Author Topic: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.  (Read 8587 times)

goateeman

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2017, 01:34:00 AM »
Very interesting topic.  Starting a business is easy, making money the first year or two is easy.  Keeping it going for years and being able to retire off of it is a bit harder.

My brother is a CPA and serves a lot of small businesses.  He's seen a ton of small businesses come and go. Some were wildly successful for the first year or three, and then business falls off and the owners lose a lot of wealth.  Business cycles come and go.

I may start a business, with very little capital once I quit working full time.  It might start as a hobby and perhaps may grow slowly over time to something decent.

GeorgeWood

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2017, 02:58:11 AM »
My daughter was born, and I knew I had to start a business that worked, because my day job was going to keep me from spending time with her. So, on my three month maternity leave, I started the business that I mentioned in the OP with a $100 bill, re-invested 100% of the profits for a year and a half, and am now selling $70,000+ a month of XXXX products.

This is pretty much me right now. I've always wanted to start a business. But when my daughter was born, the idea got a new sense of urgency. In three months "maternity" (paternity?) leave, I developed a mobile app (not quite finished yet), developed and started selling a product offline in cooperation with local businesses, and got the idea for a niche percussion instrument I plan on manufacturing and selling. None of these ideas is likely to make me rich fast, but they might make a nice side income and need almost no startup capital.. Also, I like to think they maximize my chances for good things happening to me (as Altucher puts it) more than sitting in an office 8+ hrs a day working for someone else.

Of course starting a business isn't for everyone, and many businesses fail. But folks have different risk tolerances, just like in the investment world. With great risk might (!) come great reward. Nothing wrong with that if the risk is suitable for you, in my eyes.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2017, 03:29:35 AM »
"I did it and I am fabulous therefore my way is the best way so stop wasting your time with investments... suckas!"

I disagree with your premise, OP, and I find your tone rather unconvincing. You sound like Carlton Sheets. 😉

I ran a small business for ten years and reached FIRE at age 38. That sounds like a confirming story, right? Except that I would've earned *more* had I stayed in the corporate world, and the reason we FIREd relatively young was 18 years of saving, dual incomes, and investing in low cost index funds.

Running a business was rewarding, but it didn't make me more money than my management career would have. And out of the 10 small business buddies I started with, only 2 of us made it ten years. I loved being a business owner, but mostly it was for the freedom and creativity. Money would have been better at a MegaCorp or Big5 consulting firm.

Congrats on your success so far. And like you, I'd love to see an entrepreneurship subforum here on MMM.

SiS

profgubler

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2017, 05:56:50 AM »
The discussion on this thread is the exact reason that we need a small business sub forum and I have thought that for a while. First a couple misconceptions and then why we need the forum.

Businesses are far less risky than people realise. Just like real estate there are rules people can follow to have a successful business. And the types of business investments are so varied that people need direction for finding a winner. Those business failure rates are meant to scare people from entrepreneurship. Most businesses don't last 5 years, which is true. But, what they don't tell you in those statistics is that many of those businesses where never meant to last five years. Tons of them are people setting up their business to sell at the farmers market for the summer or at the county fair. In 5 years many get bored and stop and it isn't just cause they failed. Just because those businesses stopped doesn't mean they failed. They might have perfectly intended what they were supposed to do in the short time they existed.

Also, I consider my employees to be in a riskier position to be in than I am. I get 20 checks a month from 20 different sources. They get 2 from the same source. I loose one check and I am ok. They lose one check and they are looking for a new employer.

Second, not everyone is employable. Just like not everyone is meant to run a business. So telling people who are not meant to be employed to get a job doesn't help them get to FIRE. I am one of those people. I am not employable, not because I don't have skills, I am unemployable, because I don't like having a boss and I am driven to run my own thing. It is the reason I was fired. But, also the reason, why my boss at the time told me in my exit interview that when I was ready to start something let him know as he would like to invest. (I worked for a VC firm. I didn't take the investment, I bootstrapped).

Third, I disagree with the premise of the OP, but as a business owner I look to diversify, which is why I invest in the market as well.

Which leads to why we need the small business forum.

1. Not everyone is meant to be an employee or good at it. Those people still need paths to early retirement.
2. Third understanding how to invest your money as a small business owner is so much more difficult than as an employee. I always way what do I take out of my business to invest and what do I put back into the business for growth. These are tough decisions. And are made tougher by the compounding of tax laws, and the things you can and can not do based on business size and business type.
3. People looking to start a business need a lot of help identifying opportunity to make it less risky.
4. People growing their business need to find a mustachian way to do so. And I do think businesses can be run in a mustachian way. I feel I do a pretty good job of this, especially as I am more mustachian than my employees, though they are pretty good. I purposely hired them because they fit the culture. There are so many things to talk about in this section alone that I have looked at starting my own forum/blog on it, but haven't had the time.

Liberty Stache

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2017, 06:11:30 AM »
Bottom line: we need an entrepreneurial section on this forum rather than the once-a-month threads that pop up that end up going down the same rabbit holes.

MOD Note: Yes, we do. Let me work on it.

So excited! Can't wait!
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

LalsConstant

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2017, 06:24:25 AM »
I spent a fair amount of time as a bookkeeper/tax preparer.  One thing I learned is that most businesses are driven by the consistent efforts of one key person who generally isn't making much more money than he or she could just having a run of the mill job.  Granted they are their own boss, but working 120 hours a week to net 45,000 a year is not something that should excite.

Axecleaver

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2017, 07:03:23 AM »
Great to hear we're getting an entrepreneurship/business forum. I am looking forward to it!

Thanks for sharing your story. This is a familiar story about how to make money using Amazon FBA. What we see in the FBA stories are:
* Anyone can do this, so can you
* Innovate/create constantly to differentiate your product, as 95% of FBA competition doesn't bother
* It can all disappear in an instant when the crowded competition innovates better than you
* It can all disappear in an instant when your sales channel (Amazon, in this case) implements an arbitrary policy change
* Don't hold inventory. You can lose everything if you're holding inventory and something changes.

