The Secret Weapon of the Midcareer Entrepreneur
If you have spent the first 10 or more years of your career working for other people, chances are you've considered branching out on your own. You have the skills and knowledge you need to succeed, but what does it take to launch a business? When you've been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, it's really hard to ignore all the wonderful possibilities around having your own business and wondering what it would be like to be your own boss. The challenge comes from figuring out all the logistics of making your dream a reality.
William Seagraves has done something incredible. With his new book, Be Your Best Boss: Reinvent Yourself from Employee to Entrepreneur, Mr. Seagraves has provided a detailed treasure map for the (new) American Dream. He refers to the new American Dream as "the freedom that comes with financial independence, decision making, legacy building, and gaining complete control over your family's future." And I really appreciate what he has painstakingly documented through a combination of his own personal knowledge combined with insightful stories of his fellow successful entrepreneurs.
A Treasure Map for the New American Dream
The old American Dream was built on the antiquated concept that allowed you to work for a big company for the bulk of your career and then retire with a strong pension and stable financial future. Instead, very few companies provide you the long-term career path and financial well-being that the generations before us had as a viable option. Instead, we have the standard 401K plan.
What is far less known is that you can put your hard-earned 401K dollars to work for you. William Seagraves is the President and Founder of Catchfire Funding, which specializes in helping aspiring business owners make the leap from the restraints of corporate America to discover the freedom that small business and franchise ownership can provide. Mr. Seagraves has more than twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur and financial funding expert. He shares his depth of knowledge in his book which is essentially a treasure map that takes you step-by-step through the strategies of moving from an employee to launching a successful business. I found the most insightful element to be the very thing he founded his own company around: Self-Directed 401(k) funding options.
Reframing Fear & Funding Your Dreams
Personally, I've never loved my own 401(k) plan. Before starting my own companies, I'd always funded it to the max no matter what company I've worked for because of the pre-tax investment benefits. And yet, the growth of my retirement hinges on indexes and companies I neither control nor feel like I know enough about to ensure I'm making a smart financial decision.
So I was surprised to learn about the Self-Directed 401(k) funding option for entrepreneurs. With the help of companies such as Catchfire Funding, it turns out you can tap into your hard earned 401(k) funds to buy or fund your own business. Imagine that. Rather than investing in someone else's company, you have the option to invest in your own success. This isn't a "loan", but rather a true investment in your business with those same pre-tax dollars you've been putting away. Since start-up funds are a big reason more entrepreneurs don't take the leap, this is a wonderful option to consider when starting up a new company or reinvesting in your current business.
Pay Yourself Back Pre-Tax
And, if that weren't awesome enough, when your business grows as a result of your pre-tax cash infusion, you can pull that money back into your Self-Directed 401(k). When done correctly and with the proper expert support this can all be done without tax penalties which occur when you prematurely pull money out of your 401(k) before your official retirement. As Mr. Seagraves puts it, "You can continue to build value in your business at the same time that you replenish whatever retirement funds you originally rolled over."
While his book, Be Your Best Boss, isn't exclusively focused on funding options, Mr. Seagraves has provided several other financial options around funding your own business. What his book does extremely well is take you through the psychology of transitioning from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur. If you're even considering this as a possible future, you'd be wise to pick up his book and explore the many options you have (and may not have even known about).