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Copying Success Without Cheating

June 24, 2017 by  
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You probably know that if you copy somebody’s writings, product, or a special new and unique service you might get sued. But copy something with your personal touch and a few changes and you could make millions of dollars.

Most people copy to some extent, but few people admit it. We all want the world to think that we can, and do, generate good and even great original ideas. Only a secure person is totally at ease with learning from others, however. The smart people who value learning from the past and from contemporaries purposely set out to study and to observe others and their successes and then they go about duplicating them with some changes and in their own style so that their contribution becomes unique.

An exact copy usually doesn’t work and could be the cause of a lawsuit. Fortunes are made weekly by people who merely take a concept, a product, or a service they saw in one market and move it to a new market with very little changes made. If you try to copy somebody exactly in the same market, people will often regard it as a rip-off and will not pay the price that they would to the originator of the idea or product and, again, you probably will get sued.

However, you can reap huge rewards by taking the time to discern the particular aspects of a product, service, or idea that is working and making someone a ton of money. Think long and hard about how to change it for the market you want to implement it in. Even slight changes can be made to that money maker that are different enough that it really is your unique product or service.

Just take a look at the success that the taxicab companies were having and then with a few changes, here comes Uber, grabbing up a big share of the market. When others saw the huge success of Uber they jumped right in and copied it with a few very small changes to create like Lyft and Curb. These companies dipped quickly into Uber’s profits making these attentive duplicators very rich.

I strongly encourage you to take a hard look around and notice what is working and making big money for others. See what small changes and improvements can be made so it is uniquely yours and figure out if it has the potential to make you a fortune.

Next week I will give you some more ideas to how to see how this can be done with a little effort.

Being a Giver

March 31, 2017 by  
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There are a lot of various reasons and motivators that push people to go after wealth, even great wealth. But the real bottom line basic motivator to make even a little money is simply survival because we all need money for food, clothing and shelter. Thankfully, here in the good ole US of A, most of us are beyond that stage. Certainly, a large part of the reason for this is because of our great freedom and our wonderful free enterprise system that allows even a person born into poverty the real chance–albeit with a ton of work and effort–to rise above it all and make lots of money and even a fortune starting from scratch.

One of the more unique motivators for achieving wealth is sometimes, “I want to make a lot so I can give a lot.”  Some people would question that saying, “Why would that push or motivate people to achieve great financial success?” and my answer to that would be “Because it can make the giver feel on top of the world with wonderful inner feelings that last and last.” Plus, it’s a great legacy that can and will linger on long after the giver has passed on.  That feeling of giving back is so very good for the body, mind, and soul and I’m sure most of my readers have experienced that at many different levels.

That wonderful feeling can be had from giving both money and non-money stuff. Think of how you feel when you give someone a gift, or do a big favor for someone, or give a great compliment and you receive sincere, enthusiastic, and emotional thanks. There are not many feelings that are a greater reward than what you get when you are a giver.

So, if you and I really take the time to think it through, we may well see what a great motivator it can be for us to push ourselves to make more money so we can give more money to others. Also, never forget all those other things we can give–everything from sincere compliments and praise, our time, our service, and our sincere love and attention to others. The return on these kinds of investments are many times much more satisfying than the return we get on our money investments. My motto is becoming, more and more, “Give more to live more.” Or better yet, “Give more so others can live more.”

 

Lifting our Lives in 2017

December 30, 2016 by  
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As you look at or contemplate what you will be doing in 2017 and beyond, be sure to take a very hard look at the financial category. Life is certainly much more than just money but with plenty of money your options and success with many of your other goals in life can be greatly expanded.

For example, I just discovered that before the great actor and governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was famous, he became a millionaire from … yep, you guessed it … investing in good ole real estate! So even if you’ve not yet started an investment program you can do so now with savings and investing goals for 2017. It may take some time to build your fortune and you may feel you have so little to contribute right now, but try never to forget the huge power of compounding your money. Compounding can multiply even a very small amount of money into millions of dollars. Certainly Arnold knows that from his experience and so do I.

