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Don’t Make This Costly Mistake

Which is better – a $100 decrease in costs or $100 increase in income?

It’s always good to increase our income, but more people get in trouble on the cost side. This applies to your business as well as your personal finances.

Your business
Assume that you own a retail store. Every product in your store sells for $100 and costs $40. So you keep $60 every time you sell a product.

Now let’s say you’re able to cut your expenses by $100. You get to keep all of it!

So, which is better? Cutting expenses by $100! That yields $40 more!

Now, you may ask, how do you do that? Here’s something we have learned …

As you get busy running your business, it’s easy for costs to creep in that aren’t increasing sales like you thought they would. Get rid of these costs!

One of the biggest complaints bankers have about small business people is that they are too focused on their top line (sales) and they don’t spend enough time thinking about the bottom line (profit).

In the long run, your profit can only grow as fast as your sales. But in the near-term, your bottom line will grow much faster if you keep a close eye on costs.

Your personal finances
This is the same story, but for a different reason. It’s all about taxes.

Let’s assume that you will pay 30 percent on your next $100 of income. So, if you make $100 more, you get to keep $70 after taxes.

But if you can spend $100 less, you’re $100 ahead because you’ve already paid the taxes on that money!

Let’s say you get a $5,000 a year pay raise. You decide to celebrate by buying a new house … you upgrade! Your mortgage payment is now $4,800 a year higher than it was before. But hey, you have $5,000 more income, so you’re still $200 ahead, right?

That’s BEFORE TAXES.

Once we factor in 30 percent for taxes ($1,500), you’re $1,300 behind!

And the bad news has just started. This new, bigger, more expensive house probably has higher property taxes; it costs more to insure; it requires more repairs and maintenance.

Before you know it, you’re $5,000 in the whole!

What should you do with the raise?

Once again, your specific situation will determine what you should do. Consider giving yourself a SMALL reward – you’ve earned it! Then, if you have any debt – particularly credit card debt – pay that off because your return will exceed almost any investment. And it’s a guaranteed return!

Once you have that debt paid off, the money becomes yours! Now you can invest it in things that will jump start your passive income.

The bottom line is this – you have complete control over your expenses. You have to convince someone to say “yes” to make a sale or get a raise. It’s much easier to control your costs!

Where have you cut costs in your biz or personal life?
Share your tips with us!

You’ve probably heard our bigg quote today, but it was so fitting that we used it anyway. Here’s Ben Franklin –  

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

And we bet that, if ole’ Ben Franklin was around today, he’d think about the taxes he was paying and modify his quote to – A penny saved is BETTER than a penny earned!

Next time, we’ll continue the money talk, but with a twist. Comedic writer Jake Novak joins us to share his “Top 5 Signs You're Managing Your Money Like Wall Street.” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Related posts

Does It Pay To Be Smart?

How To Get Rich

6 Easy Steps To Financial Freedom

10 Signs That You Are Ready To Quit Your Job And Start A Business

Freedom Or Security – Which Do You Choose? 

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Don't Make This Costly Mistake

Which is better – a $100 decrease in costs or $100 increase in income?

It’s always good to increase our income, but more people get in trouble on the cost side. This applies to your business as well as your personal finances.

Your business
Assume that you own a retail store. Every product in your store sells for $100 and costs $40. So you keep $60 every time you sell a product.

Now let’s say you’re able to cut your expenses by $100. You get to keep all of it!

So, which is better? Cutting expenses by $100! That yields $40 more!

Now, you may ask, how do you do that? Here’s something we have learned …

As you get busy running your business, it’s easy for costs to creep in that aren’t increasing sales like you thought they would. Get rid of these costs!

One of the biggest complaints bankers have about small business people is that they are too focused on their top line (sales) and they don’t spend enough time thinking about the bottom line (profit).

In the long run, your profit can only grow as fast as your sales. But in the near-term, your bottom line will grow much faster if you keep a close eye on costs.

Your personal finances
This is the same story, but for a different reason. It’s all about taxes.

Let’s assume that you will pay 30 percent on your next $100 of income. So, if you make $100 more, you get to keep $70 after taxes.

But if you can spend $100 less, you’re $100 ahead because you’ve already paid the taxes on that money!

Let’s say you get a $5,000 a year pay raise. You decide to celebrate by buying a new house … you upgrade! Your mortgage payment is now $4,800 a year higher than it was before. But hey, you have $5,000 more income, so you’re still $200 ahead, right?

That’s BEFORE TAXES.

Once we factor in 30 percent for taxes ($1,500), you’re $1,300 behind!

