When you become a business owner, you have to find ways to drastically reduce luxury spends so as to make your new professional life work. Here are the three luxuries that some friends of mine gave up to become entrepreneurs. There are things to learn from, everywhere. Read on to find your share here as well. Here’s how my friends went from living a luxury life to living luxury-lite.
Chief editor in a health magazine, aspiring to become an entrepreneur, my friend started a pet food store. She always loved exercising and had retained a gym membership most of her life, even as a college student. Once she started working and making good money, the gym memberships became high-end health club memberships. In Indian metros, these clubs are pretty fancy, offering top-of-the-line classes and personal trainers, gourmet food, spa treatments and so on. The health club membership fees were almost the cost of a vacation to Thailand. A crazy splurge, but for my friend, it was worth it. She worked very hard as the chief editor of the health magazine, and this luxury was for apparently a health investment for her. However, when she started her own pet food store, this membership was the first thing that she had to give away to save money and pay her new employees in her start up. Be prepared to forego such luxuries when you turn your dream business idea into a real one.
How to go luxury lite here? Taking care of your health is a necessity but a high-end gym membership is not. Be the keeper of my own workout. Walking and riding a bicycle are good options when it comes to burning calories. Add a Fitbit activity tracker and it’s like having a personal trainer again. Now my friend either rides her bicycle to work or walks up. The walk helps her clear her mind and riding any vehicle requires determined focus and is almost like meditation.
Going on one or two unplanned spontaneous vacations a year was standard practice for this investment banker friend of mine. He never doubted that his cushion of savings would deprive him of those nirvana-like vacations, when he decided to quit his high-paying job and become. Then dawned the numerous things that he had to take care of as an entrepreneur; paying 20 extra bills at his own office apart from the basic ones required to sustain his personal lives. That’s when he grudgingly stopped taking those unplanned solo; all that money was used as the seeding money for his business.
How to have a substitute for these get aways as a frugal entrepreneur?
Continue going on vacations, but plan in advance. That will help you save money and buy your share of enjoyment at the same time. With entrepreneurship comes great responsibility, bigger than Superman’s responsibilities and you better become a wiz planner. Planning is not equal to bring, however hard that is to believe for a 20-year old. Purchasing plane tickets months in advance and becoming a better negotiator for will buy you an inexpensive vacation and also polish your frugality skills. Most things are negotiable — all you have to do is ask.
When you are working in a professional setting, it’s important to look good. And while many enjoy shopping for clothes and bags; men included. Who does not like to look impeccable now? After all, they do say that dress for the position that you would like to attain at work and not for the one that you are currently at. The third friend of mine worked in an ad agency at that. She loved to dress up great when she went to meet her clients as the senior account planner. For that, she shopped at high-end designer stores and spent a huge sum of money every month. But when she started her own NGO to train municipal school teachers, this shopping had to stop. She did not need to dress up anymore. Not for the part of a senior account planner at least. Again, the responsibilities of an entrepreneur, an NGO owner at that, transformed her to separate “needs” from “wants.” She stopped the impulsive shopping to save money that she could fuel her work.
No more shopping in the stores for you. If you have chosen to become a successful entrepreneur without a gin supplying you tons of money every month, cut down on the “want-based” impulses. A frugal friendly store awaits the shopaholic entrepreneur in you: your closet. Over the years, you definitely must have accumulated enough clothes and accessories to take you through the initial struggle-heavy years of entrepreneurship. For the technology lovers happily spending on unnecessary techie delights, stop surfing the online marketplaces for new gizmos. Finding the next angel investor for your business would keep you busy enough. You don’t need that new iPhone anymore.
“Don’t get me wrong. I still miss certain luxuries from my old life, and while my former trainer argues that a personal trainer is not a luxury but a necessity, I know better” says the very wise and transformed entrepreneur friend of mine. Embrace the life lessons that entrepreneurship teaches. It’s easier said than done, but entrepreneurship training institutes like MIDAS help you with that. They show you the mirror that you refuse to see a lot of times. They tell you the consequences of all your choices and leave you to weed out the bad from the good. That journey is transformational. To enroll for yours, call us now.
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