I been studying micro-finance for emerging nations and have learned a thing or two about me and how many of us are afraid to step up to bigger and better things. What I learned about creating entrepreneurs in emerging nations is their biggest obstacle is doing all of the paperwork and the numbers. Yes, they want to sell and get money, but they don’t want to face the actual numbers of money and how much it takes to do business and I believe that is our same problem here.
If you are looking at improving your life or getting out of a current situation, you are going to have to face the numbers that will be scary and daunting. When you first get on a scale to check your weight, when you sit down and see how much money you really owe creditors, when you see how much it really cost to move and live in New York or when you want to start a business and see the numbers you need to make, all of that scares most cats away. That is why cats be reading Dream and Hustle but don’t act on the information because they scared of the numbers and that’s the first thing that come out of their mouth on the topic.
Quantify the Situation
If you want to make it to the next level, you going to have to accept the numbers as they are and handle your business on those real numbers. This means you have to quantify with numbers what it will take to get the job done. Learn how much gas it cost for you to travel per week and make sure you fill up for that amount and keep reserves. The same with food – there is no reason to have a full pantry or full refrigerator and just have enough number of food items that can stay fresh and don’t expire. Also learn how many phone calls or interactions it takes to get to know somebody new and go out on a date.
For example, I know I will always have 32-35 to do items on my list at a given time. I learned to discipline myself to accept that big number and knock them down as the tasks keep coming at a brotha. I know it takes 400 interactions with headhunters and recruiters to land a job – I did the math on that a long time ago and that’s probably why I have no problem getting a job while some cats give up after less than 7 interactions and start complaining there are no jobs out there. I know how much it takes to pay down a loan with the interest rate details as well know how much my electric bill will be based on activity.
Once you accept the numbers like you have a total of $17,000 in debt or you are 30lbs overweight, then yeah you will be tripping but you have to get those numbers brought out up front so you can deal with them. Once you bring those numbers out, you have to work on the math to get the numbers to a level where you can handle and move on to bigger and better things.
For example, if you want to start a business I do recommend you focus on the numbers and not through some book-based business plan but through a hard analysis of the numbers. We will be doing that in the business model wiki section is show those numbers. If you want to open up a fried chicken joint, then you going to have to know the cost of acquiring equipment, hiring people to work, the cost of insurance and compliance fees and if I come at you cats with a figure like $40,000 then that’s how it is. But you can’t back down if that is what you want to go after – you got to figure out how to skip around and probably setup for $7,000 by hustling, bartering and going on Craigslist.
Baseline and Gap Analysis
The strategy to dealing with the numbers up front is to first get a “base line” of where you at right now. That is the first thing they do when you go to the gym or doctor or your financial analyst to see where you are at right now and take measurements. You are going to have to do the same thing yourself where you need to be real about where you are at right now. Then the second thing you going to have to do and this is all on you – you are going to have to be honest about where you are going.
Once you keep it real about where you are at right now and be honest about your goals of where you want to be at, then the next step of the math is the “gap analysis” that is a document you create that shows what is needed and your current status. This document basically is an outline that says where you are at right now, where you want to go and what is it going to take from your present to your goal go get there.
For example, my goal is to help micro-fund cats in Africa and Latin America with their own fruit carts and fruit stands by the end of 2012. Right now, I don’t know a damn thing about the people in Africa and Latin America or walked in their shoes to know how to deliver my goal of entrepreneurship to them. I also don’t know a thing about building or ever running a fruit cart or what it takes to get done. So with that said, my gap analysis will outline how I need to understand the local culture in Africa and Latin America and that is why I’m taking free online micro-finance courseware through MIT right now, joined groups that already doing this kind of work and also learning how fruit carts work in these countries. This is how I face the numbers and tracking my ability to deliver this personal goal of mine by the end of 2012.
Everything I talk about on this blog is about where I want to go and where I’m at today and what it takes to get there and I have a math-based STEM strategy on how to get there. I have hard dates on the calendar to meet deadlines and milestones for the hustle. And I have the gap analysis and the reality of what I don’t know right now or don’t know how to do right now that I will have mastered by the time I have to deliver. This is what I want to share with you cats so you can understand how to go for yours in the 21st century.
In summary, I had seen over and over again cats balk at the numbers when it comes to accomplishing something. These are the cats who mutter “it cost too much” or “I can’t handle that” or all kind of excuses that basically say they cannot handle the numbers. At some point in time, we got to take the numbers seriously, take it on and use the math to get to where we want to go.