How to Retire at 55

Educator, entrepreneur and CEO Sandras Phiri shares how adopting a start-up mentality can help you fast-track your financial goals.

Published: November 2018
Video/Photos: Supplied

As Chapter Director for Startup Grind Cape Town – and former Director for Johannesburg and Lusaka – Sandras Phiri has a clear sense of the entrepreneurial mindset. Experience has taught him what small businesses do right, what they do wrong, and what they could do better. And he believes that those same learnings can benefit any kind of individual or business.

Learning 1: Know what you want

 

“When you’re running a start-up, you would need to be clear, right up front, about where you want the company to go and what you want it to achieve,” says Phiri. “That same approach could also be useful when it comes to your personal wealth and finances. So many people who I coach are very clear on what they don’t want; but they struggle to see what they do want in life.”

 

“Once you’re clear on what you want, you’re more able to say no to the things you don’t want,” he adds. “Rather than saying yes to everything, there’s power in saying no to some things – especially if those things are distractions that won’t help you build towards your ultimate goal. This is also true when it comes to investments: when you know what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to focus on your goals and say no to the noise.”

 

Learning 2: Know where you’re going

 

Phiri believes that without a sense of purpose, many people miss out on achieving their goals, or falling short of where they want to be. “It’s important to have a sense of direction,” he says. “A lot of people spend more time planning their weekend than they do planning their future.”

Phiri suggests running your life as if it were a business, with the same strategic approach and long-term vision. Whether you’re aiming to build a business, create a financial legacy or simply retire early, the key lies in identifying what you want, setting a long-term plan, and remaining focused on achieving it.

It’s important to remember that business – and life – is not just about the money.

As Chapter Director for Startup Grind Cape Town – and former Director for Johannesburg and Lusaka – Sandras Phiri has a clear sense of the entrepreneurial mindset.
Phiri believes that without a sense of purpose, many people miss out on achieving their goals, or falling short of where they want to be.
“If you’re enjoying the process, focusing on your goal and doing it for the right reasons, you’ll survive those challenging moments.”
 
It’s important to have a sense of direction. A lot of people spend more time planning their weekend than they do planning their future.

Learning 3: Don’t make it all about the money

 

Phiri is also CEO of Africa Trust Academy, an education company dedicated to inspiring and educating people for economic transformation. When he works with ambitious, young, would-be entrepreneurs, he makes a point of reminding them that business – and life – is not just about the money.

 

“A lot of times, when you ask a start-up entrepreneur if they really enjoy their line of business they’ll say, “No, not really, but there’s money to be made here!” That’s all they’ll focus on,” he says. “But at some point – when they’re super-busy and not making the money they thought they would – they will stop and ask, “Why am I doing this?” If you’re enjoying the process, focusing on your goal and doing it for the right reasons, you’ll survive those challenging moments.”