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Words For Financial Success & Beyond

January 29, 2023 by  
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We just arrived in Kauai, and I realize it was time to write my next blog post. So I found an old blog I wrote years ago that includes a few friends who contributed to a little book I wrote called, A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Real Estate. Those good friends and fellow writers are Clair Crookston, Bryan Kroff, David Shamy, and Kelvin Miller. In the book, we all talked about making good investments in life, real estate, and other types of investments. So, in this week’s post, I wanted to quote from one of those friends and share with you the ideas and directions a person should follow to come up with, not just great financial returns, but great returns on life.

The purpose of one of the chapters that Brian Kroff contributed to was to develop a game plan that will work for you for any goal — financial, personal, or physical. Brian wrote that “your personal real estate game plan, strategies, and flexibility are just as critical,” as any other goals you might have.

He wrote a lot of great stuff, including this from his own great book: “The knowledge you have and will gain about real estate is what allows you to make wise decisions. When it comes to money, knowledge separates the investor from the speculators. Knowledge is the power to control, at least to a significant degree, what happens to us. Knowledge reduces risk.”

Additionally, he says, “Try to establish, as far as possible, a regular ‘information acquisition’ program. Some people try to read a few minutes each morning or evening. Some use their lunch or coffee break to feed the mind as well as the body. Carefully analyze your personal daily schedule, then set aside a certain time period each day to educate yourself as best you can about real estate.”

He doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say, “Fundamental to beginning in real estate is the establishment of your goals. Determine, as far as possible, how you can achieve them. Everyone is unique and different, so set your own goals. Don’t be afraid if your goals are a little bit different, higher, or even lower than someone else’s. Be specific about your goals and write them down.”

And it’s true. Writing goals down can make a huge difference in your level of success and reaching those goals! So, set your goals, write them down, do your research, and go after what you want.

Breaking Out of the Boredom

January 22, 2023 by  
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Recently, I’ve been writing about how keeping a record of one’s thoughts through a journal can be very helpful down the road. I’ve also recently found a few thoughts in those journals about how bored I became when I retired and some of the smart things I did that helped me with that.

If you are retired, you probably know what I’m talking about and if you are totally busy, working hard, long hours plus taking care of your home and family responsibilities, you might not hit that boredom thing very often. It’s funny how so many of us think of work as a negative thing, when, really, it’s a blessing. I think many retired people would agree.

So, what do you do if retirement has you bored out of your mind or, if you are not even close to retirement, you find yourself bored way too much with what you are doing now? Retired or not, what I’ve found, and continue to find, is that there are many different ways to cope when boredom becomes part of our lives, but there is one approach that I think works best.

One of the best solutions to any kind of boredom is to get busy and stay busy with projects you are passionate about. You want to push yourself to do things that are not just fun but that challenge you. Specifically, you want to projects that are well thought out and that fit with what you like to do, what you are good at, and what you find exciting and fulfilling. This might be a big goal, maybe something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but haven’t tried yet out of fear.

A big goal can really wipe away boredom. The challenge of trying something big, even the fear that might come with it, can give you a real mental boost. I remember how fulfilled and not at all bored I was when I decided to have a new house built for me in Kauai. No, I wasn’t the guy who poured the cement or swung the hammer, but I decided on the floor plan that fit my personality and figured out things what things fit my lifestyle—like good indoor-outdoor living spaces. Then, just about every day, there were decisions to be made and new things to learn so I could make the best decisions, and that stuff that kept me really busy so that I was rarely, if ever, bored.

I also went back to work after retiring. I wasn’t working like I used to, but I did enough to keep me busy, starting new and exciting projects. Since I was retired, I could choose to work on things I had always thought about doing but hadn’t had the time for yet. So, I wrote another book, started this blog, and set new, bigger travel goals.

So, if you’re a bit (or a lot) bored, may I suggest you look for something challenging and new to keep you busy? If you don’t have anything in mind right now, that can be your first big goal—to come up with a list of things you want to try or do. If you are just totally busy and never bored, then don’t change anything and be thankful. But also know that circumstances can change, so keep any eye out for that awful boredom and keep busy with exciting new goals.

Journaling Gratefully

January 15, 2023 by  
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As promised in my last week’s blog, here are some great and smart affirmations from Sujatha Lalgudi’s very clever book called Gratitude Journal. This little book convinced me to write in my journal much, much more and be more aware of how life lifting it is to have a ton of gratitude for so many things in our lives. She encourages all of us to devote “a few minutes a day to develop thankfulness, mindfulness, and positivity.”

