Finances can be a difficult topic for solopreneurs, but failure in this area is not an option for a successful business. Gabe Nelson is a financial advisor who specializes in helping solopreneurs and small business owners handle that crucial financial side of their business.
In today’s episode, solopreneurs will learn how to start taking back control of their finances, their lives, and their businesses, to create the lifestyle they started a business to create in the first place.
You will also hear:
• Why going solo on finances usually ends with making a big mistake (and how a financial advisor can help).
• How to enjoy more freedom in your business by focusing on your strengths and building a team to handle the rest.
• Why you must value your time and charge what you’re worth.
• And one powerful non-money decision you should make to help ensure your business’ success.
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Solopreneur Success™ Transcript
SSP057 Managing Money as a Solopreneur with Gabe Nelson
The last thing you want to have is a job for the rest of your life. You could have had a job with less stress at the other places that you were working at before. You want this to be worth making the risk and the change so that you could have the life you want and the profits generally allow you to have the life that you want.
You’re listening to Certified Financial Planner Gabe Nelson. I know you didn’t start your own business just to build yourself another job, so handling money well will be crucially important in reaching your business goals. Today’s guest has been helping solopreneurs and very small business owners – folks whose business and personal budgets are often closely intertwined – get their financial house in order for years. And in a moment, you’re going to hear some of Gabe’s best financial advice for solopreneurs because Gabe is today’s guest on Solopreneur Success.
Welcome to the Solopreneur Success™ podcast, where successful business owners gather to share true stories and sound advice to help you start and grow your own solopreneur business. Come soar with us and design the life you love. Now, here’s your host, Steve Coombes.
Hello, solopreneurs. Today, I’m interviewing certified financial planner Gabe Nelson, founder of Gabe Nelson Financial, where he’s largely served solopreneurs and small business professionals, and is now the recently published author of The Solopreneur’s Money Manifesto, and as you probably guessed, today we’re going to talk about the crucial topic of money. Your money is important. This is going to be good. I’m looking forward to this conversation. Been looking forward to having Gabe on for a few years now and finally making it happen. Gabe, welcome to the show.
Thank you very much, Steve. I’m excited to be here.
Yeah. It was funny when I first met you, Gabe, you hadn’t had a book out yet. This is a pretty recent book, which is awesome. So, as we were talking right before the show, this is great timing because I want to get our audience to know about your book and what you do because money is a topic that many people don’t like to talk about, and it’s crucial. Before we get there, though, today, I want to just give you an opportunity to maybe share with our audience, how did you get into the financial world and especially how did you get to the point where solopreneurs and small business professionals became your primary audience? What was it about that group of people that made it the right audience for you to serve?
Well, I’ll take the first part of it and then I’ll add on the “how did I end up with solopreneurs?” I came into the industry right out of college, 23 years of age, moved to a new town, didn’t know anybody other than the people I went to college with, and the thing I knew is my wife wanted to be in this town, this is where her family was. I will figure something out. I had a taste of self-employment in college, and jumped into the insurance side of the game in the very beginning, and started building a business back when I was 23 years old, and getting going.
Long story short, I had a few iterations of that and worked my way into management, figured out I’m a terrible manager of the people, and decided to go back into what I would call the field, and then morphed into having my own financial advisory firm in 2008. In 2008, I left this big firm, I’ve got my own practice, and the greatest financial crisis that we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes, at least I’m 50 years of age, hits. 45 days later, Lehman goes bankrupt, so we’re dealing with the stock market going crazy, the economy going crazy, oil’s through the roof, got all kinds of stuff happening, and here I am trying to build my business and survive. So, I did. I survived. I let my two staff people go.
I basically did everything that every entrepreneur does to survive, used every bit of money that I had to keep going, and basically kept building my business and growing, and building and growing, and finally got to a point where, like most entrepreneurs, I got up to a point where I was running my business really, really well, and I was working half-time, having fun, doing my thing, but I was really starting to get bored with my practice. This is about four or five years ago, so I started to do things that entrepreneurs do. One, I tried to play golf three days a week, and that got boring. Two, I started to break stuff just so I could fix it, and three, I finally was like, “OK, I’ve got to figure out another way.”
So, I hired a coach and got involved with a coaching program for financial advisors, and just was enlightened by all the other advisors in the coaching of the different things in ways that you could go about running your business for financial advisors, and in an exercise, sat down and looked at my clientele, and said “who do I really really like working with and who do I want to work with for the rest of my career?” So, I listed them. I listed them all out and the common characteristic of all of them was, they were all solopreneurs or husband and wife teams, or very small businesses. One owner with one or two employees, two owners with a couple of employees, and I was like “that’s where I’ve got to go because that’s where I have the most fun, most value that I can provide,” and that’s when I discovered this word of solopreneur probably about four or five years ago, so that’s what landed me here.
I think I answered the question. Went all the way through for you to get you there, and give you an idea of where we are.
Yeah, and it’s funny, you said something that I just have to kind of call back to, even though it wasn’t really specific to financials, whatever, but this is something that I’ve noticed in my own businesses, especially my first one in writing, that we hit a point as entrepreneurs where we get bored with what we’re doing, and I was like “where is the excitement at?” When you’re first growing something new, I find that it’s very common among entrepreneurs, is we get bored super easy. We’re attracted to this shiny object syndrome. What’s the next big thing?
If you’re not careful, I know that that’s something, at least for me, that you can allow it to draw you away from your core business strengths, and you’re chasing rabbits. You’re not making any real progress in your business, and it can lead you to a downfall in your business if you’re not careful. I’m glad you said that because that’s something I’ve seen a lot of times, including myself. So, you’re you’re working now with solopreneurs, and I love that because, of course obviously, I work with solopreneurs as well. We had a lot of affinity there. Working with solopreneurs compared to bigger clients, because I believe you work with bigger clients often when you were in the corporate world, what do you think is the biggest difference between the big client and and the folks like us, small business owners, what’s the real difference do you think, obviously besides maybe portfolio size, what else do you think is different in your approach between the two?
Well, the difference between let’s say, I’ll call it a W2 employee who’s working at a corporation and then what I would call a solopreneur, the biggest difference is the business supports everything, so not only do you have to, in the financial planning piece of it, account for their personal planning, their cash flow, and their goals and objectives, but you’ve got to really think about what’s going on with the business and the cash flow of the business, and you’ve got to protect the business so that it continues to protect the house, we’ll call it, so that’s what drew me to that niche is just, it’s so fun to deal with all of the different intricacies of the financial planning that has to do with the business end and the personal, because it’s all intermixed.
Whereas, your average financial advisor that’s just happy to take your money and invest it, they don’t spend the time to truly get an understanding of the full financial impact of business decisions to personal decisions, personal decisions to business decisions, and then what I found is there’s not a whole lot of people that are really truly specialized in soloprneuers and the competition is knocking on every solopreneur’s door, where when I used to work with a lot of physicians, everybody has a neighbor who’s a financial advisor, and all those neighbors are always knocking on the door and say “hey, let me have a chance. Let me have a chance,” and then you start getting into the price competition and you start getting into the he said, she said, and the things that come as a result of it.
What I found is, if you specialize in an area, which then takes us down to the whole idea of the niche, and really truly understand everything about what a solopreneur has to go through, which is so much different and more complicated than a regular W2 employee, it just starts to differentiate yourself and provides so much more value to the client.
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