Ted Hickman

Starting from Scratch

If you’re ever going to realise any success in business, how you manage the elements of your personal finances is where it all starts. So in other words you have to master the art of managing your personal finances before you can even start to dream about trying to find success in the business world.

So what is the ideal approach to it all then? Let’s visit a theoretical place somewhere in the realms of this world and imagine you’re starting from scratch. You have absolutely nothing to your name in the sense of ownership of material things or anything that is of the complex financial industry, like stocks, bonds, etc…

Focussing on what’s important

The word minimalism has often been thrown around as a major ingredient to go into the recipe for success, both in one’s personal and professional life, let alone business and entrepreneurship. I tend to agree, but I reckon we need to take a tiny step backwards and “downgrade” the emphasis on minimalism to that of essentialism.

While minimalism as an approach to value suggests that one should live well below their means by training themselves to survive on the absolute least that they can survive on, essentialism on the other hand encourages focussing on what’s most important first and then if there are resources left over, focus can then shift to thinking abundantly.

So in our consideration of you having to start afresh, having been thrown into someplace new where you don’t even have any clothes on your back, thinking in a minimalistic way immediately limits the potential you have for progress. Cue essentialist thinking and it becomes more about mere survival.

It is indeed a hypothetical scenario painted, the reality of which would probably not be possible in this day and age, but because you do indeed have some resources with which to push-on, these can indeed be dug into to apply the underlying lesson intended. So no, you don’t have to get rid of absolutely everything you have and cross borders into a foreign land where you are to start from scratch.

What this exercise is all about is bringing into focus what’s important and what you should be working towards in your life.

So what’s the first thing your naked self would try to make provision for? It probably won’t even be clothes or shelter, because thirst and hunger are two of the most basic needs which will very quickly reveal themselves to be most important. So even if you’re looking at getting into the world of business from the point of view of investing in something like stocks, you now know that you should look in the direction of those listed companies which are involved in providing for the world’s basic needs.

One those basic needs are catered to, so to say, what would be next on the list? You can probably figure it all out by thinking about now building a shelter (after you’re fed and quenched your thirst), clothing yourself perhaps and so on and so forth…up until you get to a stage where you think about something like entertaining yourself.

Take another look