One’s journey to become financially independent is never a straight line upward. There are hills and valleys, successes and failures, and obstacles that seem like they can never be conquered. However, there is one thing I see happen that can put a business owner or entrepreneur on the fast track to financial ruin more than anything else. They fall victim to the “Financial Opportunity Trap.”
If you ask business owners questions about their financial history, you will find that one of the most prevalent regrets they have is falling victim to something that seemed like a “great opportunity” at the time. These “opportunities” range from buying into an investment they were told was going give them 25% returns – guaranteed, a real estate investment which would double in value in 2 years, a tax strategy that would assure them a 50% reduction in their taxes, or a marketing plan that would result in a 1000% increase in new customers. Regardless of how attractive the “opportunity” seemed, in almost all cases it leads to a massive loss of time, money, and attention that could have been used in much more constructive ways.
So how do you differentiate between a “financial trap” and a TRUE financial opportunity? The first thing I would ask myself is, “Am I worthy of this great opportunity?” Funny question? Maybe. But it does have merit. Generally speaking, in life good things happen to those who follow a basic moral code – one which does not cause destruction to themselves, their family, their community, or mankind in general. From my experience in life, whenever surrounded by cheats, criminals, or unethical people, the worst things happen. However, when following a positive and good moral code, good things start to happen.
So when a “financial opportunity” is presented to you, ask yourself the question: “From a financial perspective, am I worthy of this opportunity?”
If you spend more money than you make, have enormous amounts of credit card and consumer debt, routinely don’t fulfill your financial obligations, and have a poor attitude then chances are that ANY so-called “financial opportunity” is nothing more than a TRAP for you. You don’t really deserve anything good to happen to you at this point because you are a repellent to money.
Another question I would ask is, “Has my activity level been high enough?”
Again, it may seem like a strange question, however, it is true that in order to be a highly productive individual you must move quickly – and money loves speed. So if you have been unmotivated, lethargic, and simply going through the motions in your life, then chances are the opportunity in front of you is not legit. More ACTUAL financial opportunities come to those who are highly active and make good things happen.
The last question I would ask is, “Is this opportunity in alignment with my overall vision or simply a distraction?”
Unfortunately, it seems business owners tend to get fixated on certain trends, and many times these money-making trends are the wrong “opportunities” they should be focused on and do not support their true goals. These trends range from a promise of making millions with an online business you can run from home or utilizing a “simple” business strategy to make passive income for life, to how to pick winning stocks and have wealth quickly and easily. There are hundreds advertised on social media and various other digital media or even through direct marketing to existing business owners – take your pick!
These “opportunities” will suck your attention away from the actual real work it takes to build something truly sustainable. If you own a private practice and your goal is to build that business to $10 million, but this great “opportunity” comes along to buy a shopping mall in Alaska that is a “great deal” and is projected to be a low-maintenance, money-maker – the chance this “opportunity” aligns to your long-term vision and does not take your attention away from you current business is doubtful. I’ve seen it happen. Your ability to identify and remove any and all distractions from your ultimate financial vision is the most valuable skill you can cultivate. STAY FOCUSED!
Don’t get me wrong – opportunities for financial success are not scarce. However, if you view ANY opportunity as a “once in a lifetime” or “it’ll never come by again” or “this is the best chance we have,” then 99.9% of the time you are walking straight into a “Financial Opportunity Trap.” Call me! RUN! You can thank me later.
EVERY practice owner needs a financial advisor who understands how important their business is to their household, stands by them when they have a bad week, holds them accountable, and guides them towards financial success. We will help you sniff out these “traps” and work with you to keep your attention and actions on your true goals and REAL financial opportunities.
We want to be your guide. It’s what we do for practice owners like you! Let us guide and advise you on your financial journey – no matter what phase of ownership you are in. Our goal is to empower you to make the best financial decisions which will lead to financial success, and we are experts in what we do.
Schedule an appointment today to learn more about how we can create a road map for your journey. Visit www.
Do well friends!
Eric Miller, Your BFFF
Advisory Services offered through Econologics Financial Advisors, LLC., A Federally Registered Investment Advisor.