And the bad news has just started. This new, bigger, more expensive house probably has higher property taxes; it costs more to insure; it requires more repairs and maintenance.

Before you know it, you’re $5,000 in the whole!

What should you do with the raise?

Once again, your specific situation will determine what you should do. Consider giving yourself a SMALL reward – you’ve earned it! Then, if you have any debt – particularly credit card debt – pay that off because your return will exceed almost any investment. And it’s a guaranteed return!

Once you have that debt paid off, the money becomes yours! Now you can invest it in things that will jump start your passive income.

The bottom line is this – you have complete control over your expenses. You have to convince someone to say “yes” to make a sale or get a raise. It’s much easier to control your costs!

Where have you cut costs in your biz or personal life?
Share your tips with us!

You’ve probably heard our bigg quote today, but it was so fitting that we used it anyway. Here’s Ben Franklin –  

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

And we bet that, if ole’ Ben Franklin was around today, he’d think about the taxes he was paying and modify his quote to – A penny saved is BETTER than a penny earned!

Next time, we’ll continue the money talk, but with a twist. Comedic writer Jake Novak joins us to share his “Top 5 Signs You're Managing Your Money Like Wall Street.” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Related posts

Does It Pay To Be Smart?

How To Get Rich

6 Easy Steps To Financial Freedom

10 Signs That You Are Ready To Quit Your Job And Start A Business

Freedom Or Security – Which Do You Choose? 

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Recession Progression

Pretend that we could eat as much as you want, of whatever you want, whenever you want, with no consequences. What would a lot of people do?

Probably eat a lot of their favorite foods!

Of course, in the real world, we know that if we do that for any period of time, we’ll have to go on a diet.

That’s what a recession is – the economy going on a diet.

It’s just the business cycle. Things go well. People get over-exuberant. Too much debt. Bad investments. Then a recession gets rid of the excesses. It’s part of the evolutionary process.

So today, we want to discuss how to survive and thrive in a recession.

How to survive a recession

  • Develop a contingency plan.
  • Start by asking yourself, “What if …?”

    What if you get laid off?
    What if you have to work longer hours because other people got laid off?
    What if your time gets cut back?
    What if your benefits get cut?
    What if your business takes a hit?

    You know your situation. Think about the most likely scenarios and develop a plan for them. Then, do what you can now.

    For example, why put off updating your resume until you need it? Do it now! Most people wait until they need it. You’ll be a step ahead.

  • Watch your spending
  • Businesses cut spending to get through a recession. We should take a clue. Try to avoid making long-term commitments. In times of uncertainty, wait until you’re more certain before making major purchases.

  • Don’t panic.
  • Resist the urge to drastically change your retirement plan and other long-term investments. You need to look at the specifics of your situation. However, as a general rule, if you won’t need the money for five or more years, you should probably stay the course. Historically, that’s been the best thing to do.

    If you need the money before that, you may want to deploy another strategy. Check with your financial planner to figure out your best option.

How to thrive in a recession

  • Take advantage of low interest rates.
  • Interest rates tend to go down during a recession. So consider refinancing your mortgage and other debt. Business owners may have prepayment penalties, but it may still make sense. In both cases, you need to analyze your specific situation.

    Let’s assume you refinance. Use what you save each month to build your passive income.

  • Keep investing in yourself
  • Once again, let’s take a clue from businesses. Businesses that thrive, after a recession, are often those that kept on investing, during the recession.

    There are a lot of opportunities once a recession ends. Position yourself to thrive – take a class, attend seminars, and go to conferences. You’ll build skills and make great contacts. One of those contacts may lead to your next bigg opportunity!

  • Look for great deals.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities may present themselves during a recession. People are often more willing to negotiate. You probably won’t find your great opportunity advertised anywhere.

    So how do you find it? Network, network, network! You’ll most likely be surprised by it, so keep your eyes and ears open. Your accidental discovery will be the result of your active searching!

Our Bigg Quote today is by an unknown author.

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”

So keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Be ready for detours so you don’t have to come to a screeching halt!

Next time, we’ll look at the question, “Does it pay to blame others to cover your backside?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Does It Pay To Be Smart?

We ran across an interesting study about what your IQ says about how rich you’ll be. The study was conducted by Jay Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University, and published in the journal, Intelligence.

Zagorsky measured the income and wealth of people who were 40 to 47 years old. He sorted the data by IQ level.

Does it pay to be smart? Yes … and no.

