No one wants to work forever.
There's always a guy named Craig that steals your lunch even though you clearly put your name on it. More than half of a day is spent going to meetings about other meetings. So, we romanticize entrepreneurship as a path to freedom. Starting a successful company, developing a must-have app, one great idea can be the magic bullet that creates personal and financial freedom.
But what happens when you make it, when you arrive, when those goals are met? Most entrepreneurs have a very linear focus. And no one can be great at everything. I didn't start a company so I could be an accountant or HR department or chief financial officer. I know creative advertising and media. But when you're a startup you have to wear all of those hats.
The best advice I can give any aspiring entrepreneur is not to have a plan for if you fail, have a plan for when you succeed.
Take an active interest in how far your money can go. Resist the urge to grow your office, your team, your liabilities. And don't venture too far outside your expertise.
Success creates a lot of opportunities to say yes. Remember to say no to everything and I mean everything that doesn't fit your core objectives.
Money equals time and freedom, not more stuff.
My generation isn't going broke on avocado toast. We are reevaluating where we put our money and what we do with it. But with success comes the awesome responsibility of taking care of tens, hundreds of other people that are helping to drive your company.
"Business owners are busy trying to run their business," said 401k expert Tom Zgainer. "Most have absolutely no idea that they are legally on the hook to make sure a plan is set up for the sole benefit of their employees. A big part is the responsibility to make sure the fees are reasonable, and minimized, when possible. But don't think that your broker is going to call you up and tell you that you should reduce your fees."
When you're in your garage, class or your first job and you're dreaming of what success may look like these kind of thoughts never come in to play. But if you're prepared for success at least you won't be surprised when we get there.
We have all kinds of fun sayings for not thinking too far in advance. Don't put the cart before the horse, don't count your chickens before they hatch so it's no wonder people are unprepared for success.
Resist the urge to spend
70 percent of lottery winners go bankrupt. And if you become successful quickly it's like winning the lottery.
Lottery winners go broke because they spend too much too quickly. That's obvious. Their opportunities expand and so too do their purchases. The same is true for entrepreneurs. If you suddenly have millions then you're no longer bootstrapping. You may want to expand, create a new office, a new division. Do you strike while the iron is hot? See there's another one of those phrases.
No. You don't. Just because you suddenly have more money doesn't mean you have to spend it. In fact, it seems crazy that when our businesses take off, the first impulse may be to change the business model. Why? It's working. Don't mess with it.
The famously frugal Warren Buffett says, "If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need." And that's refreshingly simple. We admire risk takers. We make them our idols but for a second change your perspective on what risk means.
Spending money doesn't allow you to take risks. Not spending money allows you take risks. Because Warren Buffett has so much cash on hand, he can take large and monumental risks on investments. Look at your money as the amount of time you have to take risks before you have to care about making money again.
Stay in your lane
This is the most simple piece of advice. Most of us will never be able to claim that we were massively successful at one thing, let alone several. If you make it, don't think you're suddenly bulletproof and that you hold infinite wisdom. And this is a mistake I have made multiple times so trust me on it.
When you find success, keep running that play over and over again until someone stops you.