Anyone starting off as an investor or an entrepreneur is going to struggle. Stage One is when everything is on the line and you are grinding with little to no return.
I get it. I’ve been there multiple times and pushed through. Stick with me as I take you beyond Stage One, to Stage Three, where you reap the rewards of all of your risk taking and effort.
Spoiler Alert: You might even miss Stage One once you have achieved your goals. This is how serial entrepreneurs are born. We love the chase, right? 😉
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Stage One Of Building Wealth Sucks: How to Work Through It
I got inspired to talk to you about this episode because I’m at the beginning of stage 1 of the 3 stages of entrepreneurship and stage 3 of growing wealth. Stage one of entrepreneurship with this particular platform sucks. It brought me back to my other two companies. I’m in various stages in all three. One, I’m in stage 3, one, I’m in stage 2 and then this one, I’m in stage 1. I’m like, “Stage one suck.” It brings me back and presents what a lot of you are going through as you start to launch your businesses. Maybe some of you got through stage one quickly.
I’ve never been able to get through it all that quick in all three that I’ve launched and there’s a lot here too that we’re going to unpack as far as growing your wealth that has three stages as well. It’s very similar. Entrepreneurship, growing a business and growing your wealth has a lot of similarities. First, I want to remind you constantly about what it is that we’re trying to grow financial wealth for. At the end of the day, in my opinion, the reason why I started wanting to build a business and grow wealth is so that I could have incredible experiences.
I took my boys and then they brought their friend Daniel along. It’s me with three boys who hopped on a train. I took them to Chicago for a Chicago Cubs game. It was a full-day immersion. We left at 9:00 AM and didn’t get back until 10:00 night. That experience was priceless. I look at it and I’m like, “Tickets to the game in 4 good seats behind home plate is $600. Train tickets are $50.” We spent so much money on food and they charged $10 for a hot dog that costs them $0.10 but the food was probably $200. The whole trip is $1,000 or maybe more for 1 day but it’s the quality time and the banter I had with my kids taking them to their first Major League baseball game.
I took John when he was 3 or 4 but he doesn’t remember. I guess that one doesn’t count. The Cubs hit three home runs. The kids were jumping up and down. They were super excited and had a blast. We even ran into a Karen on the train ride going back. You know the Karens. I’m not even going to get into it because it’s a little politically divisive for what she got into it with me about. Those Karens seem to be everywhere. We were laughing about that all the way home. The experience was priceless.
That’s why you should be building wealth. Money is simply a tool to get you the experiences with your family and those that you love and your friends. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what I want you to keep in front of you at all times when the going gets tough because it’s my original why I get started in the business. I remember back when I got started and signed my name. I said, “I’m ready to start this business.” Why did I do it? It wasn’t to compete with anybody, be the best, be the richest or be number one.
I didn’t care about any of that at the time that I started. All I was thinking about is I want to design and create an extraordinary life. Don’t lose sight of why you’re building what you’re building it. You’re not building it to compare yourself to somebody else, beat somebody else, compete with somebody else or get recognized. Although all those things are nice, they’re not why you got started. Why you got started I believe is a lot deeper and more meaningful than that.
When we look at these stages of business and building wealth, stage one is the not worth it stage. You got to stage two where you say to yourself the overriding thing like, “It’s worth it. It’s about worth it. It’s starting to be worth it.” That’s when you’re at the beginning of stage two of your entrepreneurial journey. Stage three is when you hit the ultimate dream and goal of building a business. It’s the entrepreneurial dream. “I’m not worth this much. I’m getting paid way more than I really should.”
The goal is to get or position ourselves into stage three. However, I want you to focus on enjoying and embracing each stage. I look at it like this. My kids are in an incredible stage. We have a lot of banter. We joke around. We have more fun. There’s more sarcastic humor. They’re in sports so I get to go and be a part of that experience watching them play sports. Whereas when they were a baby 1, 2 and 3, I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to get out of this stage until the real payday comes.”
