Life April is National Financial Literacy Month, so I figured it’s a good time to pull back the curtain on my financial strategy. Some entrepreneurs might want to keep this stuff secret, but I’m all about laying things out on the table. I succeeded, and if I can help you succeed, too, by sharing the thoughts, tips, and tricks that got me from Point A to Point B, why wouldn’t I do it? Before I dive in, though, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Today, I’ve got a steady flow of income thanks to Lynnpro and don’t worry at all about my spending, but I grew up in the Iowa housing projects. When my mom made some money, we moved next door to the trailer court and kept struggling. I’m telling you this so you know I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. I know what rich is, but I know what poor is, too. When I was a kid, we were so down on our luck that all we hoped for was to make it to broke because that would mean we were out of debt. Even when I turned 18 and moved out, I was still just a high school dropout with a GED, so I went through some more hard times. I got into trouble early on and ended up ruining my credit. It took me years to bounce back from that mistake, and it wasn’t until I started my first business that I wised up about money. I started putting cash away for retirement and avoiding debt, and between that, smart business choices, and a lot of hustling, I ended up pulling down six figures. Now, I could walk into a car dealership today and write a check for a new car, or walk into a builder’s office and write a check for a new house. I want that freedom for my kids, my employees, my friends, and you, too. So, I’ve got three pieces of advice. The first and most important one is this: Never touch your seed money. Once you put a chunk of change
NEVER TOUCH YOUR SEED MONEY
into your retirement account or into your savings, consider that money dead and buried. I’ve always walked the walk on this, and in the early days, it was really hard. Sometimes I’d eat just ramen for a week or potatoes for a month so I could live on the income I had, keep my savings locked down, and add to it. That brings me to piece of advice No. 2: Save 10% of every paycheck for your retirement. Here at Lynnpro, I give my employees 401(k) accounts and match them up to 5%, but for some crazy reason, they don’t all take advantage of it. That’s free money going to waste! If you have that opportunity, take it. And no matter how small your paycheck is, always put 10% away. If you’re on unemployment, put 10% of your unemployment check away! And never cash out your 401(k) before you retire, either. If you do, your future self will want to shoot you for it. The last thing any of us want is to wind up broke when we’re too old to work anymore.
Now, here’s my last piece of advice: Don’t pay attention to what anyone else thinks. It’s important to live your life your way and enjoy not just the destination but also the ride. Personally, I’m a lazy guy. I call myself “ambitiously lazy” because I work in spurts. One day I’m hustling, the next I’m chilling on the couch watching TV. Some people might judge me for that, but I don’t care — I have my crap sorted, and I’m living my life the way I want to. If I were hustling all the time, I’d be miserable, and then what’s the point of having money to burn? As Cheri and I always say, it’s living life that matters. Being financially literate is just a means to that end, but it’s an important one. If you’re still struggling like I was when I was younger, I hope these tips help you turn things around. Stay tuned for more!
“Once you put a chunk of change into your retirement account or into your savings, consider that money dead and buried.”
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