It’s great that you’ve reached a point where your debt is mostly under control and you’re saving money for the future. And when you move up to the Red Wealth Belt level, you’ll discover even more ways to diversify your investment portfolio and keep that money working for you. But you should pause for a moment to answer this important question:
Green Wealth Belt (GWB)
Are you on target to reach your long-term wealth goals based on the amounts you’re saving every month?
If the answer to this question is no, then it probably means that your current job doesn’t pay enough to allow you the flexibility to increase the size of your contributions. So to get where you want to be you’ll have to examine your options.
On the other hand, if you answered yes to that question, then my follow-up to you is, “Would you like to speed up wealth creation and reach your long-term dollar number sooner?”
Accelerated Wealth Creation Options
Regardless of your answers, you really only have three options:
- Upgrade to a higher-paying job. However, in a tough economy with high unemployment, this may or may not be practical. Are you willing to relocate to a different state?
- Get an extra part-time job. This might be the answer, but you’ll have to run the numbers. How many hours can you get? If the job only pays minimum wage, is that enough to justify your time and sacrifice?
- Start your own business. This is my favorite option. I’ll discuss it in more detail shortly, but first a few words of advice. If your Wealth Belt level is White or Yellow, it means that you’re dealing with quite a bit of debt. In your case, I suggest that you evaluate this option carefully before proceeding. That’s because ramping up a business will usually require some out-of-pocket costs.
There are ways to keep these costs to a minimum and we will cover them. But you may be better off getting a part-time job, with immediate and predictable cash flow, to help clear out that debt. Remember that just because you start a business it doesn’t mean that piles of money will begin to flow in overnight. And we don’t teach, promote, or advocate get-rich-quick schemes in this dojo.
You…A Business Owner?
Before you freak out from visions of locating office space, hiring employees, dealing with banks, etc., let me put your mind at ease. In no way am I suggesting that you quit your job and open a store in the local mall.
But what is clear today is that because of the Internet, smartphones, and other technology, we have the ability to fully exploit our skills, talents, passions, and interests like never before.
For example, you could establish a web site where you could earn sales commissions for promoting other people’s products that you also love. Or, you could sell new and used items on web sites such as eBay or Amazon. Or, you could charge local businesses for creating simple advertising videos that you upload to YouTube on their behalf. There really are an unlimited number of options.
Initially, you could operate your business as a part-time enterprise and then switch to full-time if you begin to see its upside potential being greater than your job.
Remember that achieving lasting wealth requires both of having your money work for you AND…. having more money to work with.
So if you like the idea of creating a home business, I’ll provide some insights and direction. I want to help you avoid mistakes that I made and share what I’ve learned along the way.
This article is just the beginning. You’ll find more information on this website. After being online full-time since 2002, I can say that I’ve seen just about everything. Of course, the internet is not as crazy now as it was back then.
Why Start A Business?
We live in a world today that is far different from that of our parents and grandparents. In their eras, once they got a job with a company it was normal to think that they would or could be with that organization for 20 to 30 years, or even longer. Upon retirement, the company provided a reasonable pension and a generous medical plan. Not so, nowadays.
I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that quoted labor experts as saying that, on average, the typical American can expect to have 7 career changes over their lifetime. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
I suppose that I should be the last person to be surprised because I fall within that range. I’ve worked for multiple corporations and now full-time on my own for over 10 years
Most of my job changes were simply attempts to better my career and make more money. But there were a couple of times during economic recessions where I was downsized, right-sized, let go or whatever politically correct term you want to use. Bottom-line is that I was fired. It’s never a good feeling to have to search for work when there’s a glut of other people who are in the same predicament.
While I enjoyed most of the jobs I had, I really disliked being at the whim of whatever the company had in mind for me. Whether it involved working on a lame project or traveling/relocating to some Podunk town that wasn’t for me, I wished that I had more control and freedom.
So I had my own reasons for starting a business and you’ll have to determine yours before doing any such thing, even on a part-time basis. It’s important that you know why because that rationale will motivate and drive you, and be your guiding light especially during any hard times. Some of the more common reasons for starting a business include:
- Creating a product/service that will help other people
- Enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss
- Being in a position to make a lot more money and maybe get rich
- Giving back to your community
- Picking the people you get to work and spend time with
- Getting away from the routine and challenging yourself
- Creating the perfect work/life balance situation for you and your family
- Pursuing your true passion in life
- Expressing your creativity and vision in your own unique way
At this stage, you shouldn’t fret about “how” to get a business going. When I talk to people, I find that many of them try to answer the “how” questions first and then start shooting down the possibility of starting a business because they don’t have all the answers.
Another large chunk of people will pooh-pooh the idea of a business right away because they swear they have nothing whatsoever to offer the world. Trust me, you do.
But for now I don’t want you to worry about answering “how” or “what” questions. If you can answer the why question, I’ll help you with the others.
What I can tell you is that starting a business has the potential to increase your wealth faster than probably any single investment you have working for you. Think about it!
- Determine why starting a business interests you.
- Begin to think about your skills, passions, and talents that could benefit others.
Just to wrap things up, this mini-course was all about having you shift your emphasis from debt control to saving and investing. At this point, debt and spending should no longer be significant issues for you.
With the information we just covered, you now possess the knowledge to confidently weigh and select among basic investment options, determine your risk tolerance, and design an investment portfolio. I also suspect that you’re saving money consistently and have taken a measure of where things stand as far as reaching your long term financial goals.
If you’re not satisfied with your current pace, then you owe it to yourself and your family to consider other ways to accelerate your wealth creation. This could also be the answer or solution to helping you reach the next wealth belt level of RED.
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