I see Timehop and Facebook photos come up where my kids were 1, 3 or 4. They were so freaking cute. They were starting to talk and I’m like, “Take me back.” There is that longing to go back to that stage. I don’t think you can appreciate that until your kids get a little bit older. For those of you that have gone through those stages, you’re like, “It goes by so fast. Enjoy every part of it. Don’t wish any part of it away.”The stages of building a business go by so fast. Just enjoy every part of it. Don't wish any part of it away. Click To Tweet
Stage One –Not Worth It
That’s what I want for you with the three stages. Do not wish any of these stages away because there’s something beautiful about each stage. There’s a certain aspect to each one that I do enjoy. Let me talk to you and explain a little bit more. Let’s dive into each of the stages. Let’s unpack this and you can uncover what I’m talking about. Stage one is the, “It’s not worth it stage.” This is where you’re doing 10 units of work and getting 1 unit of pay. Financially, it’s not worth what you’re doing at all.
If you came from the job mentality or the employee mentality, you are like, “I should just retreat and get a job. At least, I get a steady paycheck and something that is guaranteed. I’m putting in all this work and I’m not getting paid for it. This suck.” That’s what you’re saying to yourself. “Stage one sucks.” You’re saying, “I should quit. There’s hardly any revenue coming in. No one’s supporting me. I feel alone.” This is very common in stage one. This is where you don’t have very many customers. Maybe you don’t even have a product yet like me.
I’m in stage one of this brand. I’ve posted six times on LinkedIn where I put some thought and strategy behind my post. I hired a LinkedIn coach to help me figure out the platform and cut my learning curve. I’ve posted six times and not one person has commented. I’ve got three likes. In my very first post, I got one like. Guess who it was? It was my LinkedIn coach who was paid to like it. She didn’t even comment. I wanted a fire. “Come on. Give me some engagement coach. I paid you to at least say something on there besides hitting the like button,” but whatever. She did a good job. She was a good coach but still, it’s bullshit.
Six times and nothing. What am I going to do? I committed that I’m going to post every day for 365 days straight something of value and something to try to solve somebody else’s problems even though I got my crap ton of problems too as we all do. The thing about business is that we’ve got our problems yet we don’t get success in business until we figure out how to solve somebody else’s problems and give them value.
I committed every day for 365 days. Guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to post. I’m probably going to get crickets. I’m going to post the next day and then the day after that. What am I going to get? Probably more crickets and guess what? I’m going to keep posting and probably by day 30, I’ll get a few comments and by day 60, I’ll probably have 20 comments every time I post. On day 90, maybe I’ll be getting 30 or 40 comments per post.
On day 365, you would be like, “What? In his 1st post, he got 1 like. That was it. Now, he’s got all this engagement, all these people coming in wanting to hire, pay and buy his product and all of that.” I’m going through stage one. I do my Instagram Reels, which if you haven’t seen them yet, they’re pretty good. You got to see the one where I had my head down. Go to my page and the first cover is where my head’s down. Everybody who knows me and is watching it seems to enjoy that one.
That was born out of my frustration of being in stage one. Helping other people get financially free and how I did it at a young age. I get 50 views and people show their dog and they get 1.5 million views or people shaking their booty. This video came up on my feed. I wasn’t searching for it. Let’s call her just a rather amazing dancer. She wasn’t showing any skin or anything but she was shaking her booty and she had two million views on it.
I’m over here cranking out incredibly valuable content telling people how they can change their lives financially and I get 50 views and this gets 2 million? It’s frustration. The feeling that you have in stage one is discouragement. I’m not going to lie. There are days when I’m very discouraged about launching this new platform. My show gets some downloads but nothing all that great yet. The feeling is loneliness like, “I don’t have anybody supporting me.”
When you text me or send me a message and give me encouragement, it means a lot. That means way more than money to me. Some of those messages are worth $5,000 apiece. I’m not even lying about that. They are very valuable. Don’t ever think that when you send somebody a message like, “This isn’t going to mean anything.” I promise if you send a note of encouragement, no matter how much money somebody’s making or how well they’re doing or not doing, it’s impactful. It means something.Encouragement means way more than money. Click To Tweet
I’m trying to get better at sending messages saying, “You’re doing great. This is so valuable what you’re doing. Keep going.” I got to get better at that myself because I know how much it means to me when it happens. I know how much it means to other people when I do it. That’s on my list of things that I got to get better. That’s value right there that I’m putting in the market when I encourage other people.