The steps for creating an FBA business are usually:
* Find a product in the top 100 best sellers by volume
* Find some way to improve it or combine it with another product
* Write clever marketing to promote it (this appears to be the "secret sauce")
* Use Alibaba to find a cheap source for the product overseas
* Profit!

I'd like to hear more about your "secret sauce" marketing the products you've developed. That, I think, is the lesson we can all learn from you. Thanks!

radicaledward

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2017, 09:37:59 AM »
Businesses are far less risky than people realise. Just like real estate there are rules people can follow to have a successful business. And the types of business investments are so varied that people need direction for finding a winner. Those business failure rates are meant to scare people from entrepreneurship. Most businesses don't last 5 years, which is true. But, what they don't tell you in those statistics is that many of those businesses where never meant to last five years. Tons of them are people setting up their business to sell at the farmers market for the summer or at the county fair. In 5 years many get bored and stop and it isn't just cause they failed. Just because those businesses stopped doesn't mean they failed. They might have perfectly intended what they were supposed to do in the short time they existed.
Depends on what your personal definition of risk is and your goals. If you are young and what to be guaranteed to FIRE before you are 40, then starting a business might not be as good of a bet as going to college for a well defined and high paying skill and saving your money. Likewise, if you are comfortable with an unknown date for FIRE (due to the needs of your businesses) but can't tolerate working for someone else, then starting your own business might be the best choice.

goateeman

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2017, 09:42:14 AM »
I spent a fair amount of time as a bookkeeper/tax preparer.  One thing I learned is that most businesses are driven by the consistent efforts of one key person who generally isn't making much more money than he or she could just having a run of the mill job.  Granted they are their own boss, but working 120 hours a week to net 45,000 a year is not something that should excite.
Exactly, not to mention business owners sometimes can't sleep well at night knowing so much is on the line.

Employees have the luxury of sleeping well and not worrying about businesses' ability to survive day to day.  Business owners not so much.

goateeman

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2017, 09:45:46 AM »
"I did it and I am fabulous therefore my way is the best way so stop wasting your time with investments... suckas!"

I disagree with your premise, OP, and I find your tone rather unconvincing. You sound like Carlton Sheets. 😉

I ran a small business for ten years and reached FIRE at age 38. That sounds like a confirming story, right? Except that I would've earned *more* had I stayed in the corporate world, and the reason we FIREd relatively young was 18 years of saving, dual incomes, and investing in low cost index funds.

Running a business was rewarding, but it didn't make me more money than my management career would have. And out of the 10 small business buddies I started with, only 2 of us made it ten years. I loved being a business owner, but mostly it was for the freedom and creativity. Money would have been better at a MegaCorp or Big5 consulting firm.

Congrats on your success so far. And like you, I'd love to see an entrepreneurship subforum here on MMM.

SiS
Very good point.  I could have started a business early in my life as well, but I made more money as an employee, which was more consistent, less risk, and easier on work/life balance, over my career.  I may reboot and start a self service business after FIRE.

Ann

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2017, 10:02:11 AM »
...I used to do private lessons/tutoring for different musical instruments. I wouldn't call it a business, it was really just more of a job that I created for myself.

Okay, this is a bit of pedantry, but what do you consider "starting a business"?  At first I was thinking how unsuited I am to starting my own business, but then I began to think of little "side hustles" I could tolerate and make extra money.   And I suppose "side hustles" are a very small business?   Then you said that you do not consider private tutoring a business.  Is pet-sitting a business?  Collecting & redeeming recyclables?  Selling crafts on Etsy? 

I really am interested in your thoughts.   Sometimes I get hung up on words.  I don't always agree with how the term "retired" is used (verses financially independent), but I just accept it like I would any regional usage.  Why bicker if someone calls a "cookie" a "biscuit"? It's not like one regional usage is "right" or "wrong."  Just eat the delicious treat!

undercover

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2017, 10:25:23 AM »
...I used to do private lessons/tutoring for different musical instruments. I wouldn't call it a business, it was really just more of a job that I created for myself.

Okay, this is a bit of pedantry, but what do you consider "starting a business"?  At first I was thinking how unsuited I am to starting my own business, but then I began to think of little "side hustles" I could tolerate and make extra money.   And I suppose "side hustles" are a very small business?   Then you said that you do not consider private tutoring a business.  Is pet-sitting a business?  Collecting & redeeming recyclables?  Selling crafts on Etsy? 

I really am interested in your thoughts.   Sometimes I get hung up on words.  I don't always agree with how the term "retired" is used (verses financially independent), but I just accept it like I would any regional usage.  Why bicker if someone calls a "cookie" a "biscuit"? It's not like one regional usage is "right" or "wrong."  Just eat the delicious treat!

A business doesn't need employees, constant attention, nor have some unique idea to be considered a business in my opinion. I disagree that a private tutoring service shouldn't be considered a business. And I bet the IRS would too. A business that relies on one single person's knowledge and skills to function is no less a business than Apple - it's just probably not going to be a very big one. Any activity where you're controlling marketing, price, expenses, the service itself, etc, should be considered a business. I say that because I absolutely think all of the side-hustles you mentioned could be considered businesses. They're just more mini-businesses and much of the logistics and infrastructure are outsourced.

Ideally, the sub-forum would be devoted to "all things entrepreneurial" and not get hung up on the term "business" since the purpose is finding and sharing ways to make extra money creatively either in addition to, or in place of a day job. I think the misconception that it's an "all or nothing" proposition should be killed. Working your more secure day job and venturing out to do things on your own are not mutually exclusive ideas. You can have both and learn something from both.

When people think of taking risks and being successful, they think of sinking a bunch of money into something and cutting ties from everything else they've built. But, that's not how it works at all. Elon Musk was on track to become a researcher before he negotiated time off from Stanford to start Zip2 (then PayPal). He virtually took zero risk because Stanford was prepared to let him come back and he didn't spend much (if any) of his own money to start Zip2. Same thing with Bill Gates. Same thing with literally most super successful entrepreneurs. There's no reason you can't learn something and start creating things in addition to your "guaranteed" path.

