This community and my content is mainly focused around creating and scaling your business. Which is of MASSIVE importance in my opinion, or I wouldn't have created this website, my facebook page/group and devoted my time to sharing everything I know on the topic.
However, I think it's very important to know that owning a business to me is not the end, but the means to an end.
"Zach... then... what is the goal?"
Here it is: 1) Make a difference and 2) Create Wealth
I am a completely different person in the way that I think today than I was growing up and even in college in regards to the way I view creating wealth and what it will take in order to do that.
My family always believed that college was the key that unlocked wealth. I've also always heard how important hard work is and that it was also possibly the key to creating wealth.
But here is the deal: If it was college that created wealth, every college graduate would be loaded (which we know isn't the case) and if working hard was the key to creating wealth, every ditch digger in the world would be a millionaire.
Are those things important?? Yes (I would argue that college isn't actually that important... but that's for another post) but what is MOST important is the path we choose to achieve the financial independence we are chasing after.
There are different ways to create wealth, but today i'm going to share with you the most common way that most people create lasting, multi-generational wealth. There are 4 steps to get there, and you may be on step 1 or step 4 but here they are...
You were probably told to go to school, work hard, so when you graduate you can get a job as an....
The majority of the United States is made up of Employees. People that work for other people or organizations.
There are many benefits to being an employee for another person or another organization. Here are some:
-Consistent pay: you know what to expect each week, or two weeks on your paycheck
-Benefits: The company may offer health insurance, dental insurance, a 401K match, etc..
-Consistent hours: You are required to work a set amount of hours.. Once you clock out, you're done. Go home. Chill.
-You can hide: Meaning in a large organization you can get away with having a bad day, a bad week, or maybe even a bad month or bad year. You can mask your level of poor performance.
As good as those sound, here are the negatives, which are pretty bad in my opinion if you're trying to trying to escape "just getting by" and actually create wealth:
-Your pay is typically capped: Your boss gets to tell you what you're worth. You're worth $30K a year. You're worth $17/hour. You're not worth any more money. And if you do happen to get a raise in your current position, it's usually no more than a couple thousand dollars a year (which is not much when broken down into each paycheck)
-You have a boss. I don't have to explain this one. Not everyone, but most people don't like their boss.
-You typically have to work strict hours with rigid timelines and timeframes.
-At any moment, you could get fired or laid off. Even though this isn't very common for everyone, I know of several of my own friends and family that have worked incredibly hard for 10-20 years for companies, climbed the corporate ladder, only to be laid off in their mid 40's or 50's. What they thought was a "secure job" ended up not being so secure after all.
-You're always trading your time for money. Which is the WORST. Especially if you're paid hourly. So in your mind the only way to make more money is to work more hours.
You've gotta realize that as an employee your growth potential is capped and you're always going to be trading your time for money.
But we know that's not how wealth is created. Why? Because we all have the same 24 hours, but some people are super billionaires. How does that happen?
Because they know how to utilize leverage (we will get to that in step 3)
So that's the 1st step that most people take.
Here is the next step toward creating wealth...
You get sick of your boss so you say "you know what... I'm going to go do this on my own.. " so you then become....
People that are self-employed DON'T have a terrible boss breathing down their neck. They don't have rigid schedules. They don't have someone telling them what they are or are not worth.
You're as free as a bird. To succeed to the highest of heights OR unfortunately to crash and burn to the lowest of lows.
There is no cap on your income. There is also no safety net of that predictable weekly salary check.
But most people actually enjoy this and can do it quite well. Being self-employed means you own your own business, but you don't really have anyone else that you manage.. You're kind of a one-man show. So you're "IN the business" everyday. Doing the stuff it takes to make the magic happen. You're building the products. You're talking with the customers. You're traveling. You're handling the finances. You're the one doing all the stuff.
If you can navigate this well, you'll find that you can begin to make more and more money. But what happens is that people start to get afraid or nervous to make the jump to the next level. So they get busy with more and more business, but they either start turning customers away OR they just work themselves into the ground. Handling it all themselves, working 16 hour days, 6-7 days a week.
You DO NOT want to stay here if this is your full-time job. It's fine if you're happy with your day job and you like having a "side hustle" making some extra cash to help achieve your financial plans.
ANYWAY, back to the steps.
So that's the second step; Self-employment.
