Hitting the newsstand last week, teen pop-star Justin Bieber was on the cover of Forbes Magazine…
The article about Bieber, who just turned 18 this year, highlighted his entrepreneurial side, discussing his business savvy and how he is personally involved in growing his business beyond his music.
Since his debut three years ago Bieber has grossed $150 million. His fragrance, Someday, did $60 million in retail sales during its first six months on the market. Those income streams helped Bieber personally earn an estimated $55 million over the past 12 months and $108 million over the past two years.
Combing his tech savvy, his social influence and his fast money, the article said Bieber is working on translating this to enduring wealth by investing millions into private start-up companies. Even more impressive, is the fact that he began on this path three years ago when he first hit the music scene.
And according to his manager, he now owns stakes in a dozen tech companies such as gaming outfit Sojo Studios and Spotify, the disruptive music service founded by Daniel Ek. He also meets with his business manager and lawyer each week to learn about business and managing his career.
So he’s 18 years old and making a ton of money from his singing career and merchandise. He’s already so busy touring and making appearances and selling cologne and merchandise. He’s released a new album and going on an intense worldwide tour next year worth an estimated 80 million to him. Why not wait until he is older, seasoned and has more time?
This is what most people do. Wait that is.
And it’s a HUGE mistake.
A key success principle I teach clients is: simultaneous, not sequential. Most people are conditioned starting in early childhood to try progressing in strict linear fashion, in single, sequential steps.
You crawl up the steps, on after the other. School, sports, the Scouts, etc. all have participants advancing from one level to the next to the next.
Regrettably, this best prepares people to be drones in corporate or government bureaucracies—not to be entrepreneurial creators of their own realities. And, often, people fatigue from sequential progress long before getting anywhere.
For example, most people approach finances sequentially: first, get a job and income; then get a car, house, stuff; then start saving, whatever’s left-over; then start investing only after accumulating enough savings to make it worthwhile; then manage investments for financial security—but hardly anybody goes that full journey.
Arnold Schwarzenegger famously began diverting income into real estate before he even had a place of his own rented, while moving from friend’s apartment to friend’s apartment, sleeping on their couches. Imagine, a homeless real estate investor! And ultimately, a very wealthy property owner.
At bare minimum, the correct approach is a set percentage of all gross income to savings from day one.
So the overriding principle here is to work on present and future simultaneously, not sequentially, like Bieber. And please note: there’s no law of sequential. What you want to do is drag the future toward you in the present, not wait to catch up to it at some distant time and place.
Another, linked principle incidentally is: start before you are ready. Whatever it is you think you’ll do someday, do something to start now, even if you aren’t ready. Do you think Bieber was ready to make business decisions at age 15? Probably not. But he did anyway and invested in both finding people who could help him and in learning how to do it himself.
The great copywriter, my friend Gary Halbert said, “motion beats meditation.” General Norm Schwarzkopf, who I worked with on a multi-city speaking tour for 2 years even insisted that starting in the wrong direction is better than not starting; that course correction once in motion is easier than starting in the first place.
The best structure for setting up a simultaneous business strategy is to have 3 columns: the first column is for your “Now & Short-Term Goals”, the second column is your “Soon & Medium-Term” (3-5 years Forward) and the third column is your Future & Long-Term Goals (5-10 years Forward).
Activities are then organized into what can be done or at least started now, for all three columns. For example, for column #1, an owner of a local business might go speak at small, local business groups, network, personally prospect to get clients, customers or patients that do not fit his Medium-Term or Long-Term vision of his business at all but may pay the light bill this week, while simultaneously devoting some time every day (even 15 minutes) to writing his promotional book he’ll get into print and begin using in 3 years and simultaneously devoting some time every day to pursuing relationships with thought-leaders in selected industries he intends on specializing in, 5 years or further into the future.
Only by working in all three columns every day is progress for the 2nd and 3rd assured and the future drug toward the present, rather than pushed away, potentially forever.
The Forbe’s article on Bieber ends by saying that perhaps “someday Bieber will live well not from the songs he sings but the assets they let him buy into.” Get clear about where you want to go. Start working on your 3, 5, 7 and 10 year goals each day. When you do, you too can one day live the future you buy into starting today.