Invest Like a Millionaire-Part III 8/5/07

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Invest Like a Millionaire-Part III 8/5/07

Stewart H. Welch III, CFP, AEP
Founder, The Welch Group, LLC

Invest Like a Millionaire-Part III

“Investing Like a Millionaire- Part III”



More self-made multimillionaires use business ownership as their road to riches than any other strategy.  Investment real estate uses the power of financial leverage to create its advantage but business ownership uses something far more powerful—people.  By harnessing the power of talented people, you can literally move mountains.  Here are some of the keys to creating a multimillion dollar business.


  • Start with your passion.  It’s possible to succeed in a dull business but my experience is that the most successful business owners are those who love their business and are passionate about their services or products.
  • Build it to sell it.  Most people who own their own business are not highly successful because they ‘are’ the business.  In other words, the successful operation of the business is totally dependent upon them running the day-to-day operations.  Often they are the chief operation manager, marketing manager and financial manager.  What they have really done is create a job for themselves; a job that often requires their attention 60 to 80 hours per week.  The alternative is to build a business that works for you, ideally, with minimal time required on your part.  This frees you up to spend time working ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ your business or allows you to build another business.  The key to success here is to systematize every recurring function in the business.  This is done through development of a systems operations manual.  This is easier to do than you might think.  At my company, each person wrote a detailed description of his or her job functions.  Our Chief Operations Officer then ‘tested’ each section to validate that a new employee could easily follow the system.  We attached financial incentives to successful completion for each employee as well as ongoing incentives to keep the system updated.  The initial project took approximately twelve months. 
  • Hire the best people.  One of the biggest mistakes I find many business owners make is hiring marginal people.  It’s human nature to hire people whom we think we can ‘fix’.  But this is rarely the case.  In fact, your best course of action is to check your ego at the door and hire people who are smarter than you are; clearly outline your expectation for them and then get out of their way.  Avoid micro-management.  Yes, maybe you can do it better than they can, but then you lose the leverage of that person and you will find it impossible to keep top quality people. 
  • Model your way to success.  The fastest path to success is to find someone who has gone before you and achieved a high level of success and do what they did.  Most people are generous by nature and are willing to help if you ask.  Some may even be willing to mentor you. 
  • Stay close.  One highly successful businessman I met decades ago gave me advice I never forgot.  He said, “Stay close to your people, customers and numbers.” What he meant was to have systems in place that allow you to monitor your employees and customers happiness as well as closely monitor your financial statements including your Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement and Balance Sheet.  All of this can be done with minimal time and effort on your part.