Julian Musgrave has always been skeptical of accepted systems. A few months shy of 15, he decided school wasn’t for him. He felt confined and wanted to try something different. After complaining to his mom one too many times, she told him he could quit if he could get a job. She figured that Australia’s nearly 25% unemployment rate and 18% interest rates at the time would make it impossible for a young teenager to find someone willing to hire him.
Julian proved her wrong with lightning speed. Four days later, he moved 2,000 kilometers from home to work as a cowboy on a million-acre cattle station. A few years later, he realized the benefit of having a high school diploma and returned home to finish school. He went on to join the Australian Army as an infantryman.
After being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that causes incredible pain in the spine and large joints, Julian was medically discharged from the Army. From there, he took a myriad of other jobs: earthmoving, mining, welding, fabricating, you name it, he probably did it.
A Career Reset
Next, he worked as a productivity coach in different mines. But after a few too many times of being carried off airplanes in bone-crushing pain, he knew it was time to give his body a break. He started looking for a less physically-taxing career.
A move to Perth, Western Australia, and studying to become a mortgage broker, started him on his current career trajectory. He claims he hadn’t written anything longer than a grocery list for nearly 20 years when he suddenly found himself taking a certification test to work in finance. In Perth, he met his future business colleague, Dr. Tony Pennells. The two men went on to start three businesses together, including a mortgage business and a financial planning business.
It’s “What Can We Afford?” Not “How Much Can I Get?”
In the mortgage business, they saw client after client racing headlong into debt. Instead of asking “what can we afford?” their clients would ask “how much money will the bank give us?”
This was another system Julian recalls questioning. The people he worked with saw no problem with enormous debt loads and gave no thought to buying houses, cars and electronics—all far outside their means.
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“Working through mortgage broking and seeing so many clients get into debt, get into debt, get into debt,” Julian said, “And run right on the edge of redline around servicing and borrowing the absolute maximum amount that they could, refinancing cars, refinancing credit cards—that rang some alarm bells straight up. So many people were diving straight into debt—and it was the norm.”
While other people saw debt as a way to achieve their dreams, Julian saw it as a prison preventing them from achieving personal goals and Financial Freedom.
After seeing the problems debt created for their clients, Dr. Tony and Julian went on to start a financial planning company. They aimed to educate the community around them on the value of careful financial management and how to avoid debt. However, they soon found that the regulations surrounding financial planning prevented them from building what they really wanted—a business that would create a cultural mindshift where everyone started thinking like the 4% of the world that is wealthy.
Helping Business Owners Align Business and Personal Goals
Tony went on to found MindShift.money, and Julian created a business and financial coaching company. His company focuses on helping business owners align their business and personal goals. He uses MindShift.money principals to coach his clients to Personal Financial Freedom.
How does he help? Let’s look at one of Julian’s clients who we’ll call Susan. Susan is a mom who wants more time with her child. To accomplish this, she needed a certain amount of money set aside to free herself from working for an income. Susan knew her own personal goal, but her business couldn’t provide that kind of income. So Julian helped Susan learn how to put a price point on her products that would set her on the path to achieving her personal goals.
Using the Freedom Number To Set Price Points
Julian finds most of clients never even think about using their business to accomplish personal goals. What most clients don’t realize is that to achieve Financial Freedom, their business needs to produce not only enough income to stay afloat, but also provide enough to pay for the business owner’s current and future living expenses.
Julian gives the example of a 45-year-old client (we’ll call him Jack) whose Freedom Number is $1.2 million. Jack has a good 20 years—that’s 240 months—left in the workforce. When you divide his Freedom Number by the number of months left in his working life, you come up with his monthly Pay Yourself First Number, $5,000. He needs to set aside that much each month from his business so he can retire with $1.2 million in twenty years. On top of that number, he also needs money for today’s living expenses.
If he lives “comfortably uncomfortable,” as Julian puts it, he needs an additional $3,800 a month for present living expenses. In addition, his business requires financial fuel of about $10,000 per month.
When you add those three numbers together, you come up with $18,800. That’s the minimum amount of revenue Jack’s business needs to bring in per month.
To boil it down even further, Julian divides that number by the number of billable hours the client has per month. That’s around 20 per week and 80 per month. The result is the amount the client needs to charge for each hour of his time. For Jack, that’s $235.
For many of Julian’s clients, the math part of Financial Freedom isn’t the problem. The real issue is an ingrained perspective that their time isn’t worth that much. To change that mindset, Julian helps them see their own personal value, but also find ways of adding perceived value. When that happens, their customers are willing to pay more than market value for their time.
For instance, a personal trainer could charge a higher hourly rate or membership fee, if he found low-cost ways to customize each training session to gym-goers. The added value should be inexpensive in terms of money or time for the business owner but something a customer is willing to pay for.
How does Julian do it? He adds value to his business using Voxer, an app that lets clients leave him voice messages 24/7. But he’s not on call. He can answer the messages in his own time. So the cost to him is relatively low, but his customers are willing to pay more to have unlimited access.
Challenging The Status Quo
The MindShift.money principles Julian teaches his clients are changing the way they think and do business. While financial planning is important, Julian says, MindShift.money is vital in reshaping the status quo and helping the 96% think like the 4%.
“To me, financial planning has a role,” Julian said, “But it’s not the be all end all of the process. Whereas what we’ve discovered is that this tool—MindShift—allows us to get the information and do the changes that fundamentally change a person’s life, forever.”
Have you thought about how to align your business and personal goals? Share your experience in the comments below!
Erin is the managing editor of MindShift.money and the owner of Lane Change Media. As a business owner and content provider, she takes her personal motto, “Don’t slow down, just change lanes” seriously. She lives in Los Angeles and has far too many pets.