Tom Sylvester: Preparing You to be an Entrepreneur with Lifestyle Builders

October 27, 2019

Do you want to improve your business AND your life?

Tom Sylvester is a business consultant, entrepreneur, public speaker, and author. He works with entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them grow their businesses.

Tom spent several years helping Fortune 500 companies and their leaders develop their companies before focusing his efforts on entrepreneurs and small businesses. His passion lies with those trying to build their companies from the ground up.

Tom and his wife Ariana have started a new movement they call #LifestyleBuilders. They believe that your business should support your life, rather than taking it over.

Tom coaches entrepreneurs, co-hosts the Lifestyle Builders Podcast and co-authored the Lifestyle Builders Book with Ariana.

Learn more about how Lifestyle Builders can help you improve your business and your life by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on  Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of up my We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. Right Tom Sylvester, you're the founder and CEO of lifestyle builders. Thank you so much for joining us.

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on Josh.

So what is your approach? You know, there are a lot of people that offer great advice to entrepreneurs. And I think that you and looks like your wife is very involved in the work that you do. And so what is your approach to Kind of coaching and mentoring those who are choosing an entrepreneurial lifestyle?

Yeah, absolutely. So essentially, our approach comes down to now, really making sure that you understand why you want to be an entrepreneur and why you want to start a business. And what that really means is figuring out what you want your life to look like in the future. And then basically modeling your business to help you create that life.

So what if somebody is working a regular job? And they're like, man, I'd love to be able to sleep in I hate my boss. I hate doing something that is not my own. It How can someone get a realistic baby cuz? Okay, so I've been so I've run my own businesses since the year 2000. So we're getting on or over 19 years now. And it's been a roller coaster, and there's been a lot of tough seasons, a lot of feast and famine. I mean, we've had You know, we've had six figure months, and then we've had months where, you know, we got to pay out way more and earning. And you know, and earlier in my journey last homes bankruptcy. I mean, it was, you know, I probably didn't have as many mentors to learn from at the time that there are available today. But how can someone get a more realistic view of what an entrepreneurial lifestyle is like if there was still working a job?

Yeah, well, I love the fact you brought that up, because Same thing with us. We've been, you know, entrepreneurs for 1213 years now. And we've definitely seen the ups and downs we've seen, you know, miscalculating taxes and having to come out of our personal funds with that, you know, we've also seen, you know, really good successes coming out. So the number one thing we recommend people that are in a job do is keep your day job. You know, there's an appeal of entrepreneurship especially You don't enjoy your day job. But the worst thing people can do is leave that consistent income, that consistent health insurance, all of that, because entrepreneurship, as you said, is a roller coaster. So what we always recommend people do is, first thing you want to start out with is figure out what do you want your life to look like in the future? So look out five years, 10 years, and just start describing what that looks like. Because once you have clarity on what the future looks like, then you can work backwards to say, Okay, what are the different paths that will allow me to get there, and then which one seems like the best approach for me. And a big part of doing this is really figuring out your personal finances. You know, so a lot of times people are confused because they come to us for business advice. But we start out talking about their life and their finances. And it's because the habits that you bring up in your life will come up in your business. So if you don't have a good handle on how to manage your money, and what your business needs for you, then you're not going to be able to start the right type of business and run it in a way that allows you to not only pay yourself but pay your expenses, pay your taxes, all the things that entrepreneurs forget about.

Now, what about how being an entrepreneur affects your relationship? It can you talk a little bit about your what your experience has been with that and, and how that is all part of kind of designing and being, I'd say, you know, it feels to me like, you know, just being very intentional about you know, your your exit into being a business owner and not relying on a day job. I again, I think it's another one where people don't anticipate how this could impact family, your relationship with your partner, that sort of thing.

Yeah, you know, that word, you just use intentional. It's one of the words that we use all the time. It's one of our favorite words. And the reason for that is because what most entrepreneurs do is we have innovation One day, it's either that we don't like the situation we're in and we want to change. Or the worst one is that we get an idea. And we think it's the best idea in the world. And we talked to a couple people that are like, Yeah, that's great, go ahead and do it. And we don't realize what's actually involved in building that business. So I fell into this trap. You know, when I graduated from college, I set a goal to retire by 35, basically, because I knew I didn't want to work a job for my entire life. And I figured that was enough time to kind of figure out how to make it. And the biggest mistake I make that I see most entrepreneurs make is they get the business idea. And they just go all in with that without really talking to their spouse, their family, and making sure that the business that they're doing their spouses on board, because not only is it going to take a time investment, it's gonna take a financial investment, and it's going to impact your life. So I jumped in, I spent a whole bunch of money on a training, I tried to go out alone, and what really changed for me and I've seen changed A lot of other entrepreneurs is, before you dive into the business, take a step back and basically talk with your spouse and say, What does the future look like for you? Let's get aligned on where we want to go. And then we can talk about what the different paths are to get there and which one is right for us.

