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Living the Rich Life … Well Below Your Means

August 12, 2017 by  
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In last week’s blog, I said that multi-millionaires are risk takers and, sure, sometimes those risks don’t work out but with enough time, determination, and a good game plan, taking risks do pay off.

Viewing multi-millionaires from a distance you might not realize that most of these people also have a “lack of attachment to spending”, especially on their way up the financial ladder. But even after arriving at the multi-million dollar status, they still tend to live below their means. This is because they still pay close attention to their spending; it’s a habit they formed when they were poor and working on climbing that money ladder.

This trait jumped out at me just a few days ago while planning a trip to Europe.  I got on line to buy two first class tickets to Paris and, on my first search, saw that prices ranged from $8,000 to $11,000 for each round-trip ticket. Even though I could easily afford those kind of prices, I just couldn’t stop there.  I spent another 20 or 30 minutes looking at different route’s, dates and airlines and those minutes paid off big time.  I found a $2500 ticket for a nonstop flight to London, knowing that we could catch a ride on the great Euro star train which only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to Paris. The only minor problem was that we prefer to fly on Delta airlines since we get a lot of free miles and our million-mile status gives us all kinds of benefits and privileges.

I told my wife and she told me to wait a few minutes because she was checking a few different dates for Delta and sure enough within 5 or 10 minutes she found a round trip, first class flight on Delta into London for $2600 dollars—for another $100 it was well worth it to us and we quickly booked our 2 tickets.

Like I said, I could easily afford the higher price but I would much rather use the savings to buy more properties or even make more donations to my favorite charities.  Maybe if I were a multi billionaire I would just not bother shopping around and would pay the much higher price.  But then I look at someone like Warren Buffet and even with his $75 billion, he lives far below his means, still residing in a very modest house that he’s been in since 1958.  He very much has that great “lack of attachment to spending” trait and knows how to live below his means!  We all need to learn a lesson from him and yes, pass it on to your kids and friends and anyone who wants to make it big and stay there.

A little P.S. here … that Euro star train ride is fantastic! It’s smooth, quiet, and travels at 200 miles an hour, straight from downtown London to downtown Paris. I love that wonderful and very scenic ride! You should make your own plans to take Euro Star and visit Europe in the not so distant future.

A Bold Night

August 5, 2017 by  
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Recently I read a list of 10 traits one sees in millionaires and found the list to be very much in line with my own experience, especially points like “not afraid of taking risks” and being the types that just go out there and “do it” without worrying about the possibility of failing.  There is much I’d like to discuss with you about the things on this list but this week, I want to zero in on risk taking and how it can pay off in many parts of your life.

Last weekend my wife booked tickets to the great historic Egyptian Theatre located in Park City, Utah.  It’s a wonderful place that books many talented actors, dancers and singers.  We went to see one of the original singers from The Supremes, Mary Wilson.

Wow, what a great voice she still has all these years later. She gave an absolutely wonderful performance and ended the concert by asking if any women wanted to join her on her last song.  I’m not sure if she invited any men to join in but no men took to the stage.  I was really into her music and performance and felt so turned on. I really wanted to join her along with that bunch of pretty ladies on stage but she was ending the song and I was afraid to go up and maybe totally embarrass myself.  I thought about it for maybe 15 seconds and then said to myself, “I’ve done all this preaching about not worrying about failure or embarrassment so why sit here? Just get up and go do it!”

Well, even though I was very unsure of myself, doing something that I’ve never done before, I just jumped up and got onto the stage and began singing and dancing with all those women.  And what happened?  Well, I had a wonderful time and all the women seemed to love that I joined them. Mary Wilson made a special fuss over me, even pulling me into her side as the song came to an end and, WOW … did we ever get a great standing ovation! Not only that, I met all her backup singers and musicians back stage.