You got these feelings of excitement. You’re launching something new. It’s new and fresh. It’s exciting. You’ve got this challenge in front of you to grow something that you’re excited about. There are feelings of overwhelm. I’m so overwhelmed doing this deal because there are so many different avenues and platforms. Each platform has its style, intricacies and details. It is so overwhelming, the hashtags and how many do I use? Also, the short-form video was extremely overwhelming. I was so scared to do a short-form video like Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube Shorts.
Short-form video is the future of digital marketing. There’s no way we can ignore it. How can I get a message out in 30 seconds, is what I kept telling myself. I’m on my show talking a message for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes. How am I going to get it concise down to 30 seconds and still give value? You dive in, learn, experiment, try and fail. You keep trying and fail again. Over and over, that’s how you get good. You can feel paralyzed. This is a common feeling of being paralyzed like, “I don’t know what to do next. There are so many directions that I can go that if I take this direction, I could be losing out on this. What if I make the wrong move in my business?”
There’s financial pressure. You got hardly any revenue. You don’t have very many clients. You got to be careful of what you spend your money on or it could put you out of business. The biggest thing though is doubt. This is probably your number one emotion. You’re doubting yourself because you’re telling yourself, “I should quit. No one’s supporting me.” Here’s the most important thing in stage one. You got to keep going and stay consistent.
You need to be consistent about being consistent even when you’re getting the crickets. You’re putting the post out on Facebook and you’re getting the crickets. No one’s responding. You’re sending DMs and getting ghosted. Whatever it is your marketing platform, you’re posting on Instagram and nothing. It’s like your follower account is stalled out. It’s not going up. This is where you got to stay consistent. Keep experimenting and refining your approach.
Always remember, number one, your job in business to be successful is to provide value by solving somebody else’s problem. If you focus on solving other people’s problems, you’re going to provide value to somebody, start to grow a tribe, start creating a culture and figure out how to attract your customers. You’re going to figure out how to build a team because to me, there’s no I in team. In stage 1, you’re in it by yourself but to get into stage 2, you got to start building your team, whatever business it’s in.
I’m not talking about any specific business either. It could be any business that you start but to grow it, you’re going to have to start putting a team of people around you to help you to grow. There’s no way you can do it on your own. You can only grow so big on your own. You are limited but with the team, your growth can be exponential.
Next is stage two. What is it like? This is where your mantra is, “It’s starting to be worth it,” or you might even say, “It was worth it.” This is what you’re saying. You’re putting in 10 units of effort, work and energy and you’re getting 10 units of pay right back. You’re not getting wealthy, rich or anything but you’re starting to say, “I’m starting to get paid for what I put into this.” This is where you got some steady clients. You got clients that that recurring revenue that keeps buying from you. You’re starting to develop some fans that love you and appreciate what you’re doing in your business and the value that you’re providing.
Stage Two – It’s Starting To Be Worth It
This is where you probably have a small team. You got some people that you’ve put together to help you with various functions. Maybe you’ve hired a couple of employees. You’ve attracted some sales reps. Maybe you’ve got some people that are outsourced where they’re helping you take on, some of the menial tasks like a VA or an assistant that do the things that you don’t want to do yourself. You’re feeling supported. You’ve got people that are in your corner. You’re getting feedback.
The feeling here is a little bit of contentment could start creeping in. It’s good but it’s also very dangerous because it could stall you out when you’re not looking to grow and evolve into the next level. Comparison can be a big one in stage two. In stage one, you don’t have time to compare yourself. All you’re thinking about is survival. “How do I start generating some revenue to pay my bills and stay in business? How do I get out of this feeling of loneliness?” You don’t have time for comparison.
Stage two is where you’re starting to think, “This person started a business way after I did and skyrocketed right past me.” Those feelings of comparison are going to be detrimental to you if you let them take hold. It’s natural for them to creep in but you got to fight those off. You got to stay in your lane and focus on why you got started in your business. You got to have feelings of relief like, “Finally, I’m not going to go under financially. I can keep going and finally meet payroll and take some money out of the company.” That’s an amazing feeling.