Eight years ago, when I starting writing my weekly blog it was almost exclusively about taking a small amount of money and wisely investing it, mainly in real estate, to build a fortune for yourself or at least for you to make enough to live very comfortably and retire without ever diminishing your lifestyle. But I’ve also written about health and well-being, relationships and friends, and traveling to broaden one’s perspectives on living, along with many other subjects. But I’m thinking now that as we face another year it would be wise to refocus our attention and goal setting back to that money thing that can lift so many parts of our lives including the lives of those around us.

In the foreword of the book Tools of Titans, the author Tim Ferris quotes Schwarzenegger’s thoughts not only about real estate making Arnold a millionaire but about his many other accomplishments. “I am not a self-made man,” Schwarzenegger says. “I got a lot of help … I stood on the shoulders of giants,” which was his way of giving credit to his parents, coaches, and teachers.

We all need to realize and give so much credit to others that have helped us along the way and then step up and let others climb on our shoulders to lift them up. For me I give tons of credit for my success to my wonderful parents and to the great Bill Nickerson and what his book, How I Turned $1,000 into a Million in My Spare Time, did for me. I also need to credit the great Denver real estate guru, – who took me under his wing and showed me exactly how he turned a few thousand dollars into multi-millions over the years. You can read more about that great story on my June 24th, 2016 blog.

I’ve tried to help others through my investing advice, directions, books, lectures and conversations. I have received rewards of great appreciation and many thank-you’s which are worth so much more than money. One of my resolutions for 2017 is to be more helpful to others. To accomplish this, I need to go to work right now and write down the details and specific steps or actions that I am going to take to accomplish that very goal. What are your goals and do you have them written down yet? If not, let’s do it. There is no time to waste.

The Easier Way to Reach Your Goals

November 12, 2016 by  
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Okay, first of all, there is no particularly ‘easy’ way to reach your goals but there are certainly easier ways and harder ways. Whether your goal is to make a million dollars, write a bestselling book or visit 100 different countries, the easier way to reach those goals includes a very simple thing … making lists. And I don’t mean in your head. I mean writing that list down. Why does writing out a list make reaching a goal easier? Because if you write it down it does some very good stuff inside your brain.

Chapter 7 in Henriette Klauser’s wonderful little book entitled Write It Down, MAKE IT HAPPEN tells the great story of her friend Sydne who turned her life around mainly from the single action of writing down her list of goals. Klauser says, “Writing a list gets it out of your head. Heads can be dark swamps, the conversations, the constant chatter, whatever you want to call it, keeps interfering. Writing a list gets it out of the swamp, onto paper. You can see a list in black and white and it’s real. When you reduce your goals to a list, it helps keep your focus.”

So, if you write your goals it basically changes things in your brain. She goes on to say that if your lists are very specific your brain will more likely help you reach those goals. “When you are vague and general, you are safe. Get to the essence of it; that’s when things happen. Nothing can happen when you’re generalized and safe–nothing changes.” When the writing of those lists put Sydne on the path of reaching virtually all her goals, her motto then became simply “Do it easy.”

The author’s advice is to “use listing as an opportunity to crystallize your intent–to learn what matters most to you.” She goes on to say, “Keep that list handy, and look at it regularly, especially if you lose heart or feel scared. Emblazon it in your mind. Repeat to yourself ‘This is what I want and it is waiting for me.’” Remember, keep your list very specific even for things such as buying a car. As the author says, “Don’t simply write ‘car’, write the type of car with make, model, and mileage.”

I must say that goal setting and writing down the specifics has changed my brain and improved my life in many and huge ways. When I was 27 years old I set the very specific goal to make a million dollars by the time I was 30 and yes I wrote it down and looked at that written goal on a regular basis. I went to work to find ways and means, along with great help from a couple of fantastic mentors, to hit my target. Oops I missed the goal, that is I missed the date by one year but reached it at age 31. Pretty much the same thing happened when I set the written goal to write a bestselling book. That book was How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You which eventually sold over one million copies.

I am absolutely convinced that writing it down did in fact change my brain and made it all happen.  I know that it works and if you are not already writing your specific lists of goals down, I hope you start doing so right now.