I’ve kept a journal for many, many years and I must admit it has been a big help in my life. Not only has it raised my spirits and mood, but it has been a very good motivator to do more and more with my life. I have seen it make a big difference in my relationship with friends and family and even with a few strangers!

The author also encourages readers to “invest 90 days of daily practice to cultivate happiness.” One of the other things she offers is a list of great affirmations to live by or to use to build your own list:

  • My potential to succeed is infinite.
  • I take pride in the progress I make each day.
  • I am proud of myself and all that I have accomplished.
  • The world is a better place for me in it.
  • I go for goals with passion and pride.
  • I am never a burden.
  • I am smart.
  • I am capable and valuable.
  • I am at peace with myself.
  • I am unique in my own wonderful way.
  • I am focused, persistent, and will never quit.
  • I am in charge of my own happiness.
  • I have the power to create change.
  • I take pride in my achievements.
  • I have courage and confidence.
  • I don’t need to be perfect.
  • I love myself.
  • I can make a difference.
  • I am in charge of my life.
  • I set goals and I reach them.
  • I am proud of my own success.
  • I am my own superhero.
  • I love myself.
  • I can do anything
  • I can make a difference.
  • I am in charge of my life.
  • I am in charge of my own individuality.
  • I am my own superhero.
  • I am free to be myself.
  • I trust myself.
  • I live each day to the fullest.

These are most of Sujatha’s affirmations and I am sure they would be great and help any of us humans if we could live by this list and or even your own list. In addition to this, she lists many, many pages of items that we should pay attention to. These also are a good source of ideas for making your own list of things to pay more attention to or even to come up with more affirmations.

Sujatha also gives out her email address so that anyone that wants to can comment on her wonderful little book or share their stories. I hope you get this book and that you like her directions and ideas. I sure do!

A Positive View of Aging

January 8, 2023 by  
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I wrote last week’s blog all about some of my younger days and a little about these more recent times in my life, which really got me thinking about how we perceive time and what all that time means to us now.

I’m pretty sure most people who have been around for a while are somewhat like me in that when we were young, life seemed to move so very slow. Now, however, as I push 80 years of age, time seems to be slipping by me at a very fast rate. It can be a bit disturbing to think of this, but what I have come to realize is that the passing of time is not what we want to focus on but what we did in the time we’ve had.

There are so many lessons we can learn from our past, if we will just take time to set our minds and pay attention. One big lesson that I have realized lately, came while looking back and remembering all the many things that have crossed my path that I have learned from. It’s that many of the things I’ve actually include a lot of great things about aging. This is especially true in the books I’ve read.

I’ve learned so much from not just reading, but from thinking about what I am learning from that reading. I read two great books some time ago that have been very helpful and beneficial for understanding aging and not getting negative about it. One was called Disrupt Aging by Jo Ann Jenkins, which I have written about before. The other was titled Successful Aging by Daniel J. Levitin. I learned so much from both these books, things that helped me think about and see aging in a more positive light.

And just a few days ago, my son gave me another book that I’m finding very helpful in accepting aging and life in general. That book is called Gratitude Journal by Sujatha Lalgudi. Having a lot of gratitude in your life lifts your spirits just like when you give things—money or time or gifts—to your family, friends or even strangers.

Lalgudi writes in his book, “I hope you find this journal to be helpful in your journey of gratitude and happiness and will continue the practice.” And it has!

Next week I want to share with you a list of his affirmations, which is very interesting and very helpful for anyone’s life. He also asks people to write to him on the subject of Gratitude so I will send you his contact information in the next blog post.

It’s Goal Time

January 1, 2023 by  
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Wow, it’s now a new year and the big question we all should ask ourselves is, “What am I going to do in 2023? It’s that good ole thing we call designing, planning and setting ourselves up for some significant progress and rewards. That is, if you do it right and, as I’ve preached to my reader and followers before, be sure, very sure, that you write down those goals and objectives and put a time deadline on them.

Here are a few parts of our life that we could, and probably should, aim to improve its.

TYPES OF GOALS TO SET

  • Fitness
  • Family and friends
  • Social life
  • Financial objectives
  • Career objectives

And here are a few more that you may want to set as goals for this great year of 2023.

SPECIFIC SUGGESTED GOALS

  • Enjoy life more.
  • Create a list for a better diet.
  • Drink less.
  • Play more.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Read and research more.
  • Stay current in writing your diary. This could even turn into a book.
  • Write down long-term and short-term goals.
  • Be specific in your goal setting.
  • Write goals that are measurable.

