Are you ready to start your own business?

Starting your own business can be a challenge.

It will test your talents, your mental toughness, and your ability to adapt. And those tests—if you pass them—can spark extraordinary growth.

Here are four ways entrepreneurship will change you.

You’ll develop self reliance. Entrepreneurs need to learn to solve their own problems, or fail. They don’t have a team to handle the daily grind of running a business.

Instead, new entrepreneurs handle everything from product development to accounting. It’s a stressful and high stakes juggling game.

But it can teach you a critical lesson: You’re far more resourceful than you thought. You’ll learn to stop waiting for help and start looking for solutions.

You’ll discover loyal friends. One of the downsides of entrepreneurship is that it may expose toxic people in your circle. They’re the ones who might…

  • Mock your new career
  • Feel threatened by your success
  • Try to one-up you when you share struggles

As you and your business grow, you may need to limit your interactions with them. They might be too draining on your emotional resources to justify long-term relationships.

Rather, your circle should reflect values like positivity, encouragement, and inspiration. Those new friends will support you through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

You’ll learn how to manage stress. Late nights, hard deadlines, and high stakes are the realities for entrepreneurs.

To cope, you must build a toolkit of skills that can carry you through the hardest times. Otherwise, you may crack under the pressure and lose any progress you’ve made.

It comes down to one key question: Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?

Are you driven by insecurity? Or by vision?

If you’re trying to prove a point to yourself or others with your business, you may fall apart at the first hint of failure.

If you’re driven by vision, you’ll see failure as part of the process.

Examine your motivations. Over time, you’ll grow more aware of your insecurities. Talk about them with your friends, families, and mentors. As you bring them into the light, you may find they have less and less power.

Entrepreneurship can spark an explosion of professional personal growth. You’ll grow up. You may start with an employee mindset, but you’ll mature into a leader. That’s how entrepreneurship will change you.

P.S. If this seems daunting, start with a side hustle. It can ease you into the role of entrepreneurship without throwing you into the deep end too soon!

Developing good financial habits

As people progress through their lives they are faced with many new challenges. The first major one occurs in the majority of people in financial management. As you find yourself making more money, you must learn how to keep it properly. This process starts with the building of good financial habits that you will carry for the rest of your life. Developing good financial habits as a youngster will lay the basis for an easy transition as you grow older and start on your own.

An example of a good financial habit is that of regular savings. Saving money on a consistent basis has many benefits, one of which is peace of mind knowing that if an emergency arises, you have money stashed away to cover it. Another benefit of saving is that when you start making more money, the incremental addition from each paycheck will be much smaller for a large sum, rather than a small one. This means saving over time has the potential to add up very quickly.

How do you improve your finances?

Is it by not going out to dinner as much, or is it something more complicated?

It’s the latter. If the habits listed below were easy for people to follow, there wouldn’t be so many people living on credit cards and struggling with debt.

However, if you’re able to develop even some of these habits, you’re already on the right path to improving your financial situation.

1) Create a budget that works for you.

2) Write down all of your expenses at least once per month and track where every dollar goes. If you’re spending $100/month on take-out food, stop! There are ways to cook at home that are just as tasty and a whole lot cheaper.

3) Automate your finances: Have money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck or your savings account for bills, rent/mortgage, groceries, etc. This leaves less room for you to spend the money because you don’t see how much is available in those accounts.

4) Cut up your credit cards except one or two. Leave the debit card for emergencies only and use cash, checks and online bill pay for all expenses you can afford to pay in full each month.

5) Sign up for a 401(k) and commit to having 10% of every paycheck deducted from your paycheck automatically. If you’re starting from scratch, aim to save at least 10% of your income every month until you have at least six months worth of expenses saved.

6) Pay attention to the number of purchases before you spend. Think about how much that item means to you and ask yourself if it’s really worth spending an entire day’s wage on a single purchase!

7) Set small goals for yourself based on your financial situation. For example, if you have a lot of credit card debt, make it your goal to pay off the highest interest rate card first and continue down the list until they are all paid off.

