The idea of Low Cost / High Return
I often get asked:
“How much return do you think you can get me Adam?”
I will tell you my answer - I don’t bloody know :). No one can predict the markets, if they tell you they can, I would run a mile. All I can do is look back at what has happened previously and I can advise on what I think gives you the best chance of making a decent return - Hint, it is usually just buying a cheap global index tracker.
I have spent a lot of time trying to explain to younger entrepreneurs that the high value stuff (you know the big bucks value) actually comes from managing your behaviour and your life. Most of my work is managing my clients rather than their money.
I will give you an example.
If you can invest a measly £100 extra into an environment that grows, say an ISA or a Pension that you can’t touch then based on a return of 7.5% over 10 years, that low cost habit alone could be worth £17k alone by the end. You set it and forget it. Have a play around with this handy calculator to see the power of regular investing. It is all about the habit of investing, not the returns. See an earlier blog I wrote on how to really hack the savings system .
This Blog, however isn’t about trying to convince you to invest. If you have read my previous blogs like “how to plan your income” and “inertia with your money “ is an active decision” then I am not sure this blog is going to convince you.
I do however want to talk about a principle that is EVERYWHERE. The concept of “low cost, high return” is an entrepreneur’s friend and I want you to start looking for it as it will change your life. I am going to give you 5 easy examples in addition to the investment principle above. Bear in mind that this blog is for fast growing entrepreneurs, and I am assuming you have a premium on your time. If you don’t then you need to understand this concept first and I recommend this blog
1) Hire a Personal/Virtual Assistant
The gig economy is everywhere. Switched on people have realised that the value of their time is more important than the time spent doing monotonous tasks like organising meetings, doing admin, even doing their personal finances (why do you think I have a job).
Tim Ferriss populised this big time in his book the 4 hour work week. Understand what tasks you can delegate in your week and give yourself time to think big and connect with the people that will help you to move closer to your big dreams
You can probably get 10 hours every month for around £250 with a really good VA and imagine what you could do with 10 hours back in your month if you look at is as growth time.
2) Look after yourself
It doesn’t cost much to go to the gym or even take yourself out for a walk during the day. We all know we should do it and life takes over, but one of the most common thing between successful people is that they incorporate some kind of wellbeing habit into their routine.
I am not going to quote the science but everyone knows that exercise gives you more energy and what you fuel your body with matters. Don’t make it a New Years resolution, make it part of your working routine to give yourself that time to work out or plan your meals for the week.
3) Spend time with people that matter - Business
They say your “Network is your Net Worth.” I haven’t seen anything personally to debunk this myth yet. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to connect with the right people. It just takes some of your time and an attitude of “I give a dam”. The return from this could be huge. Yes, you will have wasted meetings and kiss a few frogs but it takes time to build the right network. Once you have the right network, I have seen amazing collaboration amongst successful people.
The opportunities are endless if you manage to find raving fans for your business. They are almost working for you every hour of every day. Done the right way, this can create a huge return on your investment so don’t hide behind your laptop, get out and connect with the right people.
4) Spend time with people that matter - Personal
Don’t underestimate the return you will get from time off with friends and family. It might not result in any monetary returns - in fact if you have children it’s usually the opposite but the impact that poor household relationships can have is devastating. Stress is a silent enemy of a successful entrepreneur and the roots of this usually start at home.
A few hours in the working week with the kids, or a date night with your partner can really improve your state of mind and guess what happens when you have a good state of mind - you do awesome things.
Also, successful people take holidays and time off. I have been guilty of not doing this and it is something I am changing this year.
5) Take a Cold Shower every morning
I thought I would finish with a swerve ball but in 2016 I took a cold shower every morning. Weird I know but it’s just normal for me now. I can’t tell you why but I start the day better with a cold shower than I ever have. There is some loose science around this on the internet. It costs nothing to do this, but I have seen great results in my working week and my state of mind from it and would recommend to anyone.
Low Costs/High Returns are everywhere in your lifestyle if you start looking but it comes from that mindset of valuing your time and chasing the big things. The Pareto principle of 80/20 is embedded in society and it is time to understand what your 20% is as it will change the way you think. Go after the big things in business and life and cut the small issues and tasks out of your routine as a priority.
Anyway, I am off for my paternity for a few weeks as we say hello to a new munchkin!