my approach. Begrudgingly, with creditors at the door, I’ve subsequently dialed back my time and effort in exchange for a contract that provides a steady stream of income. It is unfortunate, in light of my efforts (or more accurately, desire) , that I should step away from the plate as opposed to assess, adjust and ascend as the fairy tales would lead us to believe. But this is a necessary step as I develop better discipline and an ability to manage time and funds more effectively.
The light at the end of the tunnel is a book I’ve been longing to read since I first began my 80-Day Challenge, The Richest Man in Babylon. Given that my time is scarce at the moment, I took advantage of downloading the Audiobook and it was exactly the jump-start I needed to end my self-wallowing and begin making a change in how I was handling my cash flow.
Now, for those unfamiliar with The Richest Man in Babylon, it is a collection of parables which teach important principles of managing your finances and investing wisely. These parables are set in the times of Babylon, a city of arguable greatness.
The Richest Man in Bablyon has 7 basic principles:
1) Start thy purse to fattening – save/invest
2) Control thy expenditures – watch out for self serving brokers
3) Make thy gold mutiply – use powerful investments
4) Guard thy treasures from loss – watch out for brokers with
their hot tips.
5) Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment – rental properties, your own home—but stay within your means.
6) Insure a future income – do work that you love to do. Become excellent at it.
7) Increase thy ability to earn – education never stops. Keep reading good books like this one, The Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad Poor Dad and so on.
Now, I’ve wanted to check this book out since I first heard the Rhino, Jerry Clark mention it in a list of books to invest in. Suffice to say, I’m listening to it second time around in less than 5 days. I’ll also listen to it repetitively in days to come as it was just what I needed to hear.
One truth that hit home for me was how men of means could so easily allow their desires to exceed their capacity to satisfy, the result, a life no better off than that of a slave.
Another truth was the requirement to make your money a slave to work towards your own ends. Of course, giving away your slaves, without forethought, would mean I’d need to buy new slaves (earn more money) in order to have them, then, work for me. The kicker is that once I had these slaves, my paramount focus was to see those slaves have children (accrue through wise investment) that too, would work for me. The purpose is to grow an army of earnings that would ensure my needs, my wants and my desires were the stead for which I straddled and not the other way around (which has been the case until now).
So yesterday, I received my first earnings and without a second thought, I placed 10% in an account set aside for me. This amount would not go to anyone. Now, the book also promotes adjusting your living expenses to live on 70% of your earnings so that the remainder may be split evenly between Investment and Tithing so I have work to do tonight in order to compensate.
I dare say it is a step that I’ve long been avoiding.
So given that I tend to put off today’s work tomorrow, I’m looking forward to seeing what effect these small changes make in my own Self Development and Personal Success.