It's great. You're independent from under the strict rule and reign of another person or corporation, but the downfall is that basically you're still trading time for money.
The next step is when you start to REALLY move the needle forward financially.
You go from self-employed to...
3) BUSINESS OWNER
What's the difference between being self-employed and owning a business?
One word: Employees
Another word: LEVERAGE
What do I mean by leverage? Leveraging your time, your resources, and employees to do work that you couldn't do in the 24 hours that you have.
Let me give you a prime example:
I make and sell custom dining furniture. I did it by myself for almost a year, then I took the plunge and hired my first employee. Here's what happened.
So let's just asay I made and sold a dining set that cost $1,000. Generally speaking, my material costs are about 25% of the profit I receive from a sale and if I made it myself, that's the only cost that the business would incur - MEANING - I would get to keep $750 of the $1000.
Pretty sweet right? But heres the problem: I could only make about 1 table set per week at full capacity, working full speed - 40-50 hours a week.
So what are my options? 1) Work more and more and more and more hours OR 2) turn away business OR 3) hire an employee to help me build table sets.
So here's what leverage looks like:
Now my full-time employee can make that entire $1,000 table for around $200-250 in an hourly wage.
So while i'm working on my 1 table set per week ($1,000 gross revenue for the week - $250 in material cost = I bring home $750) I also have my employee working on a table set ($1000 gross revenue for the week - $250 in material cost - $250 that I pay him to build it = I bring home $500)
So now, in the same week that I used to only be able to make $750, now i'm making $1,250 with no additional hours or work on my part.
I can do this with 1 employee, 5 employees, or 50 employees, its the same principle.
Think of the potential here? If I had 50 employees making a table set each week, and after expenses I was profiting $500 per set, that would be $25K a week that would go into my pocket! (one day it's going to happen!)
When you hire an employee, they need a job which you're offering them, and you need an employee.
It's a symbiotic relationship. You're scratching their itch and they are scratching yours.
Owning a business moves you into scalability and being able to create wealth that multiplies instead of just adding more hours worked which is simply addition.
See why I'm so excited by this? Potential is endless.
HOWEVER, here is the 4th step and it is by FAR the most powerful way to create lasting wealth... Are you ready?
When I begin to invest in things like real estate, stocks, bonds, other businesses, franchises, etc... I open up the ability to create passive income meaning that I am now making money in my sleep.
From the beginning of my interest in business, this has been my main goal; to get to a place where I can begin to invest additional income into things that make my family and I more money, which i in turn reinvest into things that make us more money.
Here's a great example of what I'm talking about, but i'm going to do some math, so don't let me lose you.
I know that if I buy a piece of property at the right price it will give me an annual return of 18-25% on my money.
Let's say I have $100,000 that I've saved up from growing my business that I now want to invest in real estate. I can buy up to a $400,000 piece of property because I only have to put down 25% of the purchase price to get a loan with the bank.
If I bought the $400K property at the right price, I should get at least 1% of the purchase price each month in rental income ($400,000 x 1% = $4,000)
But don't forget, I have to pay my mortgage, taxes, and insurance for the property which on a $400,000 property would come out to something along the lines $2,200. This means that I would get to keep around $1,800 a month in income from that single investment.
$1,800 per month X 12 months = $21,600 annually which is 21.6% of my $100,000 downpayment on the property.
So what does this mean?
This means that if I want to make $100,000 per year in passive, real estate income over the course of my life I just need to be able to invest $463K into real estate ($463K * 21.6% = $100K per year in income)
"But Zach, why would i take $100,000 cash and give it away to just get $21,600 back each year?"
Because you are only doing that for 5 years before you're making more than the $100,000 you gave away.
Also, imagine this: Imagine that as you've invested your $100K, you're still running a business that is making enough money that next year you'll have another $100K to invest.
So you take the next $100K PLUS the $21,600 you made from your first investment last year and you now buy a $486,400 property (25% downpayment of $486,400 is $121,600) and you do this again... and again... and again... and again...
You look up in 10 years and your life is completely different. You're making hundreds of thousands of dollars in passive income.
So yes, Start and create a business. Make a difference in your business. Care about your customer. Enjoy what you do. Break away from your job.
But remember, if you want to create wealth go from self-employed to creating leverage through owning a business to ultimately investing in the things that allow you to make money in your sleep.
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