OPINION – Receiving sound financial training as we matured was not so typical in many of the families, schools and neighborhoods we live and lived in. Many of our parents received even less of that training than we did.
We often grew up to model our parents in their inability to manage finances. I remember so clearly bill collectors calling and even knocking on the door of our home when I was a young girl and my mom telling me to tell them that she wasn’t home.
The stress of not being able to meet the obligation of creditors grew on me at a very early age.
That inability to manage finances however does not stop us from dreaming. Dreaming of becoming successful entrepreneurs.
Owners of our own businesses and destiny. But that lack of ability to manage our finances will inevitably lead to failure.
Failure to fully realize our dream of a robust and sustained business.
There are many moving parts to realizing the dream of a successful business and I will over the next few months concentrate on some of those moving parts and hopefully offer some ideas on how one might avoid the pitfalls leading to failure in realizing your dreams. No doubt, some of the pitfalls are out of one’s control, but having that solid financial foundation could offer you the options to implement Plan B or even C when Plan A doesn’t work out.
We cheat ourselves of our dreams when we refuse to seek out the tools and resources available to us. They exist. Sometimes, we have to just get out of our own way and first acknowledge that there just might be things we don’t know. We don’t know what we don’t know, but at the very least acknowledging that fact could lead us to those paths providing answers.
First, let’s find a way to learn to manage our personal finances. First rule of thumb: stop spending beyond your means. If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it. And don’t pay for it at the expense of another need already in existence. One of the mistakes we make is having the money at hand and fooling ourselves into thinking we can afford to pay for that “want” knowing full well that money should be allocated to paying for our “need” instead. This very same principle will apply to that dream you’re calling your business. Learning discipline at this very fundamental level will allow you some freedom to create and build.
The resources in your area that can help you with this very first step in financial freedom can come in the form of your banking institution, financial planners and investors, nonprofit agencies that focus on finance and even your local Chambers of Commerce.
Set your pride aside and don’t be afraid to ask for help in getting on the right financial track. You are not alone. You have more company than you might think. There are far too many of us ill prepared to enjoy a sense of financial comfort or freedom.
Your business can serve many if it’s developed correctly from the beginning and established in a way that it will provide you the ability to sustain and support those you’ve chosen to serve. It’s never too late to learn how. Take your time, not shortcuts. And find the resources that will help drive your success.
By Azizza Goines
Azizza Davis Goines, President and CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, serves the mission of her Chamber by assuring member businesses will benefit through services the Chamber offers that help them to sustain and increase their revenues. She can be reached at (916) 231-0416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce online at www.sacblackchamber.org.