Courage for Living the Life You Want

March 9, 2018 by  
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Back on Feb 7, 2014, I wrote about how important “Courage” is in so many parts of our lives and gave my definition of it, which is, “Courage is going against the odds, against popular opinion. It’s doing what most people are unwilling to do because of the criticism and flak they know they will receive from family, friends or even strangers. Courage is living your life for you. It’s setting your own rules and policies and taking full responsibility when you fail or stumble. It’s resisting other people’s attempted manipulations of you. Courageous people do not accept all traditions, conventional wisdom, or pat answers without close scrutiny and severe questioning.”

I certainly know how very critical courage is and as the title of Susan Jeffers great book states, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. This is a mantra to live your life by. It can bring huge success, not only in financial matters but in most every aspect of your life.

Today I picked up a book I wrote in 1983 titled, The Courage to Be Rich. In it, I read what I wrote about courage and “The Keys to Success” that, for the most part, are still relevant today 25 years later. Here is a section from what I read about my financial success.

A reporter once asked me to give him a list of what I considered to be the keys to success. Here’s the list I gave him.

  1. Everyone is going to die someday, so you might as well really go for it. Don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself.
  2. Guts are not for sale; only you can supply that.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions even if you think they sound dumb–that’s how you learn.
  4. Use other people’s money; always, always, always ask the seller to carry the financing on whatever assets you’re buying.
  5. Seek out and find motivated sellers–people who want to sell something so badly they are desperate.
  6. Earn big bucks by purchasing the “yucks”—the property that nobody else wants. That’s where the money is.
  7. Use the tax laws to cut your taxes to zero.
  8. Success in anything is a numbers game. Do it enough times and you will become good at it; do it a bunch more times and you will become famous.

All these years later, I must say, that, for the most part, what I wrote back then still applies today for living a life with courage and making a good financial living.

By the way, I think my old book, The Courage to Be Rich, can be bought for around $8 on Amazon if you have any interest in reading it.

P.S. If you know someone who needs to lift their courage factor, you might pass this post on to them. Except maybe not to a teenager. It may give him, or her, too much courage and they might try to set their own rules and push back at you and the family. But when they are ready, these may be the words they need to conquer their fears and the world.

The Risk and Reward of Living Large

May 15, 2015 by  
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George Romney, former GOP candidate for President recently made some powerful comments to graduating students at Utah Valley University. He advised the students “to experience a fulfilling, purposeful life. One thing you’re going to have to do is live a ‘Large Life’”. What great advice. That is something all of us need to pay attention to. We need to go out and do it and do it our entire lives.  So many times we hesitate to ‘Live Large’. Why? Because most of the time we fear that we will fail.

“Failures don’t have to define who you are,” Romney had gone on to say, and of course we all have had failures.  He further stated, “Through all my occupations, I have experienced successes and failures. I am asked what it felt like to lose to President Obama. Well, not as good as winning. Failures aren’t fun, but they are inevitable.”

How about you, the reader?  Have you racked up a lot of failures or just a few?  It seems to me, from my experience, that the number of failures I’ve had is in direct proportion to how large I’ve tried to live.  So, yes, I’ve had a ton of failures but some of those have led to some huge successes. And the reason for those successes was that I learned so much from my failures.

I remember one huge loss that I learned a valuable lesson from which lead me to some very, very large successes.  What happened was I decided to lend a large amount of money with a restaurant as collateral.  Big mistake on my part! Why? Because I don’t know much about that kind of business so if it failed I certainly wouldn’t know how to run it. And guess what? It did fail and I lost almost all of what I had loaned.

What did I learn?  Well first I found out that restaurants have a very high rate of failure and second, I learned that I shouldn’t stray from what I know best.  Not that I shouldn’t ever loan money but if I do, I should loan it on assets that I understand as well as being on improved real estate which, ideally, would also be income producing.

