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Entrepreneurs: Here’s the Best Method to Help You Get Your Money Right

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A few years ago, I was called in to help a young tech startup with some important business strategy. They were looking for help with their marketing, and when I found out they had received $350,000 in seed money, I was excited.

They had developed an app; something to do with the restaurant industry, and they needed help marketing it. It was just two guys, a developer and a business grad. They were friends from college, and ready to make their mark on the Toronto tech industry in a big way.

When I got to their surprisingly lavish office, I assumed they had already made a ton of sales. I asked where they were putting their seed money. Apparently, they figured having a “tech mogul” office and renting a company Lexus were the way to go. I asked about their marketing budget, and they were reluctant to get it as high as $10,000.

The rest, they said, was for “branding” …a term too often used to mean “giving ourselves a lavish lifestyle.” I was shown the door when I suggested they should be running the company out of their dorm room and spending at least $140,000 on marketing.

The company no longer exists. Their project died, because nobody knew who they were. It seems driving a Lexus doesn’t mean anything if restaurant owners never see you pull up to the door for drop-in meetings with people they’ve never heard of.

So, if you’re an emerging, small, or sole operator business, how do you decide what to do with your money? Even better, how do you decide what your sales targets should even be?

My recommendation: the 4-3-2-1 method. Here’s what it is:

4: 40% To Your Business

If you’re serious about growing your business, the bulk of your startup and early sales capital should be going back into your business. I actually recommend 40%, at least until you reach a level of success and comfort (comfort is important!) where you can scale back. That 40% can be on supplies, staff, shipping, or whatever. But early on, I strongly recommend you focus on marketing. Marketing is all about making sure your best customer knows you’re there. If they don’t, nothing else will matter.

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” —James W. Frick

3: 30% To Taxes

It seems odd to think about pre-paying your taxes. But if you assume a fairly conservative 30% tax rate on your earnings, a couple of nice things happen.

First, you won’t be stuck with any unpleasant surprises should your bookkeeping not be up to par. Getting stuck with a five-figure tax bill when times are lean is not something you want to come out of the blue.

Second, assuming you’ve spent 40% of your earnings on actual business expenses, there’s a very good chance (though not a guarantee) that, in the worst case, you won’t have to pay any additional taxes. In the best case, you might actually get that money back as a hefty refund next year…which you can then roll back into your business (using the same formula).

2: 20% To Investments

If you’re not investing, you’re not earning tomorrow. The thing is, over the long term, your business needs to own more than just the stuff in the office. Treat your business as your life, and you’ll get the bigger picture. By placing 20% of your earnings into diversified investments, you increase your business income. It’s also great protection: if times get tough, you’ll have capital you can sell to get you through.

1: 10% To Yourself

I’m talking about top salaries in general here, but for the home-based or solopreneur, this is what will guide you to your sales target. If you’ve decided that you only want to sell $1,000 a month in services, but you allocate $100 to your own earnings, you’re not going to get ahead very quickly.

For myself at my stage of life, I would be comfortable with, let’s say, $5,000 a month in personal income. That means my sales targets for this coming year should be on the order of $50,000 a month. That’s doable in the fields I work in, and as long as I’m spending (in this example) $20,000 (40%) a month on marketing, quite achievable.

If you’re looking to take home $10,000 a month, your sales targets should be on the order of $100,000, according to this method.

Now, remember that $100,000 a month is a pretty lofty goal for some people. But targeting that 10% for personal earnings is a good way to see how much you need to get by. If you’re able to meet your obligations on $1,500 a month, then aim for $15,000 a month in sales.

“Many folks think they aren’t good at earning money, when what they don’t know is how to use it.” —Frank A. Clark

By the way, $100,000 a month in sales, following this method, means you’ll be spending $480,000 a year on marketing your business, pre-paying $360,000 in taxes (imagine THAT as a refund!!), and investing $240,000 a year for growth.

And, in theory, you can repeat this with your own income:

$10,000 per month means:

$4,000 in “business” (household) expenses;

$3,000 in taxes

$2,000 in investments

$1,000 in money to play with

Only as an example, of course.

