Whether you just started your business, or you have been in business for a long time, the time to think about your future is now. In the last 14 years, we have endured the Great Recession and a global pandemic. In both cases, these thoughts occurred: What if I lose my business? Can I weather the storm? Can my staff and crew make it until this is “over”? Will this set back my plans of early retirement? As business owners, we will never be worriless. With the right mindset and plan in place, we can all worry less. Here are some thoughts that could set you on your way. 

Build your business to operate without you. This must be done so you can one day exit your business. You need to think in terms of your business as an asset and not your baby. A few things I have done personally to create more freedom and less dependence on me:  

  • Take one day off per week to focus on investing. 
  • Volunteer. 
  • Take one week off (or at least a long weekend) per month to be away from the grind. 
  • Remove the phone from your desk. Think about it. Anyone who needs you can already reach you on your cell phone. Being free from a desk phone has been an incredible feeling. 

Work on the business 80% of the time and work in the 20% of the time. To work on the business, you will need to have great people who work with you who work in the business. The stronger your staff, the freer you can become. Action items for working on your business include:  

  • Joining a group such as Floor Expo and meeting like-minded business owners to share best practices with. 
  • Joining a peer group such as Vistage International or C-12 to sharpen your leadership skills. 
  • Volunteering on local boards to help the community and to spread the word about your business with local leaders. 
  • Thinking about next week, next month, next year’s vision more and letting staff worry about today’s operation. 
  • Creating an accountability policy where your staff must bring two viable solutions for every issue they present to you. 

Lean on your mentors. Who do you admire? Whose lifestyle do you aspire to emulate? Will they help you get there? If you can find three to give rock-solid mentors or peers, you are well on your way to creating the freedom you so desire. I have several people that are ahead of me on the growth curve and freedom train that I call on for advice and tips. They love helping. I give them my energy and gratitude in return. It is win-win. 

Invest outside your business. Personally, I prefer “mailbox money” versus earned income any day. Mailbox money is money you get back from investments in the form of distributions or dividends. There are many ways to create passive income (another word for mailbox money). Depending on your appetite for risk, there are deals out there to invest in that pay anywhere from 6% and up. I’ve seen some return 575%, 284%, 375%. It’s a matter of telling people in your network that you are looking to put your money to work (and then hiring an outstanding attorney to vet deals). I felt a lot less worry during this pandemic due to the fact that I spent the years between the recession and last year working very hard to create mailbox money.  

I’m not qualified to give investment advice, but if you would ever like to know about my simple “wagon wheel plan for creating wealth,” feel free to contact me. Investing provides no guarantee, however, it sure has created a lot less worry! 

Please send me your comments and best practices to mketterman@gotyoufloored.com. I love to hear your feedback each month.