Sunday, 26 August 2007

How free do you want to Be ?!

I had a very interesting discussion on one of the forums that I frequent called ‘Business Warriors’. The forum is a group of small business owners who call themselves ‘Warriors’ and is lead by the very charismatic, Peter Carruthers.

To give you a little background on Peter:
  • In 1992 he closed a very successful data communications business.
  • At least it was successful until his bankers decided to get out of lending money to technology firms :(
  • And this happened while the South African economy collapsed during massive political upheaval !!!

The ‘crux’ of Business Warriors (BW) is that ideas are shared between business owners who have experienced all aspects of owning a business. What to do?, What not to do?, and what to do when the cr@p hits the fan !!

I would seriously recommend anyone who has / or who is thinking of owning a business to join the community. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot from it, and I’m 100% sure that I will continue learning :)

(Just click on the link, and take it from there:

So let’s get back to the interesting discussion that I was talking about before I got sidetracked by educating you on what BW was all about. I posted a message asking the members to let me know what their thoughts were on the following question:

How long did it take for you to be Financially Free?? (if that is the case)

Dear MembersAs a BW, I have only recently decided to start my own business (in SA as well as in London). Although we always go into a venture with the highest hopes of success, PC (Peter Carruthers) can contribute (as can many BW's ) that the chances of longevity are stacked against us.

Now, for those BW's who have had the success in building their own company, may I be so bold as to ask 3 simple questions:

1) How long have you had your business(s) ?

2) How long did it take for you become financially free with this business(s) ?

3) If you can sum up some advice in a few words to a starting BW, what would it be ?

Thanks a lotDomsie (this is my forum name :)

Now, as you can see, this is quite a personal question…………….. but I only realised my mistake after I posted the message !! And so I thought to myself, that I would be really impressed if anyone even attempted to answer this question…….

But lo and behold, I got a response !!!!……….and then another………and then another…….and by this stage I have had 22 responses which is seriously incredible !! To be fair, I was almost more impressed with the amount to replies than the content in those replies……………but that’s only until I read a few of the replies J WOW !!!

To put the replies in a nutshell, it came down to a theory called ‘Maslows Hierachy of Needs’ which states the following steps to self actualisation or self fulfilment:

Step 1: Physiological Needs (food, water, shelter)

Step 2: Safety Needs (Personal security from crime)

Step 3: Social Needs (family, friends)

Step 4: Esteem Needs (confidence, achievement, respect of others)

Step 5: Self Actualisation (self actualisation / financial freedom / self fulfilment)

Note that this is a very subjective theory, and that anyone’s idea of self actualisation is different to another.

It does also remind me of the following adage: ‘The difference between the Rich Man and the Poor Man, is that the Poor Man only ever thinks of his next meal, while the Rich Man, only thinks of his last’

When I was in the Caribbean on holiday this year, I was accompanied with 7 other mates, mostly from Johannesburg, South Africa. Now between the 7 of us, there were Chartered Accountants, Property Developers, Business Owners, etc. and as you might think, at some stage of the holiday the conversation turned to money. Now it wasn’t a conversation on who has the most or who can be the most flash.

The conversation was about ‘How money can change a person’………..for the better, or for the worse :(

The very interesting conclusion to that conversation was this: 'You could be a Billionaire, or you can be a pauper. But if you could still have a good time with the people who you love and care for (no matter the size of your wallet), then you were rich beyond your wildest dreams......'

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