"I believe money is meant to be spent, so I've never been good at saving. But I wish I hadn't spent The Corcoran Group's first big profit on a marketing campaign that flopped.
When I put all our real estate listings on videotapes with their respective agents, I didn't anticipate that none of my agents would want to hand out tapes with competitor agents on them. I was so sure of the idea that I didn't stop to think of the consequences before spending $71,000.
Luckily, I saved face by uploading the videos onto the Internet. All of my best successes happen on the heels of failure."
"When I was younger, I hesitated to invest in myself and thought I needed the security of a paycheck. When I finally took the leap to start my own beverage company, I spent a lot of time trying to hire people with more experience.
But the 'experts' wanted to compromise on what made our beverages successful: We don't use sweeteners. The lesson? I had to do it myself.
Ultimately, Hint thrived because we defied industry standards and stayed true to our mission — helping people lead healthier lives without compromising on enjoyment."
"My first job after college was in commission sales. When I crushed my quota, I spent like a king. When sales were sluggish, I tried to maintain that lifestyle using credit cards. As sales slowed with the recession, I maxed out all my cards and was down to my last $3.73.
When I had to ask my father to give me a loan, I felt like a failure. But he helped me out and ultimately taught me to live beneath my means. That spark helped me get debt-free and showed me the freedom of financial wellness."
—Michael O'Brien, executive business coach; author of "Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows"; founder of Peloton Coaching and Consulting and The Pace Line Leadership Academy. Follow him on Facebook and LinkedIn.
"My mistake was thinking short-term instead of planning for the future. For example, I didn't hire a personal trainer because it seemed expensive — but that investment would have paid dividends, and the opportunity costs were huge.
Now I know that when I'm not physically fit and spiritually and emotionally calm, my mind is sluggish. So I judge every decision against whether it will matter in 12 months and double down on what adds value in my life to generate overall wealth instead of immediate income."
"When I started making money, I spent it on my passions and helping friends and family before I saved enough, rather than invest it to generate more revenue. I thought the money would keep flowing and didn't prepare for challenges.
When they came, I lost 85% of my income and found myself struggling. Create a financial buffer before anything else — or have a solid plan to generate a return on your passion."
"When I started making six figures, I shifted my spending to match my income, rather than save the difference. Living a lavish life was a bad idea because I always had a lingering fear that my money would one day disappear.
So I set up automatic deposits to invest when money was deposited into my account. Over time, I became more disciplined, and now I invest and save much more than I spend."
"If someone had told me how important accounting is, my first two businesses wouldn't have failed. I just saw sales and money in the bank, so I thought I was doing great.
But when I suddenly saw the real numbers, the reality of the situation was quite different. I wish I had learned sooner that while you don't have to become an accountant yourself, the basic principles of accounting are critical to success."
"When I started day trading, I was working for minimum wage and needed money. So I took out $25,000 in student loans to trade with — and I lost it in a month.
I wish someone had told me not to try to move so quickly, but we live in a society that wants immediate results. Sometimes you need to be patient, and other times you should move fast. The key is learning to tell the difference."
The Oracles is a mastermind group of the world's leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. Follow The Oracles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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