Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday night thoughts.

I still love the word Porkulus. It's not "earmark free". It's more than an earmark, it is the whole animal, hoof to snout. I absolutely agree with this article on Obama's busted bubble. His press conference tonight made me realize that he just doesn't know his bubble has burst. Or he doesn't know that we know. He's looking tired. I recognize that look. I think I've had that same look when I was trying to be someone I was not. The overwhelming stress will wear you out. Obama is failing the integrity test in the crucible of the Presidency. In politics, your word is your bond. He's already sunk. The economy will recover, over time, in spite of the Porkulus Bill, if it happens to pass in the next day or so. Folks are about to get their tax refunds for 2008. Anyway, America's economy is too diverse to fall too far. We just need to brace for inflation that will happen when the banks print more money.

I'm belt tightening to the Nth degree. I want completely out of debt in the next several months, mortgages included, with lots of extra money coming in. I recognize what got us into this mess, and I don't want to participate in it any more.

In an economy based on debt, there is a pool of credit out there which people owe called Principle plus Interest. The available money supply is the Principle. As long as people are paying out of the pool of Principle to try to cover the Principle plus Interest, there will be bad paper. The moral thing to do is to not owe any Principle plus Interest, lest you be caught when the Principle runs out not being able to cover your Principle plus Interest payments. Usury was a sin in every major religion up until the last couple of centuries. The answer is to put your head down, earn as fast as you can to save up enough for what you desire, and to pay cash.

I read a book that said the rich purchase assets. The poor purchase liabilities. People with mortgages feel that their home is their biggest asset, but until that last P+I payment is made, the bank owns it and they are slaves to the bank. It's still a liability. Credit cards are worse, because the interest is sky high. Once I'm out of debt, I want to make money so fast that I never have to worry about money again. I have found people on the internet who have done it and are willing to teach me how. I am taking full advantage of their tactics.

My focus this year is building a portfolio of assets. An asset can be a company, equity in a joint venture, bonds, a piece of land, mineral rights, an oil well, intellectual property, cash, precious metals, or even a web site. The easiest valuable asset for me to create is intellectual property. The second easiest asset for me to create is web sites. The third easiest asset for me to create is a service business. I am spending time in all three of these swim lanes, focusing on them serially, and learning as fast as I can. My associates on Twitter are teaching me things I never imagined were possible. I'm also networking with local entrepreneurs and I'm attending a dinner Tuesday night (tonight) to learn more. The philosophy of the successful people I've chatted with is to create great value in a hungry market niche, make more money, have fun, give like crazy, and repeat.

I'm also tasked with finding equity partners. I keep hearing that finding capital is just like sales, but you can find it even if you sell badly. I got a silver rating on a venture capital site where I posted my revenue model and business plan, but having a day job limits the amount of time I can spend on pursuing it. If I can get something launched and have a set of financials (a solid P/L and balance sheet), I could get a gold rating and they'd be calling me.

One of my mentors said that it is LESS RISKY in a down economy working for yourself than being an employee. . . as long as you put in the time and do the necessary work to eliminate the risk. Until one of my ventures replaces my W2 income, plus enough for insurance, I'm stuck on the fence. . . because I have liabilities. I'm literally a slave to the government and the banks. Anyway, I have a plan of escape.