Wednesday, January 1, 2014

CHOOSING A BUSINESS BASED ON YOUR PRIORITIES

Originally posted by Life Founder George Guzzardo.

God bless, Scott Johnson


In the introduction of the Financial Fitness book produced by LIFE LeadershipOrrin Woodward and Chris Brady write, “This is truly a book on financial fitness. It’s not a “get rich” book, but rather a “get fit” book, and there is a huge difference between these two approaches. Over time, those who are fit and follow the principles of financial success will attain prosperity and even wealth, but this comes from a long – term focus on doing the right things.”  Even when looking back at early history, Xenophon writes that the root work describing economics, ‘oikonomikos’ described the life and proper use of wealth. There are some important lessons to be learned in chapter 13 of the ‘Financial Fitness’ book about how choosing a business can not only protect us for the future but if done right can align our priorities.
Choosing the right business is critical especially when studies show that up to 80% of Americans do not have their dream job and up to 60% of Americans polled in a USA today survey said they see today’s economic situation as the biggest crises in their lifetime. We have created an aura that finances and the economy are complicated. The right principles can be taught simply. Money is just a tool and when this tool is used properly, it can be used to achieve your priorities. On the other hand when looking around our vast nation it seems like many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. In the past people went into business with the intention of achieving their dreams. They had a picture that being in business would help them create the life they always wanted. Once, it was thought that owning a business was the key to financial success.
Without the right information, choosing a business in the 21stcentury carries unprecedented risk. The economy has never been as unstable. One study showed that 1/3 of the fortune 500 disappeared over a 10 - year period.  According to the author of the best selling book E – Myth, Michael Gerber reports  “up to 40% of the one million business start ups will fail in their first year.” The authors of the book Financial Fitness write, “Less than 10% of new businesses will succeed.” Traditional businesses fail from undercapitalization and exhaustion. In the information age, businesses face unusual competition from the innovations of technology making businesses that were successful today gone tomorrow.
The right knowledge can simplify our decision as to what type of business to choose. Recently, the concept of wealth and business was simplified in the best selling book The Cash flow Quadrant.” The symbols E/S/B/I are used to describe how money is generated. E stands for employment where someone pays you for what they feel your time is worth. S stands for self - employment where the owner pays not only themselves but others for their time. In addition self - employed people take on most of the financial responsibilities. Some say the S stands for stress. B stands for business owner where a system makes the money. The I stands for investor where money makes money. Never before have so many people bet their retirement on the stock market.
When asking what type of business to start, ask yourself what you would like your life to look like in 5 years? How do you want to live day to day? What do you want financially from a business? Robert Kiyosaki writes, “Wealth is measured by the richness of your life experience today plus the number of days into the future that you have the capacity to continue living at that level of experience.” With that in mind, wealth is not about money or income but is measured in time. If you stop working today, how long could you survive financially?
To begin, the authors of the Financial Fitness book strongly recommend finding a good mentor. One who has succeeded in the type of business you are going into and can effectively help you through the process as nearly all business failures can be traced to not having a good mentor. This means that the apprenticeship phase is essential.
When looking into a business system, the authors of theFinancial Fitness book ask if you want to build a system or buy a system?  “Buy it businesses include existing businesses, franchises and network marketing companies.”  “Existing businesses sell you their systems and an on – going client base and income stream along with their building or rental contract and other fixtures. In some cases the employees stay as well.” “Many successful businesses of the “build it” type are founded by leaders who have built successful businesses of the “buy it” kind first and later applied their wisdom and experience to building a system from scratch.”  One of the best books on building a system is the E – Myth by Michael Gerber. He reports that franchises have a reported success rate of 95%. Most of those models are market tested prior to purchase. “Franchises usually require hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) up front, while network marketing companies can usually be joined for just hundreds of dollars.”  “Perhaps the biggest advantage of starting a “buy it” business system is that it comes with much of the work already done – the legal structure, job descriptions, products, leadership, training, and many other things that make a “build it” business system overwhelming for most people.” In either case, whether “build it” or “buy it”,  a system, not your business is your life. Michael Gerber writes, “Think of your business as though it were the prototype for 5,000 more just like it.” 
True multiplication requires a system. A system makes the results dependable, predictable, and consistent. It can make the average worker a super performer. Multiplication typically starts slowly in the beginning. In the beginning there is more of an investment of time and money but eventually the exponential curve hits. This is where growth can occur beyond our wildest imagination. Using a system is not really a business plan but a plan to get your life back. When making a decision ask, “What are your priorities?” Years ago I evaluated these questions. I was living paycheck to paycheck. I spent all my time making money. Because I was out of time and money, time and money were my priorities. Naturally the amount of time you spend daily should be according to your priorities. Even though at the time my priorities were my God, my family, my country, and my finances, I spent the most time making money and less and less time with my family and my God. I certainly was not making any difference in my country.
Understanding and using systems to make money has helped thousands of people get their priorities in alignment. For example, today I spend my morning in Bible study and prayer. Most of my day is spent with family and the beautiful outdoors. I love to take any opportunity teach systems especially leadership systems which can do the most good for others over all. Teaching them actually empowers them to align their priorities and empower others to do the same. The educator Buckminster Fuller said, “Wealth is the progressive mastery of matter by the mind.”  Isn't true wealth aligning your priorities in life? Is it time for your lifestyle and your priorities to align?
 God Bless, George Guzzardo