Create Big Progress with Small Decisions

April 29, 2016 by  
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Did you ever wonder where self-motivation came from? It’s interesting to see the various levels of it in different people—some have huge amounts of self-motivation and get so much done and are super successful, while others don’t do much of anything except watch TV anytime they can. Many people think that you are either born with great self-determination and motivation or that you’re not but some very interesting studies have shown that this not the case.

Author Charles Duhigg in his wonderful book Smarter, Faster, Better, says motivation is a skill that one can learn and practice and become better and better at it just like reading and writing. But we need to practice the right way.

Duhigg makes the point that “to motivate self we must first feel like we are in control.” But how does that help? Duhigg says that “when people believe they are in control they tend to work harder and push themselves more. They are, on average, more confident and overcome setbacks faster. People who believe they have authority over themselves often live longer than their peers.”

Even very small decisions can give you very large rewards towards building your self-confidence and self-motivation. Duhigg later adds, “When we start a new task, or confront an unpleasant chore, we should take a moment to ask ourselves, “why”. Why are we forcing ourselves to climb up this hill? Why are we pushing ourselves to walk away from the television? Why is it so important to return that email or deal with a coworker whose requests seem so unimportant? Once we start asking why, those small tasks become pieces of a larger constellation of meaningful projects, goals and values”.

So remember, if you really want to build your self-confidence and ramp up your motivation, those small decisions do make big a difference. Get back to taking those baby steps as they add up, turning into miles and miles of progress. Do it enough and you’ve got yourself a marathon of self-confidence and self-motivation!



Compounding People

April 22, 2016 by  
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“The most powerful principle I ever discovered was compound interest!” –Albert Einstein

I relayed that quote in my blog last week. It’s a pretty amazing that here’s this brilliant scientist and thinker saying compound interest was his most incredible discovery. The thing is, the incredible power of compounding applies to more than just money. Many smart people have figured out how to expand or compound themselves or their business. To do so, they compound people.

Many religions figured this out years ago. Realizing that if they encouraged followers to have a lot of children they could grow their religious cause very, very fast.  Do you realize that if you had 10 kids and each one of your kids had 10 kids and each of them had 10 kids and that continued on for 10 generations or about 250 years, that would produce an amazing, almost unbelievable 10 billion human beings! That’s 3 billion more people than are on the planet earth right now, and all those 10 billion came from just you and your partner. That probably would never happen but it does demonstrate that huge power of compounding.

But now here is real life and modern example of the power of people compounding. In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and 3 of his classmates at Harvard came up with the concept of what we all know now as Facebook, which they introduced only to Harvard students in the beginning.  Within 24 hours of launching Facebook they had over 1200 students register.  Two years later in September 2006 they opened it up to everyone 13 years and older who had valid email addresses and would you believe that by August 2008 they had over 100 million signed up?

It certainly didn’t stop there and by April 2009 their numbers totaled 200 million which doubled to 400 million less than a year later and at the end of 2014 that number hit an amazing 1.39 billion.  How did all that happen?

If you use Facebook at all you know that answer.  You contact 10 of your friends who make contact with 10 of their friends and that continues on and on again, just like having those 10 kids.  And Zuckerberg sure did cash in on that power of compounding of people.  He’s now the 4th richest person in the USA with a net worth of 44.6 billion dollars and growing.

In other words, if you can get a few people behind you who are willing to recruit a few more each who are also encouraged to bring in a few more, you could have a team or group or army to help build your dream. I would encourage all who read this, as well as myself, to strongly consider how we can expand our reach and/or our business by using the power of compounding with people.

Truly Smart Money

April 15, 2016 by  
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One of the smartest people in the entire world said this about money: “The most powerful principle I ever discovered was compound interest”.  Who said that? Can you believe it was none other than Albert Einstein?

I had forgotten that wonderful quote until the other day when I came across a booklet titled “Being Smart with your Money” written by my very dear friend and my money mentor of years ago, Paul J. Meyer.  Paul was a man who truly went from rags to riches.  As a young man, he was making a few bucks by picking fruit in California, but by using his brain and wisely using his little bit of money with leverage and compounding, he eventually amassed close to a half a billion-dollar fortune.  He was considered the pioneer of the self-improvement industry and also made tens of millions in real estate. I must give him credit for much of my own fortune.

My other mentor was Larry Rosenberg from Denver, Colorado. Both Paul and Larry basically gave me the same advice when it came to making millions with Einstein’s powerful discovery figuring into the equation as well, big time!  I was taught that, to begin with, a person who wants great wealth needs to pay himself first.  That is, no matter how much or how little money you make, set 5%, 10% or more aside and then (and this is critically important!) never, never, never spend it!  This money is not for buying nice things, it is for investing!

When you’ve built up enough from those savings, go out and invest it wisely.  Most of the time that wise investment is going to be in good ol’ real estate.  The big-time, huge key to this investment, however, is to keep at it, reinvesting the money you make on the first deal in another deal and then another deal after that and so on and so on. That is what compounding is all about.