Alex Honnold is a world class free climber who doesn't consider what he does to be risky. He climbs granite rock faces like Half Dome in Yosemite faster than anyone else in the world with zero gear. He could die at any wrong step, yet he doesn't consider himself to be taking extreme risks. Why? Because he's practiced thousands of hours and started at a very young age so to him it's just natural. It would be incredibly risky for any one of us here to do what he does tomorrow. I guess the lesson is that time spent working at something lowers the perceived risk, so it's easier to dismiss something as risky rather than dig into it and figure out all the inner-workings of something.

The moral of the last two paragraphs is that it's not an all-or-nothing thing. Everything starts small. Not everything is successful. Perception of risk basically has a direct correlation with the comfortability and the amount of time spent at any given activity.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 11:01:24 AM by undercover »
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swick

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2017, 10:29:47 AM »
...I used to do private lessons/tutoring for different musical instruments. I wouldn't call it a business, it was really just more of a job that I created for myself.

Okay, this is a bit of pedantry, but what do you consider "starting a business"?  At first I was thinking how unsuited I am to starting my own business, but then I began to think of little "side hustles" I could tolerate and make extra money.   And I suppose "side hustles" are a very small business?   Then you said that you do not consider private tutoring a business.  Is pet-sitting a business?  Collecting & redeeming recyclables?  Selling crafts on Etsy? 

I really am interested in your thoughts.   Sometimes I get hung up on words.  I don't always agree with how the term "retired" is used (verses financially independent), but I just accept it like I would any regional usage.  Why bicker if someone calls a "cookie" a "biscuit"? It's not like one regional usage is "right" or "wrong."  Just eat the delicious treat!

Pretty much this. There are lots of arguments because we all have "personal" definitions of things like "retirement" and "Business" I would define business as any activity that is consciously undertaken and optimized to make a profit.

It depends on your motivation, the time/money you invest and how you run something that determines if it is a "Hobby" or "Business"  So any side hustle, or hobby could be a business. A nonprofit should be seen as and run like a Business. Their definition of "profit" might be different, but they have the same issues as a business, and if they don't treat it like a business, they will limp along or collapse.

Running your own business may or may not be the best path to FI, it depends on who you are, how you work, what your skills are. On the other hand, you might meet your other needs so you aren't as concerned and a strict definition of retirement because you are doing something you would choose to be doing in RE anyways.

pianomom

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2017, 10:56:22 AM »
...I used to do private lessons/tutoring for different musical instruments. I wouldn't call it a business, it was really just more of a job that I created for myself.

Okay, this is a bit of pedantry, but what do you consider "starting a business"?  At first I was thinking how unsuited I am to starting my own business, but then I began to think of little "side hustles" I could tolerate and make extra money.   And I suppose "side hustles" are a very small business?   Then you said that you do not consider private tutoring a business.  Is pet-sitting a business?  Collecting & redeeming recyclables?  Selling crafts on Etsy? 

I really am interested in your thoughts.   Sometimes I get hung up on words.  I don't always agree with how the term "retired" is used (verses financially independent), but I just accept it like I would any regional usage.  Why bicker if someone calls a "cookie" a "biscuit"? It's not like one regional usage is "right" or "wrong."  Just eat the delicious treat!

I think that anything that you make money at (or a loss the first couple of years) but is within IRS guidelines that it's not a hobby is considered self-employed and can be called a business. I would include side hustles in this. Over the years I've made money outside of traditional employment doing the following:
  • Teaching private piano lessons
  • Working as a subcontractor online and setting my own hours
  • Creating an online course through Udemy that generated income

For each of these endeavors, I've been able to claim deductions for materials used including a piano for teaching piano lessons as well as software for working as a subcontractor and creating a course. None of these endeavors made me rich, but they helped our household budget and gave me something I enjoyed doing. Teaching piano lessons and working as a subcontractor only made money when I personally worked.

With my Udemy course, it's made me money while I sleep. I launched the course in 2015 and put in an initial time and money investment that I made back in 3-6 months. In 2016 I didn't spend any money on the course and only spent 10 min/month answering questions.  I don't make much money from the course (maybe $75-$150/month) due to limited promotion, yet I would consider this self-employment income. So even though the way I make money through my course is different than when I taught piano lessons, I consider all to be self-employment income.

I think people have different opinions on what a "business" is. The book "The E-myth Revisited" talks about different types of businesses, and that some businesses are essentially you creating a job for yourself, like an accountant who only works for himself. They have a different term for the type of business where you have products or employees so that you're earning money outside of your direct time contributions.

I think there are many ways to go about self-employment and owning a business. At some points in your life you may have a side hustle and at other times only W-2 income.

J Boogie

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2017, 11:56:35 AM »
got the idea for a niche percussion instrument I plan on manufacturing and selling. None of these ideas is likely to make me rich fast, but they might make a nice side income and need almost no startup capital..

Just curious what your prototyping and mfg plan is given that you don't plan on spending much.  I've always assumed prototyping and manufacturing can be pretty pricey ( prototyping less so now that 3D printing is pretty common).  Is this something you plan on physically manufacturing yourself?

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2017, 02:14:27 PM »
I'm in the process of starting a business right now. Although I think it could be a great choice for me and obviously was a great choice for you, I definitely don't think it's for everyone. Maybe not even most people. I think you've got to have some kind of secondary motivation for starting a business beyond 'if it works it could be a better investment' whether that's a genuine desire to be an entrepreneur, a business idea you're excited about, a hustling mentality, a need for flexibility or an inability to do a traditional job. The early stages of a business are hard work and draining. If you don't have more invested in it, I think you'd struggle to get beyond that stage.

Great insight!    Yeah, in my case, hating the day job was a powerful motivator.

