As business owners, we understand the importance of financial success within the business. But what about the next step… wealth creation. In this episode, we’ll talk about how to build wealth and transform your impact with Salena Kulkarni.
Salena is a chartered accountant, certified property investment adviser, and wealth strategist. She’s always been curious about how to build wealth so that a greater impact is generated by business owners.
It can be easy to confuse wealth and income, despite being two different things.
So if you’re eager to build a great relationship with money, so you can create a bigger impact in your business and life, be sure to listen to the episode.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- How to begin to build your wealth (02:29)
- The main difference between income and wealth (05:57)
- The necessary attributes to have when building wealth (07:17)
- The global issues that can affect your decisions about wealth (09:35)
- What it means to play a defensive game in investing (13:11)
- What is alternative investing? (16:19)
- Why a high net worth isn’t always the goal (21:19)
- The four pillars of wealth building (24:10)
- “Wealth is about creating a portfolio of sustainable assets that will give you growth and income over time that you can actually bank on.” -Salena Kulkarni
- “There is a whole lot of stuff that’s out of your control, so you want to focus from a financial perspective on what is in your control.” -Salena Kulkarni
- “Be really careful about where you’re getting your information. Now is the time to switch all mainstream media off, it can get into your head and alter the way you make decisions. ” -Samantha Riley
- Book: The Freedom Warrior: How to build a bigger life through alternative property investing strategies
- Podcast: The Alternative Investing Podcast
WHERE TO FIND SALENA KULKARNI
- Website: https://inkosiwealth.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/salenakulkarni/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kulkarnisalena/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamSalenaKulkarni
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Salena_Kulkarni
- Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@salenakulkarni
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ABOUT SALENA KULKARNI
Salena Kulkarni is an Amazon bestselling author, Chartered Accountant, Certified Property Investment Adviser and founder of the Freedom Warrior Mastermind.
Her latest program, Freedom Warrior, is a Mastermind designed to help people catapult their wealth and shave decades off their time to financial freedom. She challenges the traditional wisdom and exposes business owners to a new world of alternative cash-flow generating investing and insights normally reserved for the ultra-wealthy.
Salena Kulkarni Snippet (00:00):
I think building a great relationship with money comes with awareness. And there’s no right or wrong around wealth creation or investing. But I think if you really want to be financially successful, I think investing time and energy into really shaping your thinking. And recognizing that you need to level up your thinking if you want to create the sort of wealth you want, that is important.
Samantha Riley Intro (00:30):
My name is Samantha Riley, and this is the podcast for experts who want to be the unapologetic leader in their industry. We’re going to share the latest business growth, marketing, and leadership strategies, as well as discussing how you can use your human design to create success in business and life. Inside and out. It’s time to take your influence, income, and impact to the level you know you’re capable of. Are you ready to make a bigger difference and scale up? This is the Influence By Design podcast.
Welcome to today’s episode of influence by design, I’m your host summit Riley. And today, we’re talking about wealth and specifically how you can transform your wealth so that it changes the impact that you’re here to make. So I’ve invited Selena Kulkarni, who’s an Amazon Best Selling Author. She’s a chartered accountant, a certified property investment advisor, and founder of the freedom warrior mastermind, which is designed to help people catapult their wealth and shave decades off their time to financial freedom. Welcome to the show, Selena.
It’s so great to be here. Thanks so much for having me on.
Such a pleasure, we were having a conversation was a good couple of months ago now. Because you’ve, we had a chat, and then you went off to Bali, and then I got COVID. And then all of the things started happening. And we’re both very busy. Well, we have come back together.
But we were chatting about wealth and how so many business owners don’t spend the time on creating their wealth outside their business, and really just focus on creating income within their business. And that’s why I’ve asked you onto the show today. Because I think that this is a really important conversation to have to really bring it to the forefront of people’s minds.
I’ve covered it a few times, but I know that we’re going to go in a completely different direction. So I actually love because you’ve got a really interesting story of how you got here to be doing this, because you were originally an accountant, how was it that you came to helping business owners to really build their wealth?