 

 

Just Do It with Baby Steps

September 9, 2016 by  
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As I mentioned last week, the way to reach huge goals is through the many little baby steps you take, one at a time, to get there. Reaching any big goal will have its difficulties but I think we all need to keep reminding ourselves that a big part of hitting our big goals is keeping focused on those baby steps and not being too hard on ourselves when our progress is not as fast as we want it to be.

This concept works for anything you are after. If one of your goals is to save up many thousands of dollars so you can make investments that will put you in a great position to retire, allowing you to do whatever you like such as traveling the world as you please like I do, you just start with a few baby steps. What those baby steps are depends on what you can manage. The important thing is to get started.

Let’s say you are on a real tight budget now and you just can’t afford to save the recommended 10% of your income. That’s okay, just make those baby steps do-able. You can squeeze your expenditures a bit and save just 2 or 3 percent for the time being, then after a while try to increase that to 5% and once you are doing that comfortably, push that towards 10%. The saving of just 2% right now might seem like it will never amount to big bucks, but over time it does add up because it helps you form a habit that makes it easier to increase the percentage as time goes on.

It’s not just money that works this way. For instance, most people would not think they could drop down and do 100 pushups without stopping, but most people could do 5, 10 or 20. To be able to do 100 pushups just use the baby steps concept by doing those 5 or 10 now and add a one or two more every other day and you may surprise yourself, and everybody around you especially if you or 70 or 80 years old, how easy it was for you to reach that goal!

The same goes for just about every goal we may set. Baby steps really can lead to world breaking records or at least big time records and success in your own life. And it’s always a good idea to share the baby step concept with your kids, parents and friends. Once they see how well you’re doing, it’s sure to motivate them to do better on their own goals. So share the idea and encourage those around you. If they follow it, they will not only feel great about their accomplishments but they are sure to give you lots of thanks and credit which feels pretty good!

 

 

 

Breaking Big Goals into Baby Steps

September 2, 2016 by  
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A couple weeks ago I suddenly realized that since I got a Fitbit and starting keeping track of my daily steps that my 4,000 steps a day had slowly risen to more than 20,000 steps a day. I had walked the equivalent of a third way around the world since I began with my goal of more movement and more exercise. My big goal now is to walk all the way around the world–or rather the equivalent of that.

I am a big believer in setting big goals, in just about every aspect of life. I’m talking about diet, weight control, fasting for health, and of course in financial matters. But how do you accomplish these huge goals? You take it just one baby step at a time. My January 7th blog was all about how after you set a big goal, it’s a very good idea to concentrate on taking baby steps so you are less likely to get discouraged and give up when you don’t think you are going to reach your goal.

For example, I read a study years ago that going without food for 24 hours every week or even every month is very good for your overall health, longevity and, of course, weight control. Knowing that, I started with baby steps by skipping a meal every few days and then slowly I took another baby step and skipped 2 meals in a day which lead me to go 24 hours with any food and only drinking water.

Those baby steps lead me to hit a big goal I set, one that seemed almost impossible when I set it. The big goal was to go a full week without food and believe it or not I did just that. The first and second day were the toughest but after that it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be! And wow did I ever feel fantastic toward the end and even after it was all over. I then felt that I could accomplish almost anything in entire the world!

That is just one example of how small steps can add up to something really big. Next week I will talk about how you can do this with your financial goals and the importance of sharing what you learn when you see how baby steps can work for you.

Following the Rules of Law and Honesty

August 19, 2016 by  
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As I mentioned last week, if you really want a fast rise to the top of your financial mountain, you may want to consider bringing on partners. Partners can give you so much more leverage. Sounds simple, right? Well, there is a bit more to it because there are laws that govern when you seek or solicit other people’s money, rules that were put in place to keep investors and their large investments safe.  That’s the first big key item to be aware of when bringing on partners. The second is that you will benefit tremendously from being completely honest as well as understating earnings expectations but I’ll talk more about that in a minute.

