2018 in Review

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As we come to the end of the year 2018, I have spent a little time reflecting on the last 12 months. This was in part sparked by a radio segment/podcast I did recently with Reuben Zelwer for J-Air where he asked me for my three top tips. I gave him six.

For me, this has been a year of driving financial fitness and a year of learning how to be a startup founder. Both in equal parts have been transformative. I have tried to distil my learnings into three each and would welcome comments and thoughts.

Let's start with financial fitness. This is a term I have defined as "A person’s ability to make confident money decisions resulting in financial security for the now and the future." Financial fitness impacts people's livelihoods, happiness & health and lack of financial fitness is the number one cause of stress in the workplace (costing Australian companies $47 billion p.a.).

Top three tips to get financially fit

  1. Be the driver of your money - Ayn Rand says “money is only a tool, it will take you wherever you wish but will not replace you as the driver”. If you take one thing away it is to be the driver of your money. This means set goals and let your money work for you to achieve these goals.

  2. Unintentionally save intentionally - What this means is to set your money up so that you are saving for that goal without even thinking about it.  There are a variety of 'solutions' to help you including offset, saving and investment accounts - depending on your situation and risk appetite.

  3. Finally - be prepared for the unexpected and inevitable - We are all going to die and we all hope to retire. things you don’t expect to happen, sometimes do. How do you best position your future self now.

If you are an aspiring startup founder, here are some lessons I have learnt that will hopefully help you on your travels.

Top three tips for startup founders

  1. Get over sunk cost bias and listen to what the data/your customers are telling you - regardless of how much effort (time/money/resources) you put into a 'product', if your target customers are either not engaging with it, not purchasing it or don't like it - rip the bandaid off fast and move on. The faster you move on, the less time you will waste & closer you can get to the nirvana of product-market fit.

  2. Seek mentors with unique skillsets/knowledge who can support you - for me particularly as a solopreneur, I have been so lucky to have a few incredible world-class individuals that have been so generous with their time and advice. Without them, I have to say I would be months behind where I am today.

  3. Have the courage to make a difference. For me, I have found a problem that I am so passionate about that I have been OK to put myself outside of my own comfort zone to try and make a difference - and have learnt a huge amount in the process.

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Contact Irit at irit.harris@f-empowered.com.au