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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.

 

More Ways to Make Big Bucks with Existing Ideas

June 30, 2017 by  
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There’s no question that fortunes are made every year by people who come up with new products and services. Whereas many of these new products are totally new and different than anything we’ve seen before, there are just as many or even more products that are copies of existing products with some changes, a recombination, or additions that make it virtually brand new.

Take for example, the common product—the suitcase. They have been around for many, many years. It used to be such a tiresome thing to lug our heavy suitcases or trunks through the airport or into a hotel. Of course, there was the ever-present bell boy to help and get a tip for doing so but it was still difficult to get around with those bulky cases.

Another product that most of us, since we were little kids, have seen or had a bit of fun on ourselves are roller skates and skate boards. These had nothing to do with suitcases, not until someone said to themselves, “Hey, wait a minute, why don’t I put some small wheels on my travel bags, suitcases, and heavy trunks? It can’t be that hard to do.” Even if you didn’t have any skill to put those two things together, you certainly could find a mechanical type person to do it for you. And now I can only imagine how much money was made from that simple change.

That was a pretty simple little invention made by putting two known products together in a new way. If we take the time to observe and study familiar inventions and products and then thinks through how to put a couple products together we could, no doubt, come up with a brand new idea.

To help facilitate this, you could gather together 5 or 6 people you know that are creative thinkers. Put them together in a room and give the group a big list of products then ask everyone to brainstorm and throw out ideas on which products might be put together in a new way. Surprising things can come out of such a brainstorming session.

Or if you are a creative thinker, use that same long list of products and brainstorm on your own and see what you come up with. You can do the same thing to come up with a new service, as Uber did, though the taxi industry certainly didn’t like it. However, I don’t think the owners of Uber, a multibillion dollar company, were very bothered by that.

My first venture into mass marketing was done by copying someone else’s formula and it lead to millions of dollars of profits. As a stock broker manager, I discovered that several of my employees had purchased a book from an ad in the newspaper with the headline “The Lazy Mans Way to Riches”.

That got my attention to the point that I called the author, Joe Karbo, repeatedly until he agreed to meet with me in his California office. When I discovered how many thousands of books he’d sold from that simple ad, I burned the midnight oil each night to write my own book and when I finished I sat down and studied the style, sentence length and tone of Joe’s ad and made my ad as much like his as I could without copying his exact words. So yes, in a way I copied, but did it legally and the big money rolled in beyond my expectations!

There are many, many more fortunes to be made by observing what is happening in the markets and what products, ideas and services exist and then by coming up with something different enough to be seen as brand new. And if you do it right, soon enough, you’ll see the money flowing your way.

 

Re-Motivating Words

June 3, 2017 by  
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The truly wonderful motivational guru Paul J. Meyer was one of my very greatest mentors. A couple of days ago, I was organizing a bunch of the books in my home library when I came across a book that Paul had given me back in 1977. I re-read the wonderful comments that he made about our relationship in the front of the book and consequently I just had to write about him and how he motivated me.

One of the great things he preached to me and others was to identify the books that help us the most and re-read them many times because all of us humans do tend to forget what we’ve learned in the past. Rather than read 1,000 books, he said find the best books that speak to you. That might be just a few dozen or even 100 books, but keep going back to them to refresh your memory and re-motivate yourself.

I began to glance through Paul’s book, The Story Of Paul J.Meyer … The Million Dollar Personal Success Plan, and yes, it refreshed my memory and I realized just how much I had forgotten. Now, just a couple days later, I am finding myself re-motivated and re-inspired. Here are a few choice quotes from Paul’s book:

“A self-confident attitude is the most important asset you can possess.”

“Self-motivation is the power that raises you to any level you seek.”

“Goal setting is the strongest human force for self-motivation.”

“Real confidence in yourself is always demonstrated by Action.”

“Decide what you want and write your goals. Then convert your goals into positive, present tense statement called affirmations. Affirm your goals each day until they become part of your subconscious mechanism.”

“A common reason for human failure is total disregard for the power of self-motivation.”

Great stuff! I do sincerely hope that Paul’s brilliant words, written years ago by this great man and friend who passed away in 2009, will reignite your passion for living and doing great things for your life as it has done for so many people on this earth.

