Growing up a Walker meant we were never short on adventure. My folks believed in travel as a lifestyle and that it should be frequent. They cared very much about our education and felt there was no better way to ensure that education than to ensure that we got to see how others live and experience cultures of distant lands.
My father may never have used the term but he was showing me the benefits of lifestyle entrepreneurship. He used to say: “I can’t afford this but my business can.” I am not sure when he first started saying this to me, but I know he repeated it several times. Thus my entrepreneurial learning began.
He understood the power that enterprise had to create and deliver a lifestyle he had not known as a the eldest child growing up in a large, poor but happy family. As Jim Rohn used to teach: “profits are better than wages” and create leverage needed to build the lives we desire.
When we become employees we are often unwittingly making the biggest financial choice we can make. Why? Two reasons: 40% of our income goes straight to the tax-man before we ever see it and second, jobs usually lack the time leverage that is possible with a business. Businesses reverse this pattern, allowing the business to spend first on expenses and pay taxes on what is left over, while creating tax write offs. Why is this fair? Because businesses create jobs and fundamentally don’t make profit if they don’t first add value to the market.
The adventures and fun that came to my family because of business ownership were not limited to travel. The company parties and meals out with the family were a blast. Perhaps the biggest benefit, my father had the flexibility to actually be around. Mom made sure we were heavily involved in scouting. While Dad had us enjoying the great mountains of Utah and community service for the big Oakley 4th Rodeos with the Lions Club. Dad would take us to concerts and make sure we were raised on the greats. I have so many memories at Lake Powell and idyllic were the summer dusk days at the lake with BBQ’s and Walker watermelon. With the brothers, I had some pretty epic white water rafting trips where we flipped the raft and all ended up in the river!
Time is the one commodity we all have only 24 hours of. The rarest of resources. Because of that lesson, I have been fortunate to have had a decade plus run of time freedom. I am thankful that my father took the time to tell me: “I can’t afford this, but my business can”.