So Many Opportunities…

 “So much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it.” – Willy Wonka

A reader, SR of Tucson, AZ, writes to ask about business opportunities. He and his sister have owned two franchise businesses (from which they “profited slightly”) and two investment homes, only one of which gave them a very modest ($3,000) return. “Needless to say,” he says, “we are not afraid to ‘pull the trigger.'”

He makes his living as a part-time pharma rep, and his sister “has left interior design to pursue working with a multi-level-marketing company.” He is now looking at the Early to Rise and Investor’s Daily Edge websites, and is excited by the money-making opportunities offered on both.

What should he do? “If you were starting out today,” SR asks me, “where would you put your money?”

I like getting letters like these. It tells me that there is still a big market for my book Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence. SR obviously hasn’t read it. If he had, he would know exactly what I’d do in his situation.

I don’t believe in pulling the trigger prematurely, and that is what I think SR and his sister have been doing. His description of his actions and his thinking fits the pattern of the serial “wannabe” entrepreneur.

And I’m concerned about his sister’s recent leap into a multi-level-marketing (MLM) program. I don’t particularly like these programs, because I have found that they rely too heavily on turning friends and colleagues into customers. They encourage you to “start” with the people you know. What generally happens is that you run out of steam just after you have exhausted all your personal relationships. The MLM company has made some money from you, but you have only soured your friendships.

I don’t think you should leave your job and jump into any business opportunity unless you are ready. Being ready means having the money and the knowledge to be successful in the industry you have chosen to enter. Getting that money and that knowledge requires years of working hard – in that industry – and earning a good income. Nights and weekends you can – and should – invest in further education in that field.

All of the information products that you see on our websites can be useful. But what you don’t want to do is jump from one of those moneymaking opportunities to the next, always on the verge of hitting it big but never quite getting there.

My advice to anyone who, like SR and his sister, has fallen into the serial-wannabe-entrepreneur pattern is to follow my “chicken-entrepreneurship” approach to getting rich:

  • First, get a fulltime job within the industry you have chosen for your career. If you want to make money in the real estate business, get a job at a brokerage. If you want to make money as an Internet entrepreneur, get a job with a company that is primarily an Internet marketer.

Get the best job you can, but be satisfied if you have to work your way up from the bottom.

  • While you’re working at your full-time job, invest in a self-help program that will give you the skills to develop a side business in your chosen industry that you can eventually grow into a full-time moneymaker. (If you want to understand exactly how to start and build your own business, buy my next book – Ready Fire Aim – when it comes out.)

Take only one self-help program at a time. Don’t distract yourself by taking two or three. Review several before you buy one, and buy only from companies that have a good reputation and offer a total refund. If you don’t like the program, return it and try something else. If you do like the program, work hard on it and finish it.

  • Put most of your extra money in the bank and let it earn CD-type interest until you have found a safe investment that can give you a better return. I like real estate, because it is usually safe. But don’t invest in any real estate until you have taken and completed Justin Ford’s Main Street Millionaire program. (The best in the business, as far as I’m concerned.)
  • Don’t get involved in the financial markets until you have lots of extra money to play with. (If you follow my chicken-entrepreneurship plan, you will have enough money – but it will take a while, maybe four to seven years, for that to happen.)
  • Be smart. Be patient. Don’t “pull the trigger” and jump into any moneymaking opportunity until you are ready.
[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]