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I'd like to see a business sub-forum too!

There is one now, and I'm going to start a new thread over there to continue this one.

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #66 on: February 28, 2017, 02:18:12 PM »
People who do well in self-started businesses tend to overestimate their skill and underestimate outside factors. Survival bias is significant.

Haha, man, that's a very interesting thought!

I'm going to have to do some self-reflection on that...

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2017, 02:25:54 PM »
"I did it and I am fabulous therefore my way is the best way so stop wasting your time with investments... suckas!"

I disagree with your premise, OP, and I find your tone rather unconvincing. You sound like Carlton Sheets. 😉

Yeah... I kind of wanted to stir the pot a bit.  In hindsight, I should have toned it down a notch, haha.  But hey, there's a subforum now!

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I loved being a business owner, but mostly it was for the freedom and creativity. Money would have been better at a MegaCorp or Big5 consulting firm.

I think the crux of my enthusiasm for business, was the alternative was a low paying job that I hated.   Lots of you guys in the thread had high-paying jobs as an option, in which case, there's a lot more pros/cons to consider.

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2017, 02:29:15 PM »
I spent a fair amount of time as a bookkeeper/tax preparer.  One thing I learned is that most businesses are driven by the consistent efforts of one key person who generally isn't making much more money than he or she could just having a run of the mill job.  Granted they are their own boss, but working 120 hours a week to net 45,000 a year is not something that should excite.

OOh, a bookkeeper, I bet you have the real inside scoop on this conversation.

The way I think of businesses like you described, is that it is a job that you created for yourself.

If the business depends on you, I don't really think you have much of a business.


It's the difference between "working in your business" and "working on your business".

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2017, 02:35:10 PM »
Great to hear we're getting an entrepreneurship/business forum. I am looking forward to it!

Thanks for sharing your story. This is a familiar story about how to make money using Amazon FBA. What we see in the FBA stories are:
* Anyone can do this, so can you
* Innovate/create constantly to differentiate your product, as 95% of FBA competition doesn't bother
* It can all disappear in an instant when the crowded competition innovates better than you
* It can all disappear in an instant when your sales channel (Amazon, in this case) implements an arbitrary policy change
* Don't hold inventory. You can lose everything if you're holding inventory and something changes.

The steps for creating an FBA business are usually:
* Find a product in the top 100 best sellers by volume
* Find some way to improve it or combine it with another product
* Write clever marketing to promote it (this appears to be the "secret sauce")
* Use Alibaba to find a cheap source for the product overseas
* Profit!


Easy money never lasts long.  If it's easy for you to do, it's easy for everyone else. What you described is the mindset I started with 2 years ago, but quickly learned the flaws in it's execution.

My newer products have little to zero competition.  It's something I don't even have to worry about.  The products are good, but I wouldn't say I really out did myself on the marketing.

Better to have lots of products in low to medium traffic niches, than a couple of products in high traffic niches. I would never want to sell anything in the top 100. Or the top 1000 for that matter. Even the top 10000 is pushing it.

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I'd like to hear more about your "secret sauce" marketing the products you've developed. That, I think, is the lesson we can all learn from you. Thanks!

My only "secret" marketing sauce is to spend lots of money on Amazon ppc advertising, which works better if you've gotten some good reviews on your product, which can be gotten faster if you have an e-mail follow-up sequence sent out to your customers, soliciting their feedback.

Having a good product (with good pictures) is the real "secret".

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2017, 02:41:45 PM »
Third, I disagree with the premise of the OP, but as a business owner I look to diversify, which is why I invest in the market as well.

When I have been in business for a bit longer, I will diversify.  I have been more high-growth, re-invest model, to this point, but I'm only a couple of years in. I had a bit of urgency to replace my day job income and then some, as I really wanted out.


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2. Third understanding how to invest your money as a small business owner is so much more difficult than as an employee. I always way what do I take out of my business to invest and what do I put back into the business for growth. These are tough decisions. And are made tougher by the compounding of tax laws, and the things you can and can not do based on business size and business type.

You should start a thread about this in the new business forum.  This is not an area I am expert in, clearly.

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2017, 02:46:19 PM »
Employees have the luxury of sleeping well and not worrying about businesses' ability to survive day to day.  Business owners not so much.

Except that your continued employment is contingent upon how well the business continues to do. You don't have the business survival to worry about, but you do have your paycheck's survival.   The difference might be that the business owner can see change coming, and can take action to do something about it.


The more products you have. The more streams of income. The more customers. The more sales channels.  The more resilient your business is, and the better you can sleep.  I sleep pretty well these days. I only check my sales/bank statements a couple of times a month.

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2017, 02:53:34 PM »
Okay, this is a bit of pedantry, but what do you consider "starting a business"? 

Here's how I see it: Does X of hours = $X amount of cash?  Do you have to report to work each day? If so, you have a job, whether or not you own it.

Most businesses will require your time input at the beginning, but is there a clear path to move beyond that?  That should give you a good indication of whether you have a business or a job.

Quote
Is pet-sitting a business?
If you aren't the one sitting on the pets.

Quote
Collecting & redeeming recyclables?
If you aren't the one collecting or redeeming.

Quote
  Selling crafts on Etsy? 
Not if you're having to hand-make every piece yourself. Etsy has loosened up on this, and now allow you to partner with an outside manufacturer, as long as you are the one "designing" the jewelry.  You have to get approved though.

Quote
I don't always agree with how the term "retired" is used (verses financially independent)

Yeah, it's similar to that. Just a pedantic thing on how I define a business.

The concept is sound, though.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 02:55:14 PM by CargoBiker »

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2017, 02:59:31 PM »
The moral of the last two paragraphs is that it's not an all-or-nothing thing. Everything starts small. Not everything is successful. Perception of risk basically has a direct correlation with the comfortability and the amount of time spent at any given activity.

I love this. You're far more eloquent than I am!

