By Eric Dehm
Matt Sapaula aka “The Money Smart Guy” is a Marine Corps veteran was, to put it lightly, not very good with money during his time in the Corps.
“I was 100% horrible with finances,” Sapaula tells ConnectingVets. “I remember our First Sergeant asking ‘who needs help during Thanksgiving?’ And I raised my hand because I couldn’t even afford a turkey.”
When the First Sergeant pointed out that if Corporal Sapaula couldn’t afford a single turkey, perhaps he shouldn’t be driving a brand new car. It was around then that he says the light started to turn on and he would eventually figure out how to properly manage his finances. And once he knew what he was doing he wasn’t just managing to keep those finances in order, he was really good at it, so good that he became known as the Money Smart Guy and turned his newfound financial acumen into a business.
He has spent 18 years in the business of business. Particularly focusing on helping hopeful entrepreneurs start their own businesses, particularly veterans. When a vet approach Sapaula about starting a business he tells them they need to focus on what he calls “the 3 C’s.”
- Cash Flow – “The number one thing you’ve gotta do is start creating cash flow. Think: How can I create cash flow from this business endeavor in a relatively short of time because if I can create cash flow, then minus my expenses I can create the 2nd C.”
- Capital – “When you have enough cash flow, you don’t need to borrow money from a bank, you don’t have to borrow money from your credit card. With capital, after your expenses, you can take that money and invest it back into your business.
- Contacts – “The third thing, in order to have it all function, and is something we need to work on as veterans is to create contacts. How do I monetize my network? How do i expand my network? How do I reach people who make buying decisions? How do I reach people to get me introductions both on a one-to-one and one-to-many levels.”
Sapaula says if a vet focuses on, and figures out, the “3 C’s” they are ahead of the game.
“If you have a solid plan for those three ingredients heading in? You can launch any business for little money and without having to borrow money from anybody else,” Sapaula says.