My financial journey 3

Transitioning from an SEO company to a Digital Marketing Company is a leap of faith. But we have no choice. I am just glad that my visionary husband led our team to that transition before it’s too late. And God is pushing us even further, He’s preparing us to transfer to a bigger office.

On my end, this means that I can no longer hold on to my excuse of not having enough Marketing skills and knowledge. I’ve read a couple of Marketing books though, but I don’t think that’s enough. I have to have the right training and experience to do Marketing.

Fast forward to now, I am trying to establish a process for creating a digital marketing strategy while I am helping the company create our Marketing Plan. Clap clap clap…

It took a lot of courage from me to start from scratch and embrace the idea that I have to do Marketing as well. It’s a long way for me though, I have to stretch myself even more.

As they say, “It’s better not to know things sometimes” because now I am thinking about how to grow the company which used to be solely my husband’s concern. Hah!

Seriously, looking at the growth-share matrix, I am seeing our company as a “Star”. (A star is a unit with high market share in a fast-growing industry. Stars require high funding to fight competitions and maintain a growth rate.) This means that we need to have a “Cash Cow” business unit that will fund this Star.

 

BCG Matrix

 

What could our cash cow be if our main business is a Star?

To Be Continued…

My financial journey 2

So where am I now on my financial journey?

I used to think that I’m already at my peak. From an employee trying to make ends meet, to a business owner of a Digital Marketing Company, Coffeeshop and an Independent Distributor of Royale. My family and I are definitely enjoying a lot of things we couldn’t afford before. But are we having an easy life? Hell no! If we stop what we’re doing right now, we definitely won’t last.

That made me realize that I may have climbed a few steps up, I am still far from my peak.

For years I’ve done a lot of different things for the business. I managed things where I’m good at; managing processes, handling the financial, doing accounting, admin, planning, strategizing and all those boring stuff lol. I avoided the marketing side because I told myself I don’t have the skills. Managing business has taught me a lot. It’s like opening another eye that has always been closed before. (Hopefully not the third eye lol)

And I didn’t stop there, I fed myself more knowledge and information through reading, letting my eyes open wider.

I realized, instead of focusing only on my strengths, why not work on my weaknesses as well. I cannot continue doing what I am doing now if I wanted to create big things. I have to do more, be more. This is getting more exciting.

Btw, you may ask why am I sharing this journey. Well, the least thing I can do now is to share my positivity as I tell my Rugs-to-getting-there story until I finally become RICH. Who knows I might inspire someone to start their journey as well.

competition

Picture taken from the internet

To Be Continued…

My financial journey

I have always been a simple person. “White shirt and jeans with minimal accessories” is my favorite outfit. I don’t easily get fascinated with material things. I don’t have problem delaying gratification. I buy expensive things because I have to, for business’ sake, not to pacify myself or impress another.

This must be the reason why my husband asked me recently, “Why do you want to be a multi-millionaire?” He just blurted it out while we were discussing Strategic Plan for my health and wellness business. My initial answer was, “I want to have financial freedom.” And he asked again, “Why?” (My husband can be annoying sometimes lol). It took me a while to answer. I am a thinker, I probed deeper. My initial answer would have been, “I wanted to travel anytime I want, business class plus five star hotel and bring everyone along. I want to fund a bigger office to hire more people and provide them the best compensation one could imagine. I want to ensure good future for my kids. I don’t want to worry about growing old.” This time it was me asking myself, “Why?” (Can you imagine the impatience building up on my husband as he waits for my reply? Good thing he has his phone with him and decided to be online while waiting) I let the question die.

But deep inside, the question lingered for days until I realized that my husband asked me a wrong question.

“Being a multi-millionaire is not my objective, but creating something BIG is.”

To Be Continued…

There are options

I grew up believing that I need to finish school (with flying colors) to be employed by a company that could offer me a lucrative job. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that ONLY if it was presented to me together with other options. The scary part of my growing up years (I realized) is that it NEVER occurred to me that I can come up with my own business and be an employer years (even decades) before retirement age. I had a lot of misconceptions with regards to owning a business. I used to think that all you need is money to be able to start one. So you picture yourself getting your retirement fund and finally making your dream of being your own employer come true. Surprisingly, money is actually the least of your worries. Are you with me?

Let’s go back to the picture. So you consulted friends, relatives and successful business owners on what kind of business to invest on (missing the idea of even asking how did they actually became successful). You are eyeing the product/service, not the business system itself. If you’re lucky and the business is a hit (for now), you reached ROI in no time. Unfortunately, lack of entrepreneurial experience slowly dragged your business down. You then found yourself closing the business and saying goodbye to the last money you have.