If something starts small, and is not successful, it's not near the destructive force to your FI plans that others in this thread would make it out to be.


Side Hustles are a great way to dip your toes into business. It's how I got started.  Just be realistic about what you have, and that is a time for money machine, until you build it beyond that.

tyleriam

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2017, 03:13:21 PM »
CargoBiker - I just want to say I have read all your comments and this is great information, thank you for the post.  You are kicking ass, keep up the good work.  Thank you for sharing.

swick

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #75 on: February 28, 2017, 04:18:45 PM »
MOD NOTE: Moving the thread over to the new subforum :)

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #76 on: February 28, 2017, 04:20:53 PM »
Alright, very cool!

Erica

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #77 on: February 28, 2017, 05:05:42 PM »
Here's my two cents. Or one cent. Most small businesses fail. But a person could possibly make their small FAILING BUSINESS pay out money $$ in order to assist with early retirement. Maybe you or your wife will have steady employment and a failing business can be just a side job.

Off the top of my head...

1. Savers Credit. The jist of it is, for most people, they'll save about 20% (or up to $400 at tax time) if you contribute the max $$ of 2 or 4K. Owning a business means you can open a retirement acct like an IRA if your employer doesn't offer one and/or add your spouses name to the business and open one up for them. Max contribution for a married couple is $4000. This reduces your MAGI. MAGI Must be 40K or under per year for a married couple

 I cannot see how ANYONE would do any better than saving 20% of 2-4K.unless they already owed a HUGE tax bill. So about $400 is gained per year.
https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-savings-contributions-savers-credit

2. 20% off of your energy bill due to reduced MAGI. Gov't program (called LHEAP or IHEAP, something like that) where energy customers are charged a few dollars on their energy bill to cover low income folks.  We gain about $120 year

Reduce MAGI to 37K or under for a married couple = 20% off  energy bill. Example-
https://www.pge.com/pge_global/common/pdfs/save-energy-money/help-paying-your-bill/care-fera-application-en.pdf

3. REDUCE MAGI to qualify for the States FREE Medicaid program (Medical Plan) , especially if you are already getting a subsidy. Could be better insurance with you paying nothing out of pocket. You may need to sign up for an Health Savings Acct somehow, either accessing one because you now own a business or thru your employer (if you started a side business). Max donation to HSA is $5500 or $1000 more if you are 50 yrs or over. Owe less $$ to your accountant since he won't be dealing with IRS Subsidies. I have a medical plan and our dental care covered, with accident, life etc.. for us. It costs us $400 to add him on to my workplace plan. This means gaining $400 per month or $3600 per year for us. I just increased my contribution to my 401k to 90% (for one of my employers) so we'll qualify in a few months.

Beware of the Medicaid Estate Program if you are between the ages of 55-64. Might not be worth signing up. Look up the laws in your State.
MAGI must be about 23K per year or below for a married couple to qualify.

So though my husbands business isn't thriving, even if it ever fails, there is reason above to keep it. If just for his medical care and the 20% off (about $120 yr) off of the energy bill. MAGI must be 37K or below per year for a married couple to qualify. Sign the form once and send it in, you are approved for 2 yrs.


I see us gaining $4000 per yr totalll due to my husbands business, even if it were to begin failing. And that doesn't count the forced increase contributions to the 401K (in order to qualify for the above ^^ perks so it's alot more$$).. We would not fold up shop for this reason. This is beans compared to most here but for a select few who are in the right circumstance, or re-arrange their life to be, and do not make alot of $$, some of these ideas might be helpful.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 06:10:53 PM by Erica »

Mezzie

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2017, 07:39:01 PM »
My husband wants to start a business that requires significant investment to get started and has fairly high risk. I'm all for it, though, and have accepted that we will likely lose the investment amount (we'll live) so I can be pleasantly surprised if it succeeds. Meanwhile, I'll keep my steady job. My one requirement is that he have a solid business plan in place before we invest anything.

In our case, it would be absolutely safer for us to continue plugging along and investing, but I have my dream job, so that's easy for me to say. My husband deserves a chance at his.

From a husband perspective, having the blessing of the wife is a huge wind in the sails.  I did not have my wife's blessing at first, because of my previous failures, and I operated the current business in secret until it was making money, at which point I told her about it.

For any investment, you don't put in more than you can afford to lose. The attitude you have is a healthy one. Of course, you do whatever you can to mitigate the initial risk, and operate on your gut/best judgement.  100% of the time, my gut always knows a good choice from a bad one. When I've gone against it, I've failed.

What is risky about this business, specifically (without telling me what the business is)?

Sorry. I'm sworn to silence so no one steals his cool idea. :)
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GeorgeWood

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #79 on: March 01, 2017, 01:20:10 AM »
got the idea for a niche percussion instrument I plan on manufacturing and selling. None of these ideas is likely to make me rich fast, but they might make a nice side income and need almost no startup capital..

Just curious what your prototyping and mfg plan is given that you don't plan on spending much.  I've always assumed prototyping and manufacturing can be pretty pricey ( prototyping less so now that 3D printing is pretty common).  Is this something you plan on physically manufacturing yourself?

The product is made mostly out of wood and it's design is very simple. I built a prototype myself in two days. I plan on subcontracting a carpenter friend for parts of the manufacturing process and assemble and finish the instrument myself. I expect a very low volume of sales (I'll be happy to sell 10 instruments per year!). It's not like I'm going to manufacture thousands of congas in China :)

BTDretire

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #80 on: March 01, 2017, 07:35:37 AM »
About 17 years ago my wife started a part time side hustle (didn't know that term at that time).
She did it for about 3 hours after she got out of her other job. After a year my work got slow
and I started working it for about 2-1/2 hours in the morning and she come back in the afternoon.
Two years in she said. "why don't you quit your job and do this full time?" I said, "I'll quit my job if you quit yours." We both quit our jobs and within 3 years we more than tripled our household income.
  I semi retired at the beginning of this year, I would prefer full retirement but my wife doesn't want to retire
or let the business go. It is a two person job and she is stubborn enough to do both parts, but I work an hour in the morning and been working about 1 day a week to give her a break.
 The business is retailing a single perishable item, but that's all the detail I want to give.
 Ya, we already had FU money, and were only earning a bit above minimum wage, so if things failed, it would not have been hard to get back to where we were.
 We started with basically no cost, but a year after we both quit our jobs we bought a $6,000 van to use.
We kept all business expenses low and still do.
 It worked for us, but for 15 years it was 80 to 100 hours a week between the two of us, we are open 363 days a year 10 hours a day. Our business is real work for average 3 hours a day and then plenty of time to surf the internet, read MMM, watch TV or get in some walking.
I'm glad not to be scheduled everyday, but in the long run the extra income was invested and brought FI and semi RE.