Later my wife and I had a nice chat with Mary about success and what it takes to make it big. And yes, overcoming fear of failure and just “doing it” is high on that list.  There was an additional bonus for my boldness and that was the number of people that came up to me afterward to give congratulations for my boldness, saying they wish they’d done the same thing.  And now we even have a few new friends in Park City.

A big plus was that the theatre sent pictures of me on stage with Mary! Now, this experience certainly won’t turn me into a great singer, but I had an incredible evening and I re-learned that great lesson of overcoming the fear of failure.  I certainly used that lesson as I built my financial fortune, overcoming fear and pushing forward even though I knew there were risks I was taking.

We all need to keep telling ourselves to take some risks and push ourselves to overcome fear of failure.  I would hope you too will keep working on this one and, please, pass this lesson on to your kids and grandkids and friends, especially those that you see needing a little help in this department.

Mary wilson

 

Inspire Yourself– Write Down Your Own Thoughts

July 29, 2017 by  
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Anyone that has followed my blog over the years knows that I think very highly of the power of words, especially the words that you and I write down. I encourage everyone to “journal their journey” through this life. Your own words can be so powerful in helping you through it.

When I go back and re-read some of my thoughts from 5, 10, or even 40 years ago, I am amazed at the things I wrote. Oh yes, there were many goals that I set for myself—I made progress on some and was a failure on others—but the big stuff that often jumps out at me as I read are the words in which I am preaching to myself, pushing myself to do better and, more importantly, to enjoy my life right now.

Reading those words can be, and have been, very motivating years later. Many times, when I go back and read my inner thoughts and ideas days, weeks, or even years later, I say to myself, “Wow, I wrote that?”, or “Wow, where did that come from?” It’s like it came from some other person’s brain. Start writing in your own journal and see if you don’t experience those thoughts and feelings when you read them later on.

It’s very interesting to me that our own words can give us, and our lives, motivation and inspiration. Here are the words I came across today that I wrote in my journal back on January 29, 1998, entitled simply “Thoughts”. I should have titled it “Random Thoughts” though.

  • We involve ourselves in so many activities—games, sports, work, relationships, eating, drinking etc.—to distract ourselves from ourselves. Is making it in the world the most important thing about our being?
  • Climbing and coming back down from Mt. Everest is a perfect metaphor of life. When you get to the top you are only half way.
  • Love is what we were born with, fear is what we learn. Love is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
  • Meaning doesn’t lie in things, because things don’t love us back; meaning lies in us.
  • We overvalue what we perceive with our physical senses, and undervalue what we know to be true in our hearts.

And my last of these random thoughts:

  • Time only exists in the moment of right now. Time is an infinite series of “nows” strung together. The way we spend each “now” creates our destiny. When you are focused, time is your partner.

I do sincerely wish and hope that these few random thoughts may enhance your life and those people, friends, family and loved ones around you.

And once again I strongly encourage you to write notes to yourself in a journal, on a note pad, or on a computer. Later on, as you re-read your own words, you will be so very glad you did and you may even be inspired by those words, ideas, and inner thoughts that you put down.

 

Is Financial Freedom Worth It?

July 22, 2017 by  
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Many of us want to achieve something big or great, but before you can do this you must have a dream. Your starting point is a vision, a goal, whether you want to be a great artist or a great athlete or a great statesman. The same principal applies to financial success. One doesn’t just wake up one day and find oneself the richest person in the world. Success must be earned, which to most of us seems obvious but some folks just don’t get it.

The good news is that it can be earned and in a relatively short period of time. Knowing that makes the effort much more worthwhile and should encourage more people to dream big and set big goals.

HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?

We all have difference wants and needs requiring different levels of income to feel financially free. Some people would require $10 or $20 million or more before they would consider themselves financially independent. Others would need only $500,00 or a million. Still others may need only $2,000 or $3000 more a month to be able to live as they wish.

What is financial freedom to you? How much income or net worth would you need before you would consider yourself financially free, having income that comes to you without much or any effort on your part? How much is enough to allow you to do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it?