What to do?

1. Know yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you a visionary who loves to exploit new possibilities and has the passion for creating better future or an implementer who efficiently completes current work, solves immediate problem and into details? This is important so that you will know who to partner with or what type of people to hire eventually.

2. Have an investment fund where you can put money on a regular basis. If there is a need to make a loan, go for it. Just as long as financial feasibility has been established addressing cash flow and ROI.

3. Educate yourself through school, seminars, training and/or books.

4. Experience it. Don’t wait for retirement age, please! Don’t be scared to fail. And fail as many times as you can. Failing is worth all the money you lost. When you are losing during your salad days, you have all the time and energy to recuperate and try again (this time as a better business owner). My suggestion just to make the ball rolling? Join those networking businesses. Why? Because they offer FREE seminars and training on how to market and sell, you meet seasoned entrepreneurs and of course the hands-on training of trying to do it yourself.

5. Be humble enough to admit that you need more than yourself to succeed.

Now that I have 3 growing children, I try to educate them financially as much as I can. I tell them that life is not all about winning, what’s important is being a better person after every failure.

More so, I am opening their eyes to a lot of BETTER options.

What to cut?

Lately I’ve been thinking about cutting our expenses because our bills never fail to make me cringe. I’ve given up my budget and cashflow worksheets altogether because it’s so difficult to monitor, update and well FOLLOW them. I need to do this because I don’t want to find ourselves badly in debt in a couple of years… or (swallow hard) months from now.

Again, my family is composed of non-shopoholics, it’s just that there’s too much to pay for. To cut the story short, what I did was to enumerate those expenses that I have control of and try to evaluate what I can do with them.

1. Food and grocery items

This takes a big chunk from my budget. I can actually minimize this expense but why would I do that? With 3 growing kids, a hard-working dad and an all-around mom (that’s me), it’s unimaginable to have an empty pantry and ref. So, I’ve crossed this one out.

2. Education

To be honest we can enrol our kids to a less expensive school. BUT my husband and I agreed that we will make sure that we give the best education to our children as long as we can pay for it. Another one crossed-out.

3. Utilities

Since cost of internet, phone, association dues and water is fixed, electricity is the only utility bill I can manipulate. Unfortunately, my project of cutting the electricity cost never succeeded still with factors I have no control of. (You know what I mean, yes Meralco? Napocor?) So I grew tired of turning off unused light, timing the aircon and unplugging appliances and equipment. I am not really crossing this one out but this is not of major consideration.

4. Gym

I am still thinking if we’ll continue our membership after it expires. Although we’ve given up our personal trainors because they cost a lot, still the membership (x2) if given-up can be of big savings. I still have a few months to think about it. It will be hard to give up because going to the gym is our only means of sweating out (be it workout or sauna).

5. Eating out / Take-out / Delivery

Guilty! My family loves to eat just anything. We eat out a lot to our cravings’ content. I order food if I got tired of thinking about what to cook. We take out food as a sort of break from working (at home) all day. Food! Glorious Food! So now I decided to limit this expensive habit. Eating out would cost us at least 2k pesos. If I just prepare food, it will cost at most 500 pesos and it may even last to 2-3 meals depending on the consumption and amount when served. I guess it’s better to start with something and I know this one will be of great savings already.

Plastic cards to my advantage

I have talked about how I used to own credit card, I mean credit cards, to my disadvantage. Now, the wheel has turned and I believe I’m benefiting from them. As much as I would want to have only one, I cannot deny the fact that having several credit cards (I have HSBC, Citibank and Metrobank) can have its advantages. For one it expands my credit limit. Second, it’s so convenient to pay using cc than having to bring cash all the time or withdraw from ATM especially when you’re out of the country. Credit card is also convenient for online purchases and transactions. Third, I enjoy few days or even weeks of not having to use my cash because payment is still on the next due date. Fourth, I get to enjoy the perks that each of those companies provide. Like for instance HSBC, I love their free tall starbucks drink in exchange for receipts amounting to at least 2k. I was also able to avail their free Ayala GC worth 500 pesos. As for citibank, they provide rebates for purchases you make. So the more you purchase using their card, the more rebates you get. Also, we enjoy free movies in exchange for their receipts. For Metrobank on the other hand, I actually asked them to close my account since I don’t really need it. But they offered me lifetime free annual fee so I need not argue more.

Of course I have to be disciplined with all my purchases. I make sure I pay in full and on time so that I won’t pay any interest. I also use the points I earned to wave the annual fee for HSBC and Citibank. So far this is working positively for me… not unless there’s something I am not aware of. :D