I was pulling into the parking lot of my local coffee shop this morning.
After parking, I stepped out of my car and noticed that there was more too much room between my car and the parking spot line.
I walked over to the other side of my car to see if I had crossed the other parking lot line as I parked the car.
My suspicions that I had not parked my car “properly.”
One of my pet peeves is when I see other people park their car diagonally in a parking spot, and they end up taking two to three parking spots.
I’ve never interviewed one of these diagonal car parkers, so I don’t understand the rationale behind why they feel like they need more than one parking spot for their parking car.
I can only assume (and you know what they say about people that assume) that these people desire to keep their car’s paint job free of nicks from other people’s cars.
I didn’t want to become brandished with the moniker of a diagonal parker, so I went back to my car and repositioned it so that my park would fit nicely between the parking spot lines.
This reminded me of when I was in first grade, and my teacher encouraged me to color within the lines.
In some small way by my teacher instructing me to color within the lines, I learned the importance of rules.
Rules are an integral part of our lives.
Our parents give us rules from a very early age to protect us from harm.
One of the rules I’ve given each of my four children is not to touch the hot zone on a stove.
I don’t want my children to suffer the pain that comes from burning burn themselves.
Then as we grow into adolescence, we start to think for ourselves.
Many times we develop a disdain for authority as we try and learn for ourselves, which rules benefits.
As we go through the trial and error process, we learn from our experience, and we develop rules to direct and govern our lives.
By following the rules we’ve developed for ourselves, we seek to improve our future actions, which will lead to better results in our lives.
While I was growing up, my family struggled with money.
We even spent some time on a welfare system that helped make sure we had enough food to eat.
I was raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to make ends meet.
It was an embarrassing experience for me to grow up in an impoverished household.
At times, I felt like I was reeking of poverty, and I was ashamed of how this made me feel.
I concluded that a lack of money in my life was the source of many of the challenges I faced in my youth.
I determined that I would remove this pitfall from my life so that I could experience life more abundantly.
I spent countless hours researching and learning all I could about money and how to transform my life from a life of want to one of plenty.
The pain of poverty in my life helped me determine what my mission in life would be.
One of the things I learned is that the surest way to get on the fast lane to a life of plenty is through owning a profitable business.
I got an accounting degree so I could learn the language of business and then went on to business school so I could learn the other vital facets of business.
My education didn’t stop there.
I knew that an academic education had limited value if I didn’t apply those lessons learned from the classroom in the real world.
Over the past twenty-four years, I’ve always had one or more businesses operating that earned me money.
I’ve boiled down many of the lessons I’ve learned from my failures and successes into Ten Business Money Rules.
These are the rules I developed for myself from my hard-won experience of what works in the real world.
These rules have been worth multiple millions of dollars to me.
I share these with you as a way to pay it forward.
Apply these rules to your life, and you will fatten your bank account.
I will always pay myself first.
The first rule of money is to pay myself first.
Who is the person that works for the money?
If I am the one that works for the money, then I need to make sure I keep some of the money.
The pay yourself your states that I will save a portion of every dollar that I earn.
Every time I make a dollar, some of that money goes into a savings account.
It has astounded me when several months go by, and I look at my savings account.
It is a beautiful feeling to have money in a savings account
I will always spend less than I earn.
Living beyond one’s means is one of the surest superhighways to a life of despair, stress, and worry.
One who spends beyond their means is constantly looking around them and is one hiccup away from financial Armageddon.
When a person lives beyond their means, they are constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul.
This shell game continues for some time, and these people think they have everything under control until…
Peter dies, and there is no longer anybody to rob to pay Paul.
Bill Earle stated, “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.
My company’s profitability is the most important indicator of my business success.
One of the biggest failures I see in business is people misplacing their priorities.
Many business owners I know wear multiple hats.
They wear the marketing hat, the accountant hat, the collections hat, the inventory manager hat, the salesperson hat, the boss hat, the janitor hat, the customer service hat, the technician hat, and many more innumerable hats.
Many times, during the day, they have to switch hats so that “urgent” work gets done.
The constant pursuit of doing urgent work often leads the business owner to get lost in the weeds.
