Category Archives: Wealth

What If You Could Control Time?

If you could control time, would you go back to change the past so you could redo a critical moment with an old friend or a sweetheart? What an awesome power it would be to freeze this moment and have all the minutes you need to do everything you want and still have hours to spare. Time management would not be a problem for you.

A 60 Minutes/ Vanity Fair poll in 2015 found that people would like to go back in time to prevent catastrophes such as the sinking of the Titanic and the 9/11 attacks on the United States. There are people who would like to witness first hand, events such as the opening of King Tut’s tomb and the first landing on the moon. Overall, however, of those polled, 53% were more interested in what the future has to tell them, than in analyzing what went wrong in the past.

It’s possible to vicariously experience time travel. Stephen Hawking, H.G. Wells, and Charles Dickens are all associated with time travel theories and stories. Fantasies about visiting yesterday and tomorrow abound. However, for the average person, is it possible to hold power over time?

As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that time management is an important skill. Employees have set work hours, such as 9 to 5, and after those work hours, they can forget about work for a while. In contrast, entrepreneurs have to set their own work hours, and sometimes work time can easily seep into personal time.

Staying busy vs productive

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is IMPORTANT.” – Stephen Covey, businessman & author

We all have the same amount of time everyday. If every minute of your day was worth a dollar, would you waste it? Businessman Stephen Covey says that we should invest time, not spend it. To do that, you need to prioritize your tasks and decide what absolutely must be done, and what does not need to be done each day. Keeping busy is not the same as being productive.

One key to time management is finding blocks of time in your day that could be turned into investments. Author Scott Turow wrote a book during his long commutes in New York. What could you be doing while you take the train or the bus? A friend of mine used to do sit ups and push ups during part of our social conversations. That amounted to a 20 minute workout. If someone was late for a one-to-one meeting, I would send follow up texts to clients while waiting at the coffee shop.

Knowing the difference between being productive and being busy is a way to manage time. The key is identifying what your long term goals are. Checking your phone for messages and news updates over a quick lunch break isn’t necessarily productive. What messages are you looking for? Confirmation of your meeting tomorrow? Or a reply from your friend to say that she did buy a pet dog?

Time is a resource to invest in

“Either run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn, entrepreneur & author

Treating time as a precious resource means prioritizing your day. You won’t have the energy to do everything you ideally want to. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others. Everyone has their special skills. Ask a business associate or a family member for a favour. Don’t wear yourself out attempting to do everything on your to do list. And don’t forget to thank those who assist you.

You can also use a timer and set office hours. It is easy to spend hours on social media promotion. I am guilty of this because social media is one way to promote your business, so I tell myself I am being productive, but I need to keep track of how much time I am spending on it. Setting office hours is also critical to your health and well being. If you can work from anywhere, it is all too easy to fit in some work time before or during a family dinner. Instead, draw boundaries on when you are devoting time to work, and when you are devoting time to family and friends… and time for yourself.

It’s not yet possible to jump into a time machine and set a date to which we can jump forward or backward, but we can prioritize time. Stay productive, and you will look back on your life and see fewer regrets. Too many people wish they’d had the energy to fit in a 30 minute jog before day’s end. But no one regrets not watching a TV show by the end of the day.

Tick tock! What will you achieve when the clock strikes midnight tonight?

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The Alice in Wonderland Rabbit is always in a hurry. Here, he is finally standing still.

 

Rise of the Entrepreneur

You, like many others, are probably wondering what the future holds if you cannot be the writer of your own destiny. So much cannot be predicted: whether interest rates will rise or fall, whether groceries will be the same price six months from now, or whether you will get that bonus if salaries will be frozen next year.

These thoughts were on my mind when I began to watch a film about our current economic and career situation. The documentary The Rise of the Entrepreneur (hereafter called Rise), believes that becoming an entrepreneur is one way to control your own financial and professional destiny. Why work 40 hours a week to fulfill the dreams and expectations of someone else? Why fear how job stability will affect your mortgage payments?

Here is a statistic to chew on if you didn’t bring popcorn: 70% of workers want to be their own boss. You can probably relate. Think of the last time you had to work late at your supervisor’s request.  Or the time you were sweating bullets, thinking that your last job review would be your last because your boss disapproved of something you had done?

Rise has a clear solution for you, if you want job security, if you don’t want to go back to school to learn a new career, and if you don’t want technology to replace your job. Become an entrepreneur.

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There are a few ways to become your own boss. Buy an existing business. Buy a franchise. Start a new business. Become an investor.

You’re probably thinking that you love those options. If you buy an existing business, or a franchise, everything is pretty much set up for you. If you start a new business, it’s all your own, and you get to introduce the market to your life-changing invention. You’ll get to be your own boss at last, and become one of those people you used to envy because you saw them going to the movie theatre in the middle of the work day.

However, there are high risks, especially if your business savvy is the equivalent of a five-year old’s. There are also high costs to starting and running a business. And if you don’t have a lot of money to play with, being an investor could be a scary roller coaster ride that has you gambling away your vacation.

You’re partway through the documentary at this point, wondering if they are just going to keep scaring you, or teach you some way to make that pile of bills on the kitchen counter disappear.

That’s when Rise says that network marketing is the answer you are looking for. Low risk, low investment, and it is the business school for entrepreneurs. Instead of spending 50% of your budget on marketing, as you would for a traditional business, you can tap into your network using word of mouth advertising. Your network would also reach out to potential clients and demonstrate the product for you, so you don’t have to create expensive ads about the benefits of your product.

Alarm bells go off in your head. You’ve heard about network marketing before. Your friend tried it and didn’t make any money. He’s still working 9 to 5 with only a two week vacation. He told you it’s a pyramid scheme in which the people at the top suck money from the people at the bottom, meaning only the people at top achieve their financial dreams. The people at the bottom continue to slave away for years, never achieving financial freedom.

But wait. There is another comparison to consider. In a typical large corporation, it’s the CEOs and top managers who make the big salaries. Those at the top are the smallest percentage of the total staff. The largest percentage are at the bottom of the salary pyramid – the clerical staff, trainees, and assistants. Most of these people will never become a highly paid senior manager, especially if the company is large.

Rise says that many successful business people endorse network marketing. In a separate link from the documentary, I found a list of well-known people who believe in network marketing. The names include Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson, Tony Blair, Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton. All of these people, whether you like or dislike them, are financially successful. The host of the show, Eric Worre, is also successful.

The last part of the documentary provides four points to help you decide which network marketing company to join. First, you should decide if the product or service meets a need in the marketplace and is priced to sell. Second, you should examine the company and how well it is run and if you like the management. Third, you should check its compensation plan. Can you make an income quickly? And depending on your financial goal,  can you make a reasonable part time or serious full time income from it? Lastly, you need to look at the support you will be receiving in terms of training and business tools.

There is no magical solution to ensuring a stable financial future. But if you are willing to learn new skills, and invest the time, the documentary makes a strong case that becoming an entrepreneur is the route to choose.