That time of year is coming up… fast! Are you feeling the pressure of buying, BUYing, BUYING? Well, let’s get to the crunch here. You don’t have to if you don’t want to or can’t!

Really? Yes. And let’s find out more.

You may have already heard that Alex Rodriguez has a new series Back in the Game which premieres on CNBC. The show follows Rodriguez as he helps professional athletes and entertainers get their money back on track after experiencing financial distress.

You may not be a professional athlete nor an entertainer, however, you are an ultra-hip small business owner and despite your best efforts, sometimes that bottom line bottoms out! Am I right?

So I was thrilled that someone like A-Rod was willing to reach out to the rich who found themselves needing support about their personal financial bottom lines. Scrambling for money isn’t reserved for a select few, it’s a universal habit!

Alex said in a recent Forbes online newsletter interview, “Being in the industry for over 25 years now, I’ve seen so many great people that were teammates of mine, colleagues of mine, people in sports that have gone from rags to riches to hard times again,” Rodriguez says. “We saw it as an opportunity to actually do something about it and walk the walk.”

Hey, just to let you know, I too have been in the industry of finance for over 25 years, and I’ve seen many great people struggle paycheque to paycheque. What’s more, their personal financial situations mirror their businesses. That alone was a surprise and actually explained what Rodriguez discovered: that even the ultrarich lose sight of common sense in revenue and expenses.

A-Rod then shared his top Money Tips for Financial Success.

To summarize, he listed:

  1. Knowledge is power.
    He says, “The best investment you can make is in yourself,” Rodriguez says. “Educate yourself any way you can with knowledge, education, a coach—understand the markets and be financially literate. Knowledge is power.”
  2. Surround yourself with the right people.
    You want people in your court that understand you are doing your best to keep your head above debt water and don’t want to go out, or shop with you, or worse, invite you over for dinner when they are saving for themselves. Surround yourself with supportive, loving, caring people.
  3. Be proactive, not reactive.
    The Federal Reserve put out a report that four in ten Americans don’t have the cash to pay for an unexpected expense without selling a belonging or borrowing funds. Almost half don’t have $400 to cover unexpected financial emergencies. How about your business? Do you have the revenue to put back into the business? Do you have that extra cash(flow) to cover any unexpected or necessary expense?
  4. It’s not How Much you Make, It’s How Much you Save.
    A major lesson Rodriguez teaches participants in Back in the Game is to put money away for their future. I think you’ve heard this before, right? I’ve said it over and over to many! And most of the time I get rolled eyes, guffaws, and disbeliefs. This is (in my opinion) the most important aspect of success in personal and business plans. I always suggest save a minimum of 10% – increase this as you build the reserve. Your retirement is critical especially when the time comes you no longer generate income.

I have to share this. Many of the people I work with have worked most of their lives and receive paycheques. Here in Canada, it’s an automatic contribution by employee and employer portions adding into pension plans. At the age of 60+, seniors get at least $1,000 per month pensions.

However, small business owners do not have that luxury. Because they are owners, they do not pay into the automatic pension plans and therefore, at the retirement stage, do not have the $1,000 per month coming to them. They have to fund their own retirement and most of the time it’s through long term investments.

If you don’t plan for the future, the future will plan something you don’t want!

Here’s a radical idea: if you love spending money more than you love to keep it, how about next time you have an urge to buy that pretty blouse, that new purse, that latest iPhone or update your living room furniture, instead you take that same amount and invest it. Go to your local bank, your investment strategist, even your accountant or bookkeeper and get the information! Seriously, you’re now spending for your future and not into that black hole when it’s torn, broken or gone!

  1. Always Know the Bottom Line.
    It doesn’t matter how much you earn, if you don’t monitor what’s going out vs what’s coming in, you will suffer an undesirable consequence. Hence, cashflow! Small business owners fail to check their financial statements on a regular basis. They don’t know how much came in and how much is going out. A lot of times, the expenses are automatic and even though they look periodically in a bank account, that account doesn’t show what else will come out at the end of the month, or how many payables are outstanding.

“One of the things we always talk about is knowinging your numbers, and I watch the bottom line every month,” Rodriguez says. “And I do that with the company that we own, I do that with our management team, our real estate—and I also do that for my own personal life. No one can do that for you—you need to do it yourself.”

There are a lot of resources out there. And most of them rant and rave about budgets, planning, and saving. But most of any rant goes on deaf ears. Right? Who wants to be screeched and preached at?

I want to change that for you. I developed a Cashflow online course that takes you gently by the hand and gives you ideas and methods to increase money and decrease expenses for your small business. Heck, it works for personal situations as well. It’s not rocket science, and you don’t need an accounting degree to understand.

All you need are 15 minutes a day and you will recognize if you’re headed down a dark hole or the sun is shining brightly on your business future! Take Alex’s #1 advice to heart: Knowledge is Power and go ahead, study up on how to generate Cash flow!

Check out the course details here and make your mind up to make the new year your best ever:

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