Luck is the success you plan for

Business building tips Brisbane

When planning your 2012 resolutions, think about this!  ‘Luck’ is an unexpected outcome that befalls people who generally don’t act; don’t do; and love to procrastinate.  Luck plays no part in planning and operating a business or managing risk.  What appears to be luck to observers is simply what happens to people who act, do and persevere with it.   The more you swing the bat, the more you hit the ball.  Funnily enough, luck in business is actually the success you planned for, viewed through the eyes of self doubt.  If you can deal with your fear and believe in yourself, then most of the time, what might appear to be luck is no more than you should expect.

Business building – non-conformity wins the day

Save the TALL poppies

Looking for business building tips Brisbane? Try non-conformity!

In the area of career and vocation, conformity is getting a job, commuting to work each day and putting in a solid 8 hours or a stressful 10 hours, and doing much the same thing next day and every day after that until retirement.  That’s what the vast majority of the working population does.

So many entrepreneurs choose to start a business specifically to get away from the herd mentality.  They have a good idea; come across an opportunity; and give it a go.  Money is usually a problem but as far as escaping the rut, the commute or the unreasonable boss goes, there is nothing to lose.

In Australia there is a social phenomenon where people of talent and achievement are resented and criticised if it is popularly perceived that they regard themselves as being a cut above the average Australian.  It is called ‘the tall poppy syndrome’.

That is why many successful Australian entrepreneurs carefully craft their image as that of an ‘Aussie battler made good’, insisting that they are still Aussie battlers at heart, and always championing the cause of the everyday Australian.

I will continue on the need for a powerful business mind in my next business building blog.  For more on breaking free of herd thinking, check out my Aikido Secrets blog at

Remember that Ai-ki mind power is good for business.  If you are looking for your own Personal Ai-ki Mentor to guide you into a powerful business mind, and help you’re your business education, check out my previous blog below and drop us a line at

Until next time!


Drawing up your personal expense budget

Do you seek financial wellbeing?  Last time I talked about the income side of your budget.  Now let’s continue with the expenses side of your budget.

Before you start make sure you have your file of bills paid.

As I said last time, you should start with an annual budget, and break it down later to a monthly budget.   Be aware that you will have expenses that are paid yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly.  There will be other outlays by cash or card that you might make on an ad hoc basis (e.g. personal items or eating out)

You will need to convert all of your expenses to annual.  If you are using the FIDO budget planner planner, you will find that the ‘On line’ and ‘Excel spreadsheet’ versions have a payment converter (in blue).  Use that to convert your expenses to annual.


There are 10 broad categories:

1.      Housing

2.      Utilities

3.      Transport

4. Food

5.      Education

6.      Medical

7.      Maintenance (child)

8. Personal

9.      Other

10.  Loan Expenses

The highlighted categories are areas of largely discretionary spending, where your costs may have blown out in the past.  These are prime areas to tighten your spending.

If you are using an electronic version of the FIDO Budget Planner, your sub-totals and totals will be calculated automatically.

Now that you have completed the first pass of your budget we will review it and find ways to refine it.

For more Brisbane business building tips and financial wellbeing articles go to

Until next time!


Drawing up your personal income budget

General advice warning:

The article below is general advice only.  It is not personal advice tailored to suit your individual needs and therefore, you should consider whether this advice is appropriate for you.

Here is one of many good business building tips Brisbane people can use.  The beauty of doing a household budget is that it gives you a good indication of how much money you must generate to finance the life you want for you and your family.  This financial wellbeing advice applies to employed people too.

Now I want you to sit down and prepare your own household budget!  It really isn’t that much different to doing a business budget.  If you have never done a budget before, it will take about an hour.

Before you start, get out your file of bills paid and also find your tax records for you and your partner.  If you are employed, go to your tax records or at least find a recent pay slip or PAYG summary; as well as any details of Centrelink payments, investments and any other income received.

You can use any good budget planner.  If you want to see (and use) a comprehensive personal budget planner, go to FIDO’s Budget Planner at: planner

As a start, I would do an annual budget, and break it down later to a monthly budget.   By doing an annual budget first, you should pick up all income and all expenses, including those once a year payments like home & contents insurance and vehicle registration, plus those quarterly bills like rates and water charges, together with your regular monthly commitments like mortgage repayments.

