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Explosion and Erosion – How Businesses Will Grow or Fail in 2017…

I’ve learned many lessons in fifty years working with businesses of all sizes. One of those lessons is that businesses grow and fail based on how they manage the explosive events and constant erosion that affect growth.

  • Explosions are those events that come on suddenly—the 2008 meltdown.
  • Erosion is the only constant in business—and in life—change.

Explosions and erosion create both positive and negative results. How these changes affect your business depends on how you, as owner/CEO react.

EXPLOSIONS…

A friend started building a spec house in early 2008. The bank-appraised value of the house was $1.2MM. The collapse happened. THUD! The value of the house plummeted, my friend filed bankruptcy, the house sold—short sale—for $620k.

Another friend identified a need for a service to amateur athletic leagues, developed an online app to service the need, and raised $500k to quickly launch a new business. BOOM! The business is now operating in three states.

EROSION…

An insurance agent was successful selling group health insurance for over a decade. However, she failed to heed the dramatic changes occurring in that industry and found her client base, revenue, and income shrinking. THUD! She had to struggle to identify a new market, and learn a new product portfolio.

A pizza store owner with a superior product experienced stagnant revenue growth. He looked carefully at his store’s appearance, the makeup of the neighborhood, and the clientele he was attracting. He decided to change—in measured stages—the layout and ordering process at the store, to add multiple TVs, expand his offering of craft beer, and promote specific sports events. BOOM! Revenue is growing.

YOU CAN’T DO THIS ALONE…

In each of the BOOM cases, the owner/CEO had a board advisors. The THUDs came when the owner/CEO relied exclusively on his or her own judgement and haphazard advice from paid advisors, casual business associates, friends, and family.

As an owner/CEO, you need a board of advisors you can trust as a mastermind you can rely on. 2017 is going to be an explosive year…don’t THUD. If you want to grow and prosper, create or become a member of a board of advisors—cheaper and better than Vistage, TAB, or any other consultant/coach led group.

 

Founder/CEO Profit Pilots, Inc.

Visit http://ProfitPilots.us and get ready to make 2017 BOOM!

Diligence and Industry

Father Abraham has other admonitions about how to traverse The Way to Wealth.

“… so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity…”

Diligence on the way to wealth means persevering with attention and care at building your personal economy. Diligence makes life simpler and less perplexing. That lets you get more done in less time and with less stress. Life is only a struggle for those who struggle with living. Dr Benjamin Franklin’s Father Abraham has more insights…

“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy;”

Motivational speakers, authors and coaches get paid millions of dollars every year to tell you the simple compelling truths that Americans have embraced for over 250 years and that Dr Benjamin Franklin’s Father Abraham popularized in the final installment of Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1758. It’s no surprise that Dr Benjamin Franklin has become such an iconic person in history and folklore. He practiced what Father Abraham preached. He worked diligently at a wide range of tasks and became one of the wisest, most accomplished and most beloved men in the history of the United States of America because of it…and he made it look easy…through diligence and industry. Think about it…

*excerpt from The Way To Wealth Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition: Commentary by Jeffery Reeves

The 21st Century Way to Wealth

“Do or do not… there is no try.” -Yoda

Having laid the groundwork for continuing his verbal treatise, Father Abraham translates the premises he’s postulated into a series of calls to action. “Let us, then, up and be doing, and doing to the purpose; …” These simplest of words carry profound meaning when it comes to building your wealth. During the last thirty-five years Americans have lost track of the basic truth that it just isn’t enough to work hard and follow conventional wisdom – doing what everyone else does with their money just because that’s what everyone else is doing.

You need to invest your activity and decisions with deep personal meaning. You need to be ‘doing to the purpose.’ What purpose? Every successful personal economy has four essential goals:

to be debt free,

to develop an inflation- proof income stream that requires neither work nor active management,

to have plenty of cash at hand when confronting life’s surprisingly unsurprising surprises,

to pay forward a legacy of both money and the simple wisdom found in The Way to Wealth so future generations aren’t burdened with property they don’t own and investments they don’t control.