Now, after creating this list of yours, maybe it would be a good idea to share your hopes, wants, and goals with your family and friends. But, of course, pick those people that will give you positive and helpful feedback, then maybe you can motivate them to do the same. Work back and forth with them, sharing what your goals are as you work them out. See if some goals that they are considering or have set can help you set more or better goals.

The great thing about going after your goals is that it gives your life more purpose and pushes you to do more and more. You will look back on the goals you’ve reached and get tremendous satisfaction, especially seeing how it will have lifted your life. It will motivate you to keep doing it and maybe, in the process, it will motivate your family and friends to do the same thing.

Go ahead and get started now!

Where My Success Comes From

December 25, 2022 by  
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Last week, I wrote about some of my success and how terrible it was to get sued by the government. It was a time of huge stress but, in the long run, the judge ruled that I was totally innocent of any wrongdoing. This week I want to give you, the reader, some of my background and what led me to my multi-million-dollar successes.

So much of my success has been based on my constant goal setting and the idealism that exists at the core of the American dream. Combining that with proven elements of timing and perseverance, as well as good old luck, I created products that struck a chord with millions of people.

My first public success came in the form of a book that sold over 1.5 million copies. All those books were sold from my advertisements in newspapers and magazines, so I ended up with the locations and addresses of most of those buyers. That gave me a great mailing list. I later sent out huge mailings asking those people to sign up for my monthly newsletter, which, in turn, brought in a huge monthly income.

My book, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You, helped many, many people achieve their financial goals when they took part in the notion that free enterprise works if you’re willing to give it all you’ve got!

So, when I hit it big time, I had this thought—how did a boy who managed mediocre grades in school and struggled through numerous dead-end jobs come up with a combination of ideas that empowered thousands and made Mark O. Haroldsen a millionaire?

I was born in Portland, Oregon on April 8th, 1944, to Edwin Haroldsen and Kathryn Baird Haroldsen. I had three sisters and three brothers. My parents were wonderful people who taught me tons of stuff that helped me tremendously. My father worked for newspapers as a writer and moved our family many times. He grew up on an Idaho Falls farm but later got a great university education, which gave him terrific credentials and helped our family travel the world.

As a kid we traveled to many countries, and it gave me the travel bug. I graduated from high school in Iowa after going to an American high school in Ankara, Turkey. Those days with the family traveling to Turkey, France, and England were so thrilling for me. I later traveled with my wife around the world. To date, I have visited more than 90 countries. Travel certainly can and does expand the human mind.

I want to share more of my story and maybe give you the incentive to travel. It can add so much to your life. So, I will continue with that theme in next week’s blog.

Adventures We Survive

December 18, 2022 by  
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Recently, I was going through a stack of old files and came across some of my past writings. I was quite surprised to find notes from an interview I did 20 years ago that talked all about my success in business and other successes in my life. My overall thoughts were, “Wow, I did all that, little old me!”

In these files, there were some interesting thoughts and stories like these things I wrote about back then:

Someone once said that life is a series of adventures that we learn to survive. We live each day either dodging what life throws at us or watching and holding it until we can figure out a way to pass it off. But it’s not only what life throws at us that we must deal with, it’s also our own decisions and their consequences that we must learn to survive.

This is a story of how one man’s search for financial freedom and personal identity became a series of adventures that changed his idea of what success meant to him. (Yes, I am talking about myself.) It’s a story that illustrates how the journey is surely more important that the goal itself. It is a reminder that in life, we are often awakened from our comfortable lives and asked again to perform.

In October 2001, a trial began at the federal courts. The Federal Trade Commission had been building a case of fraud against the American Home Business Association and its founder, Mark O. Haroldsen. Yep, that was me, and, wow, that lawsuit hit me like a ton of bricks. The amazing thing was I wasn’t even running the business then, but they knew I had plenty of money.

Years later, we finally went to federal court where the FTC put on many, many witnesses to try to support that multimillion-dollar lawsuit. I didn’t put on a single witness. I testified for myself and told the court that my company did nothing wrong nor did I. The case went on and on and after the FTC had put everything out on their case, the judge went into his private chambers and came out a short time later, delivering his verdict.

The court found me and my company totally innocent of any wrongdoing and basically said that the FTC should never have even filled a case against me. Then he gave them a bit of a lecture.

