Money talk is awkward, when it comes to personal finance. I have to confess i have no idea how much money I make per year, because it’s blended between company (which I own, actually more than one) and personal revenues (like my Portuguese salary, as a director of my own company). When I buy a new phone for example, it’s a company asset which I use, and so is the car, the travels etc etc, and frankly (as a life philosophy) I don’t care how much money I make, because the QUESTION IS WRONG in my opinion.
Am I making enough money to deal with the degree of freedom in life I thrive for?
This is a better question.
It took a while to feel ok with the fear of missing out on becoming a exit entrepreneur, or to focus on a single activity to maximise chances to scale, or even to have a very well paid corporate job.
“Alma Leve, Mente Aberta, Sorriso Solto” says a graffiti on a wall I see every day walking back home in Estoril.
“A Light Soul, an Open Mind, an Unleashed Smile” this is what I decided to thrive for.
Here comes a story. For four years, I went to buy charcoal grilled chicken in the same place, making friend with Marcelo, the guy in charge, and discovering he was not the owner, but an employee of the shop. One day, he asked me what I did for living and from my answer “investing in Startups” only caught the first word, and revealed he had the dream to open his own place.
From that conversation one year has passed by, and September 13th we open our first Brazilian Churrasco together. I expect, over time, this will pay something close to a decent Italian pension, becoming a piece of the financial puzzle i am building. For a tech entrepreneur, it would be change money, even if – as I am counting on – I will convert this business on a franchise because I now want to use everything I learned on this food business to open more locations, and with a better investment/earn ratio.
But the energy I’ve got in learning something new, in helping someone to achieve his dream, to support 3 more families on this planet, and to have a steady income without getting too much involved in the day to day, well this is worth the journey.
Is that easy? Not at all. Because literally is daily battles, and setbacks, and small wins, and a lot of tensions, and a very different environment compared to the one I am used to deal with, but so refreshing.
I started this post talking about money, because I come from a place where the notion of hard work, having nothing for granted, no financial back up, and no starting capital were the norm.
The Brazilian Churrasco shop is a real life example of the joy of building businesses by helping others to achieve their dreams. You can do it also as a billionaire Venture Capitalist investing millions in a Unicorn startup, but then you would likely not have “A Light Soul, an Open Mind, an Unleashed Smile” wouldn’t you?