For a bit you all are going to hear about some of the wonderful things that I am learning about with my EntreLeadership stuff :)
2005 was the year I started learning appraising. This license requires a number of experience hours. My first mentor didn't pay me, which was our agreement. She didn't really need any help at the time. But she was going to train me and allow me to bring my two small children with me to her house to work. It was a good trade for me to get my foot in the door. Since I wasn't getting paid, I worked evenings/nights at a different job for money.
The set up was working. But it obviously wasn't ideal. I started looking around and found an ad for someone looking for a trainee. I was so excited! I could work from home with the kiddos AND get paid. The big problem was that I needed to have the appraisal software on my computer. And it was expensive. At that time, I went to the bank and took out a personal loan to afford the software on my computer. So my first several checks went to payback the personal loan.
In 12 years, that is the only time I've borrowed money for this company. With the appraisal business running well, the start up of the Ethos West brokerage was much easier financially. I didn't even need to entertain a thought of borrowing money. And we are just going onward and upward.
For awhile I was discussing buying a building for the brokerage. There is one that I like and may someday go after. I'll be honest, the thought of taking out a loan for a building was not sitting well with me. I don't like overhead. And I don't want it. One day if the building of my dreams go up for sale, I hope it will be at a time when I have the cash available!
Listening to my EntreLeadership video session tonight, they were spitting out all sorts of stats about small businesses start-ups and failing due to debt. I am so thankful that somehow with all the bad money decisions that I've made over the years; somehow I didn't screw the business up too! My life would be completely different on so many levels if I had financed things and not had a good plan for the down times.
Another big issue for small businesses was budgeting for taxes. I will admit to this one. This has been a huge hurdle for me. 2016 taxes were the first ones in many, many years where I budgeted well. So at least I'm improving in this area!
Tonight I am thankful for my businesses operating for over 10 years with no debt at all. I am very blessed to be in low overhead industries. So, I'm thankful for that too!