Yeah, so um, I started in accounting, and it was definitely a square peg in a round hole. I had a fabulous graduate opportunity with Deloitte eats and really enjoyed it to some degree, but kind of knew it wasn’t quite for me. And when I came back, you know, I went traveling, and when I came back to Australia, you know, I really felt the entrepreneurial target. And I, you know, started and sold a few really random things like dice bars and things like that. And just my, it was probably my husband, who kind of really started to get very interested in investing, and specifically property investing.
And I remember just having very little interest in it, but I would blindly sign everything you could in front of me. And you know, eventually, a couple of years later, I just started to say I better actually have a look at what you’re doing. And when I realized how much wealth we created, even in that sort of very short space of time, I really put my head into it. And eventually I said to him, Look, step aside, I’ll take it from here. Wow. Yeah. And he was lovely. You know, he loved that, because, you know, he was sort of busy with his own business.
And, you know, I think of myself as a real explorer, I found so many profitable ways to generate wealth, and then, you know, I’d go Okay, that’s great. Let me go and try this now. So, you know, I definitely think of myself as someone who has massive curiosity around wealth and wealth building. I had so many, you know, well-intentioned advisors at the time that sent me down rabbit holes that, you know, either did or didn’t work out, got plenty of cuts and bruises, there’s no question. I don’t claim to have been mistake-free.
But, you know, eventually, over a period of time, people started to see that, you know, my husband, and I never had great incomes, you know, and we had small children, and it was all very stressful. But the results that we were getting were, you know, far beyond what we were earning in our businesses, and people just started to say, look, you know, how did you do that? Can you help me? And you know, initially, it was a bit of a, you know, just course I want it mean, of course, I want to help you, then it started to get, you know, started to grow. And then you know, that the business was I would definitely say an accidental business rather than a planned one. But, yeah, I mean, essentially, I love the world of wealth building, from the viewpoint of, have impact. I think business owners especially and I’m really sympathetic to business owners having, you know, come from that in the past, they work so hard.
And you know, they, you know, you go into business, in part, because you’ve got an itch to scratch in terms of what you want to do. But wealth is always a part of it. And unfortunately, I think a lot of business, people, and coaches use the word wealth like it’s this elusive, top-of-the-mountain type thing. But don’t connect the dots on will, what have you actually got to do from a practical viewpoint to get there?
So, you know, I’ve really rubbed shoulders with people who I think are the best investors in the world and really studied, you know, how did you do it? What are the stepping stones? And so that’s kind of the space I like to play is helping business owners that don’t want to take 40 years to get to the financial level they want? How do you do it in five years??
So what’s the difference from your perspective between income and wealth? Because you and I were chatting that there’s a lot of people that get confused between these two terms.
Yeah, look, absolutely. What I would say to you is that I think, you know, what, the key metric that most people use in business to measure success is, how much income is the business producing what, you know, what’s the profit? What are the dividends? And I think, you know, there’s no question that your business is your, you know, one of your best, if not best asset.
But I think the reality that a lot of people have come to terms with, particularly over the last two years is if there’s any interruption to that income, if something goes wrong with the business, then you realize pretty quickly that, you know, the income that you generate from your business isn’t necessarily wealth. So from my perspective, income is about the fuel that you create, to fund your lifestyle and grow your wealth. But it’s not the same as well.
So wealth, for me is about creating a portfolio of sustainable assets, that will, you know, give you growth and income over time that you can actually bank on. And I think that, unfortunately, I think it’s very easy to get very muddy about the two when you’re running a successful business.
So from the business owners that you’ve worked with, what have you seen are the most the biggest mistakes, I guess, that business owners make? Actually getting started, we can probably delve deeper into once they start, but what are some of the mistakes that you’ve seen with people that have sort of made that decision and drawn that line in the sand and thought, well, let’s get started. And it’s either held them back or it stopped them?
That’s a really good question. I think, if I’m honest, I think the fundamental attribute that you need to really get great at if you’re going to be someone who invests and creates wealth, is that ability to be a great steward of your money. And so if you’re a business owner, that hasn’t had a lot of discipline around allocating your capital and setting aside money for investing, that’s always a great speed hump for people.
And I’ve worked with people who are, you know, ultra-high net worth, who still struggle with that, even though they earn great money, and they’ve got assets behind them, they still struggle with, you know, setting aside money that, you know, I think it’s very common, and I certainly have suffered from this, you know, to suffer from shiny object syndrome.
