Today, I will break down the four main assets you must understand, leverage, and protect in order to start and build your business.
Plus, at the end I will show you practical, real-to-life examples showing you how to manage your assets.
Understanding these assets has helped me, my business partner, and so many Just One Dime coaches and students. I’ve had great successes in online business, but I’ve also had my fair share of failures. I will pull from all of it—the good, bad, and ugly—to show you how you can start your own online business.
1. Knowledge: Feed your brain.
I’m listing knowledge first among the four assets because it’s the foundation of your success that you need to start with.
I cannot state this enough: Do not underestimate the power of knowledge and the amount that you need to be successful. You cannot build a successful business without knowledge, no two ways about it.
Knowledge is unique in that it is the most readily available asset. Even if you start with no knowledge of online businesses, you can get more. Read, watch YouTube videos, go out and experience life. And in each of those, you will gain so much knowledge.
Keep in mind, though, that if your knowledge is not accurate, you might be doing more harm than good.
To get the right knowledge to build your business, find mentors. Learn from mentors with experience, people who have been where you are and who get their hands dirty.
If you don’t want to approach a random professor and ask them to mentor you, don’t worry. You can find teachers in authors, YouTubers—really any expert in their field. Use their content.
As soon as you have knowledge, move to action. The best way to learn is to do. And in doing, you can assess and internalize the knowledge you’ve gained. Even if your information is solid, you must put it into practice for it to work and to know if it will work for you.
In our Amazon FBA Mastery training, we end every lesson with a “Next Steps” section. This gives viewers actionable steps they should take to apply what they just learned before they take the next lesson. You can’t binge learn!
You must learn and work as you go in order to be successful. And once you’re learning the right information, the sooner you can start making money.
2. Money: Feed your business.
You have to invest money into your business in order for it to be viable—for it to grow.
You need money to launch your business and your first product. Once you’ve done that, you need to advertise. That costs money. Once you’re profitable, you’ll want to increase those profits. That costs money. You must constantly reinvest into your business.
You cannot expect your business to grow on its own. You must feed your business. Your business needs money like your body needs food. You can’t run on an empty tank.
Once you start to profit from your Amazon store, do not just take that money and add it to your personal bank account or savings, or use it to put a down payment on a fancy new car. Put it back into your business. Reinvest.
There is always something that could be improved about your business, product, or listing. Purchase professional product photos. Run more aggressive PPC campaigns. Start to build a new product that fixes customer concerns. And with whatever you fix, build, or add—provided you do it right—your sales will increase. And your profits will increase. And your business will grow.
If you don’t have the cash for all of that now, that’s ok. But lack of money is not a reason to not start your business. It’s not hard to make money. What is hard is getting over the mindset that blocks us from making money. It’s so easy to pump yourself up with the narrative of “I need my rest. It’s Saturday; I don’t want to work. I need my evenings to—” blah blah blah.
There comes a time when you have to look past what you think you “need”, get up, and start making money. And if you want to start a business but don’t have a lot of cash, that time is now.
There are plenty of ways you can pick up extra cash. You can drive for Uber or Lyft, get a second job, or go through your house and sell all the items that you don’t need. There is so much opportunity to make extra money on the side, even when you work a full time job.
Once you have money, you must budget to reduce your expenses. Like I said, it’s not hard to make money. But it is hard to keep money.
Budgeting is all about self-discipline. When you budget, you should know your income, your outcome, and the difference between the two. Always aim to keep your income above your outcome (that’s life in general).
If your outcome is too high, do not panic. There are plenty of ways to reduce your living expenses: shop sales, reduce your electricity and water usage, drop a few subscription services, etc.
However, don’t get so caught up in reducing your output that you forget to find ways to increase your income. With every dime that you earn, put it into something that can turn it into even more money. Invest in stocks, buy a rental property, or even buy an item at a discount store and resell it for profit on eBay. But you need to put what money you do have to work for you so you can grow your income.
