“When the economy tanked, I was forced to come out of retirement and work as a taxi driver.”
Photo: Visit Puppies Are Prozac for a dose of adorable, funny animal photos to chase the grumpies away.
Readers’ Questions Answered:
“You mentioned being better at the business side of things, but what did you do to help your husband make more money in the same, or less, time? ~Gregg
My husband is a third-generation construction tradesman. During his twenties, my husband worked as an employee for hourly wages, earning $20,000 to $35,000 annually. Meanwhile, his boss made several times as much revenue off of my husband’s efforts.
At age 30, my husband quit his job, affixed a rooftop rack onto an old Econoline van and became his own boss. After a year or two, his annual net income climbed to $60,000 before leveling off. He was on the right track, but for the hours he worked, he wasn’t earning what he could.
I had spent my twenties bootstrapping a couple of small businesses. I loved the creative process, the networking, the number crunching. After selling my businesses, I reviewed his business operations and found inefficiencies. My husband is an excellent tradesman with fantastic people skills; however, the math and minutiae of business management wasn’t his strong suit. Thankfully that’s where I shine so we joined forces and doubled the plumbing business’ annual net income to $120,000 the following year.
My husband is awesome with mechanical problem-solving and people; I have a talent for brainstorming ideas, analytical problem-solving, and implementing a sound plan. My husband and I both have different strengths that we bring to the table and together, we make a great team.
Statistically, the majority of millionaires are self-employed business owners. But it’s difficult for one entrepreneur to wear all the hats. Stick to what you’re best at doing and get help with the rest.
I’ve been outsourcing various tasks since I was 14 years old. My two siblings and I hated spending our weekends off from school cleaning the house, so the three of us pitched in equal shares from the money we earned from babysitting / paper-routes / dog-walking to hire a weekly housecleaner. Since we were better at our after-school jobs than we were at cleaning house, it made sense for us to do so.
I still use a housecleaner; I have a bookkeeper who comes to our home weekly to pay our bills, balance our checking accounts, file papers and send correspondence; and I just hired a personal assistant to help me tackle other tasks I’m not good at or don’t enjoy doing myself. When we’re really pressed for time (like after we returned home from China with our new daughter), we hire someone to stock our freezer with ready-to-cook meals. We hire subcontractors to do the work we aren’t good at — or don’t want to do — for our various businesses, too.
Outsourcing allows my husband and I to wear the hat that fits us best. As a result, we make more money AND have more free time to enjoy it!
You can read more of my tips (and others’) on outsourcing in a recent interview by US News and World Report.
“What are your favorite personal finance books?” ~Kelly
Here are my top 3 all-time favorite books:
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
- Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of Americas Wealthy
Click on the following categorized lists to view more books I like:
Books That Changed My Life (Highly Recommended)
Personal Finance Software
Raising Money-Savvy Kids
Self-Employment, Small Business
Simple Living, Saving Money, Frugality
These titles are offered at Amazon but many of the titles can be found at your local library, too. Shop at Amazon.com from my store link and I’ll use my referral fees to help small businesses operated by working, impoverished women through Kiva.org.
Online articles that captured my attention this week:
What If You Don’t Plan to Retire? Save Anyhow! @ Get Rich Slowly
Why It Could Take Years to Recover @ The Motley Fool
New HGTV show gives homeowners the cold truth @SFGate
(photo by ff137)