There is a fundamental and crucial difference between investing and spending. Most people don’t really conceptualise nor understand the key differences because we’re programmed to “feel” like both are essentially the same thing due to one key factor. In most cases (but not all), investing and spending will feel the same i.e. money will leave the account and therefore there will be “less”.
The crucial difference is if you know what you’re doing, you never feel like investing is actually the same as losing money. For me, losing money is missing out on a big opportunity because I didn’t do the basics or didn’t take that risk I knew would pay off.
At the core of it all, the reason that most don’t “invest” in the future by spending more on “advertising”, “people” “processes” or real-estate for example is ONLY because they are still acting like an “animal”. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I mean that literally, human beings have to consciously fight our fear-based “must eat now” or modus operandi. Quite simply we live like “animals” only having enough for the “now” if, god willing, there is “enough”.
It’s biology. It’s the part of you that wants to “hoard” your money while “the times are good” because the animal instinct in you is “feast or famine”.
This all might seem like an oversimplified point, BUT DON’T BE FOOLED…. most people don’t realise how REAL and easy it is for all of us to fall into this trap and most of the time …. you don’t even know that it’s happening.
Here are 2 key concepts that will help you invest in the future and not wake up one day, 10 years from now and realise that you never thought past the week ahead…
In my opinion, this almost exclusively comes from hanging around with the right people. You need to understand that people are investing in real “assets” that are constantly “thrown” in your face. That’s why masterminds are so important. The key awareness you will get from those is that “push” is at times a “healthy paranoia”.
I’m a big fan of a little healthy paranoia. The founder of Intel, Andrew Grove, famously said, ONLY THE PARANOID SURVIVE. I think that there is a lot of truth in that statement.
The paranoia I’m talking about shows up in the successful way that business titans are always looking to the future. An air of “I’m not nearly there” seems to constantly be pushing their actions no matter their level of success.
Of course, the risk of this is that at times these very people might be accused of not “living for the now” or have sentences like “when is enough, enough?” thrown at them, often by well-meaning yet frankly clueless “loved ones”.
At the start of the pandemic, just as many industries were closing, I was lucky enough to be a part of a small group of people that was invited to a group call with Robert Kiyosaki and his Rich Dad Advisors.
I will never forget one of the very first realisations I got from the call. Not a single one of them looked even remotely “in fear”. When asked why that was, Robert and his advisors answered with almost the identical response which was a version of “we have been preparing and telling people to prepare for this for the last 30 years”. Simply put they were READY because they thought long term.
Another form of AWARENESS is the statistical fact that “cash” is the worst asset to KEEP. Don’t misunderstand that last statement for meaning that cash is not important. In fact, it’s just about the most important thing. When it comes to surviving a crisis, being a high cash producing business (which you are) is almost exclusively determines who survives and who sadly doesn’t.
Positive cash flowing business is essential … but converting that cash into ASSETS is just about the most important thing you can do for your long-term security. To put into context just how poorly cash maintains its value, please consider the fact that while the British Pound, is the strongest performing fiat currency of all time, it has lost 99% of its value since inception. Essentially cash is useless over time.
The goal therefore for most reading this would be to first convert your time into cash (e.g. see patients) then convert your cash (or petrol as I like to call it) into assets (team, systems, advertising, content and real-estate) that produce cash without your time.
Let me level with ya. Investing in the future is downright boring. It takes unprecedented levels of self-discipline. The type of self-discipline I’m talking about is fighting the almost overwhelming urge for immediate gratification.
Delayed gratification is a well-known phrase that’s often bandied about, but actually embracing it is extremely hard. I believe it’s even harder for “us”, being self-employed, high cash-producing businesses. Not only are we high cash producing, but we are also extremely “fast” cash-producing businesses.
Just think about the extremely fast 360-degree delivery of the fruits of our “labour”. One only needs only look at a Facebook ad- vert, for example. From the time of “conception” as a thought to having that advert up and running and producing leads can be as little 6-hours, then the first patient from those leads could conceivably be in the practice within 24 to 48 hours. That means that a mere thought (if you have the skills) can result in more “money” or customers within as little as 48 hours. THAT’S INSANE … and has spoilt us akin to a spoilt child that simply asks and gets what he wants immediately.
The thought of our “investment” be it time or money, only showing a return in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years, is so innately foreign to most but especially foreign to the “self-employed” who buy their very nature are “doers”, and have very little experience, or “faith” that they need to invest NOW for MASSIVE future returns. Instead, they revert to their normal “work hard” now and see money “now” comfort blanket.
The speed at which you can see the fruits of your labour in a practice is akin to that of a speed boat. Fast off the mark, easy and fast to change direction and makes it back to the point of departure fast. It’s often relatively inexpensive and takes relatively little “fuel” i.e. time or money to run. Speed boats are fun and exciting and feel good immediately. Is it worth having a speed boat AKA great cash producing practice? … HELL YEAH.
But the truth is that one should have speed boats working for us AND big tankers that take A LOT longer to get going and turn and stop and eventually get back to the point of departure. But when they do “come home” they carry more “return” than 50 speed boats. Slow and boring …. but big returns and crucially require less of your time.
Building a team and culture TAKES TIME and MONEY
Writing content TAKES TIME and MONEY
Creating process and procedures TAKES TIME and MONEY
Training your team TAKES TIME and MONEY
Investing in your growth TAKES TIME and MONEY
Growing personally TAKES TIME and MONEY
Investing in real estate TAKES TIME and MONEY
Just because you lose sight of the tanker from the shore …. doesn’t mean it’s not doing its job and it’ll eventually return to shore bearing a big return.
You’re not an animal, you’re able to THINK past the end of the day, week, month, year and decade… DO SO!