Your relationship with money is super important. As you go through the process of building a business, you must understand how to manage your money. Money is a tool to build your business, and a tool you should leverage to make more money.
And if you are short on funds, don’t wait. Move to action sooner, rather than later.
3. Time: Protect your time.
One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is they fail to protect their time.
If you want to become wealthy, you must shift your thinking from the mindset of making money to making more time. When you gain time, you can spend it on your business, which will make you wealthier later on.
For example, let’s say you’re a newer seller with a product that has just taken off. You’ve done everything by the Just One Dime book thanks to your Amazon FBA membership. You’ve optimized your listing, run aggressive PPC ad campaigns, and invested in professional photos. You can’t keep your product on the fulfillment center shelves!
In fact, you’re actually struggling to keep up with demand. So you decide to hire a virtual assistant to take care of this, and other menial tasks, for you. Sure, you have to pay them, but you’re still saving money. Because by paying someone to do those task for you, you get that time back. And that’s time you can put back into growing your business so that you make even more money.
Not with everything, but there are certain things you must get past the “save money” mindset so that you can get back time, put that time into your business, and make much more money. If you think you have no time, you need to shift your thinking: everyone has more time than they realize.
For example, if you have a full time job, you work at least 8 hours a day plus commute. You also need to eat, and maybe you go to the gym, and spend time with your family. But I’ll bet even then you can still find two and a half hours per evening you could spend on a business. And if we multiply 2.5 hours x 5 week days, we get an extra 12.5 hours a week for your business (not even counting the weekends).
Time is the only asset you cannot get a refund on. You can lose money and recuperate it. If you lose knowledge, you can regain it. But once you spend a singular second, it is gone. You must be disciplined with your time.
If you struggle to move to action you must overcome procrastination. And that will require you to shift of mindset:
- Acknowledge that you procrastinate by telling yourself “I struggle with procrastination”. Make it a behavioral statement instead of the identity “I am a procrastinator”.
- Get accountability. Set up something that will make you uncomfortable when you’re most likely to procrastinate.
- Find out when you tend to procrastinate. You should know what factors are present when you procrastinate most and address those.
There is no point in procrastinating your future. If you want to build an online business, start now. Or, at least, start making moves that will allow you to start sooner rather than later.
If you are truly limited on time, you might consider leveraging our last asset for some assistance.
4. People: Manage people.
This is the most important, most valuable asset.
Part of what makes people so special is you can leverage them to achieve other assets. In people, you can find more time, more knowledge, and more money.
But who does “people” refer to if you’re a new entrepreneur and nowhere near ready for staff?
Yourself. You are the people you must manage. You are your most important asset. You are both your biggest challenge and reward.
How is managing yourself the biggest challenge?
When you quit your day job, there is no one to hold you accountable. There is no one to ensure you make it to work on time or keep you from wasting three hours that amounts to nothing.
Well, there actually is someone to help combat all that: you. You must act as your own boss and hold yourself accountable. You must be objective, and even disagree, with yourself.
To help you get started, check out our Personality Awareness Guide. It can help you better understand yourself as a professional. The better you understand yourself, the better you will be able to manage yourself and others, the sooner you can gain freedom for yourself and those you love.
Once your business is scaling, you may get to a point where you can hire people to help run your business and make your income more passive. And that’s great. But make the best decision for you. That might be a full team. That might be one or two virtual assistants. But there will be less that you have to take care of.
When I first started my businesses, my family and I would work into the middle of the night printing out shipping labels, putting products in boxes, tape-gunning those boxes shut, and scheduling package pickup from the US Postal Service. And we hated it.
And then I discovered Amazon FBA—fulfilled by Amazon—where Amazon takes care of the printing and the packaging and the shipping for you. It’s a perfect example of spending money (FBA fees) to leverage people (in this case, Amazon’s people), to get back time, to then grow your business into something even bigger that makes you more money.
Even as you scale and have to deal with less day-to-day work on your business you must still put in work. The real work is an inside job: it’s what’s going on in your mind. It never ends. You just grow.
