Putting Money First

Today we are talking about putting money first and I know that can be sometimes seen as quite controversial.

I know that many of you business owners out there started your business up so you could help people, so you could provide a service, create a great product, have some positive impact in the world around you and because of that, many small business owners I find out they put money second, third, fourth or even right at the bottom of their priority list.

And I'm telling you now if money is low down on your priorities, guess what? You'll never going to be financially successful.

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Today we are talking about putting money first and I’m aware that can be seen as controversial. I know that many of you business owners out there started your business up so that you could help people, to provide a service, create a great product, have some positive impact on the world around you and, perhaps because of that, many small business owners put money second, third, fourth or even right at the bottom of their priority list. And I'm telling you now, if money is low down on your list of priorities, you’re never going to be financially successful.

If you are challenged by this concept, you must read on, because you need to hear this twice as much as the next person.

What I'm going to tell you is not about putting money first to the exclusion of everything else. It's about putting money first and then delivering on all your other values, whether that's great service, creating a positive impact in the world, or whatever it might be. You still get to do all of that. I just want you to take money from low down on your priority list to the top. If you don't, you are almost certainly destined not to have the financial success that you want or that your business could deliver and it's very possible that you will end up struggling or even failing as a business owner.

Putting money to the top of the pile, making it your number one priority in business, enables your business to grow, to thrive and, therefore, still deliver all of what you are currently delivering in terms of your higher values, but to an even greater degree because money is what is going to oil the cogs of your business. In other words, you'll be able to do more of the great stuff that you're trying to do. If you haven’t worked this out all ready, money is the only thing that your business cares about.

Your business needs money. It needs to be fed, like a hungry baby. And if you feed it money, it will grow strong and, hopefully, take care of you in your later years. It's absolutely imperative that you take care of your business's one and only need, and that is to be financially successful.  

You, however, have many needs that need to be met. Money is only one part of life, but it definitely helps. In case you hadn’t worked this out, money will make everything easier. In fact, there's nothing that wouldn't be improved by money and I can hear the cogs of your brain whirring now, trying to challenge that concept, because many people don't like this idea.

I've delivered this content now to hundreds of people and everyone tries to think of the one thing money can’t help you with. There is nothing that wouldn’t be improved by having more money. If you want to help people, money enables you to help people more. If you want to help your kids, money enables you to give your kids more help. I'm telling you now, if you think that money won't buy you love, a lack of it can absolutely cost you a relationship. In terms of failing marriages, so many are caused by a lack of money. In fact, so many of our problems and woes in the western world are down to not having enough money.

If we had enough money, we could do X. We could help Y. We could invest in a certain way so that we could create a better outcome for ourselves. Don't even try and challenge that. There is very little that wouldn't be improved greatly by having more money. However, it would be completely remiss of me to ignore the many other needs that we human beings have.

The truth is, if you money was your only need, you'd be a dysfunctional human being. If status was your only need in the world, you would be a dysfunctional human being, and we do see people who have status or respect as their only need in this world and that feels very negative. It’s what I would call a dysfunctional personality type. It's important to meet all of our needs and to deny that we have the need for money is ludicrous and naive and that denial will absolutely keep you poor or struggling for money.

What are your needs? You can jot down some of them right now and start thinking about this because actually, we neglect so many of our needs, thinking they're bad. We think it's arrogant, for example, to admit that we have a need for respect or a desire for a degree of status. Therefore, we neglect those needs. We need to meet all of our needs in the right proportions for us as individuals.

I want you to understand that you have many needs which need to be recognised in order to have an overall experience of fulfilment. However, to get back to your business, it has a single need, as I've already said. Money. It needs finance. Finance oils its cogs. Finance enables it to do more of what it's doing in the world. Money doesn’t make you bad. Money is just a magnifier.

If I give someone who's doing negative stuff a million pounds, it will magnify the negativity – they will do more of it. But if I give you that money, someone who's trying to do the best you can to really serve people, to create a great product, a great service, trying to help your family and community, you will magnify what you're currently doing. Your business is the number one source of your financial security.

This series of posts is all about achieving extreme growth by raising your game. Now, what I mean by extreme growth is that if you have a 50k business right now, I want you to be thinking about a minimum of 100k in the next 12 months. If you're doing 100k, you should be thinking of doubling that.

Even if you're doing 200 or even 250K, you should be thinking about doubling. In fact, across my Success Groups and Extreme Growth Masterminds, we've had businesses that have gone from 50 to 100K, 60 to 120K, well inside a year. We've had people that have risen from 1K a month to hitting 100k in their business in seven months. We've seen phenomenal growth over and over again in our business, so I know that extreme growth is absolutely possible for you. In fact, my presupposition is that you already possess the skills and the ability and that your business already has the products and services which can take you to real extreme growth.

If you're just starting out now, at 10 or 20K, think about 100k this year. That, in my world, is extreme growth, not the ludicrous wish to be a millionaire in 12 months.

What I call extreme growth is what is feasible, achievable, but what I would also consider really exciting growth in your business within 12 months or so. I want you to start thinking like that, because if you start to have more money coming into your business, it enables you to get the quality of life that you deserve, that you wanted when you set up your business.

Depending on your background and your perception of what a lot of money looks like, the idea of 30 or 40k feels like a decent amount of money. It's probably replacing any salary or income from a corporate background. Very quickly though, when you become a business owner, you realise that it doesn't quite give you the lifestyle that you thought you would get when you became an entrepreneur. That’s when you start to imagine what 100k would look like.