Paul’s motivational records, books, tapes and speeches were, and are still, followed by millions of people around the globe. Even though he started with nothing he was able to get half way to a billion-dollar net worth in his lifetime. This was just part of the great reward he got from the many people he helped. Next week I want to share a few more of his great statements and motivational words plus a few others from great sources.

 

Smart as a Turtle

May 12, 2017 by  
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Good ole sex therapist Dr. Ruth is still at it at age 88 … Wow! Her latest advice is a good one too. I just heard her on the radio talking about how important it is to take some risks if you want to have a better more fulfilling and financially more profitable life.

Dr. Ruth collects little turtle figurines and presently has 40 of them. Why? Because these turtles hold a great meaning for her and her life. Namely, as she says, “If a turtle wants to move, it has to take risks. It has to stick it’s neck out. It could get hurt. But if it does not stick it’s neck out, it doesn’t move.”

She goes on to say that the turtle is like herself, saying that she too sticks her neck out and takes risks; risks that put her on top in the broadcasting world. She is also probably the most famous sex therapist in the country. Not bad for a lady that is an orphan survivor of the holocaust.

The last couple weeks I’ve talked a lot about fears that we all have and ways to face those fears and overcome some of them. We all need to heed the advice captured in the title of Susan Jeffers’ book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. That title can and should apply to so many parts of our lives. It could be investing some of our money into a run-down property that we can see could be worth so much more when fixed up. Or perhaps it’s changing jobs or our profession and getting into something totally new, knowing it could be a much better position or career, one that fits our talents and our passion in life. Or maybe you want to write a book or start giving public speeches but your great fears kick in and stop you in your tracks.

If so, you are just like that turtle that doesn’t stick it’s neck out and therefore doesn’t move. In the case of the turtle, that lack of movement could even be a death sentence and for us humans who want to lead a wonderful and more fulfilling life it probably will kill that kind life or at least do some major damage.

So, I think all of us need to remember and take to heart that advice from Dr. Ruth’s turtle. We should stick our neck out when we want to move ahead and take some risks. Even when we feel the fear, let’s do it anyway!

Crossing Out Our Fears

April 28, 2017 by  
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Last week I promised to give you some directions on how to get rid of your fears and, yes, I think we all have some fears that should be dealt with. Elle Luna in her great book, The Crossroads of Should and Must, gives such excellent advice and direction on how to eliminate fears.

The first thing you need to do is be totally honest with yourself and write down your fears, some of which you’ve probably not told anyone about. Those of you who follow my books and blog know that I am a huge believer in the power of writing things down.  When I write down a goal, for example, especially if I include a time line and date for reaching that goal, those written words have huge power over me and push me to deliver on the promise and the goals that I set for myself.  Those written words on the page drive me and won’t let me go until I achieve the goal.

Elle’s advice on writing things down begins with a list. “Grab a piece of paper and write the numbers one through ten on the left side of the page. At the top, title it “What are you so afraid of?” This is your worst-case scenario list. This is your list of fears, ultimate doomsday concerns, and everyone-is-going-to laugh-at-me-and-run-the-other-way scenarios. These are your largest, scariest fears, and you’ve got ten minutes to write them down.”

I really loved the following advice she says right after that–“Now let’s get realistic about these fears. Because often, fears in our mind can be like say–sticky and way difficult to remove. But fears on paper? Tangible, visible.”  This is followed up by a new term for me and one I really love. She asks us to identify and go to work on the fears that are “cross out-able.”

“After you’ve gone through all of your fears,” Elle says, “write a short note or tip next to each line listing one thing–just one–that you can do to loosen that fear’s grip on your life. Get to know these fears intimately because they are the invisible walls that surround you daily. Decide which ones stay and which ones gotta go.  If you are going to live that better, more satisfying life you must follow your ‘musts’ not those ‘shoulds’.”

