Someone once said if you want to change your life, you need to change your thinking. Yes, most people have heard that and agree but changing your thinking is not an easy task. There are, however, some subtle but very powerful forces inside your brain that can work for you or against you. Sadly too many people don’t recognize it or at least if they do they don’t know how to direct those forces for their own huge benefit. This powerful force has various names and it can be the best thing in your life but it also can be very sneaky in sabotaging you.
This force is often called your “inner voice”. It also has been called self-talk or even your inner chatterbox. Some would say it’s just your sub-conscious. Others would say it’s God talking to you. The good news–or should I say even great news–is that regardless of the source, many super successful people have learned how to use and direct that inner voice and it has enhanced their life almost beyond words. Using and directing your inner voice to improve your life doesn’t happen overnight and even after you become very good at self-talk directing, you need to stay ever aware of that chatterbox inside your head and continue to step in and keep the self-talk positive so you continue to move toward your life goals.
We talked about this a bit last year but I thought this was about the time of year we could all use a reminder of this. We set goals at the beginning of the year. We’ve taken the first steps, perhaps made some progress but it is about now that the hard parts are coming up or we’ve hit a few snags and are starting to get discouraged. Remember, that negative talk is just your inner voice trying to talk you down because it’s getting difficult. But hey, the most fulfilling accomplishments are those you come to after overcoming the hard stuff, right?
So turn any negative talk into positive, supportive self-talk. Think of that inner voice as your cheerleader, the voice that will keep you going, remind you of why you are doing what you are doing and will help you get through the more challenging tasks. It’s always easier to move forward when you have good, positive friends along. Why not make your inner voice one of those friends?
Okay, so we’ve gone over the first 3 big steps you need to take towards creating your fortune. I did want to reset the order a bit so if you are just starting, start with writing out your goals. These will keep you energized and motivated. Step #2 will be building and acquiring your beginning capital; Step #3, start making low ball offers on ‘dirt bag’ properties and get one legally tied down.
So now we come to Big Step No. 4 …
Let’s say that after you’ve made about 2 dozen very low offers, you get one back that is accepted. So now what do you do? Well, there are three things …
1. Conduct a very thorough inspection
2. Do your calculations as to the cost of the fix up or face lift.
3. Calculate your overall investment and potential profit to see if it will give you the return that you need.
Let’s say there’s a small house that was listed at $187,500. You offered $144,000 but received a counter offer of $160,000 which you are happy to conditionally accept. (Hey … they were motivated sellers since the house had been on the market for over a year.) After inspection you’ve been able to determine that $16,000 plus your hard labor over about 6 months will complete the face lift and the bank has agreed to finance it with 20% down ($32,000). You check for comparable properties in the vicinity that are in really good shape (go to Zillow.com to do this) and estimate you can sell it for, say, a net of $204,000 dollars.
Now you crunch the numbers to see if going through with this deal meets your “rate of return” goal.
$204k less your purchase price of $160k and less the money you put in to fix it would give you a profit of $28,000 dollars. Here’s where the magic of leverage comes in—you used $32k as a down payment and the $16k to improve it for an out of pocket investment of $48k. Even though you improved the property value by 27.5%, the return on your money, the money you used to invest in this, would actually be 58.3%. And if you borrowed the $16k your return on your money would be even higher.
So does a 58.3% rate of return in 6 months or so give you enough compounding? Go check a compounding table and see what would happen to that 58.3% in a few years if you keep doing this! Are you getting excited? If so, read my book “The Next Step to Waking up the Financial Genius Inside You” to really get you on track. In fact, I will give the first 10 motivated readers the book for free! I’ll even pay the shipping. Just write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping address so I can help get you moving towards creating your fortune.
I ran across a great quote today:
Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.
~ Nido Qubein
How true. Trying to work on all the goals you have simultaneously means you will need to split your time and resources among them and are less likely to reach them or at least not to the extent that you might have hoped to. But what if you spent all your time and resources on one goal?
For example, maybe you’d like to be a great tennis, baseball, hockey and football player. Can you imagine anyone trying to work out, practice and play all those games during the same time period? You could do it but you wouldn’t be that great at any one of them. Now, if you picked just one and put all your work outs and practice time into getting ready for it, don’t you think you’d be very good if not great at that one sport?
