My business naming mistake…
I have a fairly short, quick, post today. I began really thinking about this a few weeks ago and shared my initial thoughts on the Millionaire Money Mentors forum. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin… all the “random” cryptocurrencies, because they are all “made up” wealth values. Yes, I know all the economic basics that ANYTHING can be a storage of wealth. Even gold, the dollar, blah, blah, blah are just storages of wealth.
But I said this was going to be a short, quick, post, so here’s the one simple reason…
If you ask most people “What would you do with a million dollars?”, they would give answers like:
This list of answers is, of course, why these folks don’t already have a million dollars. They are too focused on pleasures and not things that really matter long term. Sigh.
Anyone who already has money would give you pretty much one answer to the million dollar question… they would save/invest the money and let it grow. They would tell you once invested, they could (if they wanted to) spend roughly $40,000 per year of this money without it ever depleting (the 4% rule).
Let’s get back to the main point of my post today. The biggest benefit of wealth…
As I write this post, the world has been facing the COVID-19 epidemic for 6 months. I am on vacation looking at a white sand beach, listening to the ocean waves. The world has tried to “re-open”, but many are unsure if that’s the right thing to do and freedoms are starting to be limited again.
One of my favorite movies is called “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. The fictional story-line oddly has a lot in common with COVID-19. The movie was first released in 1956. The basic story revolved around a virus that came from space, landed on earth, infected humans, and you had no idea who had it and didn’t have it (until it was too late — cue scary music).
You’ve heard the saying “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” (because if you drop the basket, all of the eggs break, and you lose all of them). What I’m about to discuss is about having one egg in one basket… the difference is… when the egg breaks… it breaks into ~3600 little eggs. That one egg is VTI. It’s technically not a stock, but an ETF (a fund that you can buy and sell as a stock). It’s managed by Vanguard (and I use the word “managed” loosely). VTI is also known as a mutual fund under VTSAX (3K initial investment). Note there used to be a VTSMX with a 3K initial investment and slightly higher fees, but Vanguard did away with VTSMX and now there is only VTSAX (it’s all the same, and all VTSMX holdings were converted to VTSAX). Now let’s get back to discussing this one egg concept…
If you want to be successful in business, never say no. Serve your customers. Your customers simply want to be helped.
This post is going to start off with a bit of a rant about a recent, negative, experience with American Airlines. I promise there is much more to this post than just this rant. I’ll share with you some key points on how I was successful with my software company by serving my customers and finding a way to say “yes”. This initial story about American Airlines will be an example of how NOT to handle customers.
Today I’m starting a new series called “That Time”. With it, I will share some interesting stories (usually about entrepreneurship, failure, and what I learned from it). Without further ado…
Back around 2007, while still working on my yet-to-be-successful, one-man, small software company, I was still experimenting with a number of small business ideas and investments. I really couldn’t find enough ways to lose my money. Haha.
My mother-in-law’s (MIL) financial life is on fire… and it’s not the good kind (as in FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early). You see, she is in her mid 60’s, still working, and has only $35,000 invested in savings.
No, not $35,000 cash plus something else.
No, not $350,000 invested.
No, definitely not $3.5M invested.
And no, not $35,000 and a paid for house.
She has a total life savings of $35,000 at age 66. And she wouldn’t have that had we (my wife and I) not pushed her to start saving something a few of years ago (and to get out of debt). A few years ago she was in credit card debt and still carrying new car notes.
Just released. My interview with Clark and Jace on Millionaires Unveiled podcast. Episode #90.
In this politically correct world we live in today, equality seems to be a big topic of interest. The thing is, equality doesn’t exist, and it’ simply impossible for it to exist. Sure we are ALL equally valuable as human beings. We don’t live in the world of Logan’s Run. No… no one is worthless, discard-able, or needs to be done-away with. But we are not all equal, at least not in skills and strengths. The idea of trying to make everyone equal is crazy. Equality should not be the goal. Equal opportunity is a worthy goal (but it’s probably not realistically possible either).
None of us are equal. We all have different positives and negatives. We all have something we’re good at, and other things we are not. We all have physical attributes that make some things possible and some things impossible. In order to be successful in life, you must figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. You find self-worth in finding what you’re good at. And contrary to the popular belief of working hard on your weaknesses, you should really double-down on your strengths. Sure, put some effort into bettering some weaknesses, but don’t waste time trying to overcome something that doesn’t matter in the long run… or worse, futilely trying to overcome a weakness that is impossible to overcome.
I must say, I’ve “had it up to here” with people born in the United States complaining about money, jobs, “the rich”, “can’t get ahead”, telling successful people they’re lucky… all of it.
You know who doesn’t complain? Immigrants. Immigrants who’ve been given a chance to make something of their lives here.
I haven’t posted as much as I’d have liked to in the past month or so. The truth is I’ve been super busy. I was in Arkansas for three weeks helping my son rehab a new rental. I’m invested with him in some Airbnb rentals there. As anyone who’s ever rehabbed a house knows, it’s a lot of work. And the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing some minor, but time-consuming, updates to software that I designed. When I work on a project, I generally go “all in” and commit full resources to it. Not just to get it done quicker, but I believe good (great) work requires complete focus. If you’re working on something business-related, I don’t believe you can do it half-hearted (at least not in the early years). So I generally work 10-12 hours per day until something is done. That means I’ve been working 70+ hour weeks the last 6-8 weeks. I don’t have a moderate switch.
The truth is, though, when I’m not going all out on a house rehab, or making a minor update to my software, I don’t have to work that much per week anymore to maintain my software company. A “small” software company that has recurring/subscription revenue of ~$700,000/year.