If your work, your spending, your use of money is not bringing you closer to these four goals each and every day, it’s time to wake up and make some significant changes in how you are managing your money. Think about it…

*excerpt from The Way To Wealth Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition: Commentary by Jeffery Reeves

Time Lost Can Never Be Regained

As he continues his dissertation, the first principle Father Abraham lays out is “…since, as he elsewhere tells us, Lost time is never found again…”

You can regain lost money. A lost opportunity is the seed for a new opportunity. Lost sales become lessons learned and future sales. Lost time – be it seconds, minutes, hours, days or longer – is gone forever. Every culture, every age, and every spiritual tradition recognizes the value of time. Living in the present moment isn’t a Buddhist idea, a Christian mystical teaching, or the wisdom of the ancient Greeks, Hindus, or Jews. Living in the present moment is the common sense that Father Abraham captured in a few short words: “Lost time is never found again.”

Think about it…

*excerpt from The Way To Wealth Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition: Commentary by Jeffery Reeves

Time Enough; Or Not…

Father Abraham continues again with sage words that anyone who ever tried to complete a complex project on schedule can relate to: “and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.”

Joe’s working career started in 1965 as a computer programmer for a large corporation. His first assignment was to learn a ‘symbolic language’ that would let him talk to an IBM 1460 computer. He went to a computer language school for a week and returned confident that he could handle any programming challenge that was thrown at him.

As soon as he returned to his desk at work the boss handed him a small payroll-reporting program that one of the HR folks wanted. His boss reassured him that “It should only take you a few hours to code it.

You can get it compiled into a language that the computer can understand overnight and have it running tomorrow.” That was Monday morning. Fast forward to Thursday morning and the distinct possibility that Joe would be summarily dismissed for gross incompetence. The ‘few hours’ turned into about 30 and the program simply defied every attempt at being ‘compiled.’ Joe was downhearted, thought himself a complete failure. He was ready to take his lumps. Joe and his boss were, however, in for a surprise. One of the more senior programmers offered to look over Joe’s code and help him get it right. After a few minutes, the senior programmer burst out laughing. Joe was certain the senior programmer was about to ridicule Joe out of existence but instead he gave Joe a hug. “Joe’s logic is impeccable,” he told them, “and his code is elegant.” They were puzzled. What’s wrong, then, they wondered. “The only problem is” he continued laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes, “you sent Joe to the wrong language school.”

Life’s that way. Surprisingly unsurprising surprises happen to all of us throughout our lives. They keep us from completing our work on time, being prepared for our kids’ educations and our own retirement. It’s important to recognize that plans – financial and otherwise – are snapshots of what’s on the horizon. The way to wealth leads you to the next plateau and the next plateau reveals a new horizon. The new horizon changes the path and usually increases the time it takes to reach your chosen destination. The corollary to this observation is that the destination you chose from afar ends up being less than you anticipated and morphs into the starting point of your next journey on your way to wealth. Think about it…

*excerpt from The Way To Wealth Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition: Commentary by Jeffery Reeves

The Tax We Impose on Ourselves by Our Failure to Manage Our Time

Father Abraham says, “If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be, as Poor Richard says, the greatest prodigality;”

Like most seekers of wealth and wisdom, Albert devoured books, articles, and training programs that could help him grow and prosper. In 1975 – or thereabouts – he discovered a timeless treasure in Alan Lakein’s book ‘How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life.’ He adopted the principles and practices the book advised, and adapted them to his life and lifestyle. He created a training program for employees and clients based on the ideas in the book. He was convinced that Alan Lakein had discovered eternal truths.

