These entrepreneurs make millions of dollars, but they wouldn’t be worth what they are now without these financial strategies. We asked them for the best piece of financial advice they had to offer to another entrepreneur.
Here’s what they said.
You don’t need to just get rich. You need to get super rich. Entrepreneurs need to stop thinking about $80,000 or $800,000. Think millions—north of $20 million. The definition of entrepreneur is someone who puts their money at risk to make more money. Entrepreneurs need to redefine what “more money” means. —Grant Cardone, top sales expert who has built a $500 million real estate empire, NYT bestselling author of Be Obsessed or Be Average, and host of The Cardone Zone; follow Grant on Facebook or YouTube
Some investors have so much money to invest that they push their entrepreneurs to spend the money to "scale.” My advice: raise their money, but don't use it unless you know that every dollar spent brings in five. If you aren’t spending for at least a 5X return, you should be saving for a rainy day. —Tim Draper, founding partner of DFJ
Money is made to be spent. Don’t desperately try to hold onto it like it’s scarce, otherwise you’ll miss opportunities that can change your $1 into $10. Pick your best shots, plunk down your money and take a chance on it. Don't hang onto too much money. It has very limited utility just sitting in a bank account. Spend it and see how far it can take you! —Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and one of the Sharks on Shark Tank
Mentally divide your financial strategy into two parts: positive cash flow and owning long-term wealth-creating assets. Don’t mix them together like many people do.
To create positive cash flow, you must have a skill that’s relatively rare and in-demand. Positive monthly cash flow doesn’t have to be that much; it just needs to be enough to survive and not stress you out. Then you can be patient with your long-term wealth-creating assets because you have the cash flow.
For example, a lot of people buy real estate just to “flip” the properties, which is fine if your full-time business is the real estate flipping game. But if you ask Warren Buffett, the real way to create long-term wealth in real estate and the stock market is via a “buy and hold” strategy. You buy solid businesses and real estate with solid rentals, hold them for a long time and let compound interest (which Albert Einstein said is the eighth wonder of the world) work on your behalf. —Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses who has built an eight-figure online empire; connect with Tai on Facebook or Snapchat
Learn to invest early. Budget a portion of your income to automatically be deposited into an investment account with the lowest monthly fees. Once the account pools up to make your first few investments, get started right away. Most entrepreneurs make good money but never put money to work for them. I only work for money to use it to acquire assets and have the money work tirelessly for me. Passive income is the only way to being wealthy. High earnings won't change the future, only passive income with consistent growth eventually offsets all your living costs and gives you a high quality of life. — Com Mirza, CEO of Fitness Expo Dubai and "The $500 Million Man"; failed in eight companies back-to-back and today runs a nine-figure empire with more than 600 employees
If you don’t change, you won’t survive the ever-changing business world. That doesn’t just include new technology or a new advertising model, but also the business model, which has always been the core of failures in businesses. Kodak failed to evolve, Betamax failed to evolve. Inevitably they all fall down. —Jay Georgi, founder of Nadvia and operations / management / profits-retention coach
Success has a formula: you must focus on what is in front of you. Human nature is immutable and we all are programmed to avoid a loss. It's common to fear the unknown future of entrepreneurship. My focus strategy is to build from the ground up. As the son of a contractor, you learn that the building is only as strong as the foundation. In my practice, delivering solutions that directly save individual employees thousands of dollars creates an indirect savings of millions of dollars for the organization. We benefit everyone in the organization indirectly by focusing on how to improve the financial well-being of individual employees and their families. —Craig Lack, CEO of ENERGI and creator ofPerformance Based Health Plans®
Hire the best talent you can find for your company, who will become extensions of you. It's OK to invest in good salaries if that’s what it takes to get the right team player. Invest in people and don’t think small. You’ll only grow with the right people. To be the best, you must hire and nurture the best. —Manny Khoshbin, president of The Khoshbin Company and author ofContrarian PlayBook; arrived in America at 14 nearly homeless and now has a nine-figure net worth; follow Manny’s incredible adventures on Instagram
Entrepreneurs are naturally enthusiastic and see the very best possible outcome. They don’t need encouragement. However, they don’t often know the numbers. They’re so focused on their outcome that they don’t see the lag time and the cash flows required to maintain the process. They also don’t bank the money, but spend it before they have earned it. Have a really good accounts team that gives accurate, timely, effective information so you can make great decisions, create the leadership required as an entrepreneur and, ultimately, true and consistent success. —Roy McDonald, founder and CEO of OneLife
Turnover is vanity. Profit is sanity. Cash flow is reality. Focus on profitability and remember that cash flow is the lifeblood of business. Have strong cash management strategies in place at all times, including: minimizing cash tied up in the operating cycle (receivables outstanding and inventory held); increasing gross margins where possible; negotiating extended payment terms; holding cash reserves; and having bank or other credit facilities available for times of cash flow crisis. —Adèle McLay, business growth consultant, author, and speaker
Spend as much time as you can feeling like you have all the money you need or desire to take your business to the next level. Be positive about your finances. Like Roy said, find a good accountant and bookkeeper—someone who can speak your language. Finance has a different vocabulary, but a good accountant will be able to communicate with you so that you understand. — Katrina Palandri, cofounder and CFO of AEG Investments
Obtain definitive timelines and firm costs when you are outsourcing work. Determine who is responsible for overages and what the remedies are for missing the target you establish. I have found that it is so much better to have an understanding now, than a misunderstanding later. — Jon Braddock, founder and CEO of My Life & Wishes
Want to share your insights like those above in a future column? If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, please get in touch here.
Want to suggest a future topic for these entrepreneurs to answer? Email email@example.com and it’s very possible we’ll make your suggestion the focus of a future article!