This is where you feel challenged too to do something greater and something bigger. You got to stage two and you’re like, “This is great but this isn’t enough. I don’t want to just survive. I want to thrive.” This is the stage where you’re going to be tempted into a lot of innovation. It’s great to innovate but you don’t want to do it too much. You want to stick to your bread and butter. What got you out of stage 1 into stage 2, you want to keep pumping that. Stay the course on that. Whatever method you were doing, you want to keep cranking that away. Don’t slow down. This is the big mantra. You have not arrived yet when you hit stage two.You don’t just want to survive. You want to thrive. Click To Tweet
Let’s get into stage three. This is where you put in 10 units of work and you’re getting 100 units of pay. This is where you say, “I’m not worth this much.” I don’t say that too often because I don’t want to put that thought into my heart and subconscious mind. When you say, “I’m not worth this much,” then you’re going to figure out a way to self-sabotage somehow and figure out some way to mess it all up so that you drop back down to where it’s comfortable into stage two.
Stage Three – The Big Payoff
Generally speaking, you want to be avoiding saying, “I’m not worth this much.” What you did to go through stage one makes you worth that much because most people are simply not worth it. They are not willing to go through and pay the price of stage one. When you’re in stage three, you want to be careful to make sure that you feel abundant. You got to embrace everything about stage three.
This is where you have a huge team. You’ve got a large client list. People might call you an overnight success but don’t realize that you went through stage 1 and how hard that was for you and even how difficult stage 2 was for you. Fighting off the feelings of contentment, wanting to breathe and fighting off the comparison mode. In stage three, you’re feeling confident. You don’t have quite the haters either. They’re more scared of you when you’re in stage three because all you have to do is drive your Tesla up on their lawn.
It doesn’t say that you don’t get them. Still, you do. In all stages, you’re going to get haters but they’re much more scared of you at that stage. You silenced critics in stage three with your success. Your greatest revenge in anything is success and that’s what you’ve done in stage three. What are your feelings? It’s funny, me talking about feelings. “What are those? Fuck up. Let’s go,” but as part of the evolution of who I am as a human, I’ve embraced more over the last few years the respect, empathy and understanding of the feelings that we have as we go through the challenges and the journey of entrepreneurship, growing wealth and life in general. The main feeling in stage three is surreal.
A lot of times you got to pinch yourself like, “This happened for me. I didn’t know if it was ever going to happen to me.” Stage one, I didn’t even know if I was ever going to get out of stage one. I was in stage two for years. Was I ever going to get out of stage two? I’m in stage two in my real estate company for the last few years. I jumped around. I started in stage three because right out of the gate, I made $1 million the 1st year. Everything was cranking and going crazy. I’m like, “This is surreal. How did I do that?” I woke up one day and it was like, “This is nuts.” Then the challenges started to set in that I wasn’t ready to be stage three in real estate. I skipped stages 1 and 2 too quickly. I jumped into stage three and emotionally, I wasn’t ready.
I want you to make sure that you’re ready for it when it happens. From stage 3, I jumped back to stage 1 and that was tough. We were in stage 1 for 4 years. I didn’t take a single paycheck out of that company. All I did was continually put money into the company to keep it going and build it. For four years, I didn’t take a single profit paycheck out of that business. Can you do that? Do you have the ability to endure and withstand that kind of pressure?
The big payoff is about to come in that business. I can feel it. We are on the verge of incredible growth and revenue. Some amazing profits are about to kick in. I got lots of great things happening there but that was so hard. The other feelings in stage three besides being surreal are elation and super excitement. The lifestyle in stage three is incredible. You’re able to do what you want to do with whom you want to do it and when you want to do it with no price tag attached.
“Can we afford this?” You can afford it. It doesn’t even make a dent in your cashflow. The kids, tickets and everything we did flip. The $1,000 doesn’t even register because of where we’re at in our entrepreneurial journey. Another thing that can set in, a feeling in stage three is boredom. You achieve some incredible things. You got what you wanted. You got the lifestyle. You have probably done a lot of the same things over and over again to get to the result that you’re at in stage three and you get bored. This is where you got to figure out, “How do I inject new excitement? How do I mix things up? How can I rechallenge myself? How can I make this fun and exciting again?”
At the end of the day, here’s what I can tell you. If you’re not 100% happy in doing what you’re doing, then the rest of it, all the other metrics pale in comparison. The main goal that I’ve realized in any of these is I want to wake up in the morning and be excited about what I’m doing. If I don’t have that, the rest of it doesn’t matter. It’s meaningless if I don’t have that. You’re in stage 3, to be honest, and you can be longing for stage 1 because it’s exciting. When you’re in stage three, you can be a bit bored. You want to go back to where you’re grinding. You’re in the trenches. You’re locking arms with a couple of people. You want that challenge back. It reinvigorates you.
