I have a love-hate relationship with Afterpay.
The patriotic version of me is proud to see an Aussie fintech unicorn taking on the world. A brand that is changing the way consumers use credit.
On the flip side, the fiscally responsible accountant in me despises it. A company that profits by promoting consumerism to instant gratification seeking millennials and GenZ.
The same millennials who brunch on smashed avocado toast and whinge about housing affordability.
Part of this conflict is that I am technically a millennial.
So why aren’t I an Afterpay customer?
Well, I’ve never resonated with the brand.
I write, advise, record, invest, and teach. Here’s how my economic engine fits and works together.
In the diagram below, the dark blue lines represent the current flywheel. The dotted blue lines represent future additions.
Stark Naked Media is our content and digital product business. The mission of this business is to improve the financial literacy of entrepreneurs. I spend the majority of my time operating this business model as I believe it has the most potential to create impact at scale.
It produces and publishes educational products and programs like Stark Naked Numbers the book and Financial Management for…
A brand new, 300 location burger restaurant chain launches OVERNIGHT. The company’s companion app hits #1 on the app store charts and does over $15M+ in revenue in the space of 48 hours.
On launch day, the company actually pays you to eat their food. Wads of cash are stuffed in paper bags, along with fries and coke. Not only that — Airpods, free petrol, and even a brand new car is given away to a family whose vehicle was dented at the drive-through.
Yeah, welcome to 2021.
My suspicions arose on the third consecutive day he visited the house.
The overly friendly man. Pearly white teeth, charming smile.
He comes bearing gifts. Gifts for my wife.
She awaits this mysterious man every day, constantly checking her phone and emails for updates.
She leaps with excitement as he pulls his van into the driveway.
Greeting him at the door, she engages in some small talk. With a smirky grin he offers to haul these gifts into the house.
She always accepts.
Piles of nondescript, cardboard boxes fill the floor of our unfinished dining room. …
“Rent money is dead money” is the default response by most people on the ‘rent vs buy’ debate.
Especially in Australia.
Owning your home is a cultural icon. The great Australian Dream. What do you own if not your own abode?
Better yet, why just have one? Why not accumulate a mega portfolio of negatively geared, wealth-generating assets that ‘make money whilst you sleep’?
Is that not the ultimate Australian dream? To lie on a beach in Byron whilst renters deposit sweet rent checks into your agent’s trust account?
Well, I certainly bought into that narrative.
I am probably the least fashionable person you’ll see at the gym.
My workout attire is what most people regard as ‘home clothes’.
You wouldn’t know if I was off to do a tip-run or 30mins on the treadmill.
I never really understood why people bought clothes specifically for the gym.
I mean, you’re going to get sweaty and gross. Why wear nice clothes if they’re just going to get soiled in B.O?
But then I realised, not everyone goes to the gym to exercise.
Many do it for status.
You can’t build a business on your own.
There’s simply not enough hours in the day to do everything — from sales, marketing, product and operations. You need to surround yourself with managers that can own these various functions in your business.
Accordingly, founders should keep company with domain experts in these various fields. In effect, delegating these roles to other people to contribute to achieving the mission of the company.
This in itself presents challenges. For starters, managing people is messy — because humans are irrational. We all have our own worldview, values and motivations. This is why leaders…
Leverage can have negative connotations. A power dynamic that gives you an ‘upper hand’ in negotiations. Or, from a financial lens, loading up your balance sheet with debt.
This isn’t the type of leverage I’m talking about.
To me, leverage is creating assets and maximising their utility.
In other words, getting everything you can out of all you’ve got.
We all have one input to creating leverage. That is time.
How we choose to invest that time correlates to the potential leverage we can create.
We can spend it:
- developing relationships (partnership leverage)
- honing your craft (specific knowledge…
Throughout my 15+ year career as a chartered accountant and business advisor, I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses — ranging from small businesses and startups-all the way to publicly-traded companies.
I’ve stripped back the covers and shone a clarifying light into the darkness of their financials-helping founders and managers understand the clues that are hidden in financial statements. My skill is teaching people how to see them. I love this craft so much that I built a business around doing it.
What I enjoy most about my calling is the art of deconstruction. When I review a set of financial…
I rarely had ‘takeaway’ meals as a child.
For us, it was a luxury. My stereotypical Asian mother drilled into us that ‘eating-out’ was a waste of money.
“Why spend money on expensive junk food when my home cooking is cheaper and tastier!?”
was her automatic response.
Fast forward to 2019, it’s not uncommon for my young household to indulge in takeaway dinners. Typically it’s a Friday night, after my wife and I have exhausted the batch-cooked meals for the week.
On average, I’d say we eat out, or order takeaway about once or twice a month.
I thought that…