A few years later Albert discovered ‘The Way to Wealth.’ Surprise! 225 years earlier Dr. Benjamin Franklin had not only known of these ideas but had also written about them. When Father Abraham begins the discussion of time management it is with the premise that the ineffective use of time is a failing so great that it is the greatest failing a person can have. Think about it…

* excerpt from The Way to Wealth y Dr. Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition

The Tax We Impose on Ourselves by Our Sloth

“…but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. ‘Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears; while the used key is always bright,’ as Poor Richard says.”

One thing hasn’t changed. No matter how much of your money the government takes, you are still responsible for your health and your own financial success or failure. That means you have to rely on your own work to produce enough income to care for yourself and your family, if you have one.

Benjamin Franklin obviously refers to manual labor when he talks about ‘sloth bringing on disease’, rust consuming faster than wear and tear, and saying the ‘used key is always bright.’ Many Americans don’t do manual labor. Finding a way to keep your key always bright is intrinsically your job, too.

A corollary to what Father Abraham teaches is that relying on government for health care or financial support is not a good idea. The more a government gives you personally the more it can take away. Think about it…

 

*excerpt from The Way to Wealth by Dr. Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition

A Ten Percent Tax

“It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service.”

Benjamin Franklin and the other Founding Fathers didn’t have to deal with the IRS, state, county, township, city and tax-district income taxes, property taxes, school taxes, taxes on gas, electricity, telephone service, internet access, cable and satellite service, water, sewer, gasoline, heating fuel, beer, wine, whiskey, tobacco, and sales tax on almost everything else thrown in just for good measure. Add to that the taxes on corporations that bury in the price of their goods so you end up paying tax on that hidden tax when you buy those goods.

 
Today’s governments in America take a lot more than ten percent of your time. They don’t require actual time. They take so much of the typical American’s work product – money for short – in the form of taxes that  you really work for the government up to 50% of the time. It can get even worse when you add in estate and inheritance taxes, probate fees and final expense costs if you are financially successful, even when you have well informed and qualified advisors. Is ours, therefore, a “hard government?” Hard indeed and getting out of hand, but recall the taxes we impose on ourselves by idleness, pride and folly. We control these taxes entirely. Think about it…

*Excerpt from The Way To Wealth by Dr. Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition

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Did Father Abraham Foresee 2008 ?

…and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.

Today a few Americans clamor for the government to take over everything from health care to energy, the banking system to the auto industry. Father Abraham reminds us that government can’t bail us out of our individual and collective idleness, pride and follies, although the Congress and the President and the President Elect seem to think the government can do just that.

“However, let us hearken to good advice, and something maybe done for us; ‘God helps them that help themselves,’ as Poor Richard says.”

Poor Richard, the Founding Fathers and Mothers, presidents, statesmen and women, and their families recognized that God created a universe where we are personally responsible for our actions and inactions, our decisions about our lives and our lifestyles, and what we do with the abundance that we have been given to steward. Even those who do not believe in God rank personal responsibility highest on the stewardship scale. We all recognize that we create government to be the servant of “we the people” and that we the people are the servants of a higher power. Think about it…

Excerpt from The Way To Wealth by Dr. Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition

The Way to Wealth – Taxed by Folly

Dr. Benjamin Franklin in The Way to Wealth, states that we are taxed four times by our own folly. But, what is folly? It must be pretty important and, unfortunately, common for Franklin to claim that we are taxed four times by it.

According to Merriam-Webster Online, Folly means “The lack of good sense or judgment or a foolish act or idea: foolish behavior.” Basically, we cause ourselves four times more pain and money by simply our own foolishness.

In, The Way to Wealth Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Edition, Dr. Argon Fly points out what he believes to be a major folly within the American economic system.

“The Behemoths have convinced us that folly is wisdom. They want us to believe it’s OK to lose real money today in order to make maybe-money at some undetermined future date.”

He goes onto write that the large companies and corporations make more money as the Davids and small businesses make less—maybe money. A lack of good sense, judgement and foresight are the highest taxes we pay.

Apply the concept:

Is your business making maybe-money? What is your folly? How can you make your folly your strength?RTGyyKzgc