My name is Christian Thut from Switzerland.
This is the story of being penniless to building wealth with no contacts, no network, no role models.
Merci vielmal for taking the time to read this.
What follows are my most important lessons from 12 years of developing Canada’s #1 rated accounting for e-commerce, nail salons, and restaurants.
The one most important rule is consistently and intensely focusing on difficult hard-to-replicate skills that deliver value to people – day-in-day-out. Specifically, we need a singular professional focus to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.
I was never destined to become “the accountant“. It was only after I was bullied in school and my attempt to escape pushed me into mathematics and programming BASIC with a Commodore VIC20 when I was 11 years old.
- Throughout my life, I have been blessed with a schedule that maximized focused skills and dedicated hours. While other kids were playing, I was making programming, skiing, yodeling in a choir and getting black belts.
- I always graduated at the top of my class throughout my schooling and earned a Master of Science Degree in 2004. If I could do it again, I would recommend software engineering at an elite school (top 20) or if it’s not an elite school then you are better off skipping school altogether and exhaustively learning code online or learning a trade.
- I spent my time using the tools at my disposal – analytical math to try to solve problems: I developed mathematical optimization algorithms precisely correct volumes and rates of administration for intravenous medications. I travelled the world looking for worthwhile problems to solve. All problems can be reframed as a function of time, and I sought to reduce the time. This exposure to quality experience gave me a substantial head start and allowed me to start my career and later business at a much younger age than I might otherwise have been able to.
- I worked 80 hours a week for the first 3 years. This was enough time to work out for an hour every day and go out one night a week max. This gave me better skills than my peers since I had twice as much work experience in the same time frame. It is hard to take it easy in your 20s and then pick it up in your 30s. It does not work because of brain plasticity and you risk developing bad habits.
- I incorporated my firm in Canada’ s largest hydrocarbon processing region in 2006, on the premise that Alberta’s mass affluent would be best served by Swiss innovation and exclusivity free of the inefficiencies inherent to other firms. My vision was to have the best accounting service in Canada. I determined that the only way to reach this goal was to commit myself entirely to one activity: saving business owners’ money. Only a truly focused approach can enable an accounting firm to offer, believably and legitimately, a responsible, firstclass service and a relationship of the same impeccable quality.
- In addition to all the time spent honing skills, minimum 60 hours/per in my 20s the other advantage is there was no time left over to burn the money. I embraced minimalism and strived to save 50 – 90% of all the money earned. If your work is not working you wealthy, then you are making someone else wealthy since you pay for everything and the cheapest things in life (Netflix etc.) end up being the most expensive in terms of time and health which are more important than money.
- When my business income exceeded my day job, I leased out an office space making sure that it was less than 8% of my gross monthly revenue. The presence that comes with rent is one of the best advertising your money can buy and should be taken into account in determining the budget. The more inaccessible your location, the more you should spend buying web traffic. I spent as much as I could buying traffic. Margins decreased at one point but the only thing that matters is volume. I analyzed conversion rates and adjusted targeted demographics accordingly 30+ purchases for every 1,000 visitors meant I was on track.
- $10K spent on marketing/month resulted in $5K profit/month. Did I cut the marketing to increase margins? NO! I spent as much as I could until my business could afford to spend $10K/week and still profit $5K/week I had vinyl decals advertising my accounting service installed on my coupe. It is one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising. The more time you spend on the road, the more you should spend on vinyl vehicle lettering.
- Earning, fun, and negative visualization – don’t spend time on anything else. Typical accountants trade their time for money. Rather than trading my limited time for money from my clients, I INVESTED my time into building a system that will give me future economic benefits. Our clear and comprehensive year end package, our efficient procedures leveraging technology and innovation all give on going benefits.
- The aforementioned focus, dedicated hours, a lifetime of continuous learning/practice may sound like a lot of work but it leads to a more satisfying life. The only way it is rewarding and sustainable is by maintaining balance and treating yourself reasonably. If everything about you is only average how can you expect your output to be anything but average?
- My clients demand me to be the best, so I obsess over quality and aim for superiority in all things important to me. Dopamine and testosterone are powerful chemicals that make you faster and more accurate at identifying problems. I keep my levels elevated by being grateful and positive every day.