So that’s one part of it. And then I think the other part of it is, you know, I have this attribute that I described as investment effectiveness. And it’s really, uh, like, how good are you at choosing your investments, and I think that too many business owners will very quickly abdicate decision making around what to invest in. Because the wealth industry tells them, oh, it’s all too complex, and you should leave it to me. Give me the keys for your car, I’ll do the right thing by you.
The more I’ve spent around people, you know, time I’ve spent around people who’ve really nailed their stuff. You can’t outsource decision making, it doesn’t mean you don’t leverage other people’s skills.
But you’ve got to remain in control of your decision-making. And so investment effectiveness is really like, you know, learning the art of choosing investments wisely. And, you know, creating investment rules so that you don’t get distracted or get off track. The two big ones.
So we’re financially, we’re in a different time now than what we were, let’s say three years ago. You know, there is a recession that’s quite imminent, and people are making very different decisions. How much is this affecting the decisions that we need to make right now in our wealth creation?
Yeah, again, it’s a fantastic topic and I think We could probably do a whole podcast on just this, we’re definitely entering a period of high uncertainty and volatility. I think, you know, the Australian government, to a large degree has done a great job of shielding Australia, from many of the pretty volatile ups and downs that have happened in the last two decades, we certainly weren’t anywhere near as badly affected by, say, for example, the global financial crisis as many other nations, but I definitely think there’s some pretty dark clouds brewing.
And from a business owner perspective, I’d definitely be playing a more definitive game. And from an investor perspective, I think the best thing to do is really be super conscious. And I think this is true of life in general, but be really conscious of where you’re, you know, getting your information and digesting your sentiment from, there’s a lot of panic merchants in the market. There’s a lot of scaremongering going on. There’s you know, in the wealth industry, there’s a Don’t worry, she’ll be right going on. It’s just there’s a lot of opinion.
And I’m just a huge believer in kind of trying to sidestep as much of the media sick, this is possible, and really honing in on what is actually happening and then assigning probabilities to what you think will happen. So I think sensible decision-making can be kind of almost put on the back burner when we’re in a bull market.
And the whole world is, you know, the last few years, I’ve had so many investors telling me, oh, you know, I bought all these properties, and they’ve done really well. So I must be a really good investor. But, you know, I definitely think if, you know, we don’t know what’s going to happen.
And I don’t actually like crystal ball gazing and predicting what will happen. I’m relatively well versed in, you know, economically what’s happening, and I talk to people who I believe have the ear to the ground. But my genuine for everything happens in cycles. So this time will pass. But I genuinely feel from a wealth-building perspective.
There’s always opportunities in the market. And it’s really about, you know, de-risking your own personal situation before you even look at investing. And then working out well, what investments, you know, have a higher probability of success during volatile market times.
I wrote an article just recently about some of those things that you just talked about. I think that it’s number one, it’s really important to remember that in recessions, it is really just a wealth redistribution event. I can’t remember where I originally heard that from, but the essentially there’s still money in the world. And in actual fact, in times that are, you know, in recessions and times of instability, there are more millionaires and billionaires created because it just redistributes.
So I think it’s really important to remember that. And I love that you also mentioned, be really careful about where you’re getting your information. I’m a big believer, and now is the time to switch all mainstream media off, because it can get into your head, and it can start to alter the way that you do make decisions. But you did mention playing a defensive game. Now, can you explain more? What does that actually mean?
Yeah, so I think there’s a series of activities that investors and business owners should undertake, to kind of, you know, put themselves in the best possible position to really thrive during this next two-year period, because there’s still a lot of uncertainty about how governments are going to respond and react to things that are happening around the world, like the crazy inflation and the rising interest rates and so forth.
But, you know, diversification, like really looking if you are already an investor, you know, have you got too much asset concentration, you know, are you identifying, you know, low-risk opportunities right now, or are you still speculating? So, for example, I, I like to classify any investment as being speculative or non-speculative. And non-speculative is what I just, you know, call investment grade. And I would say that you want to be sort of staying away from speculative investments.
So, an example, believe it or not of speculative investments is buying a house or buying a share and just hoping and praying that the market keeps taking it up. What’s that speculation? I think keeping reasonable liquidity and everyone’s definition of, you know, liquidity and cash reserves is going to be different.