If you set multiple goals this year, choose just one or two to work at present. Pick the most important or the most urgent. And if you choose two, try to pick ones that are in two different areas of your life, like one being to improve your career while the other is a personal health goal so you only have one thing to focus on in each area.
I’m not saying you need to put aside or forget your other goals. You can always work a little here and there on them, preparing for the time when you can give them the focus needed to work effectively. The bottom line is, you should concentrate on a “limited set of targets” so you are going after them with enough energy and enthusiasm to be super successful!
With age, and the experience of achieving great success, it has become glaringly clear that wealth, power, status, fame, possessions, etc. do not, by themselves, add anything significant to the actual quality of our lives. Yes, I find having wealth is nice and allows me to do many wonderful things such as travel (like I am right now!), and I do thoroughly enjoy many of my physical possessions like my new house and all the bits and pieces my wife has brought in to make it a home, but these things are not how I measure how well I live.
Most of what makes a life worth living is not to be bought or collected but can be found in the experiences you have, what you give to others, what you accept, and how you choose to look at the world. It’s those many small steps that make up the journey that determine the true importance of the destination, not the destination itself.
If your ‘destination’ is great wealth, gaining that wealth will only be important if you’ve lived well, struggled often, and celebrated your small successes along the way. This is why lottery winners almost always end up unhappy. There was no journey, no sense of success and no memories that made up the path to their wealth. The money just became a condition of their life, not something that engaged their sense of personal acheivement.
This idea brings together much of what I’ve been talking about these past few weeks. Live in the moment, because these moments are what your life is truly made of. Choose to be happy or your life will be made of many disappointing moments and thus your life will be disappointing. And don’t forget to look for joy in the wonderful act of giving to others, acts that will infuse your life with the kind of treasure that you could never buy or fabricate.
Go ahead and go for the wealth and the status and whatever else you dream of. Just remember to live a quality life along the way, and keep up your passion for living, not just for the future life you’re after.
I believe that gratitude for the contribution of others in our lives, our acknowledgment of their support, and giving credit for their part in our successes and triumphs keeps one more humble, open, and more connected to “those who brought you to the dance.”
This is my own gold medal experience with gratitude and giving credit. I would not have had a certain personal triumph without a bunch of support, inspiration, and help mainly from three great people.
I had a goal to reach the top of the tennis rankings in my state of Utah. I certainly worked at it. But I had a problem in the way of my goal. I was hardly able to run, bend, or walk more than 200 yards without stopping because of the pain in my two arthritic hips. (See Movement Is a Must in Chapter 10, “An Umbrella Goal for LIFE” of my new book: How to IGNITE Your Passion for Living, 2008)
So how did I win the gold medal in the Men’s 60-65 Singles Tennis Tournament at last year’s Huntsman World Senior Games?
First, a ton of credit goes to Paul J. Meyer (www.success-motivation.com) who taught me by word and example to never stop setting and going after goals—he preached over and over to me to do this all my life—no matter what.
He also showed me the power of spaced repetition. What did that mean for me? It meant that I hit thousands and thousands of tennis balls warring out two ball machines in the process.
Second, I owe a huge amount of credit to the one-time most winning tennis player in the history of the game—the incomparable Australian Roy Emerson. He conducted a phenomenal one-week tennis camp high in the mountains of Switzerland that consisted of many long hours of teaching techniques, strategies, and drills that nearly wore my brand new hips to a frazzle. But what great lessons I learned!
And third … about those new hips—WOW! Without those pieces of chromium cobalt placed so perfectly by a great surgeon with steady hands and many years of experience, the example and coaching of Paul J. Meyer and Roy Emerson would not have won me the gold.
Dr. Harlan Amstutz of the Joint Replacement Institute deserves so much thanks and credit for my tennis success. He gave me my young life back.
I am so grateful!
Now about my goal of being in the top rankings for tennis in my state—as published on February 4, 2008 () I am the NUMBER ONE ranked tennis player in Utah, for my age group.
As you progress through your own life at every stage, whether you’re just starting out or you’re an old fart like me, be sure to fully realize that you owe (gratitude to) so many for helping you along your success path.
None of us, no matter how smart we think we are or even how lucky we may be, can do it or go it alone. Take time to give credit and gratitude. It truly will amaze you how much joy and energy you will add to your life and everyone around you.