They lose sight of what is the most important factor of their business success – Profit.
Without profit, the business will run out of money, and it will wither away on the vine.
There will only be one hand in the piggy bank.
When too many hands jump into the piggy bank, money becomes slippery.
That slippery money slides out of the piggy bank forever lost to the natural forces of life.
You may have heard the phrase when everyone is responsible, nobody is responsible.
There must be one person responsible for the money in the piggy bank of your business.
That person must have sole responsibility for the accumulation of cash in the bank.
I will not spend money. I will only invest it.
Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that the words we use in our lives have an astonishing amount of power over the actions that we take.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you will have heard people talk about an income statement or a profit and loss statement (aka P&L statement).
The purpose of the P&L statement is to let you know if the business is making a profit.
On the P&L statement, there are three major sections as follows:
- Income – this section details how much money the business brings in by selling its wares.
- Expenses – this section details most of the ways that money leaves a business.
- Profit or Loss – this section lets you know if the business is making or losing money
A business should never strive to turn all their expenses into investments.
Here is an example of what I mean.
When you hire a new employee, you are hiring that employee to make more money for you.
If that employee does work that earns the company $1,000 a day and you pay that employee $200 a day, you are making good money from that employee.
That employee is an investment.
If the employee, in turn, earns the company $50 a day and you pay that employee $200 a day, you are losing money from that employee.
That employee is an expense.
Strive to transform each of your expenses into investments.
I will hold my money accountable.
Accountability means that you hold something responsible.
Earlier I mentioned that profit is the most important indicator of business success.
Without profit, a business is dying.
The use of misuse of money represents where we place our priorities.
By reviewing how we spend our business money, we can gain great insight into what our true priorities.
At times this can be a bitter pill to swallow.
We can use this knowledge to redirect how we use our money.
But we don’t have visibility into our priorities if we don’t keep our money accountable.
Every dollar I use in my business will have a predetermined purpose.
Many people have a pastime that wreaks havoc on their money.
It is the pastime of impulse buying.
We get a hit of adrenaline every time we spend money.
This adrenaline hit becomes intoxicating, and we jump back into the well over and over again to lap up the pleasure from purchasing.
Impulsive buying left unchecked, digs us into a pit of desolation.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
This is true in each area of our life, especially our money.
Every dollar I use in my business is an investment.
Many centuries ago, people sought to use alchemy to transform lead into gold magically.
How amazing would it be to have the power to turn something with no value into riches?
When you have a successful business, you have this ancient power.
You transform something with little value into a pot of gold.
You have a money-making machine.
In order to have a well-oiled money-making machine, you have to make sure that you get more out of the business than you make.
In other words, your investments give you a return on investment.
If you put in $1,000 into the business, you need to get more than $1,000.
Imagine for a moment that you have a money-making machine.
I will develop a target return on investment first before any purchase decision.
Without a target, we are like a blindfolded archer shooting arrows in the dark.
The goal of an archer is to deliver his arrow to the bullseye of the target.
Without a target, the archer is better off not shooting arrows because, at some point, the archer will lose all of the arrows.
Then when it’s time to deploy the arrow, the quiver will be empty.
The first target return on investment is something I call break-even.
Break-even means that when I spend $1, I get $1 back,
Then the next phase is to spend $1 and get more than $1 back.
Then the final stage is to continually increase the amount of money I get back from my $1 invested.
If I don’t receive a return of investment greater than 100%, I am burning dollars, and I must put out the fire.
There is nothing worse than being in a business that loses money.
It is a soul-sucking, bone-crushing existence that depletes our humanity.
When we spend money that doesn’t get a return of investment, we are building a bonfire that is fueled by our life.
The money you have in your business is a representation of your hard and tireless work.
When people waste money, they are, in reality, wasting their life.
The best way to put out a fire is to stop feeding it.
Once the fuel for the fire is gone, the fire naturally extinguishes.
There you have the new rules of business. I’ve created a printable that you can download and hang on your wall.
Take the time to sign the money contract and commit yourself to follow the Ten Business Money Rules.
You can get the Ten Business Money Rules and The Money Contract here.