Finding that figure should be the first step toward reaching your new goal so set your goal and make it specific and, of course, write it down with a time frame or deadline.

IS IT REALLY WORTH THE EFFORT?

The next step is to decide whether or not the effort it will take to reach financial freedom will be worth it to you. You not only may have to work very hard and long but you may have to constantly defend, or chose not to defend, yourself against those who consider money to be bad and think you are just being greedy.

Of course, making lots of money can be either a good or bad thing, depending on what you do with it. Money has many powers. Money can free someone from drudgery and from feeling trapped doing a job that they hate. It can be, and usually is, a measuring stick, an indication of progress. It’s stored up industry. It is achievement and accomplishment made negotiable.

Aside from all the hard work and how having money is perceived, the most important consideration of all is the journey itself. At the very beginning you must ask yourself, “Am I willing to make the necessary sacrifices and take the necessary risks on the journey?” If the answer is no, you should reevaluate your reasons for wanting to make the journey in the first place.

Personally, I had many reasons as I set out on my journey to make many millions of dollars. I highly valued the great freedom of traveling the world and helping other people along the way and trying to truly make a difference. For me, the hard road that I had to go down was well worth all my efforts. But only you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the sacrifice and energy you’ll need to put into it.

A little footnote … if you already arrived at your financial goal, I would suggest you send this blog on to your kids or grandkids or someone that you think would really like to hit it big. Being an example and encouraging others is just one more thing that reaching your financial goals can do for yourself and others.

 

A Darling Little House

July 15, 2017 by  
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Many years ago, I wrote a book called The Courage to be Rich. This week, I re-read some of that book and, in particular, a chapter entitled “How Yuks Can Create Big Bucks”. It reminded me again that making money by acquiring beat up, old, dirt bag properties and adding your own sweat equity can make a person rich today in the exact same way it did 30 and 40 years ago. In fact, right now, with many properties selling for top dollar, it makes even more sense to lower your financial risk by investing in these kinds of properties. Here is an excerpt from that section of the book.

Changing a Tacky Dump into a Swiss Chalet

I really couldn’t believe what I saw. A few years ago, while driving down a street in Salt Lake City, I glanced over at a little white house, maybe a thousand square feet at the most, and I just about drove off the road. The formerly grungy house had been completely transformed. Instead of a tacky little house complete with cluttered yard, worn grass, and garbage cans by the porch, I saw a cute, Swiss chalet cottage. The change was so stunning that I pulled over to stop and stare.

At first glance, it seemed that someone had spent a ton of dough making the property shine. Upon closer inspection, I found that the changes made on the outside of the property were quite inexpensive. The dirty sides of the house had been covered up by a fresh coat of paint, and Swiss style shutters with decorative patterns had been placed on either side of the windows. The garbage cans had been moved from the front yard to the back. For extra frosting, a white picket fence had been put along the front of the yard. One other conspicuous difference was a FOR SALE sign prominently displayed.

I was totally amazed at the change, but even more amazed at my reaction to the changes! I had, for years, been in the business of buying properties that needed fixing up and, after some work, would resell or refinance them at substantial profits.

Prior to stopping at this house, I considered myself very smart and successful at what I did. But here is the huge shocking part of this experience. My first reaction was: “What a cute little house! It’s absolutely darling. I should buy it!”

Talk about dumb–really dumb. Here I am in the business of buying dirt bag properties, fixing them up and making big money selling them and this little house almost fooled me into buying it. But now as I think about it, that experience is teaching me a big lesson.

Almost everybody would rather buy a property that looks nice and new and pretty. That’s just normal in us human beings. That’s why people are making money by fixing and fancying up beat up houses and apartments. And now in today’s market where a lot of properties are at top prices, these types of properties are the safer investment. You can greatly increase your chance of making money by doing the simple fixes that stand out and grab people’s attention!

That darling Swiss looking house certainly did it for me and needs to be duplicated. Or should I say, “Hey, here is another way showing how you can make big bucks from yuks.”

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