Start with income

The figure you need is Income after tax.   This comes from your most recent tax records, or if things have changed since then, you can make estimates using a recent pay slip or PAYG summary.  But remember, these employer generated documents represent tax deducted by your employer, not tax ultimately paid by you.

It may also be the case that other payments besides income tax, such as like superannuation and health insurance are also deducted by your employer from your gross salary.   Don’t count these expenses twice!

When you get to the relevant expense line item in your budget, make sure that you don’t deduct them again.  If you do, make sure you add those amounts back to your after tax (cash in the hand) salary.

Don’t forget Centrelink payments, rent from boarders and any part time income that you earn.  Include interest from bank accounts and term deposits, and dividends from shares etc.  If you are including rent from an investment house, you will have to deduct all associated expenses first.  These may or may not be more than the rental income.

If you are self-employed, you should probably consult last year’s tax records or ask your accountant to tell you.  It may not be immediately clear.  Please don’t confuse it with total money actually received or amounts that you take out of the business from time to time.

If you draw a salary from your own company, that is only part of the story.  There is still your profit (or loss) to consider as well.  Unless you have very good accounting skills, it is best to speak to your accountant.

For more Brisbane business building tips and financial wellbeing articles go to

Until next time!


Gary Weigh, Financial Planner, Director, Gary Weigh & Associates Pty Ltd ABN 41 084 228 679, Corporate Authorised Representative (No.256617) of The FinancialLink Group Pty Ltd ABN 12 055 622 967, Australian Financial Services No.240938

Think like a ‘wealth grower’

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, there are a few positive money habits that you need to adopt before you launch headlong into planning your financial wellbeing.

Forget the millionaire mindset!  You shouldn’t think that you have to be a millionaire to achieve financial wellbeing.  Making small changes and taking small steps is what’s important.

Here’s a Brisbane business building tip! Just do what wealth growers do!  For a start, they don’t live on credit card debt while spending everything they earn.  While wealth growers are quietly growing their wealth crop they don’t splash money around and they don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s next door.

Wealth growers grow wealth by observing a few simple rules:

  1. They don’t spend more than they earn so they do not incur personal debt
  2. They are more comfortable with cash or a debit card rather than a credit card
  3. They don’t buy new; they seek out quality and quality secondhand is fine
  4. They do not succumb to social pressure, herd mentality and impulse buying
  5. They factor both the short term and the long term into their thinking
  6. They put money away regularly into long term fund and allow it to do its work
  7. If they want to buy cars and holidays etc in the shorter term, they start another savings / investment fund for that (i.e. they don’t dip into the long term fund)
  8. They don’t waste money on things that depreciate in value; They buy things that are likely to rise in value

Adopting the wealth growers’ rules will be your way forward also.   Start by paying off your credit card and cutting it up.  Get a debit card and re-introduce yourself to the concepts of cash and saving.

If you get into these simple habits, you will be well on your way to financial wellbeing.

To read more Brisbane business building tips on financial wellbeing, check out this article “Seek life’s broader wealth solution” at

If you want change to a calm martial mindset, then try Aikido at

Until next time!


Australians are waking up financially

here’s a Brisbane business building tip!  The majority of Australians want advice without strings attached.  People simply want financial wellbeing without all the rigmarole. Because consumers are mistrustful of financial planners they are researching more and paying more attention to financial matters that they believe are relevant to them.

People are starting to take more notice and become more financially aware.  Whilst the majority of Australians are not financially trained or skilled, they are starting to ask questions and challenge the status quo.

Typically, people want to know:

  • How they can get a better superannuation deal and take advantage of government incentives to top up their retirement savings (after realising that their superannuation actually is their money)
  • More about the advantages and disadvantages of residential property
  • More about the risks associated with investments and how to choose investments that match their personal comfort level of risk
  • Ways to protect themselves and their financial future
  • How to qualify for the age pension and maximise the pension payments
  • How make their money last and how to pass their wealth on to their children whilst denying the opportunity to sons / daughters in law to walk away with their wealth in a divorce
  • How to retire with reasonable security

People of all ages want to know make their money go further and escape the financial rut.  Most people don’t aspire to be millionaires.  They just want to improve their lot to a level of reasonable comfort, do the very best they can for their children, and have a secure and peaceful retirement.   In other words, financial wellbeing!