- I bought a juicer. It is hard to work as much as you need to work and be fit without juicing. Digesting food is tiring on the body, so juicing takes the work away from your body and delivers the nutrients more efficiently. People on the internet say juicing is bad blah blah you throw away the fiber, but you will still eat 2 good meals a day + use a blender for the prewashed mixed greens + frozen berries from Costco + protein powder.
- I bought four brand-new German luxury rides, five Swiss watches, and paid off my dream home. But between these items, I realized I wasn’t really interested in “stuff”. Working for “stuff” is not the way to go through life – cars and technology get old and outdated. Wealth is about having options and freedom. Wealth is only a by-product of being skilled at a craft vs. competitors that are so focused on making money that their short term actions are destroying their longterm goals. Still, I can’t deny that the money I made gives me the time and ability to explore what I really want in life.
- Still, it is wrong to take sole credit for my successes since my fool-proof formula was just to connect with winners (both customers and employees) and add value to their lives. Credit also goes to Trudeau, Trump and mainstream media which eliminates my competition by causing them to burn valuable attention rather than focusing on creating value.
12 years later, our customers are unique, but they share 12 priorities in descending order:
- Disciplined and definite people that do the single best valuable thing they can focus on rather than being a Jack of all trades, master of none.
- A compelling and focused mission that leverages proprietary technology (skills/equipment) too costly for average people to acquire or learn from youtube.
- Ability to scale – fixed costs of creating the output are spread over high enough revenue to have a pricing advantage for their inputs.
- Specifically targetted paid advertising to dominate niche markets before scaling to adjacent markets with more capital assets and employees (hire 1 work them like 2 and pay them like 1.5)
- Use their business account (bank/credit card) for expense transactions vs. cash or personal debit/credit cards.
- Do not multi-task. Do things once and do it right. Minimizing whenever you can will help with focus. Absolutely no video games and social media is only for making money. The cheapest things in life: social media, Netflix, accountants will cost you too much in terms of wasted time.
- There is too much choice and well all suffer decision fatigue. At most go to Costco only once a week or better yet have everything delivered (Amazon/Walmart) on a biweekly shipment. All other “shopping” should only be done once per year – towards the end of the fiscal year to accelerate access to CCA on capital additions.
- Earning, fun and negative visualization – don’t spend time on anything else.
- Abstaining from mortgages, debt, and rental properties before having healthy cash flow from a scalable corporation. An income property is only considered after the mortgage is paid off on the principal residence. Dividing the net operating income from a rental property by the cost of the property they get the investment yield. From this value, they can determine if it is economically viable to rent out the property or sell it. Having positive cash flow is not good enough to determine economic viability. In German, borrowing is ‘schulden’, the same word for sin. Rent when young and when old make either a minimum 20% down-payment on a home less than 2.5x their gross annual household income. Minimum 30% for a home that costs up to 4x their gross annual household income.
- Living far below their means. Easily done when their after-tax earnings are at minimum 2x-4x the median. They set aside 50-90% of all the money collected until they can fund their lifestyle entirely with passive income. Then 100% of their active income can go towards riskier investments. Losing $1 million dollars when they still have $3 million is worth the risk when they have the change of being worth $10+ million.
- Everyone in their lives is either moving up or out of their lives. Selectively choosing the people they surround themselves with is essential. All regrets in life involve wasted time. This is the only thing you can never get back so never waste a second on marginal returns, short-term gains and people with no value. They have no sympathy for those who created their own mess. Poor choices = poor character. This eliminates the empty work that plagues regular people and allows them to focus on what really matters. It is amazing how their customer service improved when they focus only on people that like them. Not a big deal, just not the same
interests. They don’t have a problem with others choices – they just don’t cater to everyone’s needs.
After 12+ years our blog is still the least influential financial blog on the internet, and our 120 customers is a tiny fraction of millions of small business corporations in Canada. We are not driven by money and popularity, rather we are driven by legacy, greatness, and hyper-focused on adding value.
To protect our clients from ever-increasing fraud and audits, we have redundant security elements in place including the same encryption technology used by Swiss Banks and the most secure layer (SSL) Certificate Authority. However, with over 40,000 employees, the CRA will be the reason your information is compromised. What ultimately protects our clients is the fact there are only 3 humans working in our office (all family), so we build genuine relationships with our clients which keeps them safe.
Today we are focused on building wealth in Canada which is easiest done with:
- Nail salons
THUT Wealth Accounting| #205, 12906 54 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5A 5A8 | © 2018 THUT. All rights reserved.