When I first started to convince myself that I would go all-in on achieving what I wanted, I was broke.
Now I’m not beginning the sob story, nor am I trying to outline the usual paradox that I was millions in debt back then, and now I spend half the year on yachts.
I’m merely pointing out that my starting point was negative zero, with debts dotted around and a credit rating so low, I couldn’t even apply for a credit card.
Why am I pointing this out?
Well, as the saying goes, the more money you have, the more you can use it to leverage more capital, and I had no finances or credit that I could leverage whatsoever.
So how was I going to guarantee success?
The only thing I could leverage to make money was skills, and at the time, I knew certain areas like sales and marketing. However, in the grand scheme of things, they were limited, and to increase my value in the market, I had to invest in skills to make money and then work out from there what would be my next step.
So when I started – by that, I mean once I knew that I was going to start venturing down the path through business and growth towards my meaningful goal and not simply be an employee, I had to begin leveraging something. For that to happen, I had to increase my market value somehow.
I knew back then that for a business to succeed, it had to:
- It has to solve a problem
- It has to have a constant flux of leads
- It has to be able to deliver results
- It has to be adaptable
From there, I looked at what I needed from a business before I will even consider:
- It has to be scalable.
- It has to serve another sector in my future group in some form, OR I have had previous knowledge/experience within that sector.
- It must be able to run without me in 1-3 years.
So, I have a meaningful goal of growing, investing in and developing companies, and I also have a retirement figure I plan on hitting.
Now I have the goal, and I have the criteria to achieve all said goals. But at the time, I was reasonably low in confidence in attaining any of it. Nor did I have any of the skills or assets to start.
So now let’s say I aim to make £1M – how do I do that when I have no skills and no assets of finances?
Let me explain.
When you set the goal at say £1M, you only think of £1M opportunities.
If I said the goal was to make £10M, you would only think of £10M opportunities.
At either of those examples, you can’t leverage your time for money to achieve those results.
So let’s break that down slightly into sequences.
Let’s say the first goal is to hit £10k or even £100k. How do I do that with nothing and ensure that once I hit that sequence, I can almost guarantee that I achieve the following series of, say, £250K and so on?
Yes, of course, you have to trade time for money which is incredibly constraining unless you invent or design something that would make millions instantly if marketed correctly and there is a need.
I want guarantees.
So, learn a skill, capitalise on it is the first step.
It was lead generation as I knew that if I could master it for any industry or business, I would be able to grow that business quickly.
I started learning and was fortunate enough to get my first client pretty quickly and got them some great success early on. Then from there, more clients kept coming, and before long, I needed to start hiring.
My method was a little unconventional as I used the business’s growth to launch another business. Now, although that isn’t unconventional in itself, I knew at the time that I needed staff. Still, as it was early on in the business, I wasn’t confident to hire full-time, so I started a staffing business to pay for the staff that I needed for the first business, and retain the skills even during difficult periods should they arise.
Now, I’m not saying that is a way of guaranteeing business. However, what I am pointing out is that as things started to develop, I began to stop trading time for money as things began to grow – including myself and my abilities.
Anyone can work two jobs if they want to to achieve what they wanted, why people don’t is for another discussion. I’m merely pointing out the initial bulk of the cash is the hardest as you have to trade time for money, and it is stressful, knackering and somewhat long depending on the path or situation you are in at the time.
That first step in change from trading that time is supposed to be hard, and it’s where you learn the game of leverage, grind and tenacity.
Then it’s starting to get easier as you start thinking differently.
Every business needs leverage. At the start, you have to create that leverage to create momentum.
As the business grows and your leverage in the market increases, you begin employing a team, and this is you buying back time at a higher value.
When you don’t have money, you have no leverage on anything, so you have to do everything yourself to build it, which takes time to get small amounts of output, so you are inefficient.
You have to learn every aspect of the business to create income, and that takes time.
Once you figure out how to make the first sale, you have to keep repeating that action over and over and over and over again until you hit a point when you can start hiring someone at a rate where the market dictates it’s worth more for them to do it than you.
Where most go wrong at this point is they hire, then slow down. Some think to themselves, Fuck Yes, more free time. And that’s great if that’s what you want. But you’ll never really scale anything.
What you do here is exchange your time that creates more value to the business.
Leverage is everything, and the more you start taking yourself out of the day-to-day equation, the parts that you can sub-out to a team, the more you can leverage your time to places that scale and develop.
Just as I started this piece about leveraging money, you have to do this with time to scale effectively.
You start to move a lot faster and fluid in your decision making.
You now have so many people doing marketing, so many doing outbound, the admins getting done by someone, and things are expanding while you work on growth, development and expansion and create a higher ROI for your time.
So now you are up a level, and you know what it takes to get there. So regardless of what happens, even if you lose everything. You know, possess the skill, and therefore if everything went to shit, you have the tools to get things off the ground more quickly should you have to start all over. Your skills and knowledge are worth more time, and therefore, your base level after any crisis is much higher.
As your skills increase, you start outsourcing to your team as they expand, and you are left to increase your ROI for each hour throughout the day as you buy that same skill in the marketplace.
Each process in your day that is the least valuable to you, you buy that skill. Hire someone for what the market value is. The cycle continues as you utilise that newly acquired slice of time to make more money by developing and building up new skills to generate higher value output.
As long as you continue to acquire new skills and if everything fucked up and you had to start from scratch, your base level is now much higher than when you started. The initial process develops much more quickly due to your position in the market being much higher.
Learn, Implement, Outsource, adapt, then re-develop!