The area of personal finances is not only about additional income and investments.  It is a broad knowledge base that includes protecting income and investments; making and / or saving money by having access to a professional who knows the hundreds of government rules that apply to this discipline.

For more business building tips Brisbane, and to read more on this subject read the article “The Irimi approach to personal finances” at

If you want to try Aikido, try Griffith Aikido at

Until next time!


What people really want from personal financial planners

Another Brisbane business building tip!  It pays to see things from the customer’s point of view.

What do most customers really want when they seek personal financial planning services?  Although they want to achieve a desirable level of financial wellbeing, what they really want often differs from the services that most financial planners want to provide.

There is growing demand in Australia to make financial advice affordable, easily accessible, easily understood and deliverable in smaller portions (as apposed to large complex financial plans).

The industry is changing and this requires a complete change of thinking on the part of financial advice providers.

I know from experience that the majority of people:

  • Don’t always want huge, expensive and hard to read Statements of Advice containing complex advice that attempts to map out the rest of their lives. (Why?  Because life can change so quickly)
  • Appreciate an expert resource with a depth of knowledge and experience they can draw on
  • Would really like to talk to someone who would simply answer questions
  • Appreciate having risks and opportunities that are not obvious to them, drawn to their attention
  • Like to browse for factual and current information without sales pressure
  • Have a continuing love affair and well founded belief in direct property, particularly residential property, even though it is not commonly addressed or recommended by financial planners
  • Are not necessarily wanting to buy a financial product when they seek advice

People who seek financial advice crave it with no strings attached.  They are looking for guidance and advice that is independent any particular product, and not given by someone who is employed by a product provider.

For more business building tips in Brisbane and to read more on this subject read the article “Navigating Life” at

If you want to try Aikido, try Griffith Aikido at

Until next time!


Be your own financial planner

Looking for business building tips in Brisbane?  If you are really interested in your own financial wellbeing, become your own financial planner.  Sound impossible?  It’s not as difficult as you may think.

An extraordinary amount of knowledge is required to be a professional financial planner in Australia, but only a fraction of that knowledge is required when you only have one client – yourself!

Think about it!  With only one set of circumstances to understand and one set of goals to achieve (i.e. your own), and no compliance issues to worry about, you only need sufficient knowledge to plan your own financial future.

Let me say upfront that while it is desirable to be involved in the planning of your own financial future, it is dangerous to do the same for others because their circumstances and aspirations are different to yours.  Please refer them to a licensed professional.

In financial planning, the big knowledge areas are taxation, insurance, superannuation, retirement, Centrelink & DVA payments, and estate planning mainly because each is a broad area and there are so many rules to understand.  The other important knowledge area and one that causes a lot of frustration for people, is ‘investment’.

There are so many products and so many options that even the most knowledgeable financial planner does not know them all.  Also, people assume that if a financial planner recommends an investment product, it is guaranteed to make money.  Such is not the case as the GFC has recently demonstrated.

Therefore, if you are seeking to improve your financial wellbeing, it is important to understand the concept of risk.  Risk exists in all investments, bar none.  The value of investments can go up and they can go down.  There are different types of investments and different types of risk, so the real skill is to uncover and understand the risks that are relevant to your particular investment.

Understanding risk requires thorough research – deeper than the glossy brochure.  Also, the closer you are to managing the investment yourself, the clearer the risks are likely to become.  However, that requires some experience.

For more business building tips in Brisbane, check out my Aikido Secrets blog site at

Next time – Starting with a budget


Bad boy Meno!

This is the story a suburban home mortgage lender who I will refer to as Meno Lendalot.  I have seen some commission hungry insurance representatives and financial planners in my time but Meno, the ‘loan-a-ranger’, takes the prize.

Meno is a one-time kitchen hand turned residential home mortgage lender.  His lack of technical knowledge is only surpassed by his lack of service and complete apathy towards his customers.  For females his attitude borders on disdain.

In Meno’s world, women have no place in the boy’s club of property investment.  So with a largely male customer base, his only goal is to build his loan book to a point where his trailing commissions will cover the cost of running his business and his long boozy lunches.  His only interest therefore is to get as many borrowers, with the least credit problems, through the door as possible to sign up for high fee loans, preferably locked-in with early discharge fees.

For the average suburban shop front home mortgage lender this is the way the money goes around.  On an average home loan of say, $300,000 the authorised lender (e.g. Meno the loan arranger) receives about 1.4% ($4,200) in upfront commission and a trailing commission of about 0.4% ($1,200) as an annual trail commission.  That is if the customer walks in off the street.