And as I said before, in a rising market, you can afford to Red Line your finances, you can afford to, you know, borrow to the hill, but, you know, in the environment that we are in right now, I would be looking at, you know, holding better cash reserves, then you might be in those sort of markets, I think, you know, looking for opportunities to de-risk your portfolio if you’re carrying investments that use Think may be a bit susceptible to volatility, I’d be looking at really kind of managing that I would be, you know, looking at opportunities to, you know, I guess, bring some risk out of your business as well. I think, you know, business to some degree, why I love working with entrepreneurs is they’re just naturally they think like investors.
I mean, their businesses, greatest investment. So it’s a natural extension. But again, even in business, you know, you can tend to want to redline it. But I think, you know, trying to take away dependency from borrowings take away dependency from vulnerabilities that you know, are within your control, because I think ultimately, there’s a whole lot of stuff that’s out of your control. And so you want to focus from a financial perspective is what is in your control.
So, I mean, there’s, there’s lots of threads in there. But I just think, you know, if you’re carrying assets that, say, for example, high, high-end blue chip, and they’re costing you a lot of money to hold, and you’re banking on a rising market, that would be an example of a, maybe an area of vulnerability that you would want to just make sure you’ve, you know, got some stock gaps in place to take care of that. Hmm.
So you talk a lot about alternative investing. Firstly, actually, let’s start what how would you describe alternative investing? What is it?
Yeah, so alternative investing is really just my way of saying it’s not mainstream, and people who kind of play in that space is definitely not something that most investors or most people would have access to. It’s definitely a bit of a plot private playground, a lot of off market deals, but it’s very broad. And the minute you say, alternative people kind of, you know, the hairs raised on the back of their neck, and they assume it by risk. Exactly.
And, you know, down one end of the spectrum, you can have things like your venture capital, you know, startups, maybe to some degree, even blockchain, which is high risk, high reward type stuff. And then down the other end of the spectrum, you know, particularly because my own journey has, you know, and I’ve definitely experienced more success around property. So I like alternative investments, which are backed by real property.
So, in many cases, they have a very low-risk profile, you are totally passive in these deals. And they’re awesome for generating just that predictable sustainable cash flow that is almost impossible to achieve in any other asset class. And you know, why I love these types of investments is, you can afford it to take small bites of lots of different cherries, so that you don’t have huge exposure to just one particular strategy or one deal.
And ultimately, the reason they called alternative is that they’re sort of from an you know, an entrepreneur understands the, you know, the ideas straightaway, they’re structured in a way that traditional real estate just can’t be, you just can’t do it that way. And so that’s why there’s opportunities to create income streams.
That’s why there’s opportunities to create, instead of, you know, trying, praying, the market goes up and getting an organic growth in an asset, you’re actually forced creating forced depreciation. So there’s no speculation. That’s what I mean an alternative.
So what I’m hearing is that, because you can in some of these assets, classes, you can have this little small bite of the cherry, as you mentioned, in a time of volatility, is this potentially a safer way to invest? Because we’re sort of investing smaller amounts across a wider area?
Oh, look, I think the fact that you can take small bites of lots of different deals is definitely lends itself to diversification. But I think once you understand how these deals are structured, and how they’re chosen and how they’re vetted, and who the people are the run these types of deals, you sort of start to realize that they’ve got multiple exit strategies, they’ve got really good downside protection. They’ve quantified the risk.
They’ve got very narrow, you know, deep focus in terms of track record and strategy. And so just from a purely from a risk point of view, the thing that is probably the most exciting to me about alternative during this period of time, which is highly volatile, is that these deals are not that volatile, as in they’re very recession resistant, because you’re not investing and praying for a rising market. So if the market goes down these strategies do well. If the market goes sideways.
These strategies do well if the market goes up these strategies do well. And I think part It is the biggest risk and alternative is who you put your faith in. There’s, you know, 1000s of deal operators out there claiming that they know how to run these deals that I’ve become through, you know, experience of having a lot of cuts and bruises I’ve become, you know, I’m an optimist that I liked the expression, trust, but verify, which means you do have to be careful about who you put your faith in.
And I feel like I’ve done everything the hard way to get to this point where I have high confidence about what kinds of questions I think are important to ask.
