At the end of a seminar I attended recently, the moderator said to me, “People have no clue about money. Most will end up broke.”
My accountant always tells me that the majority of people are working for the banks and for the government, even though they don’t know it. In other words, their money management skills are so bad, they allow the banks and the tax department to take as much as possible.
People love to spend money but they hate talking about it, managing it and planning to save it.
When I started out in business, I spent more than I earned, falsely believing that eventually I was going to make a fortune. I did make more money as I got more experienced, but gave it away to employees – and yes, the banks and the tax man.
I still remember the day that I checked my bank accounts and discovered I had only $20 to my name.
I lost countless hours worrying about paying employees and bills.
But the more money I made, the less went into my pocket.
Finally, I learned the one thing that had previously escaped me, and also eludes most people: it’s not about how much money you make. It’s about how you manage your money.
People who made less than me seemed richer than me.
And people who made a lot more money than I did, always complained of being broke.
When it comes to dollars and cents, management is everything.
Debt counsellors ask their clients to audit where their money goes. It’s a shocking eye opener when you discover that $15 a day goes into coffee, $10 into snacks and much more into products we use once, or never use at all.
Money is an emotional topic too, and many a marriage has been destroyed by disagreement over where it should be spent.
People have lost their souls in pursuit of those little pieces of paper.
Some of the best thought leaders out there tell us not to pursue money at all. But rather, to pursue excellence, quality and a commitment to outstanding service. The money will naturally flow. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about my money troubles – and instead focused on being the best business person I could be – that the cash started to flow freely. (Most people spend their money on entertainment rather than educating themselves).
Once it does, we need to control it. Rather than having it control us.
Today, I tell people not to hire an ordinary accountant. Instead, hire a tax specialist, because as I learned the hard way, most accountants don’t actually know anything about taxes! They can do your books, but they don’t care one bit how much tax you owe.
A turning point for me used this simple math: I increased my revenues by only 10 per cent, and cut my expenses also by just 10 per cent – producing a net gain of 20 per cent.
Yes, money is a funny thing. Following a basic equation can make all the difference.
We need to remember also that a “job” is only one way to make money. More and more young people, fed up of the poor job market, are starting businesses.