Yes, it pays to be smart.
Zagorsky’s study confirmed what previous studies had shown. People with higher IQs tend to have higher incomes. We wonder if it’s a function of IQ or if educational attainment plays in – since it’s also been proven that higher levels of education tend to result in higher incomes.

Regardless, people with above-average IQs tend to earn more.

No, it doesn’t pay to be smart.
Zagorsky found that people with lower IQs are just as wealthy, perhaps even more so, than people with high IQs! Zagorsky defines wealth as assets minus liabilities. How much you own compared to how much you owe.

Few people with below-average IQs had high income. However, a relatively large number of them had a high net worth.

It turns out that people with higher IQs were MORE likely to have trouble paying bills, have maxed out credit cards, and have declared bankruptcy, than people with lower IQs.

Why aren’t smart people rich?
Zagorsky offers several theories for why being smart doesn’t necessarily lead to being rich. It’s possible that smart people are more confident in their ability to earn more money, so they spend more money. Perhaps they feel they can take more risk, because they can make more money if they need it.

We wonder if it’s not because of the age group. People with IQs below the norm probably started working earlier, on average, than people with high IQs, who were earning advanced degrees. So people with lower IQs have had more years in the workforce. Will people with high IQs catch up with them over time?

Smart or not, we’re only human!
What this study really confirms is a timeless principle – the real secret to accumulating more wealth is to spend less than what you make. How profound!

We’re all human – some smarter than others. However, we’re all subject to that human trait that makes us spend as much as we make. Make more … spend more.

Do you remember the secret to begin accumulating wealth, as told in The Richest Man in Babylon?

A part of all you earn should be yours to keep.

If you don’t spend it, you’ll always have it. And more – because your money will make money for you if you invest it right.

For whatever reason, people with below-average IQs seem to do a better job of that than people with above-average IQs. At least according to this study.

What do you think? Why do people with lower IQs have more wealth? What tips do you have for managing money? Let us know.

Our bigg quote today is by Benjamin Franklin.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

It’s smart to save money, because being smart with your money is money in the bank.

Next time, we’re going to talk about your own personal SWOT analysis – analyzing strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. It’s a follow up to Visualize The Life You Want and Live Your Dream Life With Purpose.

If your goal is to save more money, learn how to achieve that goal with our Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook. It’s free when you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. We bet you’re smart enough to recognize that for the deal it is!

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Success Snake Oil – Know When You’re Getting Scammed

We’re always on the lookout for good coaches. So last week, we had two phone calls that we want to share with you — one good, one bad. But there are lessons to be learned from both of them. Specifically, we want to discuss when it’s worth spending your time and money, and when you should run … and run fast!

  • If they don’t live up to their promises, even in the sales call …. run!
  • In what turned out to be the bad call, we were promised a one-on-one conversation with an internet expert. It turned out to be nothing but a scripted sales call.

    The good call, on the other hand, was a conversation. It was exactly what we were promised it would be … and more! It was personal. He had done research on us and our web site. It was what coaching should be.

  • If there’s lots of conversation, but almost no information … run!
  • With the bad call, we’re still not sure how their program works. Even though we were on the phone for about an hour. Details were sketchy. Answers to questions were vague. The most popular answer seemed to be, “That’s proprietary.” We weren’t given any details about the credentials of our would-be coach.

    The good phone call was completely opposite. We know exactly what we’re going to get, after only thirty minutes. We were given advice that we’re already using. And the price tag is much less.

  • If you’re told you have to make a decision now … run!
  • We were immediately cajoled with the bad call to make a decision on the spot. We told them that we don’t operate that way. They pressed on. Our experience shows that the best decisions are thoughtfully made after consideration – not an on-the-spot emotional decision. If you’re being asked to make a decision immediately, your best response is usually going to be “no”.

    Our coach on the good call didn’t ask for an immediate decision – in fact, he is so confident in what he has to offer, he suggested that we should not make an immediate decision. However, he still gave his advice freely!

  • If they’re playing mind games with you … run!
  • Build you up, tear you down, wear you out. That was the process we experienced with the bad call. Don’t fall for it.

    We were offered words of encouragement with the good call. We were also given some constructive criticism, which was very helpful. Constructive criticism is great; just tearing you down to make a sale is not. If you don’t understand the difference, reread the first three points!

We could go on, but these are the highlights of our discussion. Hopefully, you’ll find these helpful the next time you’re trying to buy something.

Our quote today is by Thomas Jefferson.

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, ‘til you know there is no hook beneath it.”

So don’t get hooked … if it smells fishy, it probably is.

Next time, we get a visit from Santa. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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