Hans Johnson

2 Big Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make With Their Money

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If you're the classic entrepreneur, independent thinker or business minded personality type, there are some huge land minds hidden along the path to success.

The pattern is always the same. I've known it all too well.

It's the path of the speculator, the gambler, the risk taker. The person who swings for the fences, giving everything he's got, going "all in" whenever an opportunity comes up.

The messaging, both externally by promoters, and internally is the same:

"No pain, no gain. You only live once. Just put it on a credit card, you can worry about it when you're rich. Show your success. Don't sweat the small stuff, its all small stuff. Don't worry about the details, they'll take care of themselves, you can hire someone to worry about that. 100% focus, no excuses, total commitment, sacrifice everything, you can worry about work life balance and repairing relationships later, the only thing that matters right now is to keep your head down and grind your way to success. Hey, we're changing lives around here, the world will be better because of our sacrifice."

These "success" mantras are not new.

They cycle every few years, especially as certain markets and trends are peaking. What makes it irresistibly attractive are the overnight success stories. After all, who can deny success?

Here's the thing, a lot of it is true. It takes serious commitment to get a new business idea, project or start up off the ground. Many have no idea how hard most entrepreneurs work, how many times they fail first, to make their dream a reality.

But the aftermath can be painful with blown out relationships and ultimate financial ruin.

To be clear, this is the path of the Rich Miserable Bastard, it is not stable and it is definitely not the path of the long term Wealth Builder. There's a great saying, "what we become in pursuit of what we want is more important than what we achieve."

The thing is, like most things it's easier said than done.

This is because there are 3 different sets of skills and temperaments required regarding money that end up conflicting and working against each each other.
  1. Typical skills to make money: sales, marketing, people skills, hustle, absolute numbers, extrorevtism, impatience, risk taking, optimism, excitement
  2. Typical skills to keep money: frugality, tracking, attention to detail, shrewdness, low need for attention, risk adverse, simplicity over complexity
  3. Typical skills to make money grow: relative valuations, data and trends, skepticism, accounting, risk management, strategy, patience, boring
The above lists are not absolute or complete (there are variances and anomalies).

But I can tell you in most cases, what makes you successful in business or in a career (what's taught as common success characteristics) will get you killed when it comes to managing and investing your money.

Here's the key. Nothing lasts forever. When you're cranking, when you have momentum, when you're on top of the world you feel invincible.

But you're not.

Life is fragile. Nothing lasts forever. To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the sun.

The biggest mistakes most entrepreneurial types make are two fold: 1) believing it will last forever (recency bias) and 2) taking the same traits that made them successful in business and/or their career and applying it towards investing and money management. It leads to disaster.

There is an answer. There's a path and a system to simplify and bring order to this chaos.

Part of it starts with knowing who we are and getting real with ourselves.

Then we can apply the right strategy to build generational wealth and legacy instead of blowing up everything that we touch.