Remember, if you’re unsure of where to set your sales goals, whether in your main business or a side hustle, figure out first how much you need — or want — personally. Make that number 10%, and you’ll have your overall sales targets. Focus your earnings on business building and long-term growth, and that 10% figure will compound considerably.

Steve Baric is an ISSA Elite Trainer, Nutritionist, and Transformation Specialist, as well as a certified Master Life Coach. As the founder of the Man Under Construction Project, he helps men recover from the trauma and confusion of divorce. His annual fall fitness challenge, Your Personal Reset Button, helps busy moms and dads shed extra pounds and reset their metabolic hormones in the privacy of their own homes.

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While reflecting on the magnificent life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I began to uncover what truly made Dr. King such a powerful leader

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mlk jr

While reflecting on the magnificent life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I began to uncover what truly made Dr. King such a powerful leader. Many revere him for the change he brought forth so it’s no wonder that he was heavily influenced by the man who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. He embodied that statement on the deepest level and lead people through one of the most challenging yet historic times in our nation. 

But what was it that made Dr. King’s movement so different than the rest? A quality that transcends ego and unites a people so divided? 

My greatest and most moving discovery while studying the life of Dr. King was the very answer to our question. 

Yes, he had the personality to be a leader, yes he had the bravery to use his voice, yes he evoked REAL change in government and policies, but the manifestation of all those comes from his willingness to lead a movement truly rooted in consciousness. 

A peaceful approach

Dr. King was continuously met with frustration, hate, and even violence by both law enforcement and those who wanted to fight for equality through violence. But the more violent things became, the more he dug his heels into a peaceful approach. Dr. King’s unwavering faith in the power to lead with peace and not violence is undoubtedly why his legacy is such a pillar of our nation still to this day. It is easier to fight.

Hate, anger and separateness from one another are primitive emotions on the emotional scale of well being but It takes awareness, understanding and elevated consciousness to move from a place of peace and understanding. Dr. King knew that we all have access to these states of higher consciousness and that our true power lies in a peaceful approach.

He is an example of the truest essence of our consciousness in this human experience. How to truly love your neighbor as yourself. 

Conscious compassion

Even the strongest opponents are human. Meet hate with love + compassion for the enemy” he said. It wasn’t his resistance to violence that made him a peacemaker, but rather his commitment to keeping compassion and connection to all humanity at the forefront of his movement. A profound understanding that underneath all the hate, violence and discrimination, we are all one. We all come from the same source and we are all human.

A conscious king

A man of his position, his power, his following could have been easily swayed by the human temptations of the ego. But he remained steadfast in his cause to bring forth real change. He understood on the deepest level that we are truly a stronger force in the universe when we move as one unit, with one mind, and one goal. That the separation from one another is the weakness of humanity. That our strength is in those things that unite us all, the qualities that give us life.

His success was in uniting not just the people of America but the consciousness of America.

No matter our gender, or our social class or our color, we all love, and we all seek peace. We all feel joy and happiness, we all want to be met with compassion and understanding. 

His cause went far beyond the need for physical freedom and equal rights. His cause was for freedom of mind, freedom of heart, freedom to be one. 

Lead with love

In his last speech he said, “I may not get there with you, but we AS A PEOPLE will get to the promise land”. And we will. At some point, we will inevitably come back to this oneness that we all come from.

The truth is? We don’t know when our last day is. Our last march. Our last speech. So this Martin Luther King Jr. Day I ask you, what will your legacy be? Are you leading a life founded in the principles of Dr. King’s movement, founded in the higher consciousness of humanity? Every moment is an opportunity to love, to show compassion, to bring forth peace and in the words of Dr. King “The time is always right to do what is right”.

Dr. King said, “I’m here to remind you, we’ve come a longggg way, but there is still work to be done”. 

And I’m here to remind you this Martin Luther King Jr. day in 2024 that we HAVE come a longggg way, but there is still work to be done. 

His fight is our fight. His mind is our mind. His spirit is our spirit. Rooted in the consciousness of all humanity. We are all one. And when we embrace the understanding of that, we will truly say

“Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, We are Free at Last”.

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