In the recent GRS reader survey, one common request was to delay the weekly podcast announcement until after the show so that I could provide a brief written summary for those who don’t have the time or the inclination to listen. That means I can’t provide a reminder for people to call in during the show, but it may generate more discussion here on the blog.

A millionaire by 26
This week, Jim and I spent the hour talking with Erica from Erica dropped out of college to start a webhosting company in 2001. She was 20 years old. Seven years later, that business was bringing in $76,000 of revenue every month.

Despite this revenue, Erica nearly ran her business into the ground. She wasn’t paying enough attention to the numbers. The company was losing money and the employees were unhappy. To stay afloat, the business raised its rates. Erica was able to pay off the company’s debt, and ultimately she sold her business for $1.1 million.

During our conversation, we discussed the following topics:

  • Ask to be paid what you’re worth. If you work at a traditional job, learn how to negotiate your salary. If you’re a contractor or a small business owner, don’t be afraid to set your rates at a level that values your time. Be confident. Know your value. Be able to articulate why you’re worth it.
  • Treat your personal life like a business. Your goal should be to make a profit. When you buy things, make sure you’re getting value.
  • Constantly improve yourself. After she sold her business, Erica began to read about investing. She signed up for seminars and courses. She read personal development books and sales manuals. She pursed self-improvement. (This is something I do, too, and I think it’s one factor in whatever success I might have had.)
  • Manage time effectively. Baker called in to ask us about our time-managment systems. Erica has actually produced a video that describes her pencil-and-notebook organization system. Jim also pursues a most-important task every day. I recommended the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Erica may have hit the jackpot with her business, but she’s not resting on her laurels. On Tuesday, she’s launching an e-book about building a blog (which will be available on her website). She also recently started Inspiring Innovators, a site to help people create online businesses.

Our guest on next week’s show will be Flexo from Consumerism Commentary.

The Personal Finance Hour
Jim and I host The Personal Finance Hour nearly every Monday at 3pm Pacific (6pm Eastern). For the next week, our conversation with Erica will be available via this widget (after that it will be replaced by the next episode):

You can always find this show (and other episodes from the archive) by following this link, which will open in iTunes.

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