How to Make it in Business with a Pumpkin and Ballroom Dance Lessons
Chris Miles interview with Capital Hacking
About Chris Miles
Chris Miles, a Cash Flow expert and anti-financial advisor, is a leading authority for teaching entrepreneurs and business professionals how to get their money working for them today instead of in the future, or after retirement. A podcast host and author, Miles is regularly featured on US News, CNN money, and the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast. Co-author of “Entrepreneur on Fire” with John Lee Dumas, Chris explains in order to rise above the status quo, you have to do something different. The more cashflow you make in business and real estate, the more profit you make, and thus, the higher you can sell it for.
Chris Miles’ Entrepreneurial Journey
Chris caught the entrepreneurial bug in college when inspired by the real-world experience, stories and knowledge his professors shared with young minds. A sociology business major and triple minor in psychology, japanese, and ballroom dancing with only one paper left to write in his last semester, Chris dropped out of college.
He wanted to control his destiny, time, money, and let no one else dictate that for him, so took a one year hiatus to become a financial advisor and start his own business. Rolling forward two years later, Chris saw none of his clients were financially free. A friend and fellow financial advisor moved into the world of real estate, doubling his income in just four months .
Sounding too good to be true, Chris and his friend looked at the realities. At one point, his friend asked, “Chris, just how many of your clients are actually financially free?” Chris’s honest answer was blunt, “None. None of the investments we recommend lead them to financial freedom.”
The friend replied: “If you’re serious, there’s this AM talk radio show these real estate investors put on. You should listen to it, then get Robert Kiyosaki’s book ‘Who Took My Money?’” After tuning in and reading the book, Chris admitted the financial advising world doesn’t work.
After quitting his business and vowing never to teach about money again, Chris began working in the world of mortgage broking, between teaching ballroom dancing at university. Still bothered by the prospect of not being financially free; he saw 20 and 30-somethings who were financially free, and wanted this life too.
One of the guys Chris was working with asked if he liked doing mortgages. While enjoying teaching people and the end result, Chris hated the paperwork. If you look at any process, money follows the value you can provide.
Why follow a recurring mindset if the greatest return can be found by doing it differently and show the greater value we can offer? Diving into this idea Chris saw his true talent wasn’t in paperwork, so why not just find someone who does like doing the paperwork.
Chris partnered with someone who enjoyed the paperwork, and split his fees with him. By becoming an affiliate he could earn $1k-$1.5k per consultation and turn this into a referral system. In a short time, he was making $4-5K a month working only three to four hours a week.
In 2007, Chris began teaching people how to do this, and invest in real estate to bring in additional streams of income. In a $1.1 million dollar hole when recession hit, with no money and no credit, he needed a way out.
Chris’s strategy was to divest some aspects of the business and broaden his offering by introducing monthly memberships and online products, and buying also managed properties, an excellent source of passive income.
By working affiliate in a way where money follows the value you can provide, Chris established residual streams of income, such as real estate and – by the end of 2016 – was back in the black. Chris achieved what his friend did in four months – it just took two tries to figure out.
In business, you need two incomes, residual and passive. Residual is money coming into the business via the systems you have created. The affiliate business Chris and his paperwork loving partner created is an example of this. Passive income is revenue your money makes for you. Most businesses have multiple streams of residual business income that make millions of dollars, but if you’re still hustling, you’re stuck in the rat race.
Pumpkins and Business
Chris was influenced by Mike Michalowicz’s book “The Pumpkin Plan”, which talks about how gardeners create huge prize-winning squashes by pruning smaller pumpkins from the vine.
With smaller fruit gone, the plant’s focus is to send all its toward that one pumpkin.
The business world is similar, with most organizations generating the bulk of their income from one or two revenue streams – 80 percent of your income comes from 20 percent of productivity.
Changes to Chris’s life saw him pruning his own financial pumpkin and reset his financial life. By cutting out network and speaking engagements, Chris had more time to focus on residual and passive streams of income. The result: making 10-15k a month, and retirement aged 39.
Your business is your #1 investment. This should be your first focus. But you can’t just be reinvesting your money into your business – you’ll become a slave to it. You have to get yourself out of the rat race. To do this, you need to create other income streams and investments that don’t take your attention away from your business.
Chris’ Strategies to get out of the Rat Race
If you have a mortgage, the first step to get out of the rat race is to refinance your mortgage, or get it reviewed. You’ll be able to open your financial options and figure out how your money can work for you. Once you’ve learned this, you can stop the hustle we’re taught is the status quo and escape the rat race.
Conclusion: You can never Save your Way to Wealth
If you’re reading this as you plan a retirement strategy, you need to consider two things:
- Your business investments, and
- An alternative space outside your business, such as real estate or franchise options.
Ultimately, it is about what kind of cash flow income you want your money to deliver, and how you can get it to really work for you.
Analysis: Even if you are buying into Wall Street and mutual funds and they’re doing well, how much have you actually earned? Check the numbers, it’s less than you think as you can’t create a passive income from the markets. Talk to your fund manager and find a way out.
On the other hand, if you’ve bought into alternative investments or real estate assets, you’re absolutely able to create passive income streams and emerge from the status quo.