5 Powerful Lessons I Learned About Money and Building a Business.
You can’t always predict what will happen in the future.
One minute life is going well and the next, it’s gone.
There was a time in my life that was a disaster and nothing like the success it is now.
I was working in a job where the people were toxic, long hours without overtime, working late nights and weekends “for the love of it”. There was no work-life balance and after many years, I found myself wondering is this it? Is this all there is to life?
It sucked. Not in a million years would I ever have imagined myself doing what I’m doing today, writing books, speaking in front of hundreds of people and mentoring small business owners around the world.
It was my dysfunctional life and career that made me the functional achiever that I am today. Living in isolated places and constantly moving from school to school both also played a part. And my tough time at work. It’s because I became a whistleblower against corruption that I had to learn how to stop being an employee and start working in a small business.
Now after building two companies and starting a global movement for entrepreneurs and small business owners, I want to share with you 5 powerful lessons I learned when building a business.
Lesson 1: Difficulty Is Your Gain
People look at their failures as damages but I see difficulty as your greatest gain. Because going through tough times is like a workout for your emotions and your soul.
Each time you work out at the gym, you feel stronger. Don’t look at your failures as your damages. They’re your muscles. That’s the first lesson I would like to share with you. You’re building your resilience muscles.
Business is not a sport for the faint hearted. Business is hard work. I failed at 5 businesses before having my first success. Statistically, 96 percent of businesses fail within the first 5 years. In 5 years, only 2 businesses would still be here.
The game of business is for the strongminded, not the weak. It’s for the committed, who will do whatever it takes to succeed, as long as it’s moral, legal and ethical. I haven’t met a super successful person in my life who hasn’t overcome a lot of difficulties.
I’ve lost over two million in business. It doesn’t mean I’m smarter or more talented. It just means I’ve made more mistakes.
Lesson 2: Follow Your Passion
So many people follow their passion. There’s a saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” That’s a load of BS! So many people follow their passion, and they wonder where their money is. If you want to follow your passion, you’d better make sure your passion makes you money.
I love teaching and speaking about business at events. I could do that all day every day. The problem is that I don’t like organizing all that travel, I’d prefer someone else to do it for me. But I’m willing to do what I don’t like to do because it allows me to do what I love.
The marketplace will always pay for value. So, it’s not about the money. It’s about the choices and lifestyle. In my book FEARless Buckle Up…Build RESILIENCE I talk about the freedom to make choices that benefit you.
LINK TO BOOK Want to find out more about making the right choices? Download FEARless Buckle Up…Build RESILIENCE or the eBook here
Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is the luxury of not having to do something that you don’t want to do. It makes no sense when you work hard but you still struggle to make ends meet.
I believe small business owners who work hard and deliver value deserve to be paid well. Money earned is the byproduct of value creation. The more money you make, the more value you deliver. Successful business owners are successful because they serve a lot of people.
You deserve to make a nice profit and to feel good about it.
When you learn how to make money, it’s a gift. You’re morally obligated to make as much money as you can.
Lesson 3: Save Yourself Before You Save Others
It takes money to help the poor. Have you ever heard of a poor person helping the poor? The best way to help the others is to maximize your profits as a small business owner. If you have a charity you want to sponsor, then you need to make profit before you can sponsor them.
The employee mindset is one person one job. You want to help starving children in Africa? Then create a Not-for-Profit organization. That’s a small business mindset.
Maximize your profits. I often hear people say “Money doesn’t really matter,” and “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” People usually say that as a defensive statement, or they don’t have the money or they don’t know how to get it.
Money is supposed to do 2 things; it gives you comfort and allows you to extend what you do. So, you need to think BIG. Think about how you can grow your business and reach more people.
Most businesses fail because they aren’t getting enough attention in the marketplace. If you want to grow your revenue, your brand and your company, you must get ATTENTION! Ask yourself, “Are there any products and services in your industry that are less quality than what you’re offering but they’re selling more? The reason is they’re committed to getting attention.
So how do you get more attention? I use videos, I have a YouTube channel where I upload my Web/TV radio broadcast called Tracy Tully Talks and blogs on my website www.tracytully.com
That’s all free content, but that’s not how I make my money. That’s what I do to promote my brand Tracy Tully and my company MRW - Motivation, Resilience and Wealth.
You have to put yourself out there to drive the momentum of your brand name. There’s so much noise in the market that one Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram post is not enough. Don’t think in terms of one. Thing bigger, much bigger, not one post. Think a thousand posts.
It also means when you’re getting attention, not everyone will like you. First, they will ignore you, then they will watch you and then they will have a look at you and finally, they will buy your products or services. That’s because they see you and they see your credibility.
Lesson 4: Promotion over Creation
Visibility is more important that ability. Spend time promoting your brand. Everyday I have Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posts. I upload YouTube content and emails to subscribers.
I’m very focused on promoting my brand and selling the products and services I have. Once I have reached a certain level of success, I create more products and services.
Small businesses who say their business is FINE are using the acronym
Not making enough money
Emotionally stressed out
Here’s some inside information. When I go to a speaking gig, only 5 percent will come up and talk to me afterwards and out of the five percent, less than one percent will follow up.
They come up and tell me their stories. I really love to hear their stories. They usually spend 20 minutes telling me what they do. But they never ask me “Tracy, what do you think I should do about ….?”
So, here’s the TIP. If you want to establish a relationship with powerful, successful people, don’t go up to them and pitch your products or service. It sounds like you want them to endorse you to their clients and partners, even though they don’t know you.
Here’s how to follow up after a speaking gig. Ask them for their business card. It’s not their job to follow up with you. They’re already successful. It’s YOUR job to follow up with them. Ask them for their business card and their contact information.
After that, ask them 2 questions:
- How can I learn more from you?
- What’s your most important project that you’re working on that I or my network can add value to?
Lesson 5: Master Don’t Play
I’ve met so many small business owners who have the shiny object syndrome. They purchase course after course which sit there on their computer, unopened, waiting for the perfect time. But it never comes. They don’t take time to master anything. They follow whatever is trending at the time. I was one of them myself! I’ve bought the expensive website, the latest mic, the exclusive training packages… I’ve done it all. That’s why I can talk about it here.
I got sucked into scrolling through my feed late at night and up pops a great product or service and I think “I need that course!” So, I buy it. I buy it for a reason, because of the marketing!
It took me a long time and a lot of money to get it right. Now I’ve learned to build one skill at a time, before I move on to the next. First, I focused on marketing, then internet marketing, then deal making, then investing. But it was one thing at a time.
When you’re working on mastering a skill, you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. Most small business owners spend far too much time thinking about what they want to do rather than just getting on with the business of DOING it.
Remember: perfection is the enemy of progress. It’s called PROCRASTINATION.
Procrastination is the enemy of progress. It’s the one thing that stops you from making money. You write a blog and you don’t like it. It doesn’t matter. Post it! You record a video; you don’t like it. It doesn’t matter, upload it. You create a course, you keep tweaking it, don’t – JUST SELL IT!
Let my words empower you to JUST DO IT NOW! Do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.