At the end of 2015, I basked in the shade of this beautiful business I had built.
There is nothing like success to make the heart swell.
I started the business in 2009 and squandered for two years. I grew my sales each year. However, I also grew my expenses each year.
My expenses each of those two years were higher than my sales.
That’s a miserable way to run a business that’s certain to put one into an early grave.
Where in the world did I get the stupidity to think that I not paying myself was a good idea?
I wanted to get paid, I thought about getting paid.
However, my actions were not congruent with my wants and my thoughts.
I paid everyone else first. Then if there was money left over (and most months there wasn’t much leftover) I took the last scraps from the table of my business.
There’s a simple formula that explains a good result in business.
Income > Expenses = Profit
Income < Expenses = Loss
I could end this blog post here and say that’s all you need to know about business.
Three years of business school and tens of thousands of dollars. That’s what I learned.
The whole purpose of a business is to make a profit.
If the business doesn’t make a profit, it dies.
Then I read The Richest Man in Babylon and realized I wasn’t paying myself first.
That was the magic secret I had been looking for. The funny thing is I always knew paying myself was important.
However, for some reason, I had a brain fart when I started my accounting business.
At the time, I had a Master of Business Administration, and I was a Certified Public Accountant.
I didn’t lack business or financial knowledge.
It wasn’t a lack of knowledge that led to my financial disaster. It was a lack of taking the right actions.
It’s kind of like being healthy.
One of the keys to being healthy is eating food.
However, eating food is not sufficient. It has to be the right food.
So it is with business. The right actions have to be taken.
When it came to the money side of my business, I wasn’t taking the right actions.
I started paying myself first, which forever transformed the money side of my business and my life.
The fantastic thing about getting a transformational piece of information is it transforms one’s life.
It’s kind of like learning to ride a bike. Once we learn how to ride a bike, we can’t unlearn it.
It’s the same in business. Once you put the puzzle together, you know how to do it over and over again.
You’ve learned it.
There was a time when I did not know how to add one plus one.
Now I know how to add.
I’ll never not know how to add two numbers together.
There I was at the end of 2015. I had figured out how to build a wildly profitable business.
Not only was my business wildly profitable, but my personal life was deeply fulfilling.
I had deep relationships with my wife and each of my children.
I was taking a vacation every month.
I was saving more money in my retirement account each year than the average person earned in a year.
I had it all.
For the next two years, I continued on my merry way. I went into coast mode.
I still maintained my standards. However, I consciously decided to stop growing.
Because I had arrived.
More importantly, I hit the glass ceiling.
The next step to growth would require me to bring on staff and build a team.
The last thing I wanted was to be surrounded by a bunch of accountants.
I mean really could you think of anything more boring.
Just think about this. Someone decides to throw a party. The only people that are going to be there are accountants. Accountants talking about accounting.
I’m dying of boredom right now just thinking about it. Oh, the humanity!!
I seriously think watching paint dry would be more fun.
I had gotten to know a lot of other accounting firm owners that had grown their businesses to the $1 – $2 million in sales revenue.
As I talked with them, I realized once you factored in all the staff and other expenses in their business they were taking out of their businesses about the same amount of money I was making with my business generating $325,000 in revenue.
So while I say I hit the ceiling, the reality was I didn’t have a compelling reason to grow an accounting business.
Why in the world would I make all the investments of time money and resources to grow a business to $2 million when I would just keep making the same amount of money as my $325,000 business with no staff and no headaches?
There was not enough of a reward for me to take the leap.
In September of last year, everything changed.
I went to ProfitCon in Morristown, New Jersey at the end of September last year.
Before ProfitCon, there was some specialized speaker training available. John Bates, one of the most TED speaker coaches in the world, was training us to give TED-style speeches.
I’d spent several years in Toastmasters and had developed some public speaking skills. I surmised honing my communication skills was a valuable investment to make. I knew it would help me grow my Profit First Business.
Four days of tremendous training.
My buddy Ron got up on the stage and gave a less than stellar speech.
Then it was my turn. I told a story about teaching my son to swim. I explained that 90% of swimming was floating. If you can’t float, you can’t swim.
Then I realized something was in that simple event. Floating was the key to swimming. Being profitable was the key to being in business.
When I finished my speech, someone else yelled out, “Now that’s how you tell a story!!!”
I was humbled. I realized I had a gift. I had a message that needs to be told.
Moreover, I have the power to tell the stories that will touch people’s hearts and goad them on to reach for a better life.
Tell a story. Make a point. If you tell a story and it has no point, then you’re wasting peoples time. If you don’t have a story to make a point, nobody will remember your point.
Two days of ProfitCon, and it was time for me to drive back to my home in North Carolina.
As I was driving home, I started thinking.
I could just stay comfortable with my business. If I continued on my path for the next 20 years, I was confident I’d amass three to four million dollars. I’d be able to live out a comfortable retirement.
Then I heard a voice in my head. “Damon you’re being selfish.”
You’ve got a gift and a message that will transform people’s lives. If you don’t share the message, people won’t hear the message.
If they don’t hear the message, they’ll never know there’s a better life out there that is closer than they realize.
They won’t get the message.
As I continued on my drive, I made a decision.
I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get the message out there.
Did I mention I had a million dollar idea?
Earlier this year, in March, I was in Orlando, Florida attending the International Maxwell Certification for the John Maxwell Team.
I was listening to Paul Martinelli’s keynote speech. I received an impression during his speech. The impression was:
“Oh my God, I’m going to make a million dollars next year.”
I learned many other amazing things during my time in Orlando.
I looked at my traditional accounting business. I realized it was not the vehicle to get me to my millions.
More importantly, it would not get me to sharing my message with as many people as I can.
Here we are in July 2019. Tomorrow I’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first steps on the moon.
I don’t have my Million Dollar Idea all flushed out. However, I know what direction to go to get there.
More importantly, I know the business model that will enable me to scale from Zero to a Million in Twelve Months.
That’s my Million Dollar Idea.
I’m going to grow Ideal Money Life from Zero to A Million in Twelve Months.
Come along with me for the ride. Learn as I learn.
I promise it will be more exciting than a party full of accountants.