If you’re struggling with your finances, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs experience financial strain, including the most experienced entrepreneurs. It almost seems like a right of passage.
For example, did you know that Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors and SpaceX companies were both nearing complete financial exhaustion, during the same week, before being saved at the 12th hour? Literally. During Christmas week of 2008, SpaceX received a contract from NASA for $1.6 billion just days before running out of cash. That saved Space X, but what about Tesla? On Christmas Eve, hours before likely bankruptcy, Tesla received funding, too. Two of today’s most fascinating companies were almost no more. But planning and patience kept them both alive.
While Elon Musk’s companies are unique, his circumstance of being an entrepreneur strapped for cash is not. If financial issues have become endless, something needs to be adjusted. Sooner or later, you’ll be in debt. You’ll be miserable.
This tax season, take a moment to review your financial strategies. My name is not Warren Buffet. I’m certainly no financial expert. But I’m here to share some financial tips that have worked for me in creating my own financial success.
1. Create meaning. Not money.
This may be counterintuitive because we’re all in business for money, right? The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones that want to change the world. They deliver a product that offers meaning. That desire to help in the world is what attracts people to their product which then drives profit.
Focusing on creating meaning first should start even before company launch. Meaning should be rooted all the way back in your considerations of what type of company to even start building. How can your upcoming venture improve people’s lives, improve their health, improve someone’s comfort, improve an industry’s productivity? When you focus on creating meaning, you’ll start magnetizing money.
2. Be lean. Needs before wants.
A lot of startups fail because of one thing: spending too much on things they don’t need. It happens to the best of us. Money starts coming in and you think it won’t stop. Then, you lose your biggest client, your prized laptop blows up, something completely unexpected will always happen at some point. When disaster strikes, do you have a nest egg set aside?
You don’t need a Rolex. You don’t need the fanciest office suite. You don’t need the fanciest car. What you need is a strong work ethic and an itch to save money for when you need it most – in the future.
3. Invest in people. Create an ace team.
Your team is crucial. The better team you surround yourself with, the more money you’ll find coming your way. Bringing on the wrong team members can be a financial drain, or worse, a time suck. Every new person you bring under your wing requires extensive training. It can take months to bring someone up to full speed. You don’t want to waste that time with the wrong person and later have to invest months, again, into their replacement. Make sure you hire the right people so your time and money aren’t wasted.
Hiring the right people is not only about avoiding wasting time and money. Hiring the right people should also be a positive. The right team members should bring a sense of pride. Everyone should be excited working on your project. Your team members should be supportive of others in the group, and all bring their own insight to further overall objectives and productivity. The right team should not be an expense that keeps things afloat but should be an investment that pays dividends and boosts profits and moral.