I don't know your background, but it's very possible that 100k sounds like a lot of money to you. In civvy street, in the commercial world, to earn 100k salary you're going to be a really good salesperson or really high up in a business. So, for a lot of us, 100k feels like a lot of money. However, I'm telling you now from personal experience, but also from the experience of so many people that I've worked with, when you hit 100k it doesn't give you the lifestyle that you thought it would because there are other things you have to start paying for as your business starts to grow.

You have to invest in certain things, and you'll start to realise that while 100K feels like a massive number, it’s not as big as you think. In our business, we were initially aiming for 5k a month between Tracey and myself. That pretty much took care of our life – the mortgage and the lifestyle we already had.

We hit that relatively quickly. Then we had some bad advice. I’ve talked about this in another post and how it stalled our business and held us back.

Eventually, we hit the 100k and I had a shopping list. I wanted a place in the sun, a nice car, things for the kids, et cetera. I remember thinking that at 100k everything will be okay, but when we hit it, I'm telling you now, it was almost depressing.

Yes, things changed. Of course, life improved, but everything improved a little bit and I realised that money doesn't go very far when you distribute it. If I’d still been in my twenties or living in my mum's house and all I was thinking about was a car, then yes, going from 50 to 100k would be the difference between driving a BMW and a Porsche. But when you’re a couple, when you have a mortgage, two kids, and everything that goes with that, you realise that the 100k that is in your business as turnover does not give you what you thought it would. The lifestyle that I thought I was going to get at 100k didn't kick in.

At a quarter of a million-pound turnover we started to live how I thought we would at 100k and I've seen this over and over again. When you think about a lifestyle, unless you are very familiar with the amount of money that you're aiming for, you'll be really surprised at how it doesn't give you what you think it will.

Today, at around 350K, we have a pretty good lifestyle. We've got a nice house, a nice car, we go on holidays, et cetera. We're doing okay. However, we are not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I know people who have earned 350k out there in civvy street, and trust me, they are much better off than we are.

At what point does your business give you the life that would make you think you’re well off? In my experience, you need two and a half times what you think you need. In other words, for me, the lifestyle I thought I'd get at 100K didn't kick in until 250K, and I've seen this with other people too. I know there will be variations, but I've seen this consistently.

Remember, you need to put money first because you need a lot more money than you think you do in order to have the life that you want. And, you want to do nice things for your kids, for your family, your friends, maybe your mum and dad.

That s**t gets really expensive, really quickly. If you really want to help people out, you can throw your mum £50 here and there or pay for a phone for your kids. But to really do the stuff that you would love to do if you had the money – help your kids get on the property ladder or help your mum and dad retire earlier or get the place abroad, for instance – to do that costs a lot. I once had someone in Success Groups challenge me on this saying that money wasn't important to her, so I asked her what was important. She said her kids, her family, her friends. I asked her to write me a list of what she would like to do. She did, and it included paying off her sister’s debts, helping her brother, taking her kids places, etc. We added it up. She needed £125,000 of income.

So, don't tell me money's not important to you. If all the things that are important to you actually cost money to deliver, money has got to be important to you. I want you to think about that, especially if you feel that money isn’t important to you. Where did you learn to think that way? Because I'll tell you now, it wasn't in Business 101. It wasn't in accountancy. It wasn't in financial planning. This is some bullshit that you've picked up along the way, that money is bad or you’re greedy. If you think money's not important, look at what is important to you.

Money will improve your lifestyle and enable you to help those people who are really important to you. And if you're trying to do good in the world, I'm telling you now, you need money. In fact, what does every charity out there want from you? Money. Yes, they might want some of your time as well, but they need money. Money, money, money. That's what they want.

The more good you're trying to do in your community, the more money you need. Take Branson, for instance. Look at the millions that he's pumping into good causes, and Bill Gates. It's really expensive to cure malaria. It's really expensive to take plastics out of the sea or to save wildlife or forests or to help people who are hungry or to produce new vaccines. It costs a fortune. You will have a much bigger footprint in the world in terms of the good that you can do if you back it with more money.

Now let's get back to your business because I'm assuming that you're in business because there's a certain freedom that you want, and you have a mission to solve people's problems.

If your business is financially stable, and if it becomes more financially successful, you are able to magnify that in your business. A client of mine’s number one mission is to create an incredible working environment for everybody who works for him. He wouldn’t last long if he didn’t give good service and have great products, but his mission is to create an incredible environment that supports people in finding their own purpose, their passion. If he didn't have the money, he wouldn't be able to employ anyone in the first place. The business wouldn't be big enough to support the people who he wants to help. Money enables your business to do more of the higher value stuff that you set it up for. Giving great service, supporting people, solving problems, whatever it is that motivates you.

You're never going to be financially successful if money is low on your priority list. My message to you is not about going for money to the exclusion of everything else. As I've said, your business has one need – money, so it can grow. You have multiple needs which must be met in your business, but like any relationship, it only works when everybody's needs are met. So, meet your business's one need and it will help you satisfy all the needs that you have. I don't think you can ask for a better return on investment than that.

Allow your business to be financially successful and it will deliver against all of the needs that you have. That's how you build a long-term working relationship. Stop stifling your business's performance and growth by putting your negative attitude about money onto your business. Your business has a right to grow. It has a right to have its needs met and it needs money. Make your business financially successful and it will thrive, you will thrive, and you'll have more of absolutely everything that you are trying to create in the world around you, in your business and in your life.

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