SwordGuy

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #81 on: March 01, 2017, 06:30:40 PM »
Ever notice how people leap to conclusions based on incorrect assumptions when you tell them about FIRE and how to do it?

It's as if their mind goes into creative overdrive to find ways to disprove what we all know to be true.

I really felt like that was what was happening to the OP in this thread when people first started responding.

Just sayin...

Genevieve

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #82 on: March 01, 2017, 07:10:22 PM »
An Entrepreneurship forum! Cool!

I've recently started a business providing freelance services this year. Estimated to make somewhere around $4,300 and $5,700 gross, which isn't a ton but also isn't something to sneeze at either. It's dependent on my hours right now, but I plan to use the income and the flexibility it provides to start a second business that isn't dependent on my time (probably real estate).

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2017, 05:17:49 AM »
Employees have the luxury of sleeping well and not worrying about businesses' ability to survive day to day.  Business owners not so much.

Except that your continued employment is contingent upon how well the business continues to do. You don't have the business survival to worry about, but you do have your paycheck's survival.   The difference might be that the business owner can see change coming, and can take action to do something about it.


The more products you have. The more streams of income. The more customers. The more sales channels.  The more resilient your business is, and the better you can sleep.  I sleep pretty well these days. I only check my sales/bank statements a couple of times a month.

This is an excellent point! As a business owner your livelihood isn't tied to the whims of one boss or decision maker. When you've got a dozen (or a hundred) little paychecks, no *one* person can deprive you of a paycheck.

In that way, business ownership feels *more stable* than ordinary employment.

SiS

nara

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #84 on: March 02, 2017, 06:17:01 AM »
Employees have the luxury of sleeping well and not worrying about businesses' ability to survive day to day.  Business owners not so much.

Except that your continued employment is contingent upon how well the business continues to do. You don't have the business survival to worry about, but you do have your paycheck's survival.   The difference might be that the business owner can see change coming, and can take action to do something about it.


The more products you have. The more streams of income. The more customers. The more sales channels.  The more resilient your business is, and the better you can sleep.  I sleep pretty well these days. I only check my sales/bank statements a couple of times a month.

This is an excellent point! As a business owner your livelihood isn't tied to the whims of one boss or decision maker. When you've got a dozen (or a hundred) little paychecks, no *one* person can deprive you of a paycheck.

In that way, business ownership feels *more stable* than ordinary employment.

SiS

Agreed! I was "let go" from a job 7 years ago because a new director came in and wanted to hire her own people. It was my first lesson in the reality that you can still do a good job an be a hard worker, but still not have job security! I promised myself I would never work for a company again and used the time I spent in unemployment to begin starting a business. I have a professional degree and so needed to sell myself rather than products. I started out working as a contractor part time which led to full time. And over the years I gradually started taking on my own clients until fully independent. Last year we opened our office location and expanded it a few months later to take on more clients. We now have 8 employees and our income has increased past the ceiling of any salary I would have been paid for employment. It is very exciting. But it is a huge responsibility and I do lose sleep over it... That's why we are on a 5 year FI plan and then we are planning to get out. But it's true.. if you have a good business going invest in that first. Your income potential is truly how you build your wealth!

LalsConstant

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #85 on: March 02, 2017, 07:07:02 AM »
I spent a fair amount of time as a bookkeeper/tax preparer.  One thing I learned is that most businesses are driven by the consistent efforts of one key person who generally isn't making much more money than he or she could just having a run of the mill job.  Granted they are their own boss, but working 120 hours a week to net 45,000 a year is not something that should excite.

OOh, a bookkeeper, I bet you have the real inside scoop on this conversation.

The way I think of businesses like you described, is that it is a job that you created for yourself.

If the business depends on you, I don't really think you have much of a business.


It's the difference between "working in your business" and "working on your business".

I will never cease to be amused how people shit on the accounting profession yet how many people who would have saved themselves a lot of heartache by ensuring their business made any sense on paper first I cannot count.  I don't know what it is, people think just because accountants don't get paid very much compared to them that we don't know anything I guess.

Piss on me all you want, but seeing the real costs and incomes of everything from small grocery stores and used car lots to attorneys and cardiologists doesn't lie.  There's usually someone working themselves silly to make it happen and it's a serious gamble whether it pays off or not.  I saw a hot shot attorney who left a $500,000 a year job go into business for himself, proceed to lose money for 7 years straight, and die at age 38 from a heart attack.  Incidentally, I only worked on this case because his sons hired us to sort out the company records and clear up their mess with the IRS, a debacle which cost them over 100k all because, wait for it, they didn't hire a bookkeeper because they had the same attitude you do.

People have no idea how much small business owners can sacrifice for how little gain; these entities get lauded as the salt of the earth and as the most successful people among us at times, but the survivor-ship bias is never considered. Of course self employed people advocate it, because the people it didn't work out for are now too busy driving a truck or something.  I didn't even mention all the files I had to close because the client went completely bust and requested all of their records.

For the record, I am not saying starting a business is universally bad, rather what I am saying is economically it's often not an individual's best opportunity, unless you crave the psychic benefits a great deal.  One of the clients who confused me the most was a contractor who could have easily made more money working as a foreman or something similar for someone else, but when he said he hated working for other people and didn't care if he had to work more for less money because it was freedom to him, it made sense to me.

