Patrick at Cash Money Life wrote that our greatest asset is an intangible, i.e. our ability to generate income. I am in complete agreement with this view.
In fact, almost all the methods of valuation of businesses are tied, in one way or another, to the ability of the business to generate income. Even if we do have an asset that generates income by the busloads, it was “our ability to generate income” that resulted in us owning the asset in the first place.
How then should we nurture this asset so as to reap its fullest dividends?
Our ability to generate income is largely dependent on :-
Our educational levels
This is pretty much self explanatory. Having said that, we have to take proactive steps to ensure that our education is in tune with current day market requirements. This does not just apply to those of us in careers, but also to our ability to generate income from investments, trading, arbitraging etc. The informal part refers to knowledge gathered from books, blogs, trade shows etc.
And of course, our continuing education. Many Internet entrepreneurs are products of this.
Our Past Experiences
Our past experiences will have a direct impact on our ability to generate income. Almost all higher level jobs require “experience”. And we all value the advice of experienced experts in the fields of investing, money management, real estate etc., over the inexperienced ones.
Mistakes made and the lessons earned hone our skills and ability to generate income.
Our network of Friends and Family
Our ability to generate income would be almost directly proportionate to the strength, depth and coverage of our network. A person who has a network of close and trustworthy friends in the banking, real estate, stock broking and investment banking fields would most probably have a far better success rate in investing than one who starts out alone.
Travel broadens the mind. Even though globalization has made the world a smaller place, not all parts of the world are the same. For example, certain parts of Asia may be comparable to that of the UK, say, 25 years ago. So if someone from the UK visits that particular part of Asia, he / she may think about how the UK has progressed and bring those changes to Asia.
Let us think MacDonalds in Kuala Lumpur, Starbucks in Jakarta, etc.
To nurture our greatest asset, we have to nurture these four areas continuously.
Where should we focus our reviews
When we draw up this list for our personal individual situation and seek to identify a unique opportunity, we should remember the following. Business opportunities are created when we have a service or product that :-
a) makes people money,
b) saves people money,
c) makes people feel more secure, physically or emotionally,
d) makes people feel better, physically or emotionally,
e) saves people time.
I am sure, there are others, but these broad areas should be good enough. When you put these two together, we should be able to see that a job or a career need not be our only option.
Whether we take a job and work on the other options part time is not the issue. The fact is that the door is now open wider, and we should be in a better position to, at least see, how we can generate more income.
For me, this exercise has given me ideas on two book projects.