My Money Tree
Saving Money Is The Slow Path To Financial Freedom
Getting a job and not spending all the money each month is the slowest, hardest, and least efficient way to build up a big pile of money. Saving money is a worthwhile net worth building activity, but it doesn’t offer much more than that unless your goal is only to have a little cash at the ever-increasing age of retirement. This is because wages are the most heavily taxed source of income. Income taxes (federal, state, and social security) choke off about 35% of this earned income before you ever see a dime. And second, your income is capped by the number of hours that you can physically work in a week; even if it pays well. Ownership is the financial goal that we all have; owning investments that will passively pay us interest and dividend checks.
But there are two wildly different paths to get there. One path is very slow and slightly uncertain, and the other path is much quicker but more uncertain to accomplish. The fastest and most efficient way to build a pile of money is through entrepreneurial activity. This way, you can get into a position of ownership without buying it, because you are creating it. You bypass the taxation tollbooth of wage-earners, and the limitations of your salary and time.
The goal is to create your own piece of equity that gives you a source of income that you control. Now before you start rolling your eyes that this is too risky, too hard or you don’t know how to do it, let me give you some ideas to help reduce your hesitation. Maybe it isn’t your money (borrowed), or your expertise (a partner’s), or skill (hired, outsourced); but if you lead the team you can create your own piece of the equity. You can start out on a tiny scale; I am acquainted with someone that earns over $100,000 with a dog walking service. She has other people walk the dogs, so that she can focus on marketing and managing her walkers. Don’t you think that you could think of a dozen similar services that might be needed in your area? It is mentally challenging to start an entrepreneurial activity, but more importantly, it takes money, knowledge and persistence. It takes knowledge because there is always going to be trial and error in refining your business model; and it takes money because you need enough money to find a successful business formula that pays for itself before you run out of money. It takes persistence because obstacles are natural when creating or maintaining any business activity. There are zillions of areas to become entrepreneurial and build up equity, but here is another idea that nearly all communities offer; I bet that there are at least three successful residential home rehabbers working your community. Find them and convince one of them to help teach you in exchange for being a free assistant.
And when you strike out on your own and need additional help, offer to give him or her a percentage of your profit. I want to show you an example of entrepreneurial persistence, even though it uses real estate again. There is a giant mall being built at a nearby city. I was dropping off a friend that lived there and he said that it was a great story about obstacles. The city didn’t want a new mall to take business from the downtown strip, so the developer moved the project outside of the city limits. Then the state government said they couldn’t allow it without a larger highway exit, and they didn’t have enough money to make a highway exit. So the developer raised the money and built the highway exit himself. The point is that no matter how insurmountable an issue first appeared, the developer was undeterred from reaching his goal. Developing a side business to ramp up your income is the most financial rewarding activity you can undertake. Imagine if you took half the effort you put into studying for school and put that into business building over four years – I’d suspect your results would be far greater than setting aside some of your paycheck each month.
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