If the loan is referred by a finance broker, about half of the upfront commission is paid back to the broker, leaving the ‘loan arranger’ with 0.7% ($1,200) upfront commission and $1,200 annual trail commission on a $300,000 loan.  Of course the loan funds still come from the same bulk sources as a bank loan and the customer’s loan account is run through a major bank, at a fee.  This level of commission is good money, thus it is no surprise that this sector of the financial services industry, like all other sectors, attracts the occasional Meno.

Meno’s problem is that very few existing customers will refer their friends to him because they know from their own experience that once the business is on the books, ongoing service will be non-existent.  The only contact that an existing customer can expect is the occasional generic newsletter and the regular non-personal appeal for referrals.

Somewhat desperate, Meno relies on very print advertising and shopping centre promotions in an attempt to attract ‘one-time only’ direct business.  It has been proved over and over that very few people respond directly to professional and financial services advertising.  It is largely referral business.

A good dose of technical knowledge would also serve poor old Meno well.  He is fine writing a loan in the name of an individual but struggles when the owner of the property and the loan is a trust.  So what does Meno do when confronted with a trust?  He ridicules the customer and the advice of competent financial planners who recommend regularly as an asset protection strategy.  Not cool!

Meno complicates his problems by believing he knows everything.  He bleats the all too familiar tune “I have been in this business for years, so what would a professional business adviser know about running it better than me!” As he continues to ignore advice and draws ever closer to business oblivion, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his health is suffering.  A diet of alcohol, cigarettes, restaurant lunches and stress has taken a heavy toll on this overweight unfit late-thirties business pretender.

There is no conclusion to Meno’s story yet, but the end will come, ingloriously.  Meno should stop and smell the roses before the next bunch of flowers he receives is a wreath.

He is in business for all the wrong reasons and the stress he causes himself is killing him.  He is motivated only by money.  He needs to realise that he is delivering a service first and writing loans second.  A good first step would be to listen to his customers and demonstrate some genuine empathy for their needs.

Business building tips Brisbane – make a connection with your customers

Until next time!


Make a connection with your customers!

Norma set up a new business in a busy suburban retail area.  The business offered a massage service but the massage was delivered not by the traditional hands-on approach, but by a computer programmed massage bed.

Ten massage beds were purchased and set out ‘dormitory style’ in rented premises with soft lighting and music.  A customer would be shown to a bed, asked to lie down face up, covered with a sheet and a bank of warming ‘therapeutic’ lights would be rested gently on the chest.

The bed would be programmed at the bedside control panel and the customer left to relax.  Although this type of massage is very relaxing, the computer guided padded fingers were nowhere near as soothing as the hands of a trained massage therapist.

With some deft marketing, new customers kept coming and they were rewarded for bringing their friends.  The problem was that repeat business was very low.   Customers would come in once or twice and never return.  It took a little while to realise what the problem was.

Norma, the owner, was a very stylish middle aged woman who was always impeccably well dressed and well mannered.  On the other hand, the customers were the local residents, typified by shorts, denim skirts and thongs.

To Norma’s eyes, there was an obvious perception of class difference and the customers felt it.  Whilst she was friendly and helpful, it wasn’t hard to sense the distance that she put between herself and her customers.

At times when Norma was not in the shop, casuals were employed.  Typically they were young and were more focused on the customers and their enjoyment.  This pleasant change of atmosphere and lightening of mood saw customers flocking back with repeat business.  But as soon as Norma returned, the ambience reverted to that of a funeral parlour.

This issue was pointed out to Norma and, once her shock and anger subsided, her choices became clear.  If she stayed in the shop she would go broke.  Instead of selling what she thinks her customers want, she needed be more empathetic and provide what they really want.  That meant either changing her stand-offish approach or replacing herself in the shop.

Norma thought about this and finally responded by saying that she felt uncomfortable allowing herself to become closer to her customers and that to employ anyone who could do that for her would be to unnecessarily increase expenses when the business was only breaking even.  She elected to do nothing but continue on as before and steadfastly remained as the face and personality of the business.

So what happened?  Yep, she went broke; her health suffered badly and she closed the shop as soon as her lease expired.

Business building tips Brisbane – make a connection with your customers

Until next time!