And the people that I like to work with are the people that have done it the hard way. And the reason is, is because there’s often a lot of mistakes been along the way, there’s been a lot of ups and downs.
So they’re people that I like to work with, because I know that they’ve got a deeper understanding of the topic, because it’s fine for someone to say, I’ve done this and it’s worked. It’s completely different to work with someone that says, Well, I’ve done this, it didn’t work so well, when I did it this way, it absolutely failed when I did it that way, but then it worked this way. Because the I just find that I have a lot more trust in those people. So I love that you’ve even mentioned that.
Oh, well, we want to be real.
Well, yeah, we’re not here for anything else. Right? No, wait, you mentioned about some mistakes that people can make and getting started. What are some of the mistakes that you notice with business owners that have set up their wealth? What are some of the things that you’ve seen, that we can be really aware of?
I think the one thing that I think is a universal kind of misconception for a lot of people, but particularly business owners is thinking that a high net worth is the goal. And you know, I’ve worked with lots of people who have extraordinary net worths, like 10s of millions of dollars, and they’re in so much financial pain because they’re carrying assets that deliver them no cash flow, or the cat the assets, a very heavy burden.
And there’s a, you know, it’s kind of a running joke amongst high net worth individuals, which is very, sort of a bittersweet joke, which is, you know, you’ll often make the money, your kids will spend it, and the grandkids be there to start over. And I think, you know, net worth is definitely one metric around, you know, evaluating how successfully you are building wealth, but it’s only one metric.
And I think it’s a little bit one-dimensional to think that that’s the only goal. I think the abdicating thing that I said before is definitely something that people want to be really careful of because I think if you give your money to tell us, the truth of the matter is they don’t care about your money as much as you do. They’re not going to make decisions with the same filters that you make.
And I’ve heard this from so many of my mentors, is that the people who abdicate decision-making never end up as wealthy as the people who, you know, retain control of their decision-making. So I think, you know, we’re so busy with our businesses sometimes that we barely have time to lift our heads to say, you know, what, how much money did I make this month, let alone think about investing.
But I think the thing I would say, as an extension of that as the cadence of wealth building is completely different to the cadence of running a business. So that business requires your constant, active attention. Whereas wealth is something that you can just kind of plot away in the background.
So I would say the overwhelm that a lot of business owners have around wealth creation, is partly because there’s, there’s just an avalanche of information out there trying to tell them how complex it is, and all the experts. But what I would actually say is, if you can kind of cut through the clutter and the noise, creating wealth is not rocket science. It just requires you to be able to discern between useful information and marketing and noise. I mean, that’s kind of, you know, no different to what we’re also dealing with as business owners. Right?
Right. When you were talking about that, and you know, as business owners, it’s just head down and get the work done. And it is often difficult to come up for a breath. What is it that you’ve seen business owners successfully do? Like? What’s the difference between the business owners that are in that same situation that are building their wealth, that some of those successful clues, I guess, that you can share with us? And maybe we can start to think about?
Look, I kind of alluded to it earlier, but I kind of see wealth building as needing four big pillars. And to be honest with you, as an investor, you have to get good at all four of them. So the first one I said before was stewardship. And Stewardship is a bit of a dead word in our society these days. You don’t hear it very often.
But stewardship is really simply just how effect Definitely do you look after money when it comes into your world, and a lot of entrepreneurs are awesome at looking after money within their business. But the minute, there’s kind of like leftover money, and it comes into your personal bank account or your world, it’s almost like the discipline around that kind of falls away.
So you’ve got to get good stewardship, and the money management piece has to flow both in your business and in your own personal world as well. So that’s one pillar. And there’s, you know, there are so many threads on that.
But the second one is investment effectiveness, you have to get really good at understanding what investments are in alignment with your goals and your risk profile and your aspirations and which ones are not. Because it’s, you know, investing is expensive, from the viewpoint of let’s say, you’re going to buy a house, a house is expensive, or if you’re going to do a deal, it’s expensive. So you don’t, you can’t afford to put a foot wrong. So, you know, getting clear on what is and is not in alignment with what you want, is really hard for a lot of people.