8) Withdraw or transfer excess cash at the end of every month into a savings account so it will not be available to spend.

9) Check your credit report at least once per year for errors or fraudulent activity. This is incredibly important because it influences what you can get in terms of loans, insurance rates, etc. Get a free copy of your report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

10) Start a savings account with an automatic transfer of $5, 10, or 25 every week. It won’t seem like much at first, but it’s important to get in the habit of setting aside money for yourself and your future.

If you know that you will be tempted to spend if you have access to a credit card, leave it at home and only bring out the cash you know you’re willing to spend!

Do not make any purchases before going through your budget for the month. If you know that there is simply no way that purchase will fit into your budget without sacrificing something else equally important, wait until you can afford it!

Do not take out more than 10% of your income in rent/mortgage, car payments, or any other installment plan. If you already have this amount set aside, stop spending money on unnecessary luxury items and put the extra towards your debt instead.

Only pay full price for what you need (clothes, food, home decor). If you can wait and get it for a good price, do so. There will always be sales and coupons!

Remember: You’ll never get out of debt if you keep spending more than you earn and continue to rack up debt on credit cards. It’s tough at first but finding creative ways to cut down your expenses is the key to finding financial freedom.

 

Decreasing your housing budget

Decreasing your housing budget may mean more money in your pocket.

That’s because housing is the single largest expense for most Americans. Reducing mortgage payments or rent by even a fraction can free up substantial cash flow.

The best part? You don’t have to move into a shack to make it happen. Here are a few strategies to increase cash flow by decreasing your housing costs.

Choose the suburbs over the city. On average, suburbanites save $9,000 per year on housing and child care when compared to city-dwellers. By and large, the money you may save on the cost of living in the suburbs can outweigh the added transportation expenses. It’s not a shift for everyone, but relocating further from the city might make sense financially, at least for the short-term.

Rent until you’re ready. It’s worth considering leasing a house or apartment until you’re financially positioned to buy a house. Even if a mortgage payment seems cheaper on paper than renting, ownership can come loaded with unforeseen expenses. Flooded basement? That’s on you. Broken furnace? Also on you. Renting isn’t necessarily a permanent long-term strategy, but it beats potentially going into debt covering surprise repairs that are beyond your budget.

Find a reliable roommate. Sharing the cost of housing can free up a significant portion of your cash flow, especially in expensive cities. In New York City, for instance, having a roommate can save you up to $15,500 every year. Just be sure you take on a roommate that doesn’t flake out when rent is due.

Rent out a room. If you’re a homeowner with room to spare, consider leasing space to a trusted friend. The extra income can offset the cost of mortgage payments and result in more cash flow going toward saving, investing, or even paying off the house faster.

Contact me if you’re interested in learning more about how budgeting fits into an overarching financial strategy. We can review your income and expenses and make a game plan for how you can stop spending like a sucker and start saving like the wealthy.

M.Amos

Returning to a ‘normal’ office structure

And nothing screams normal like the office. The messy desks, the long commute, the last-minute requests from your boss, even those boring meetings—they all may appear oddly comforting after a year spent at home.

But beware. The return to normal might start off exciting, but you may find that the novelty is wearing off before too long. You might rediscover certain things about the 9-to-5 life that drag you down.

If that’s where you find yourself, pay attention to your response to the ‘new norm’. It may mean that your work location isn’t the problem—it’s the job itself.

That’s because it doesn’t matter whether you work from home or in an office if your career is being stifled by your job. A toxic work dynamic or disadvantageous model will drain you even if you’re working from a beach in the tropics!

So if you go back to the office and nothing changes, it may be time to find a new opportunity, one that offers…

  • Unlimited potential for income growth
  • Flexibility of time and location
  • Control over your success

So as you go back to the office, keep your eyes open. If you’re still dissatisfied with your job, consider something else. Let’s explore opportunities for you to break the mold and pursue your own path.

M.Amos 2021