You see, as you make even a little bit of progress in eliminating a fear you will gain a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and power and writing it down will help you push yourself to eliminate that fear. And never forget that it’s totally ok to approach this by taking baby steps, as Lao-Tzu was quoted as saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

 

 

The Life We Want

April 21, 2017 by  
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How do we discover who we really are and what we really want our lives to be? First, listen to what the brilliant Mark Twain said many years ago: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Most of us know what day we were born but, as I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s pretty darn important to figure out why you were born and what you want your life to be although in that regard, many of us feel uncertain. One of my favorite authors, Joseph Campbell, said in his book, The Power of Myth, “I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

In the book by Elle Luna that we have been examining, The Crossroads of Should and Must, Elle explains that if you want to really discover who you are and what your life should be, you have to “find and follow your passion.” I couldn’t agree more, but how do we find it?

A great starting point would be to look at our childhood. Luna says, “Nowhere is the essence of Must (or in other words what you must do and be with your life) more purely exhibited than in childhood. What were you like as a child? What did you enjoy doing? Were you solitary or did you prefer a crowd? Independent or collaborative? Day optimizer or day dreamer?” She goes on to say, “If you don’t remember, call your mom, or someone who knew you well in your early childhood, and ask for stories about what you were like as a kid.” She adds that you should take good notes because this can lead you to who you really want to be and must be.

When I followed her advice and revisited my childhood, I wrote down what I was like and what turned me on back then and I easily remembered that I loved sports and loved talking to people, especially new people. I loved to visit new places and I loved to tell stories. I began in my early teens to write down stories of my thoughts and dreams and I was thrilled to note that I’ve continued to write and have made a career out of it. So now, when my mind starts wandering and wondering what I should be doing differently with my life, I take a pause and more fully realize I’m already following my passion and that makes me feel so much more satisfied.

“Don’t ask what the world needs,” Elle says. “Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Luna does throw in a big caution flag saying, “While money, time and space are the reasons given most often for not choosing Must, there is another fear that’s far scarier and spoken about much less.” She is referring to the feeling of being vulnerable which is caused by our personal fears. She then gives suggestions on how to rid yourself of those fears, which just might be the thing to cover in next week’s blog.

Eliminating the Shoulds

April 14, 2017 by  
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If each of us is to live a much better and more fulfilling life, it’s very important that we move from living a life of things we ‘should’ do and move to a life of things we ‘must’ do. The ‘shoulds’ are the things that other people and institutions have told us we should and should not do while the ‘musts’ are those things we think and decide for ourselves.

So, the big question is, how does a person dump those ‘shoulds’ that were put on us by others? Many, if not most of the ‘shoulds’ of our lives were put on us when we were young and easily persuaded to do or not do certain things. Of course, as kids, we did need to be told what to do, what not to do, and how to act.  But if we want to live a total and satisfying life, one that is our life by our own design, then we need to move from the ‘should’ mindset that came from others to our own life of what we feel we ‘must’ do.  If we do that, then we can really follow our own dreams, ambitions, passions, and natural talents.

But how do we really get there?  How do we discover what we really want, who we really are, and what we want our lives to be?  First of all, according to the book we looked at last week, Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must, it’s not easy to get rid of our ‘shoulds’ and move to our own designed ‘must’ list and life.

Elle says that “we need to know each ‘should’s’ origins, how it got there, and when we first began to integrate it into our decision-making … look for recurring patterns and choices both little and big that are affected.”

Luna further suggest that you “grab a piece of paper, and make a list of the ‘shoulds’ you hold on to by completing the sentences that I listed in last week’s blog. She adds that you should “listen to what comes up first and write it down … where did you come from? Are you true for me? Do I want to keep holding on to you?”

Think about how many ‘shoulds’ that have been put on you in so many parts of your life–religious beliefs, education and what you specifically studied, the job or occupation that your ended up in, your political leanings, and what you think you want to do for fun and for pleasure.  The list of these affected areas could go on and on. Of course, some of your list would be things that you personally chose for yourself and were not pushed on you but those that were not your choice need to be examined and eliminated if it’s not what you really want and not who you really are at your core.

Next week I will give Elle Luna’s suggested ways of how one goes about discovering who they really are and what you really want your life to be like. It’s not an easy process but it is so very worth the effort and the results that will make your life so very much better and more fulfilled.

 

 

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