Awareness Series #1: Sales is a game of inches; so too is building wealth

21 Apr

How many times do you look at someone’s success and assume that it happened overnight?  Loonies to laughter, the real estate agent with the $10 million listing is probably not selling her first house.  It is far more likely she invested years building her business, her contacts and her referral base.  Think about it.  What owner of a house worth $10 million would entrust it to a newbie agent? Sales is a game of inches; so too is building wealth.

baseball on baselineEveryone has to pay his/her dues.  When we open a small business, we are probably building from scratch.  And, it takes more than a little time, love and tenderness to achieve success.  Back in the day, I first advertised my language courses by putting posters on telephone poles in well-to-do neighbourhoods.  Guess what, it worked!  This gave me the confidence to start cold calling businesses to offer French courses, and to placing ads in small Toronto papers.  That worked too!  Then, I started to get referrals from satisfied customers.  My company grew, student by student and dollar by dollar.

Eventually things happened faster and faster, with students coming from all over the non-English speaking world to learn English with my team in Toronto.  While start-ups today have the internet to work with, the process is still pretty much the same – building credibility and sales one by one until the owner achieves success (even if it looks like an overnight success!)

Building wealth is also a game of small increments.  You may envy your retired neighbour who goes south for three months every winter, but do you actually know what he had to sacrifice to acquire that lifestyle?  Likely, at some point in his twenties or thirties, your neighbour started spending less than he earned, and saving the extra.  When there was a bit of a nest egg, he put the extra cash to work by investing – in stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds, to name a few financial instruments.  Even if he had some setbacks and losses along the way, he kept on putting money aside, understanding risk and return, investing more and more wisely, and sticking to the plan he had set out for his retirement.

Where are you in the game of inches?

  • Paying off debt or paying yourself first?
  • Living paycheque to paycheque or on automatic savings plan
  • Contributing once a year to registered plans or contributing monthly?
  • Buying safe GICs or comfortable with some risk to earn a greater return?
  • Sticking to the advisor at the local bank branch or upgrading the advice you receive by working with an independent Advisor like myself at Assante Capital Management Ltd.?
  • Ignoring risks such as disability or critical illness or using insurance to protect yourself and your family?

Building your business and your wealth is a game of inches – create your plan, work it, and then measure your progress.  Acknowledge what is and isn’t working.  Keep going.  And then, perhaps one day, someone will assume that you too are an “overnight success.”

It’s just good advice.

Using borrowed money to finance the purchase of securities involves greater risk than using cash resources only. If you borrow money to purchase securities, your responsibility to repay the loan and pay interest as required by its terms remains the same even if the value of the securities purchased declines. Note: Leveraging carries its own risks and is not for everyone. Talk to your financial advisor for advice on properly managing those risks.