We’re all about young people supporting young people, and Ross does this exactly. His business Time Financial, is all about supporting young Australians to make smarter decisions when it comes to their $$. His had an incredible couple of years and has smashed off some amazing goals.
What is your business (include name) and when did you start?
My business, helps young Australians make smarter decisions with their money. More Time Financial is a financial planning, money management and financial education business that works with clients all over Australia and those living overseas to deal with all of life’s ups and downs. I started the business with my father in April 2015.
What inspired you to start your business?
When I left university, I was working for a large financial planning company which was a great learning curve into life in the real world. For the first year I was predominantly only working with the clients that were given to us and in the industry, traditionally financial advice is usually reserved for the older generation (as they have the money). I was helping and making a difference to my clients lives however in was still unsure why more people weren’t paying attention to my generation. All my friends (myself included) were finishing university and moving into our first career jobs, earning more money then we had ever earnt, having to decide but company superannuation schemes, moving out of home (maybe for the first time). We were all making these big life and financial decisions with no one to really talk to and get advice from besides our parents. And the more I started to dig the more I realised that no one was speaking to my generation about money instead they were talking about them but not to them and my idea of providing advice to the younger generation was laughed off by by many of the older financial planners us they said you can not make money from the younger generation its best to focus on the older generation with large superannuation balances. So I decided to try prove them wrong and help my generation make smarter decisions with their money. And that’s how the idea for More Time Financial began.
Tell us about the journey you have been on with your businesses?
I officially started the business in April 2015 with my father (Allan Marais), 2 days before my 24th birthday after leaving my corporate job. We weren’t allowed to see any clients for the first 3 months, as I was unable to legally work as a financial planner in my business (due to restrictions from my previous employer). So in order to pay the bills I would work in the office doing what I could to set things up and be ready to open our doors to clients. And in the evening I would drive for Uber. This was actually really helpful as I was able to explain my business and hand out a few business cards to my customers.
Over the next past 2 and half years, there has been long days and lost weekends as we have grinded to get the business off the ground and grow our client base. It has been a challenge but it has been enjoyable and rewarding to see your hard work pay off. We have a long way to go but its going to be a good ride
How do you handle the naysayers?
I am lucky that I havent had to deal with too many (yet), most people have been supportive so far.
How do you balance everything? What are your top tips?
I am not sure that I do balance it all to be honest. I try to hardest to balance everything, it would have to be up there with one of the hardest things about running your own business / working for yourself. Between trying to keep your partner happy and dealing with family and friend commitments, a to list and email inbox that never stops growing. There are definitely a lot of sacrifices that are made. I am getting better at it but its still challenging.
My tips would be to get very good at managing your calendar and set your schedule and stick to it. We are a client facing / services business and have a couple of meetings a week I use Calendly to manage my meeting bookings this has been a life saver and would highly recommend it.
Where do you envision yourself in the next 5 years? How do you plan to do this?
I am a big fan of traveling and I haven’t ticked off as many countries as I would have liked. So over the next 5 years, I see myself traveling the world, working in business remotely and have a large focus on financial education as I believe this is vital for future generations. First step move out of the office. We are currently in the process of moving out of our rented office space and planning on setting up the business to allow us to work anywhere. We are lucky in the sense that we provide a service that doesn’t require physical products. So as long as we have an internet connection we are in business. There is the difficult part of having your systems and processes in place to be able to give you the freedom to work like this but it’s a goal and we are working on it.
What has been a challenge you’ve had to overcome that has shaped you and your business?
I dont think there had been one challenge but rather a muliple of challenges. Being a business owner and going through all of the challenge that we deal with on a daily basis I think has given me the (small amount) of experience and understanding to be able to help my clients and others as they go through their challenges in their own business. Having experienced these things at the beginning of our business journey will I think help us in the long run.
Who inspires you? Why?
Without sounding clique’ I would have to say my parents, working with my father over the past 2 and half years I have got a better understanding of what my parents went through when we moved from South Africa. I get stressed and overwhelmed at running a business when i dont have any children to suppport. I cant even imagine what they would have gone through to move me and my brothers halfway around the world to give us a better life. Moving to a new country, starting a new job in a new country, raising a young family and leaving the rest of your family behind is something that inspires me to do better.
What has been the biggest tip you have received off someone that has stuck with you?
Someone once told be “Being in business is a marathon not a sprint” and that if you are planning on being in business a long time don’t make short term decisions that will come back to bite you in the ass later.
What is a tip that you would give to a young person thinking about starting a business, but not sure how to start?
If they don’t already have a business idea. Firstly, I would tell them to spend some time figuring out what really makes them happy and what they really want to do with they lives and try if possible start a business that lets you do that. (Sometimes easier said then done but its worth trying). On the business side I would start by fining out if there is a market for their business idea. Go talk to friends, family anyone who will listen and talk to them about your idea and test the market. If its selling a product go sell it at markets. If it’s a service offer it for free and see what people think and how much they would pay for it. Try, learn Repeat.
What are your top 3 biggest lessons you have learnt in your business?
As the business owners / operator you are responsible for everything, there is no complaining to anyone.
Time management is vital, if you dont manage your time well you wont last long
Understand your numbers, this is a big thing that is so important. And if you dont like number find someone who does and employ them.
What is a podcast you can recommend?
I am currently listening to:
Freak Economics radio which is great for all things money, business and investing.
The Gary Vee Audio Experience which I listen to for marketing and business insights
If you could meet an inspirational leader, who would that be? Why?
I wouldnt say that they would be inspirational leaders but I have had a goal of wanting to have a dinner with John Smit (ex South African Sprinboks Rugby Captain) he was my childhood hero, Justin Vernon (artist / Bon Iver) he is one of my favourite singers and someone who I have listened for years and finally David Pocock (ex Australias wallabies captain), he is someone who I believe has had such an impact on some many peoples lives that I think it would be great to meet him.
What was one of the first goals you smashed in your business?
Opening our doors and getting our first client!!
No the first goal We had was to generate $100,000 in revenue, it took a bit longer then expected but we got there.
What would you say to your younger self?
If I had my time over again I would tell myself to start documenting my life / journey from a younger age and in particular from when I was deciding to quite my corporate job and thinking about starting the business. This is something that I am only starting to do on a regular basis now and I think that I would have done this earlier it would have made a big difference to where I am now.
Where can we contact you?
Website: rossmarais.com (coming soon)
More Time Financial