What the law says about soliciting other people’s money for your investments varies according to the type of investment. For complex and higher-risk investments, US law requires that the people that you approach must be so-called ‘accredited investors’ or ‘qualified investors’.  They need to have a minimum of a million dollars’ net worth (excluding their residence) or have at least $200,000 dollars in annual income (or $300,000 of joint income) each year in the last couple years to qualify. This law helps to insure these investors are in a position to make large investments as well as being people who should have the knowledge to wisely handling their finances.

You are not required to audit your partners to prove their financial standing but if it’s obvious that a potential investor is fudging their numbers, then you need to use common sense and back away from that investor. There are some lower requirements if you raise money by alternative finance means such as crowdfunding (collecting funds in small amounts from a large number of people) but the total amount of money that you can accept is limited.  Bottom line here is when you are looking for partners you should only approach those people that you are pretty certain qualify under the rules for your country and state. So know the laws that would govern your dealings with investors.

Now, onto the second key item for super success. This is a pretty simple concept but it’s one that far too many people miss out on.  A primary reason this next key item is so important is because it can bring in additional investors without hardly any effort on your part.  And all you have to do is be totally upfront and honest with your partners and never over estimate what the financial return to the investor is going to be.  If anything, under estimate and try to over deliver.  No one minds being surprised that they made more money than they were led to expect they would.

Not long ago, I was looking for a partner to invest in a very secure property that I had found. I was pretty sure I could deliver an 8% annual return on it but I told the investor that I thought the return would be around 7%. So, when I later on delivered an 8% return the investor was so pleased that he told other potential investors about his experience. That is how you get a lot of new investors. It is also the best way to advertise or market your products, if you have any.  The thing to remember is that people will more readily trust someone or be ready to buy from them because someone they know and trust referred them.

So if you are in a hurry to make a lot of money, consider the partner option but follow the rules and take good care of you partners.  The extra bonus to you is that as you help your partners improve their financial status and situation you will receive many thanks and appreciative comments. It is such a great feeling to know that you are helping other people as you help yourself too!

How to Double Your Financial Leverage

August 13, 2016 by  
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Leverage is a great tool you can use to grow very, very wealthy and do it fairly quickly, but there is another faster way to make the financial returns even bigger! I like to call this bigger and better way “Super Duper Leverage” because it really can magnify your return on investments and at a more rapid pace. The method involves bringing a partner or partners in on your deals.

In my early years of investing in real estate, I didn’t have any partners. All the money that was needed on a deal was mine and, of course, there would be the loan from the bank or from the seller of the property. But then I came across a super bargain on a 100 unit apartment building that I just had to have because I knew that it was going to be a huge money maker. The only problem was that I didn’t have enough money for the down payment.

However, as luck would have it, the real estate agent told me she had a friend that could put up a huge part of the down payment. To make a long story short, I put up what I had and this guy, who I’d never met before, living up in Idaho, put up the majority of the down payment.

Fast forward a few years … I sold the property giving the investor/partner hundreds of thousands of dollars’ in profit. The great part about this though, is that I also made the same profit but on my much smaller investment. The return was several times the amount I put in so I was thrilled and not only that, my new partner was happy as a clam, seeing he had put his money into a great deal with a partner that didn’t let him down.

Bottom line is that, with this partner putting up most of the money I was able to achieve a huge return on my investment–a much, much bigger return than I could ever have gotten on my own—and my partner had a big win as well! That’s what I call “Super Duper Leverage”.

If I’d been more aggressive after learning and profiting from the lesson I learned from that great deal, I probably could have kept up with my most successful student and follower, Dell Loy Hansen, who bought my book when he was in college. He eventually found a gold mine of very wealthy partners who, over time, joined him in multimillion dollar deals to the point that Dell now has over a billion dollars’ worth of property. Wow. Talk about “Super Duper Leverage”!

I want to elaborate on this subject more next week and give you some methods and ways to find and keep partners so as to be able to leverage your investments to the max. I’ll also talk about the legal aspects and the caution you need to use so as to do it the right way without legal troubles. You can certainly make a great deal of money with a partner but you also need to do it smart so you keep what you make and can go on to make even bigger and better investments with partners who trust you and keep coming back for more.

