Nearly everyone has dreamed of owning a business, of being his or her own boss. But what does it take to start a business? And, more importantly, how can you minimize your risk and increase your chances for success?
Being a small business owner is not for everybody. It takes risk, hard work, good decision-making, and luck.
Now I will explain who I am; becoming wealthy always comes down to individual choices. Rarely do millionaires make one smart business decision and automatically turn into big tycoons. It’s a day-to-day mentality of how you want to live your life. It’s also a matter of smart, consistent investing, wise planning, and dedication.
Where one person with a little extra cash may buy an expensive television, a wannabe millionaire would invest it to turn that little extra cash into a lot more. By paying attention and working hard, turning from a “thousandaire” to a millionaire may be easier than you thought. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, I was raised to believe in the power of people above all else. My family did not start out rich by any means.
We were a lower middle class family struggling, like many other families, to make ends meet. At four years old, I remember my mother dividing one can of tomato soup to feed four people. Seeing that struggle inspired me to work as hard as I could to support myself and my family. I cannot express the contentment I feel when I am able to take care of my own family, as a thank-you for everything they’ve done for me.
I am not your average twenty-seven year old. I have spent almost my entire life learning, growing, and proving people wrong in business. Everybody has challenges when it comes to being successful, and I had to overcome the stereotype associated with my youth. But now I am able to use it as a marketing tool. How many people my age have accomplished what I have?
Certainly not many and that’s why people trust me. I must know what I’m doing. But the truth is that I have been building successful businesses for over a decade. It all began when I peered outside my window and noticed a person shoveling snow. Immediately, the idea for a lawn care business hit me, just like that! You know, I thought, in Calgary, there will always be snow that needs shoveling and grass that needs to be cut. Taking this basic supply-and-demand approach and arming myself with a twenty-dollar shovel, I started my first landscaping business at the age of twelve and began networking around my neighborhood, giving people the opportunity to meet me. I was learning firsthand the world of business development. The trick when you are building on an idea is the growth-off-growth approach. I spent the first few years of my landscaping business putting everything I made back into the company, making it more professional.
By the time I was fifteen, I had invested enough money to afford large industrial equipment like heavy-duty trucks and Bobcats, which meant I could offer more advanced landscaping services. The higher the level of service, the higher premium you can charge. This business was fantastic for networking. I dealt with people all the time, making a name for myself. Through one of my clients, I was introduced to the property management business—buying and selling condominiums. Soon after, my second company came into being: J &W Property and Asset Management.
As time went on, more opportunities became apparent, and I continued to build what is was a multimillion-dollar enterprise – and then I sold it.
Whether you live in a small town or big city, or hold small or large account balances, there is always space to grow, and that’s what I love about the financial world. Living in Calgary during an economic boom not seen since the oil growth in the 1970s has been an exciting and prosperous time and has taught me a lot about the business world. Of course I also learned much more in the Finical Recession of 2008 when I lost my life savings – only to make it all back by mid-2012.
The trick to making money anywhere is taking advantage of every opportunity and never giving up. If you’re smart and, more importantly, AWARE, then moneymaking possibilities start opening up everywhere. The key lies in networking. The more networking you can do, the more your name gets out there and the more people think of you when opportunity comes along. For this reason, never forget a name! Write it down, include it in your Rolodex, or add it to your Christmas card list. Do whatever you have to in keeping that contact, because you never know where it could lead!
Never assume anything about a person you meet for the first time. By judging someone, you could automatically be shutting a door to a chance to make lots of money. Whether the person is a customer in your business or a stranger at a party, there could be an opportunity. You just need to create it by showing up.
Some people think that to be financially successful, you have to give up the things you love: entertainment, time, relationships, morals, etc. It’s just not true. Certainly, a person’s focus may change, but building success is about finding new passions and discovering new possibilities. What’s important is being creative and different when it comes to business and money, and that involves changing, even creating, markets where you see a demand or opportunity. Ever heard the expression “money makes the world go round”? Well it’s not 100 percent untrue. Think about how many times you use, think about, and discuss money every day. Now think about all the areas in the financial world that you don’t understand or wish to understand better. Instead of trying to grasp overwhelming financial concepts, how about taking practical advice that you can incorporate into your everyday life? It doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. No matter what age, location, or tax bracket you happen to be in, your money has the potential to grow in ways you may not even realize.
Now, I don’t want to make it seem like becoming rich or starting your business is easy. It isn’t. It takes hard work and a smart business sense. But by becoming knowledgeable about the markets and by networking, you can eliminate many of the unknown variables and start making smarter choices when it comes to your money. The best way to do that is by gaining access to information that will help your money grow. Though you may be well aware of your financial situation, if you’re willing to learn more about the financial world around you, it’s amazing how many opportunities start to appear seemingly out of nowhere.
Money cannot make your dreams come true, but it can make it a lot easier to create opportunities for those dreams to become reality. Success is a completely relative term—the most important thing is to set goals and live up to all your own expectations. I truly hope you gain whatever degree of financial prosperity you are searching for and can incorporate the things you learn in this book into your daily life. And when you buy that first mansion or go on that dream vacation, remember me.
Good luck on your pursuit!