Financial Advice From A Young Successful Entrepreneur
Have you ever sat there and wondered why it seems like you’re the only one being thrown curve balls? As if the universe has no remorse for your soul and just wants to take everything away from you because, well because nothing – it’s just being a prick.
Let me tell you a secret.
You’re not alone.
In the United States alone, a large sum of the population feels this way – stressed, bogged down, and worried – and the main culprit? Money.
In a recent study, the American Psychological Association (APA) stated that out of a sample size of 3068 adults in August 2014, 72 percent of them reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during that past month and that 22 percent said they experience extreme stress during that same period. The report also uncovered more bad news, stating that Americans who could not find a support system – advice or somebody to lean on – have increased levels of stress; a whopping 43 percent stated that their stress levels increased over the past year alone. You can read the article here for further details.
I hope to leverage the experiences within me to provide you with more tools on achieving your goals. In 2007, I attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada where I could honestly say I had the best time of my life. That “best time” however, made me end that stunt in 2009. Was I an idiot? No. Did I dislike my program? Yes. Should I have finished? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely Not.
If I hadn’t gone through that stage in my life, I would have never been able to reach where I am today, nor would I have the knowledge that I have now. Being a university dropout made me realize something; that education is not the be-all, end-all of success but it certainly contributes to reaching higher levels of it as your career progresses. That realization gave me the motivation and desire to educate myself through any means necessary. I began reading everything I could about growing and pushing myself to take calculated risks that could benefit me long-term. I started taking risks, winning some, losing some, and then breaking even on the rest.
On all of the short term investments I made, I lost on each one. There is no such thing as a Get-Rich-Quick scheme. To increase your financial prowess, you have to be patient, and that is something I learned the hard way. In 2012, I lost just over $6,000 in trading stocks. Why? Because I was trying to get rich quick and not taking the time to analyze and research my decisions. So I took my own advice (which is sometimes a hard pill to swallow) and practiced what I am preaching right now. I continued working hard and living frugally, saving as much of my money as possible, and I'm happy I did.
In 2011, I purchased my first condo downtown – my very first one – and it was the best feeling ever. I was only 23 years old and picked a prime location in one of the best cities in the world: Toronto (6ix God waddup?!).
I got in early and paid much less of a premium than if I had purchased later on. Now, in 2015, that same condo has increased in value, but that’s not the best part. The best part is that it is located in a metropolitan city and is steps away from two universities and night life galore. Can you say “positive cash flow?”
In 2010, I started my own business in the construction retail industry because I was on top of the world, was knowledgeable, and thought I was unstoppable. What happened? I was wrong. My first year in business, I generated only $60,000 in sales. Nowhere near what I wanted to accomplish. I sat back and reflected on what went wrong, and concluded that I was the problem. I was cocky, inexperienced, and thought I knew everything. I went back to the drawing board because I was disgusted with MY performance. I held myself accountable, no one else. I realized I couldn’t blame any external factor because I can’t control them, I could only control my actions.
In 2011 I dropped my ego which in the past got the best of me. I fundamentally changed who I was in order to become my best self, the person I am still striving towards today. I fought the toughest business and relationship battles, felt the highest of highs, and the absolute lowest of lows, but I didn’t let it get to me. I kept striving to be better, to build my business to high regard, and not just myself personally. It flourished. By the end of the year, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was stunned at what I accomplished.
Approximately $60,000 in Year 1. $1,152,406.71 in Year 2.
My hard work knocked it out of the park, here’s why:
I was unafraid. Unafraid to make mistakes, unafraid of being judged, and most importantly, unafraid to ask for help. If I couldn’t do something alone, I would seek out someone who could help me. If I didn’t know something, I would ask. I would ask my businessman father (who I hold to high regard) or I would ask a complete stranger; a customer – solid information with an unbiased approach from both ends.
Hold yourself accountable and do not be afraid to ask questions. Learn as much as you can and then empower others to do the same. Your future, financial and otherwise, is in your hands; no one else’s.
Last but not least, you should take note that I have made myself vulnerable. I am strong enough to let you into my life and show you aspects that I don’t share often. I am giving you the opportunity to see that my financial success was, and still is, a rollercoaster. There are things that I am proud of which fall under my “wins” such as my loving wife and family, great friends, owning 5 rental properties, scaling a business from less than $100K to over $1MM and making a bold move to leave a lucrative business to switch careers. On the other hand, there are things I am not so proud of which I never told anyone before like losing $6K in stocks, losing $5K to a friend, and making many decisions solely on monetary circumstances which isn’t always right.
I succeeded at something, and am heading for a new challenge that will try me even harder. Something where I can push others to have a voice of their own and empower them to make their lives better. The gift of giving is true success, no matter what others tell you.