Paul says this about what a $1,000 investment can grow into: “If that $1,000 were in an investment that brought 10% interest per year, in 73 years, I would have over a million dollars from my original $1,000 investment!  If you put another $1,000 dollars into the pot each year, it would take only 47 years to hit the million-dollar mark.” Keep in mind, that’s compounding at only 10%. As my previous blogs have demonstrated, you can do much better than that. I, and many others, have compounded money at 25%, 50%, and even 100% which turns $1,000 into many multi-millions.

Paul Meyer also gives this excellent advice in his “Being Smart with your Money” booklet: “Only when you develop confidence in a principle will you exert the effort required to change your behavior and put this principle into practice.” That means, you won’t be able to put these ideas to work for you until you take the time to look carefully at them and come to understand just how well you can do with this plan. That understanding should motivate you into acting on these principles. Paul has these great bits of super money advice to get you going as well:  “Set goals, live within your means, get on a budget and stay there, pay yourself first, put your money to work …” and, I would add, use lots of leverage and reinvest for that wonderful compounding effect.

Although Paul’s booklet is no longer in print, I do have a number of copies that I would be so happy to share. Simply write me here with your mailing address and I will send it to you. Paul’s wise words are too good to keep to myself! (Free offer for booklet is limited and will be given to those that respond first while supplies last)

Making the Next Year Last Twice as Long

April 8, 2016 by  
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Is it just me or does it seem like every year time speeds up?  Today, April 8th, is my 72nd birthday. It seems like my 71st birthday was only about 3 or 4 months ago! So now what do most of us do on our birthday? Yep, we celebrate.  But do we actually rejoice that we are getting older and closer to the end of our life?  Or maybe we are celebrating that we survived one more year?

The question really is, though, is there a way to slow down the passage of time?  Before I get to my ideas on that, I must tell you that one year ago I said to my wife without thinking it through, “Ya know honey, I don’t think I want to have any more birthdays,” and she quickly and wisely said, “Oh babe, I really think you do want at least a few more!” Duh. What was I thinking?

I guess when we are celebrating our birthdays what we really are doing, or at least what we should be doing, is some thoughtful reviewing of what we’ve spent our time on and what we’ve accomplished in the past 12 months. It should be rather like what we do around New Year’s eve.  And then after our reviewing we should take time to do some planning and goal setting for the next 12 months.

As far as what I think will work to slow down the passage of time, I have noticed that when I work at becoming totally aware of the present moment, in the ‘right now’, it does seem to slow down the clock a bit.  This last year I kind of moved away from taking notice and enjoying the ‘right now’ moments and spent too much time thinking about what I am going to do in the future.  True we all need to take time to plan and set goals but after we’ve done that we really need to concentrate our efforts to do more of living, enjoying and rejoicing in the moment. And that is what I plan on doing a lot of now before the big 73 rolls around.  Yep I’m going to slow Father time down.  Let’s all try to do that and see if it will make the next 12 months more rewarding and satisfying and, just maybe, those 12 months will seem to take twice as long to travel though. Let’s all slow the next 8760 hours down by living in the great ‘right now’.

Build Your Wealth with the Help of Inflation

April 1, 2016 by  
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If you’ve been reading the last couple posts, you may be asking, can I get more specifics on this 15% rate of return morphing into a huge 60% return? Well, let’s go over some specific examples.

First of all, let’s have a quick review of what I call natural inflation vs forced inflation. Natural inflation is what our general economy goes through over time. It lifts the price of everything especially assets that are in limited supply, like land and houses. Because of this natural inflation many people, if not most, find that owning their own home has increased their net worth by a huge amount without much effort on their part. The average price of an existing home in America increased in value by $56,200 dollars from 2012 to February 2016 or from a price of $154,600 to $210,800 on average. So, without much effort on the part of the home owner, homes increased in value by 36% over those 4 years or 8% per year compounded. Not a bad investment with so little effort made.

Now let’s take an example to demonstrate what so called ‘forced inflation’ can do even if you don’t count on natural inflation. Let’s say you bought that $154,600 house back in 2012, or even last week for that matter, and put 20 % down or $30,920 and then spent another $7,730 or 5% to fix it up. If you found a house that needed a good bit of fixing up plus you did the kind of improvements that really lifted the curb appeal and the overall value, you most likely would have lifted the value by 15% percent which would raise its market price to $177,900.

If you sell it at that price, you would pull $23,300 out of it plus your personal investment of $38,630 (for down payment and fix ups) as well. That 23,300 is 60% of your personal investment. Where else can you get that kind of return? And remember, if you keep up that kind of investment and return over 20 years you could turn less than $40k into a whopping $459 million! I’m pretty sure that’s well worth your efforts.

If you feel uncertain about what improvements will really increase your investment return, take a look around and see what houses in the area are bringing in top dollar and figure out what they have that the slow and low selling houses don’t Also, pick the brains of those people that are good at seeing what brings in high prices. Do your research to find where your efforts will be most heavily rewarded.

You should also research the home prices in your area before you buy. You can go online and search your city or state and see what the average or median price is for existing homes. Many sites will even tell you what the natural inflation has been in the past. If you get the right deal, that natural inflation might well add on another 8% to the 15% you added to the value of your investment. And let me tell you, those kinds of returns over the years will blow your mind even more!