This is a guest post by Ryan Rivera of calmclinic.com.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to start my own business. All I needed to do was experience the unparalleled hypocrisy of a poorly run business firsthand to realize how little I wanted to work for someone else, and how great a financial and personal advantage I would have if I started a business for myself.
My case is a little unique, in that I started my website as a side project for myself because of how passionate I was about the topic, and only realized the profit potential later, but whether you have a business in the works already, or you’re freelancing and seeing where the money takes you, the lesson I learned is the same: invest, invest, invest.
How Badly I Needed Investments
While I technically had a business up in the works, it wasn’t making a lot of money, and I spent a great deal of time freelancing and consulting. What I found was that on most weeks I could make an enjoyable amount of money, and I was living well. But I made a big mistake – I assumed that money would continue. I ended up spending money on a few luxury items, and while I wasn’t wasting money as though I just won the lottery, I wasn’t investing. I was living with a modest savings account and otherwise assuming that it would go up in time.
And three different times, that belief came back to bite me. The work died. I’d either lose a client, or the client would run out of work and suddenly I wasn’t making a single penny, and what little savings I had created became my only livelihood. When I started my own business, I acted like I was still a salaried employee, when I should have acted like a businessman – finding new ways to create income to supplement the downtimes and set myself up for a better future.
Finding Those Investments
Now, I’m not an investment guru. I’m an anxiety specialist that happens to own his own business. I can’t tell you what stocks to invest in or whether it’s worth buying a home. But what I can tell you is that you should consider everything. Look for high risk investments and low risk investments. Put money into the stock market or a savings account you can’t touch. You don’t even have to be that traditional. Maybe you’d have more fun investing in silver bullion or using your money to pay someone to create websites or products for you to market.
I found that I wasn’t skilled at traditional investing, so I opened up a little spot in a popular antique store (finding antiques gave me something fun to do on weekends), invested in gold, and put some money in a few business ventures that some friends of mine were doing. Some of these yielded revenue, some didn’t. But what’s important isn’t whether or not these investments worked. What’s important is that I took the time to make them. I stopped looking at myself as an employee, and started looking at myself as someone that is trying to set themselves up for long term success – someone that wants to be free of boundaries, and someone whose money is working for him, not the other way around.
Creating a Long Term Strategy for Success
I can’t know what’s around the corner. I can’t know if my business will thrive, or if some change in the world renders my field obsolete. But what I do know is that my plan is to never leave myself that vulnerable to the way the rest of the world works, and instead I’m making sure that I have as many investments as I can to maximize my long term potential as a business owner.
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