I really must share with you a very inspirational story, and one that I think is an example of how a change in attitude and perspective, can move us from financial dependence to independence. This was briefly referred to in “Achieving Life’s equilibrium”, as an example surrounding the principles of wealth creation outlined. Financial dependence for me is having to rely on “direct” employment from someone else for income. This is not to say that employment is a bad thing, as it depends on the job. What it says though that even while employed you should be constantly seeking to increase your financial independence through savings, or acquiring assets (real or intellectual) to enable your transition to have some income independent of “direct” employment. This is the concept that pensions are founded on.
Back to the story then.
From about two years ago I have been discussing with a group of contract workers that they should seek to establish their own business, and take the steps to do so while they are employed under the contract, so that they don’t have to rely on employment in the future. They included mostly office workers, those you would think would have been more accommodating of the idea. There was also one person who was what we call the “office help”, who when I first spoke to her about it resisted and said that she was trying to get another job and would continue to do so. Will refer to her as Rose for this article. This was in the height of the first recession.
Most of the other persons (those who you would think would gravitate to self employment) continued to search for a job also, and some even said it was too much to think about and go about starting their own business. After working with Rose for a few months, and talking to her about the expenditure choices she makes, and what she needs to prioritize I got through to her finally. I then gave her advice on how to start her own business with very little capital, a common excuse I hear from many, which I always say a lot of capital is not necessary. She started her business by discussing with me what she could market, and I went though with her what people would demand and why they would want it. She went about securing the goods and started selling into the market. She has been doing this for approximately one year now and was able to supplement her income, to the point where the income from the business has now replaced if not surpassed what she was getting from employment. And the income, and market is growing daily.
I continue to mentor her and show her ways in which she can improve her income, and she has been doing so. She was able to secure a mortgage through NHT, and is now able to generate her own income to offset the mortgage payment. She also comes to me with ideas almost everyday and I guide her as to what will work and what won’t. She is now thinking of expanding the business, and securing a loan to get some equipment, and I have shown her how to go about expanding it. She is even thinking of employing someone in the near future because of the amount of work she is seeing.
Recently herself and some office colleagues ended their contract, and the others gave a traditional farewell speech, and say how sorry they were to go. She on the other hand said she was grateful for the opportunity she had and that she has acquired the necessary tools to expand her business and thanks everyone, and looks forward to developing her own income.
It just goes to show that moving from one stage in life to the next is really a matter of perspective. I look forward to continuing to give her advice as she continue to expand her horizons, as she is truly an example to follow. She had little knowledge of business, but was willing to listen. And she had very little capital but was able to match the market with the product and turn over the little capital while reducing the risk.
I think she will do very well.