Todd Tresidder took his own personal net worth from less than zero at 23, to self-made millionaire and retired at 35.
When it comes to building wealth, he’s the smartest guy in the room. (And I met him through FinCon, which is filled with super smart people!)
His latest book is The Leverage Equation: How to Work Less, Make More, and Cut 30 Years Off Your Retirement Plan.
I’ve learned a ton from our conversations over the years. Todd has a unique perspective on business and investing, and our conversations over the years always get me thinking a little differently. He blogs at FinancialMentor.com.
Tune in to hear Todd talk me through his 6 types of leverage and how you can apply those as needed in your business.
1. Financial Leverage
There are 3 main asset classes for building wealth:
- Paper Assets — stocks, bonds, mutual funds — the stuff your financial advisor will recommend.
- Real Estate
Todd called paper assets a form of “old age financial independence,” adding, “If you’re happy trading an entire lifetime following the conventional plan, then it’s a workable plan,”
However, if you want financial independence before you’re old, you need to look at the other asset classes.
The Wealth Growth Equation
“Wealth is the compound growth of your personal resources and your financial resources,” Todd said.
The key to financial leverage is that it doesn’t have to be your personal and financial resources you’re using.
That’s how you break open from the return on equity equation that governs most wealth growth.
The equation Todd is referencing is – Probability x Payoff.
“The way a smart wealth builder works, they always build their plan for the big gain, the big win, but then they always guard for small losses,” Todd said.
This is why you can be wrong 99 times out of a hundred and still have all the wealth you need with business assets. The reason for that is side hustles and other small businesses create wealth from sweat equity. The other asset classes are tied to compound return on equity — what you invest.
Financial leverage means tilting that compound return equation by managing the pay off portion.
In business terms, or when looking at a side hustle, this means starting a business with very little risk that has the opportunity for a big win. Therefore you can scale and go big when you get it right.
On the other hand, if you have a business model that is set up for small wins, even if you get it right, your expectancy equation isn’t favorable.
Todd applied this principle in his own business by starting out teaching clients one-on-one, which wasn’t scaleable. Then he built out courses, books, and other materials to scale.
2. Time Leverage
Time leverage involves leveraging other people’s time, so you’re not limited to the 24 hours a day you have.
Todd said most people’s income is connected to the time they put in. Obviously, you can only trade so much time for money, making your time is a finite resource.
Time leverage breaks that income to time connection.
There are four steps to making the most of time leverage:
- Increase the amount of productive time you have each day. Todd said that by rescuing just 1 or 2 hours a day can double, triple, or even quadruple your overall productive time. That means you can multiply your output and achieve your goals faster.
- Start delegating projects. Take work off your plate to free up more time by hiring help on a trial or project basis.
- Delegate processes. Get help with the repeatable processes within your business that can be reused over and over.
- Substitute systems and technology for human time. With processes in place that can be automated and handled by technology, you can scale up your business without investing more of your time.
When you’re working on your side hustle and bridging from one income source to another, Todd recommended tracking your time and what you’re doing every day. Start ruthlessly eliminating things that aren’t getting you closer to your goals.
And, for those who struggle with shiny object syndrome or sticking to their goals and deadlines, Todd reminded me that, “Discipline is really just remembering what you want.”
3. Technology and Systems Leverage
“If you want to own your business rather than have it own you, you have to remove yourself from the production equation,” Todd said.
Any activities that repeat in your business should be systemized, and that’s exactly what Todd does in his business.
For example, with his assistant, every new thing Todd does in his business he starts. He will then hand it over to his assistant, usually in a Word doc as instructions or an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) document.
She will then work through the process and make improvements, highlighting her changes as she repeats the process and finds ways to streamline it.
Producing SOPs also helps with security so all the knowledge isn’t held with employees. Should something happen to the person carrying out the processes, you can hand over the SOP to another person and reduce the training time.
“There’s freedom in structure,” Todd said, which is what SOPs and business procedures create. It’s at a low-cost point too, you can create something once, and it will repeat thousands of times if not millions of times.
4. Communications and Marketing Leverage
Instead of talking to someone one-on-one, communications and marketing leverage is broadcasting that message out on blogs, podcasts, YouTube, and other channels that reach many people.
You don’t need to master all these avenues and more. “Nobody has to be great at all these, just pick the starting point that excites you or a starting point based on an obstacle you face,” Todd said.
Every one of these leverage points is a solution to a problem or an obstacle holding people back from success in their businesses.
5. Network and Relationship Leverage
As entrepreneurs, our jobs are to figure out how to overcome obstacles.
Sometimes we will not have the answer internally, but someone else within our network might. This is where network and relationship leverage comes in, and it’s incredibly powerful when used correctly.
Conferences, meetups, Facebook groups, and other online and offline social gatherings have been immensely powerful and helpful for my business.
6. Knowledge and Experience Leverage
“My writing is the thing that holds my business back,” Todd said. “Everything is in my head, it’s my experience, it’s my knowledge, and I have to get it out of me into an explicit format that people can then use.”
Todd was tracking his time and come to the realization that 80-90% of his writing time was being spent on editing.
He decided to hire an editor, which as dramatically accelerated his writing time.
If you want to learn more about Todd and the 6 types of leverage discussed in this episode, you can pick up his book The Leverage Equation, or check Todd out at FinancialMentor.com.
Todd’s #1 Tip for Side Hustle Nation
“Take leverage seriously and build it into your business.”
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