Now that we’ve identified all four assets, let’s look at how you can leverage the assets you have to get the assets you don’t and start your business.
In each scenario we will assign a grade to each of the four assets. When we grade, we will rank each asset on a scale of one to five: one meaning that asset is the most limited, five meaning it’s the most abundant.
You should grade your own situation, too. When you do, ask yourself, “How can I use what I have to get back what I don’t have?”
You work a full time, 40 hour per week job.
You live with your spouse and young children. Your friend from college wants to start a business with you.
You have no money. Actually, you have negative money: you’re $24,000 in debt.
You know a lot about running an Amazon FBA business. You’ve subscribed to Just One Dime’s YouTube channel and receive their notifications.
You’ve watched dozens of Just One Dime YouTube videos. However, you haven’t started an Amazon FBA business.
We would grade your assets as follows:
You have yourself and your college friend.
Yes, you work a full time job and have to account for sleeping, eating, and family time. However, realistically, you can still find time in the evenings and on the weekends to work on your business. Additionally, you might be able to rely on your spouse to pick up some parenting duties (see how we’re using people as assets?) so that you can focus more on your business. This asset is one of your strongest.
Even though you don’t have a business and haven’t started FBA yet, you’ve used your free resources to learn and have knowledge because you’ve watched Just One Dime’s YouTube videos. This asset is one of your strongest.
You don’t just have limited money, you have negative money. This is your most scarce asset; you must protect it.
Now you can create a game plan to start your business.
In this instance, you would leverage your knowledge, time, and people, but protect your money.
If you can find two hours each weeknight and three hours on Saturday and Sunday to get together with your friend and work on your business, you can make it work. In doing that, you will spend at least 16 hours per week and 832 hours per year (16 hours per week x 52 weeks in a year) on your business. That’s huge. That’s more than enough to build a massive Amazon FBA business.
You’re recently unemployed. You lost your job due to the pandemic. Most of your time is spent looking for a new job.
You live alone. You’re also in a new city and you don’t have anyone close by.
You have barely enough money to cover your bills for three months. After that, you might lose your apartment. Time is running out, and you need a job.
You know how to work a computer. What you don’t know is how to sell online.
We would grade your assets as follows:
You are completely alone in a new city which means you will operate your business by yourself. This is one of your most scarce assets.
Even though you do need to use time to look for a job, you don’t currently have a job that requires a dedicated number of hours each week. You can use some of your time to learn and start to build your business. This is your strongest asset.
You don’t currently have any know-how about selling online. You can learn with your time (see what we did there?), but currently, knowledge is just as scarce as people.
You have some money, but you need it to pay bills. Much like people and knowledge, this is one of your most scarce assets. You must protect it.
In this instance, the only asset you can leverage is time.
Save your money—you need that to live. Use part of your time to find a job so that you can support yourself and start to bring in more money. And then spend the rest of your time on your business. Learn about Amazon FBA, gain as much knowledge as you can. And then, as you save up money (from your new job), you can launch your first product.
You work 70 hours a week. You also have a sick grandpa who needs a lot of attention. Between caring for him and work, you’re lucky if you can sleep five hours a night.
You do have a savings of $80,000 plus a cushion.
You know business basics, but you don’t know about ecommerce and Amazon FBA still intimidates you.
We would grade your assets as follows:
You can’t count on your sick grandpa to help your business. This is one of your most scarce resources.
If you’re working so much that you barely have time to sleep, you likely don’t have any spare time for a business. This is also one of your most scarce assets; you must protect it.
You know the basics of running a successful business, however you’re unfamiliar with the specifics of FBA or any other type of ecommerce. You know enough to get started, but that’s about it.
This is your strongest asset. $80,000 is more than enough to launch a successful business.
In this scenario, you must leverage your money and protect your time.
Invest the money you have to make more money. And in the future, that additional capital might allow you to leave your job so that you can get back enough time to start a business.
One question: what asset do you have the most of? Let me know in the comments.