So you and your wife have a book coming out on my birthday, October 29, this year, and it's actually available for pre order right now at lifestyle builders., who needs to buy this book and why?

Yeah, so anybody that's considering becoming an entrepreneur, or anybody that's, you know, started that business, but hasn't been able to figure out how to get all the pieces of your business engine functioning together, to allow it to work, because the point of building a business is to be able to not only help your customers solve their problems, but ultimately Take care of yourself. And where a lot of people fall into this trap is that they trade their day job for Another job which they call their business, but they end up working more hours and making less money. So anybody that's kind of stuck in that trap, they're trying to get the business going. They're trying to make that transition out of their day job and they're trying to figure out how to do that.

You know, Man, I wish this book exists. Because, you know, when I accident, I was just like, well, I'm just going to burn the ships. See what happens. Worst case scenario, I go back and get a job. Well, I found myself in a position where I was too tainted, that it's, it's really hard to go back and and get a regular job. But at the same time, man, it was, you know, financially it was it was tough, and we were accumulating debt, and, you know, eventually just got insurmountable. But yeah, I mean, what a gift to be able to have a blueprint on that. That trends. edition. So and what's what's really cool is on and I love authors who do this, I think it's absolutely brilliant is that you give away the first two chapters for free, you've got a lifestyle builder starter pack that folks can print out. So, you know, and I think, you know, someone who's writing a book should kind of follow your blueprint for how you are publishing a book. And because I just think that that's great. And now this is going to be broadly available. It's on amazon books, you know, Barnes and Noble, it's going to be everywhere.

Yep. And, um, you know, I, you know, first off, anything that we've done, has been looking at what other people successfully have done before us and not reinventing the wheel that comes to launching a book that comes to building our businesses. But I want to just quickly go back to that point you said about leaving your job. And this is something that often gets overlooked where, like, people leave their job, often at the wrong time. And so we actually put a explicit section in the book Talking about how to figure out when the right time to leave your job is and then how to make that transition because there's a big mindset shift and a big change to your routines and your entire life when you go from being an entrepreneur and employee with a side hustle to a full time entrepreneur. And so a big thing we focused on is when to make that transition, and then what to expect and how to work through that because it can become very lonely and very overwhelming when you're suddenly on your own and you're accountable for everything.

So for all of our fellow entrepreneur, friends, or if, if you see talk of someone on Facebook or social media, and they're like, man, I want to start my own thing. I want to join the ranks of other business owners. Remember that the book you need to refer them to it's called lifestyle builders. It's on the web at lifestyle builders They can grab the first two chapters for free There's all the free stuff around that. And then of course, October 29, they can get their hands on it. You know, really, I see Tom us collectively doing a good work by making sure that this information gets in the hands of people that are considering leaving their day job and, and becoming a full time entrepreneur because, again, there's a lot of, there's a lot of landmines out there. And, gosh, I'd hate for someone to have to go through some of the crap that I had to go through shoes, you don't you can absolutely make this transition, you know, much more painless. And, you know, it's, it's by following good advice from people who have navigated those waters, figured out where it can go sideways. And, you know, again, map out some, you know, map out map out a, a route that allows you to sidestep a lot of that or you know, just plan in advance, you know, for the inevitable like this something like this is going to happen. And when it does, you know, because you've planned for it, you know, you've got the extra cash set aside, like taxes, I think is a big one. It's like, Whoa, they don't take taxes out of my income a monthly basis, small thing, and it seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people are like, I need that money right now. I can't set that aside. And then, you know, tax time comes around and you're like, Oh, crap.

Yeah, you know that that first year of full time entrepreneurship, there's a lot of surprises for most people, you know, they don't realize the impact on their personal budget with things like having to pay for their own health care, which can be a significant expense. You know, they don't realize that they're actually paying more in taxes in some cases, because their employer was actually paying part of those taxes previously. So there's a lot of positives to having your own business and there's a lot of tax planning. Fits and stuff that you can have. But there's also the other side that often isn't talked about but can definitely sting you.

Wonderful. Well, Tom Sylvester, you are the founder of lifestyle builders and you and your wife Ariana have the book coming out in October. Thank you so much for joining us. Absolutely. Thank you, Josh. Thanks for listening to the thoughtful entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my slash cast that we've got something out of this interview. Would you share this episode on social media? Just a quick screenshot with your phone and text it to a friend or posted on the socials? A few do that tag us with the hashtag up my influence? Each month we scour Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. We pick one winner from each platform and you You get crowned king or queen of that social media now what do you win? We're going to promote you and your business to over 120,000 social media fans totally free. Now, can you also hook us up now in your podcast player right now, please give us a thumbs up or a rating and review. We promise to read it all and take action. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. Your feedback helps us fulfill that mission. And while you're at it, hit that subscribe button. You know why tomorrow? That's right, seven days a week, you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed 15 minutes a day. My name is Josh Elledge. Let's connect on the socials. You'll find all the stuff we're doing at up my Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur move

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