The conventional wisdom surrounding wealth creation often revolves around starting your own business. However, the reality is that most businesses fail within the first few years. This article presents a three-part plan that offers a low-risk approach to building wealth, focusing on developing a superpower, gaining practical experience, and buying a business rather than starting one from scratch.
- Develop a Superpower: Identify your inherent talents and hone them into marketable skills.
- Get a Job: Use employment as a learning platform to refine your skills, build relationships, and climb the corporate ladder.
- Buy a Business: Instead of starting a business, consider buying an existing, profitable business, taking advantage of the current “Great Wealth Transfer.”
Develop a Superpower
The first step in this wealth-building blueprint is to identify and develop your “superpower,” or inherent talent. Contrary to popular advice like “follow your passion” or “work on your weaknesses,” the key is to focus on what you’re naturally good at.
Why Not Follow Passion?
The problem with following your passion is that passion often stems from competence. Most people enjoy doing what they’re good at, creating a virtuous cycle. On the flip side, if you’re not good at something, you’re less likely to enjoy it, leading to a vicious cycle of underperformance.
Leaning Into Strengths
Instead of being a jack-of-all-trades, focus on your inherent strengths. For instance, if you’re good at storytelling, consider a career in marketing or content creation. If you’re unsure about your superpower, consult friends and family for insights.
Get a Job
The second step is to get a job that allows you to hone your superpower. A job is not just a means to earn money; it’s a platform for learning and skill development.
The Value of Employment
Many people underestimate the value of employment as a learning platform. The real value of a job isn’t what you earn but what you learn. Think of it as a “full-ride scholarship” to a master’s degree in your field.
Climbing the Corporate Ladder
Aim for promotions to gain a broader perspective on your role, department, and the business as a whole. A pro tip for quick promotions is to “eat the frog” for your boss, meaning tackle the hard or unpleasant tasks that your boss dreads.
Buy a Business
The Great Wealth Transfer
The current economic landscape is ripe for buying businesses due to the “Great Wealth Transfer.” Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers retire, and 20% of them own businesses that their children don’t want to take over. This presents a unique opportunity to acquire established businesses.
There are several ways to finance the purchase of a business:
- Cash: Requires significant upfront capital but allows for quick closure.
- Investor Capital: Raising funds from investors, although this dilutes equity.
- SBA Loan: Loans from the Small Business Administration can cover up to 90% of the purchase price.
- Seller Financing: The seller acts as the bank, allowing you to pay over time.
Building wealth doesn’t have to involve the high risks associated with starting a business. By focusing on your inherent talents, leveraging employment for skill development, and capitalizing on opportunities to buy existing businesses, you can create a low-risk, high-reward path to financial freedom.