Now, if you have something that other people don't and see a way to bring it to market, go ahead.  Some services are best delivered by starting your own firm.  Now to be fair and balance out the story about the attorney who died of a heart attack, I also saw a man quit working for an oil drilling company start his own and become ridiculously wealthy, but that's because he realized the way the work was being done was massively inefficient and he had his own ideas how to steal the business out from underneath his old employer.  That's the kind of person who should start a business, someone with a unique opportunity and insight (I should also mention this man had 20 years of unique experience and admitted openly he'd been very lucky). 

I may even do it myself one day but you can be certain I'm going to use what I've learned from other people's mistakes.  Mistake one is fetishizing entrepreneurship.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 07:08:44 AM by LalsConstant »

Genevieve

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #86 on: March 02, 2017, 07:22:52 AM »
Ideally, the sub-forum would be devoted to "all things entrepreneurial" and not get hung up on the term "business" since the purpose is finding and sharing ways to make extra money creatively either in addition to, or in place of a day job. I think the misconception that it's an "all or nothing" proposition should be killed. Working your more secure day job and venturing out to do things on your own are not mutually exclusive ideas. You can have both and learn something from both.
...
The moral of the last two paragraphs is that it's not an all-or-nothing thing. Everything starts small. Not everything is successful. Perception of risk basically has a direct correlation with the comfortability and the amount of time spent at any given activity.
100% agree.

Being snobby about what's "a business" is doesn't really help anyone, in my opinion. The skills used in doing things like mowing lawns or doing graphic design on the side are really useful if you do want to transition to something that runs without your efforts.

If it's good enough for the IRS, it's good enough to me.

Ann

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #87 on: March 02, 2017, 09:17:53 AM »
Ever notice how people leap to conclusions based on incorrect assumptions when you tell them about FIRE and how to do it?

It's as if their mind goes into creative overdrive to find ways to disprove what we all know to be true.

I really felt like that was what was happening to the OP in this thread when people first started responding.

Just sayin...

Hmmm . .  to be fair, CargoBiker admits that (he?) purposefully used inflammatory language to "stir the pot".  And it worked!  We have a new subforum and an active topic.  I disagree that posters are having knee-jerk negativity when someone is announcing that someone should NOT invest and INSTEAD start a business.  That's not an incorrect assumption: that's the title of the thread.

swick

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #88 on: March 02, 2017, 09:32:50 AM »
Ideally, the sub-forum would be devoted to "all things entrepreneurial" and not get hung up on the term "business" since the purpose is finding and sharing ways to make extra money creatively either in addition to, or in place of a day job. I think the misconception that it's an "all or nothing" proposition should be killed. Working your more secure day job and venturing out to do things on your own are not mutually exclusive ideas. You can have both and learn something from both.
...
The moral of the last two paragraphs is that it's not an all-or-nothing thing. Everything starts small. Not everything is successful. Perception of risk basically has a direct correlation with the comfortability and the amount of time spent at any given activity.
100% agree.

Being snobby about what's "a business" is doesn't really help anyone, in my opinion. The skills used in doing things like mowing lawns or doing graphic design on the side are really useful if you do want to transition to something that runs without your efforts.

If it's good enough for the IRS, it's good enough to me.

Mod note: We have been considering adding an entrepreneur section for a while, but not sure if there was enough interest in it - and it remains to be seen if it will get enough traction to stick around.


Hmmm . .  to be fair, CargoBiker admits that (he?) purposefully used inflammatory language to "stir the pot".  And it worked!  We have a new subforum and an active topic.

Yes, the feedback from this thread did tip the balance in favour of creating this sub-forum. HOWEVER This is not going to serve as a platform for a pissing match over what "is" and "isn't" considered entrepreneurial.  Like all language that we use that is open to interpretation on a variety of levels, we will all have slightly different opinions and that is fine, as long as we are open to acknowledging and accepting the differences.

Being an Entrepreneur takes an attitude and skill set that is vert different from other paths to FIRE and that is why we felt this forum is needed. That being said, for many, many, people it is a HORRIBLE choice compared to other methods. So we have a duty not to sugar-coat the challenges, or proselytize that because it works FOR US it is the best choice FOR EVERYONE - and we should support anyone who is interested in exploring the idea.

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #89 on: March 03, 2017, 08:28:26 PM »
Now, if you have something that other people don't and see a way to bring it to market, go ahead.  Some services are best delivered by starting your own firm. 

Quote
but that's because he realized the way the work was being done was massively inefficient and he had his own ideas how to steal the business out from underneath his old employer.  That's the kind of person who should start a business, someone with a unique opportunity and insight

There's the crux of our whole conversation.

If you have something unique to offer, and have a way to market it, start a business.

If you don't, then why are you starting a business?


Great post. 


And for the record, I would never shit on your profession. You guys happily do the stuff that I would rather gouge my eyeballs out than do. I'm a bit jealous of your behind the scenes peek at everyone's businesses though!

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #90 on: March 03, 2017, 08:31:04 PM »
Agreed! I was "let go" from a job 7 years ago because a new director came in and wanted to hire her own people. It was my first lesson in the reality that you can still do a good job an be a hard worker, but still not have job security! I promised myself I would never work for a company again and used the time I spent in unemployment to begin starting a business. I have a professional degree and so needed to sell myself rather than products. I started out working as a contractor part time which led to full time. And over the years I gradually started taking on my own clients until fully independent. Last year we opened our office location and expanded it a few months later to take on more clients. We now have 8 employees and our income has increased past the ceiling of any salary I would have been paid for employment. It is very exciting. But it is a huge responsibility and I do lose sleep over it... That's why we are on a 5 year FI plan and then we are planning to get out. But it's true.. if you have a good business going invest in that first. Your income potential is truly how you build your wealth!

Cool success story Nara. Thanks for sharing!

