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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!

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)

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!

 

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