I forged ahead and made many millions of dollars’ worth of loans that were backed up by real estate and was very successful.  Later I discovered that I could do even better by owning the right kind of income producing properties. I also, very successfully ventured into the development of condos and warehouses, where the profits were even bigger although they did come with increased risks but in that case, those were risks I was willing to take.  And much, if not most of that success, came from lessons learned from my failures and my trying to ‘Live Large’.

Next week, I want to address something else Mitt Romney said at Utah Valley: “Your life will be larger if you value and nourish friendships.”  Those are also some very poignant words.

Asking for Courage

February 7, 2014 by  
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In last week’s blog I promised I would give you my definition of  ‘Courage’ so that we can look into what it can mean to you and how you live your life.

Courage is going against the odds or against popular opinion.  It’s doing what most people are unwilling to do because of the criticism and lack of support they know they will receive from family, friends, or even strangers.  Courage is living your life for you.  It’s setting your own rules and policies and taking full responsibility when you fail or stumble. It’s resisting other people’s attempted manipulations of you.

Courageous people do not accept traditions, conventional wisdom, or pat answers without close scrutiny and severe questioning.

I came up with that definition in 1983 when I was 39 years old,   for my book The Courage to be Rich and I think it holds true today.  (Side note … Susan Orman used that title later for her own book which I found out, to my disappointment, is totally legal.) But sometimes it’s hard to know what you are accepting without question or not. So let’s ask ourselves a few questions.

Before reading this list of questions that can help build your courage, let me suggest you make a list of the areas in your life that you might want to focus on, areas you think would benefit from a big dose of courage.

Did you write those down? Good. Now, ask yourself,  Do I want to have …

The courage to be rich?

The courage to be famous?

The courage to be the very best in my field?

The courage to be super generous?

The courage to be super healthy?

The courage to be totally physically fit?

The courage to write a great book or give super speeches?

The courage to love and be loved without conditions?

The courage to help others to the max?

The courage to win at the game of life?

This is not a complete list. If you have other things you want or think you want, add them. And keep asking yourself, what do you want courage for?

It is not just a matter of asking yourself about your courage. You have to act in a courageous way. Here are a few keys items to help you obtain and keep that courage.

1.  At first take small steps in areas that you want to build courage, especially if you have great fears.

2.  Repeat those small steps over and over again.

3.  Slowly begin to take larger steps.

4.  Use plenty of “self-talk” or “positive affirmations” and always be aware of what your internal voice is saying so you can direct it towards your positive courage goals.

5.  Involve allies to help you stay on course.  Be sure to pick those that will fully support your objectives and goals.

7.  Practice confronting your fears and then analyze the reasons for those fears.

One last thought….I just read this line in a novel and thought that it was very profound……”The more you learn, the less you fear.” Arm yourself with knowledge, primarily the knowledge that you can and will face and overcome your fears.


Increase Your Courage Factor

January 31, 2014 by  
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As you continue with that forward thinking, planning and goal setting for this New Year, consider and think about the level of courage you have and the possibility and methods you might want to adopt to increase your “Courage Factor”.  Why? Because it’s been pretty well established that without courage most of us wouldn’t get very far and our lives would be, and will be, far less than they could be.

So just what is this “Courage Factor? It is being so stubborn that you simply won’t accept defeat. It is the stuff that makes champions in sports, heroes in war, huge successes in business, and highly accomplished individuals in life. With it you can do almost anything.  Without it even a brilliant person accomplishes very little.

Our English word “courage” comes from the French word for heart. Whether you call it great-hearted, stouthearted, or strong-hearted, the people who accomplish what they are after and leave the world a better place along the way are people with courage and, of course, a lot of heart.  Criticism won’t turn the courageous from their path. They are too self-assured as well as being willing to take responsibility for their choices whether they result in failures or successes.

So this week as you continue working on plans for what you want to accomplish in the coming year, remember that “courage factor” and try to make yours stronger by pushing yourself to do what you want to do, not what other’s want you to do! See how that feels and if it feels right, hey, just keep on doing it!

Next week I will talk about my personal definition of courage and some more ways to improve your “courage factor” so you are the unstoppable force in your life that you know you can be.