Any tips on how to hire a good employee?

SeattleCPA

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #91 on: March 06, 2017, 07:39:32 AM »
The fastest way to generate wealth is by owning a business, and I think that there should be more discussion about this.

Running a failing business(which isn't that uncommon) is also one of the fastest ways to lose wealth.

Not saying it is not a viable way to wealth. however though I haven't seen the number I would venture a guess that if you were to compare the amount of people that succeed using the passive investment advocated around here to the percentage of new businesses that succeed that your odds at the former to achieve FI are better using the former, though smaller odds of becoming excessively wealthy are higher with the latter.

Since MMM is a large advocate for frugality rather than excess the people drawn to that message are likely to choose the better odds of achieving FI through a safer, but potentially less lucrative way through "relatively" safe investing and achieving frugality rather than through taking the higher risk for a higher potential return involved with starting a business.

I also believe that a large portion of people are not well equipped to handle being self employed and self guided and that these kinds of people would be all the more likely to fail at starting a company. You can tell anyone to invest in a small number of diversified funds and they won't need to put that much effort in. However the drive and work put towards starting a company are much higher and riskier.

Can I comment on this theme? I don't think one wants to view entrepreneurship or small business ownership as a substitute for a portfolio of passive investments. Rather, view it as a substitute for a job.

I.e., replace a job with a small business... and then (just like you would with a job) accumulate wealth in your tax-deferred accounts using cheap index funds.

BTW, happy to stipulate that small business is not a path for everyone. But it can be a way to generate a rather secure stream of income and a way to structure a gig that works well for your specific situation.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #92 on: March 06, 2017, 07:51:06 AM »
Here are some statistics to consider:
https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/SurvivalRatesAndFirmAge_ADA_0.pdf

Two comments about business survival rates:

1. Though I can't find it, there is data (from a business school professor named Cooper) that shows business survival rates vary widely. Some businesses basically don't fail... and some fail a huge percentage of the time.

2. One wants to keep in mind that if your business only survives, say, five years, that may or may not be a bad thing. If you made two or three times what you would have made doing your next best option, hard to see that five years as a failure.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #93 on: March 06, 2017, 08:00:25 AM »
Also, I consider my employees to be in a riskier position to be in than I am. I get 20 checks a month from 20 different sources. They get 2 from the same source. I loose one check and I am ok. They lose one check and they are looking for a new employer.


Lots of good comments from ProfGubler... but I especially like this one.

If you're an employee, you bear risk that you'll lose your one "customer" some afternoon... if you're a small business owner with 20 or 200 customers, it is extremely unlikely you'll lose all at once.

The other thing related to the above point is this: If you're an employee, you may be doing a great job but still get blindsided by losing your one "customer"... if you run the show, you are probably not going to get blindsided... if you lose some big chunk of your revenue, you'll probably see it coming a mile away...

SeattleCPA

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #94 on: March 06, 2017, 08:07:54 AM »
I spent a fair amount of time as a bookkeeper/tax preparer.  One thing I learned is that most businesses are driven by the consistent efforts of one key person who generally isn't making much more money than he or she could just having a run of the mill job.  Granted they are their own boss, but working 120 hours a week to net 45,000 a year is not something that should excite.

I agree with this. And you can point to all sorts of good data sources that back up your point.

But here's the other thing you can see in the data: While maybe the average small business owner in a category basically only makes a living, the top quartile or decile probably does really well. There's a power law dynamic to this in other words.

This reality doesn't mean, then, that one should give up ... it means one should learn how to run a top quartile or top decile performer.

P.S. Isn't the above also true of jobs in general? Most people earn around the average... a few top performers earn a multiple of that?

MrGreg

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #95 on: March 06, 2017, 08:44:55 PM »
I enjoyed this thread very much.

Thanks for the tips, CargoBiker.  You've inspired me to put together a pilot small business and see how it goes.  I reckon that even if I fail miserably a few times I'll have learned something valuable as an interesting life experience.

electriceagle

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #96 on: March 06, 2017, 11:51:14 PM »
I disagree with your general premise though.  Starting a business can be very risky, time consuming, and requires a lot of creative energy.  It isn't for everyone.  Putting your earnings in an index fund is simple and easy.  It truly IS for everyone. 
more.

A business is an investment and a job (time + capital). Index funds are just an investment (capital only).

estunner

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #97 on: March 07, 2017, 12:47:52 PM »
Starting a business is awesome but is not an easy process that takes tame, money and a lot of effort.

It depends on how you define the investment - Lord Sugar as he is saying all the time " if you haven't invested in property then is not time to run a business"

Business is for fun but investment is to make THE real money 

Happy that I found this forum post. Also I agree $200 is not a lot to start with it.

FIREby35

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #98 on: March 07, 2017, 02:38:18 PM »
Hahaha, what a great thread.

Cargo Biker, you are awesome. But, you must not be very old or have much experience as a business owner. Why? Because you have not stopped trying to get others to see the light! I admit it, I've tried to convince others till I'm blue in the face. Probably been a bit annoying over the years to friends and family. Now, I've accepted that most people just don't have the desire to be business owners. Works for me just fine - less competition.

FYI - I'm an own my own law firm. All the "Lawyer Mustachians" have probably tuned me out by now. But, I keep offering the small law perspective.

CargoBiker

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Re: Want to Retire Faster? Don't Invest. Start a Business Instead.
« Reply #99 on: March 07, 2017, 10:14:17 PM »
Starting a business is awesome but is not an easy process that takes tame, money and a lot of effort.

You know what else takes time and a lot of effort?  A job.

This blog/forum preaches all the time about working hard and making an effort.  Riding your bike everywhere takes more effort than driving.  Cooking your own meals from scratch takes more effort than eating out. Doing things DIY takes more effort than paying a contractor to do it.

Quote
Business is for fun but investment is to make THE real money

haha, ok. Enjoy your 4% returns.  I'll go back to playing with my "fake" money.