Building, Growing & Protecting Wealth — and how quickly it can really be lost

So often have many people I’ve known, including myself, after gaining wealth, ending up losing it all. The more people I’ve met, and read about it, the more I’ve realized how problematic this is a huge majority of us. It become a rarity to meet a person who not only built their wealth the first time, has kept it all, grown it and structured it to be sheltered from future creditors.

The first part of our journey, is determining where we are going, having a vision, raising capital, learning skills necessary, to make money, to sell, to market ourselves, to grow our businesses, or as employees to save up and invest our money. The first part of our journey, is really focused on making money. Hopefully we get to the point where we start paying taxes, then later we’ll figure out how to reduce it. But generally we don’t get there. Shortly there after…. the common pitfall is, once we’re financially successful, we get big egos. We think we’re unstoppable. We think the money will always keep coming. We did it once we can do it again. We start feeling it’s luckily. It was purely us that made it happen. We can do anything. Our poor money habits before are masked, and we think we’re on-top of the world, and all is ok now, it all paid off. All of this can’t be further from the truth.

Many of us end up making poor mistakes on future businesses. Going all in, losing everything, spending way too much, being overly ambitious. Not just on business, but on everything. Many of us, are humbled by another business fail, or carelessly manage of our lives, that we end up losing, far more than we gained… Almost always, it ends in ruins.

This happened to me. When I was 22, after I sold my first real company, Tracking202, for $1.5M, I ended up losing everything after getting into a lawsuit with the company who acquired us. Not only did I lose practically lose all of the financial assets I have, it was an incredibly stressful period of my time, the most stressful period of my life. One that is ingrained in my experience, and my story.

I must have not learned. I started another internet marketing company soon thereafter. About 9 months we gross around $3.7M million with around a 20% profit margin or about $700,000+ in net profit. We were pretty happy about it. But we were only to lose it all again in litigations. I will not go into detail about those at this point in time, as they are not the the purpose of this share.

Those were the most devastating experiences of my life. At the age of 23–24, I had so much pain associated with being in legal disputes, I never wanted to be in them again. To make it worse, I was working crazy hours, for weeks and years at time. Grinding tons of hours, hunched over at the computer screen. Causing issues with my neck & spine, and on-top of that having little to nothing left after the experiences, except for some very strong, and valuable life lessons.

I wouldn’t be the only one. Many of my friends who took their own entrepreneurial paths, who had successful runs, ended up colorfully losing everything, and many times, ending up in debt. I can’t even count on the number of hands of people I’ve known this has happened to. Everyone thought they’d continue to hit it out of the ball park every time.

I love reading about entrepreneurs, especially those who are no longer with us. They share some of the greatest insights. I cherish those who are willing to be self-expressed, sharing not just their life, but key principles, and lessons learned during their life, to enrich and improve the life of all future entrepreneurs and risk takers after them. Going through a lot of these stories, it’s apparent that this is a very bad, recurring theme for most of us. And it makes perfect sense.

We spend our whole life figuring out how to make money. Little do we learn, until later once we have it, how to really grow and protect it. Hopefully, we have enough energy to go through the second round of rebuilding.

There is a way to prevent this. It’s by first being aware, that most people end up losing everything once. Painfully it can happen several times. It’s one you can avoid though, if you’re aware of it going in, and create a plan to avoid the mistakes of so many.

I will likely go into greater detail on this later, on some methods on how you can protect and growth your well, just know that it’s even quicker to lose than it is to make. A few simple errors in judgements can cost you everything, in no time flat, and it certainly will if you’re not incredibly careful. And if not you, likely your family will lose it, all and more, if you they are uneducated in the ways of building, growing and protecting the family’s wealth. This isn’t an easy feat. We must be extraordinary in most areas of life, to live truly the life we want to design for ourselves. The weakest chain, in any area of our life, will break everything.

As one of Warren Buffet’s favorite quotes:

“Rule No 1: Never lose money. Rule No 2: Don’t forget Rule №1”

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