If you're around my age (24) most of us are in an interesting limbo phase of dependence and independence; you've been or you're about to be cut off the gravy train. And let me tell you, it's not as scary as it sounds!
I have the best most supportive parents in the world; an incredibly strong business mother and an incredibly caring dad. When I was little, about 10ish I clearly remember having a conversation with my mom stating that if I decided to come home after university that would be fine but I would be paying rent to live at home. And she was absolutely dead serious.
After graduating from university I decided to move to England with Matt and live over there for a year. Minus the plane ride over as my 21st birthday present, that trip was all funded on my own savings. I paid rent in pounds, travelled through Thailand on my own baht, relaxed on a beach in Bali on a towel paid for with my own rupiah and finally flew home on my own dollar. I came back with nothing and started my own business literally from grass roots in the park behind my parent's house. For the past three years I've paid my own rent – condo rent and business studio space, bought my own toilet paper & groceries and last but not least paid my own cell phone bills. I am SO grateful for it. Don't get me wrong, growing up in the world that I was blessed to it was tough initially to look around at my friends and see their parents shell out big bucks for their insane wardrobes, watch them save tons of money living at home meanwhile I was burning right through rent cheques! But I really think that being cut off was the catalyst and created the fire under my ass that has driven me to be independently successful today.
It might sound crazy but being cut off was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I grew up. I understand how money works. My relationship with Matt certainly went to a deeper level, we both didn't have jobs when we moved into our condo. We had to take a leap together and for the first time ever I actually carefully examined grocery store sale flyers – a great life skill! If you're about to move out on your own stop worrying about saving tons of money, I had $177.93 in my bank account the day I moved home and not much more than that a month later when we signed our lease! The bottom line is you will make it happen and life gets so much better when you take ownership of it.
One thing I wish someone had told me before I started this business was how to think about making money as a business person. Before running my own business I'd never thought about the concept of paying myself a salary from the business earnings. That's the way I live this way now, it makes so much sense and it helps me forecast for the future – did you know that a commercial treadmill costs $10,000? To build the space I one day dream of having I'm going to need at least 10 of them. That's just one future cost I'll need to cover with the money I'm making today. I spend SO much less now than I used to and I've learned to appreciate things a lot more. Pay yourself an income with your current income put the rest in a fund or savings, it will help you so much down the road!
I get asked this question all the time: what do you make? Two years ago I would have though about it very differently, I would have said, $x and have been done with it. Today the "Christie Inc." answer is Preston Fitness can do really well if Christie Preston works her bum off. There are days that Preston Fitness can bill over $1,000 but then there are also days that the business can spend double that on operational costs. I'm sure you probably lead a stressful job but when was the last time you were asked to rent your own phone, desk, and single-handedly source all of your own clients? Start acting like you do now! When you have your own business there is no such thing as vacation, sick days, even off days aren't an option. In my case I've also got to look the part of a fitness professional, daily workouts are also not an option but an expectation. This is true for all of you though! Every single day we make choices that impact the rest of our lives. If you're not walking into work like you one day want to own the place then you're wasting your time! Even if you don't have a business yet start treating yourself and your books like a business. Make decisions based on your dreams and goals and own them.
With your own business you are not just trying to climb the corporate ladder. You have to source your own materials and build that ladder and then try to climb it and hope that your work doesn't crumble beneath you. But that's how it should always be. Own "You Inc.", the faster you start thinking of yourself as a business the better everything gets!