And then, you know, I call it knowledge. And I say knowledge because I think there’s two prongs, I think there’s, you’ve got to get educated about this stuff, like you have to understand the fundamentals. But then there’s wisdom. And wisdom comes with from experience. And so you can either get that yourself, or you can go and find mentors or guides who can, you know, help you get there quicker.
And then I think as well, there’s a you know, the fourth pillar is really just around kind of, I guess, building network and putting yourself in situations where you can really kind of, again, get more stability, with how you kind of manage and look after your portfolio. Love it. Yeah, that’s kind of where I think people are, you know, needing to put some energy and attention in order to kind of level up if you like, it’s almost like its own little business in itself.
And really making sure that they integrate or, you know, come together, because I can see how they help each other.
Well, I think, you know, that last piece mindset is really about, you know, getting clarity on how you think and relate to money. So many people have a lot of pain around money that they’ve inherited from their parents, or maybe people have experienced a financial loss.
And they’ve let that really shaped their decision making in the now and they don’t even realize it. So I think, you know, the journey towards being an amazing investor is a lifelong journey. I don’t know that even people who are, in my opinion, top of the tree, take for granted that they know it all, you know, there’s always more to learn.
I think that’s what makes a successful person is that they know that things always change, that the learning never ends. I think that when people come to that note, I know everything, which is I can’t even think of someone in my world that’s like that, you know, that’s when things go pear-shaped?
Yeah. Selena, I know that you’ve got a podcast where you can share so much more information than what you share today. I know that we’ve only just scratched the surface. Can you tell us a little bit about the podcasts and the kind of conversations that you have?
Yeah, so the podcast is called the alternative investing podcast, funnily enough. And when I started it, the intention and the kind of, I guess the call to action that I was getting from people was, can you talk more about what is alternative investing? And how does it work and all the rest. But I think the way the podcast has actually evolved, if I’m honest because I do talk about the strategies and why they’re so effective to have as part of your portfolio.
But, you know, I’d like to, you know, I’ve considered rebranding and calling it something else, but it’s really fundamentals around wealth building. So it’s wealth building 101. And, you know, specifically for business owners who their self made. So, you know, I have a lot of empathy for people who weren’t necessarily given a handout or a hand up, and they’ve built what they have through sheer blood, sweat, and tears.
And they just, you know, there are two kinds of people that I work with. One type is they’ve already been an investor for a long time. And maybe there’s just a degree of frustration with the results. And the other is someone who’s done very little investing, but wants to be super effective with what they do.
But either way, you know, some business owners have the luxury of thinking that one day they’ll be able to sell their business for a high ticket sale price, and some don’t. And either way, the way I look at investing is investing isn’t trying to compete with the business for ROI or return on investment. Investing is to create this amazing Safety Net or exit ramp or plan B, whatever you want to call it, and that so it doesn’t have to be one or the other, I think if you can do both.
And so for me, like, I’m just trying to have fun with my investing and the people I work with now. But if you know, if I don’t want to do that one day, then I don’t really have to worry. And I just feel there’s a lot of pain amongst a lot of business owners, I’m speaking to at the moment who may be a bit worn out, who maybe feel like they can’t sell their business, or maybe they’re not going to get the money for their business that they would have liked.
Or even worse, they are going to get the money for their business that they would like, but they wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway. And it isn’t enough to, you know, retire on or, you know, however they want to kind of structure their lives. So I think yeah, sometimes people don’t think about that till the runway is quite short. So I think wealth is really, you’re never too young to start thinking about it. And you’re never too old to start. It’s never too late.
So of course, we’ll link the link for the podcast up in the show notes. Selena, it’s been a really great conversation, what is one thing that you would like to leave us with one thought or one, you know, value bond that you want to leave us with today?
Oh, wow. That’s deep. I think building a great relationship with money comes with awareness. And there’s no right or wrong around wealth creation or investing. But I think if you really want to be financially successful, I think investing time and energy into, you know, really shaping your thinking and recognizing that you need to level up your thinking if you want to create the sort of wealth you want. That is important. I’m not sure if that’s, you know, a single idea or profound but investing yourself is probably the big sort of takeaway, I’d say.
Love it. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Selina and sharing it’s been a pleasure chatting with you today.
Thanks so much. I really appreciate you having me on soon.
Samantha Outro (32:13):
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