I've really been getting into building a business and personal finance. One of the many books I read this year was Rich Dad Poor Dad. The author, Robert Kiyosaki, talks a lot about investing, real estate, and understanding the difference between an asset and a liability. There are so many good points in the book but perhaps one of the most important is mind your own business.
Mind Your Own Business
He's not talking about eavesdropping at a coffee shop.
He's not talking about listening in on people's phone calls.
He's talking about watching out for yourself and your own finances. Private enterprise doesn't exist for you. A business will only give you money if you can help them make more money. I don't say this to be grumbly or pessimistic. Business owners have their own expenses and if they're trying to put food on their own table then they might not be able to help you as much as they like.
Skill Yourself Up
I'm not saying don't work for other people. Do that but make sure you know why you're working for them. Are you learning a skill? Are you making connections? Does it look impressive on your resume?
I love working for WooThemes not just because of the culture but because they help me with all of these. It's so easy to reach out to someone and ask for help learning a new skill, it's easy to ask for an introduction to someone influential at another company, and being a part of WooThemes brings with it credibility.
If I was offered 2X the salary to work for a lawn mowing company I wouldn't take it. I wouldn't learn new skills, I wouldn't meet people, and it wouldn't exactly look exciting on the resume. 5-10 years from now where would I be? We'll probably have self driving lawn mowers and I'll be out of a job.
Mind your own business. Don't take the big salary today and screw yourself out of a career tomorrow.
Build Your Assets
While you're working for someone else don't be afraid to build your own assets – things that can bring in additional revenue in case you ever need it. My assets are funding my retirement account. This was the first year I maximized my Roth IRA contributions thanks to assets that brought in an additional $8,000.
Assets are anything that brings in revenue. It could be software, books, music, real estate, investments, a membership site, and e-commerce site, a dog sitting business. Honestly it could be anything. It doesn't matter what you want to get into. Find something and start growing it. I believe WooThemes is going to stay around for quite some time but it's nice to be prepared in case that didn't happen. And if that never happens then at least I have some nice money going into my retirement account.
There are a million opportunities in life. You're going to miss some and catch others. Try things and see how they pan out. I tried affiliate marketing this year just for fun and I learned an important lesson: that affiliate money doesn't roll in with just a bit of work. It takes a lot of work to make affiliate a reliable income. That was a good lesson.
I also learned that software takes a lot of time to build. It's a huge time investment up front but once you get the hang of it it's very easy to keep selling and only spend a couple hours a month in maintenance.
Whatever you do make sure you're minding your own business and planning your own life. Happy businessing!