 

 

Powerful Daily Questions

July 29, 2016 by  
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In the last few posts, I’ve been talking about Marshall Goldsmith’s great advice that you can read about in his book Mojo. He reveals ways to greatly improve your odds of lifting your Mojo (your personal happiness and fulfillment in life) and increasing your chances of making greater progress toward your goals and what you want your life to be.

One of Goldsmith’s very effective methods was to ask his friend, Jim Moore, to pose a daily list of questions that Marshall had put together. These questions included want Marshall wanted to get done and how he wanted his life to be. Both men were amazed at how well that daily questioning worked. Even though they lived miles apart and Marshall does a lot of traveling, their commitment to this has them connecting on the phone and going through the process of asking those same questions about 85% of the time. The process has kept Marshall focused and moving forward.

So if you want to greatly increase your Mojo and reach your goals, write a list of what you want to get done and how you want your life to be and then find a good friend or a close relative to ask you those questions on a regular basis. Remember that it’s important to keep track of your progress as well so you can be inspired by your success and work on the areas that might need a boost.

Although you will want to come up with your own questions, I thought Marshall’s basic 6 questions might be helpful:

“Did I do my best today to …

  1. Be Happy?
  2. Find meaning?
  3. Build positive relationships?
  4. Be fully engaged?
  5. Set clear goals?
  6. Make progress toward goal achievement?

After this list, Marshall goes on to list questions he specifically needs for himself such as, “How many minutes did you spend writing?

Then there are some health questions such as,” How many sit-ups did you do?” To which he gets to answer with statements like “Today I did 200 sit-ups at once. Not bad for a 64-year-old guy.” You know that has to be encouraging!

As for work, it might be “With how many clients are you current on your follow-ups?”

Then there’s family and relationships. “Did you say or do something nice for your wife? How about your son or daughter?”

In the book he also asks himself, “Why does this process work so well?”  The answer is that it forced him and his friend Jim to “confront how we actually live our values every day. We either believe that something matters or we don’t.  If we believe it, we can put it on the list and do it! If we really don’t want to do it, we can face reality and quit kidding ourselves.”

The above is just a brief sample. Your list should be much longer but how long depends on what you want to get done in your life.

Marshall asked his wife, Lyda, a psychologist, if she thought this process would work as well with a computer-generated list of questions instead of sharing with another person.  She said, “No, it is a lot easier to blow-off a computer than another person.”

So the bottom line for you and me is to start making our list and then find a friend to help, the kind of friend that you trust and one that won’t criticize you when you fall short of your goals and ambitions. You can do likewise for your friend and together you can really build up your Mojo!

 

 

The People Who Changed My Life

June 24, 2016 by  
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Last week I said that I was going to give appreciation and thanks to those people that inspired, helped and directed my life and personal development and those that lifted my financial life to great heights.

The first and probably most powerful financial mentor was Larry Rosenberg of Denver, Colorado. Before Larry came into my life I had read a few financial books that somewhat helped me start to improve my financial situation, books that taught me that the first step is to save money out of each paycheck, at least 10% but more if you can swing it.

However, what Larry Rosenberg really did to lift my financial sights to great heights was to show me what he’d done, starting basically from scratch, using financial leverage and compounding. When he sat down with me and showed me on paper what could be done with as little as $1,000 dollars, a few years’ time, and hard work, I was blown away. Thousands turned into millions and it wasn’t just a theory. He had done it! I quickly saw, and he agreed, that I could do the same thing. So I set out on my financial path and yes, it lead me to millions.

So thank you Larry. I appreciate you and I will never forget you. You not only influenced and lifted my financial world but because of you I’ve passed your directions and formulas onto literally thousands of other people. Your great influence is huge and growing and it’s so big it’s probably unmeasurable.

Larry also put me onto Bill Nickerson’s great book, How I turned $1000 into Millions in My Spare Time, in Real Estate, which gave me more details on what I should be doing and how. Later I was privileged to meet and get to know Bill very well. So a big thanks to Mr. Bill Nickerson too!

These two gentleman were a big influence but there are still more to thank. Next week, I’ll send out a few more thank you notes and show you what people have done for me and, in turn, for you!

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