Think about soldiers who come back from combat with each other. All they were thinking about when they were in the trenches together is they couldn’t wait to get out of it and then they come back. Why do they have so much depression and many emotional struggles? I’m not an expert and I haven’t studied this because there’s a lot to unpack on that and there’s more than one reason for sure but one of the reasons is that they don’t have that extreme level of brotherhood anymore. They lost that sense of community and brotherhood by fighting together, being in the trenches, having that discouragement and doubt and having to pull the resilience together. It is almost like a part of them longs to go back to that and when they were in that, they couldn’t wait to get out of it.
Embrace Each Stage
Isn’t that interesting that you get to stage 3 where your kids are and you long to go back to stage 1 where they were 2, 3 or 4? It’s so important to embrace each stage and enjoy the journey that you’re on. This is a financial wealth-building platform and that’s why you are listing but to build wealth, in my opinion, you need to understand entrepreneurship and owning and growing your business. If you’re an employee reading this and you don’t have a business, I strongly suggest you get a side hustle so that you have your business. You have your company and equity that you’re growing.To build wealth, you need to understand entrepreneurship. You need to understand owning and growing your own business. Click To Tweet
The fastest way to grow wealth is to have your business that you hyperfocus and go all in on. You go through stage 1 and stage 2, get to stage 3, take the excess cashflow from stage 3 and then you start investing in cashflow-producing assets. That’s how I did it. It’s a very proven formula. You don’t have to wait until you’re 65, 70 or 75 to enjoy your wealth. You can enjoy it now while you continue to build for the future.
How does this compare to the wealth-building process? Stage one is where you’re getting started. You get that first $10,000 or $50,000 saved up. You don’t know what to do with it. You’re like, “Where do I put it?” There’s overwhelm. You’re paralyzed. There’s doubt and discouragement. When you put something in it and it doesn’t work out or you lose money, you’re like, “I should quit, spend all my money and enjoy it now.”
Putting this money into investing is not getting you any return. That’s part of stage one. That happens. You get into stage 2 of the wealth-building plans where you get $100,000 to maybe $300,000, $400,000 or $500,000 saved up. You’re putting that to work and starting to get some return on your investment. It’s nothing incredible but you’re starting to get some money back. You’re starting to see some things happen and get some relief at stage two of your investing journey.
Stage three is where it gets crazy. The compounding starts going through the roof. This is where you start getting huge jumps and wealth quickly because your money is growing for you. It’s being put to work and you’re figuring some things out. You got it into some incredible cashflow-producing assets and speculative plays that you made that all of a sudden, finally, after 1 year, 2 or 3 years later, they’re starting to pop. You’re seeing big jumps in wealth like $500,000 to even $1 million jumps in a year’s time in your overall net worth.
You’re not going to care that much because stage one was fun. The odds are stacked against me. I was backed against the wall. Stage one was great. I can tell you about any of these stages, whether it be investing or entrepreneurship, but here’s what’s most important. Here’s what you want more than anything. I can already tell you what you want. You want an upward trajectory and growth. If you went from $10,000 to $20,000, that is incredible.
If you went from $1,000 to $5,000, that’s the hardest. From $5,000, $10,000 to $20,000, those early stages are the hardest in the wealth-building journey but they’re the most important because it sets the foundation. It starts to build muscle and discipline so that you can then be ready and be able to be the type of person that can handle larger amounts. “Let’s give you $10,000. Let’s put $1 million in your hands when you can’t even manage $10,000. Let’s give you $2 million when you can’t even manage $100,000 effectively.” It’s a recipe for disaster. You’ve got to be able to manage the small amounts.
I hope this helps you. I love questions and interaction. I want this platform to be about helping deliver to you what you need. Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions, engage or give me feedback. I love it. I want this to be an interactive community. I promise there’s nothing that I won’t respond to like if it’s a comment on one of my posts, a question on one of my posts, if it’s a DM or if it’s a question on my Story. I’m getting much better at the Story game. I documented the journey with the kids in my Story. It was great. Hit me up. Thanks for reading. I appreciate you all.
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