Not because they are lazy or disabled but because they were taught to work and make money, but NOT taught to acquire assets that work for them.
Here’s what the majority of us were taught: “go to school, learn some skills, work hard, and you’ll succeed”
Here’s what we are NOT taught: “how to manage money or how to GROW it”.
So here is what is happening: we are going to school, working hard, making more money, and buying more stuff. We consume. Consuming is not bad. Excessive consuming is not so good.
"Consumerism becomes excessive when it extends beyond what is needed. When we begin consuming more than is needed, boundaries are removed. Personal credit allows us to make purchases beyond our income-level. Advertisements subtly reshape our desires around material possessions. And the consumption culture that surrounds us begins to make excessive consumption appear natural and normal.
Excessive consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, trendier clothes, fancier technology, and overfilled drawers. It promises happiness, but never delivers. Instead, it results in a desire for more… a desire that is promoted by the world around us. And it slowly begins robbing us of life. It redirects our God-given passions to things that can never fulfill. It consumes our limited resources."
Joshua Becker "Minimalism"
And it makes us savings poor and debt rich.
The average American over age 50 has $38,000 in personal debt and that number is climbing.
The average American has saved less than $12,000 for retirement by age 50.
The majority of Americans (87%) will need to downgrade their standard of living when they retire. They will need to rely on the US Government, relatives and charity “to make ends meet”.
As an entrepreneur, you have the BEST chance of being financially fit. In the 2018 American Express OPEN study, they found that the median income of an employee is $52,000 / year. The median income of an entrepreneur is $70,000 per year.
Being an entrepreneur, however, does not guarantee a great income or retirement. The statistics are sobering: 50% of small businesses fail in the first 4 years. The Small Business Administration has studied the trend and finds that the primary cause of business failure is “lack of cash flow and profit”. The SBA has published the reason why*. Here is what they say in The Young Entrepreneur Course:
“Businesses, like all things, take time to grow. Very few people will produce mass amounts of profit within just weeks or even months of being in business. There will be things that you fail at, even if your business is successful. Inevitably, some projects fail for a variety of reasons--poor planning, competitors offering better options, market timing or other factors. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to learn and grow from your mistakes to move forward. You must be able to live with uncertainty and overcome obstacles that you didn't anticipate.”
That’s it. Nothing about financial management.
As a business coach, my experience is that this high level of business failure is due to a lack of BASIC financial management skills. The gap is knowledge and training.
Our educational system does not teach money skills. College programs prepare you to be a skilled employee – few teach entrepreneurship as part of the basic curriculum. If a curriculum requires basic accounting, they teach the mechanics of accounting but not the application to a business.
People have to rely on what their well-meaning parents or other family members taught them and the chances are high they didn’t know how to manage money well either.
The solution? A business owner improves his chance of financial success by becoming financially literate. Once they have acquired the tools to financially manage their business, they need to make it a daily practice – DAILY FINANCIAL HABITS. This will lead to true CASH profits. The next step is learning how to use the profits from their business to build wealth. Whether through compound interest, investing in stocks and bonds, or asset acquisition, they must learn how to GROW their money.
My mission is to educate and equip Small Business Owners so they can harvest PROFIT from their business. That is the first and essential step. I also partner with professionals that can help them GROW their wealth – but they have to HAVE money to GROW. I teach them how to get PROFIT.
* I scoured the Small Business Administration website looking for an explanation for this dim statistic. If I missed it, I apologize profusely. They offer great resources to educate small business owners and provide knowledge. I highly recommend their site for that purpose.