Moving Imagination and Talking About Money

imagination-moversIt should come as no surprise that I love hearing stories of people who are taking the leap to follow their passions. I’m a success book junkie, and I never get tired of reading about those who are doing what it takes to attain success. It’s why I do much of what I do.

J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly has posted part 2 of an interesting interview with Scott Durbin of Imagination Movers, a rock band for kids. It’s a wonderful profile of someone who is doing what it takes to pursue a dream. From Money Interviews: Imagination Movers, part two:

What was your family’s financial situation at the time you started the Imagination Movers?

At the time the Movers started, I was entering my sixth year of teaching. Picture if you will, being the ‘bread winner’ on a teacher’s salary. Ahhh, the luxury of it all. My better half worked full time-ish as an office manager for a web firm and was earning a little less than me. Our income, however, was supplemented by a rental property. Even so, we rented to friends and consequently asked for $150 month lower than market value for the area.

I just recently discovered Imagination Movers. As someone who continuously tries to find music for my little one that doesn’t make me want to drive a fork into my ear to escape, I can say they’re pretty cool.

And be sure to check out part one of the interview.

Ye Coffers Overflowith – When Will you be Wealthy?

money-guyAh, wealth… One of those things most folks seem to be striving for. Money for all the stuff they want, and no worries about bills. But how will you know when you’re wealthy? Have you ever really thought about it?

A lot of people think of getting wealth as some instant miracle – winning the lottery, having a long lost uncle die and leave you a fortune, or suing the pants off some company who didn’t fix the sidewalk in front of their store. That’s not wealth, that’s money, lots of it quickly. And if you’ve heard all the stories about the easy-come, easy-go manner of former lottery winners and litigious opportunist, you’ll know it’s true.

No, what I’m talking about is real wealth. That point when you’ve got enough. What does that mean to you?

No, Thanks – I’m Full

As we work to build our little home based ventures, or to get one off the ground, we imagine a time when we have more coming in than we need. It’s always some vague vision of wealth, a future point in time when our bank account has grown along with our business. It’s important to take the time to really think about and understand our own personal definition of wealth. And there’s no better time then now. Because, how will you know when you’ve arrived, if you don’t know where you’re going?

So how much is enough – $1 million, $5 million, $100 million, a billion, or more? What would it take for you to be done – money-wise that is? Lets say that your business continues to thrive, and I’m going to assume that it’s something you love doing. Now, you still love doing it, but you’ve reached a point where you feel you have enough – houses, cars, domestic staff, boats, cattle – whatever you feel you need. What does that look like? Really imagine it, feel it, experience it. What would it be like when you reach the point when all your material needs are taken care of?

This is one of the most important exercises that you can do. It’s also one of those things most folks never take the time to do. We tend to just plug along, working, building, striving, but there is no real discernable goal in mind. Just to be successful or wealthy – two very subjective words. So take 20 or 30 minutes of uninterrupted time, maybe put on some music, and daydream, brainstorm, and think about your own personal vision of wealth. Here are some questions to get the gears turning:

  • If you had to pick a single figure to represent “enough” for you and your family what would it be?
  • When do you expect to reach that goal?
  • What things do you want or need – the stuff that you feel is important for a full life?
  • What do you want to have money put away for – kid’s college, weddings, retirement?
  • And once you reach the magic figure, what do you do with the money still coming in – give it all away, work for free or donations to a charity, or form and self-fund a non-profit?

Thinking about wealth, and what it means to you, can help shape the way your mind thinks about your business and money in general. By taking the time to establish what real wealth looks like to you, you set in motion the actions to begin achieving that goal. And before you know it, your coffers will be overflowing.

Yeah-But Rebuttals: Show Me the Money

yeah-butt-headThis is the third in a series of periodic posts on rebuttals to common “yeah-buts” that I hear from people wanting to work from home.


“Yeah, but, I don’t have enough money to start a home-based business.”

The Rebuttal

It’s unfortunate, but often things end up coming down to money. Basing your future on how much cabbage you can scrape together may not be the best way to look at things. But in today’s world, you sometimes have to. One of the great things about a home-based business is the low overhead. Most home businesses can be started on a shoestring (though some may need a longer one than others). The key is to be frugal, bootstrap, and find a way to get the initial investment you need to get up and running. Now assuming that like most home-based start-ups your actual cost of entry is pretty low, here’s a couple of ways to fund it yourself.

Credit Cards

Now I can hear all you financial advisors out there cringing at this, but it’s one of the most common ways to fund a home-based startup. Contrary to popular belief, credit cards themselves are not evil. It’s the misuse that causes the problem. So using plastic to get up and running may be a good solution, with a few caveats:

  • I’m going the benefit of the doubt route here, figuring if you are disciplined enough to run a business you can handle a credit card. But really think about it, and look at your recent past to see if it’s a good idea for you
  • If you’re drowning in debt, another card is probably not a good idea.
  • Use it only for your business and nothing else.
  • Be frugal – no better yet – be a cheapskate.

A Better Option – The Mocha Fund

Another way to get some money to fund your home business is to stop drinking so many darn mochas. I know lots of folks who spend an average of $3-4 a day on their venti café mochas. That’s around $17.50 a work-week and $910 a year. Now, granted, there is vacation time and those days you don’t make it to the coffee place. But even conservatively, that’s $500-$700 a year.

So instead of getting coffee out, buy a decent coffee maker for home. I worked with a lady who used this idea in a very creative way to get her business off the ground. She stopped getting coffee on the way to work and bought a really nice coffee maker. Then she’d buy good quality, organic, shade-grown (and fair-trade) beans. She also kept a jar with a “Mocha Fund” label on it beside the coffee maker. Every day, she’d stick in 5 bucks, rounding up what she usually spent, and within 3 months had the money she needed. Now, I agree this is an extreme approach. But she liked the discipline and the action of actually keeping her money in a place designed to show her resolve about starting her business.

You don’t have to take it that far. But cutting out things like daily coffee from the corner place, or bringing lunch instead of eating out every day, is an easy way to get the cash you need to get going.

More Money Resources

Allocate Your Time and Energy

interesting-ideaSteve Pavlina consistently has some thought-provoking stuff on the subject of personal development. Today Steve has an interesting post on asset allocation. Aside from the standard financial planning methods, he relates how to apply the concept to different areas of your life:

After the financial planning course I realized that the strategy of asset allocation can be applied to other areas of life, such as work, relationships, and health.

Consider how you allocate your time. You can think of your time as consisting of several buckets, each having a different risk/reward ratio. If you have a full-time job that pays a flat salary, then most of your time is allocated to the security bucket, so you might want to shift some of that time to the entrepreneurial bucket to participate in the game for much greater gains.

One of the key factors to success as a home-based business owner is balance. Learning to allocate your time and energy in the most efficient and beneficial way is essential to running a thriving business. The concept of asset allocation is a great way to develop a framework for balancing the different areas of your life.