Twenty years ago, I was soaking up the rays on the sand on a beautiful beach on the island of Oahu. I had just proposed to Angel, and she was there by my side. We were young, in love, and looking forward to building a life together.
While on that vacation, I had the distinct advantage of reading two powerfully impactful books. The first I read was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I was so enthralled by that book that I read Cashflow Quadrant.
The Cash Flow Quadrant describes the four ways to make money as follows:
- Employee (E) – Someone who works for someone else. You have a job and you selling your time for money.
- Self-Employed (S) – You own a small business or are a self-employed professional. You have gained a bit more control. You now own your job. You are still selling time for money.
- Business Owner (B) – You are a business owner. The business has systems and people in place that produces an income stream. The business is built in a way where it is not dependent on you as the business owner working in the business. A business requires a different structure where you sell a service or a product. You are selling services or products for money.
- Investor (I) – The investor owns a business that is operated by someone else. The business shares its profits with the Investor. The Investor earns money simply by owning the business. The Investor can go to Fiji for six months or a year and still receive income from the business.
Monumental Mindshift change. I realized from those two books that I had to be a business owner. I wanted a better life, and the life of an employee would never fulfill me.
Nine months later, I bought my first business, A-1 Cleaning. I was doing dirty work. Cleaning toilets, emptying garbage bags, mopping floors, and vacuuming carpets.
I was in love with my work because it was my work. I was making good money and in control of my money and my time.
I continued my formal education getting an Accounting Degree and moved from being a business owner to being an accounting employee.
Work-wise I learned a ton. But I was miserable. I gave up a lot of the things I loved about owning a business to become an employee. I was a caged lion who had once roamed the vast lands of the savanna. There was no way I could be happy as an employee after having lived the life of a business owner.
A few years later and four different jobs, I was politely told by my boss that my services were no longer needed.
Fortunately for me, I had already been successful in owning a business. I had confidence in myself that I could repeat my success.
I was a decent accountant, and so I opened an accounting business.
This is the classic way most people start businesses. They are good at a technical skill, so they open a business that provides services or products using their technical skills.
One of my first clients whom I’ll call Stanley and Mary to protect their privacy had just started a business together. They hired me to be their accountant. I met with Stanley regularly and advised him on his business.
The first year of their business was incredible. Every single year the business grew. Stanley and Mary would continually talk with me about the importance of building a business that wasn’t dependent on them. Every year I watched as they made the moves to move through the cash flow quadrant.
They struggled to make changes to move their business to the next level. A few years ago, they began to groom Sara as their successor. Sara had joined the company and been very successful. Sara is a superstar. She has talents and gifts that have grown Stanley and Mary’s business better then they could have hoped.
A couple of years ago, I met with Stanley, and he told me that he and his wife were now only working in the business a few half a days each week.
That same year, Stanley and Mary invited me to a ribbon cutting for their new charity. They had established a charity to bring light into the lives of innocent children going through very difficult life experience.
When I speak to people about Ideal Money Life™, I’m talking about what I know is possible. I’m talking about what Stanley and Mary have accomplished.
Stanley and Mary were very clear on the business they was building. They were building a business that would provide an abundant life. They were building a business that would bring them financial independence.
This week, I had a meeting with Stanley, Mary, Sara, and an attorney. The purpose of the meeting was to negotiate the partial sale of the business to Sara. The payday has arrived. Stanley and Mary are selling a partial interest to Sara for millions of dollars. Stanley and his wife will still be paid a significant annual income because they will continue to own a significant portion of the business.
Stanley and Mary spent the first couple years of the business in the Self-Employed role. That’s where every business owner starts. The whole time they had their eye on the prize. They then transitioned to the Business Owner role. At the end of the year, They will transition to an Investor Role.
Stanley and his wife Mary are the people I started my accounting business to serve. They are the salt of the earth. Nothing gets me more emotional than when I see good people achieving success. They are a bright light in this world.
Stanley, Mary and I started our businesses the same year.
Stanley, Mary and I both have spent eleven years building a business. Stanley, Mary and I have received different results. The results Stanley and Mary achieved and the results I’ve achieved are caused by one simple choice.
Stanley and Mary chose to build a business.
I chose to be self-employed.
While I’m proud of the successes, I’ve had in my business, I still own a job. I still sell my time for money.
I own the path I’ve trodden. However, today is a new day.
I’ve come to a significant realization. I’ve realized that I can no longer stay self-employed. I’m changing paths.