That case took years and the mental pressure, worry, and costs took a huge toll on me. I wouldn’t want to go through that again, but I am proud to say that I stood my ground and stood up for myself and the company I founded. I’m proud of what I did back then, and I not only survived, I kept working and I kept thriving. I didn’t need to dodge that particular challenge because I built my business with integrity, and it really paid off!

Another Kind of Reward

December 11, 2022 by  
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I certainly have had some very great rewards in my life from writing my books and posting my weekly blog. Now, I’m not talking about rewards of money, although I’ve had great monetary rewards along the way and have ended up with much, much more money than I ever dreamed of making. But there are many more rewards that have nothing to do with money.

So, what are these huge, non-monetary rewards? They are receiving letters, emails, or phone calls from people who have read my writings and, having followed those words, have cashed in big time. For some, the results have been huge.

One of the first notes I received was years ago when a guy who was going to college read my book and start putting some of the strategies, methods, and systems into practice. He soon began to make big bucks. Later this guy wrote me a letter to thank me for writing the book he’d read and for sharing with my readers how to make big bucks by following the formula that had made me a fortune, ensuring readers that anyone can do the same thing.

In the end, this guy made many millions more than I did and he gave me almost all the credit. Dell Loy Hansen is a billionaire now and is still going strong. He has some very huge office buildings and even owned a terrific professional soccer team for a while.

If you have read my book, The Next Step to Waking Up the Financial Genius Inside You, you may have seen that I copied the first letter he sent me in which he thanked me for helping him make a fortune. I love his postscript in the letter. It reads, “Thanks a Million — or more appropriately, ‘Thanks a Billion’.”

Dell is just one of many people that have thanked me and given me so much credit for helping them make tons of money. Helping people and getting lots of thanks and appreciation is a huge reward! It just makes you feel so, so good to know that you changed a person’s life in such a positive way.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I received a great heartwarming text from Scott Keller, another real estate expert and entrepreneur, who had just been interviewed by Jimmy Rex for his podcast. Here’s is what Scott wrote to me:

“I was interviewed by Jimmy Rex on his podcast today. Are you happy and all good? I hope you are well. Thank you for your great influence in my success. I exceeded the $1B mark, which had much to do with your early influence and book, Waking Up the Financial Genius Inside You.”

There was one more thing Scott said on The Jimmy Rex Show podcast that I would like to share. He said that he gave me a shout out. To be precise, he said, “I gave a shout out to you as the best financial book I read out of 12 books.” What a heartwarming shout out and what a great reward.

The Power of Personal Questioning

December 4, 2022 by  
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Last week I talked about having a great passion and how, especially when you lose that passion, it can be really hard to move forward and chase what you want. The uncertainty and fear and can be such a big hurdle. So, as I promised in my last post, here are some things you can do to move forward.

First of all, doing some writing for yourself can be a huge boost in helping you reach your goals and improve your life. Ask yourself specific questions, like the ones below, then, don’t just think about them. Write down the thoughts that these questions bring up to make them more substantial and harder to ignore.

  • Do I want to significantly raise my level of contentment and fulfillment?
  • Do I want to become a better person?
  • Do I want to be known as a person of accomplishment?
  • Do I want to be in great physical and mental shape with ideal health my entire life?
  • Do I want to live a very long, active life?
  • Do I want to make a fortune—a million dollars, $10 million, or even $100 million? (Just think how much good you could do with that much money!)
  • Do I want the increased choices and possibilities in my life that making my own fortune could give me?
  • Do I want to leave the world a better place than I found it?
  • Do I want to help others as I help myself?
  • Do I want to travel and experience the world and its cultures?

Again, write down your honest responses to these self-searching questions. Develop some of your own “life questions” and answer those as well.

If it’s really about the missing passion in your life or because you are feeling unfulfilled, try answering these questions instead of, or in addition to, the ones above.

  • What do you have a true passion for in your life?
  • What part of your recent or past life—even during your childhood—really got you excited, to the point that you totally lost track of time when involved in it?
  • Think about specific things you love and how they make you feel. Do you get excited about music, art, ballet, sports, outdoor adventures, writing, gatherings, social interactions, running your own small business, helping others…?
  • What kind of breakthrough would you be ecstatic to have in your life right now? Would it be in the area of health, wealth, personal expression, spiritual development, or something else?
  • In what would you love to excel?

Think about all that. You may find, after taking time to really go through all your interests, that you have many unfulfilled passions. Which ones do you get the most excited about?

After all this questioning, take some time to contemplate and think about it, then write down what you believe to be your true, unfulfilled passions.

If you are doing something you are passionate about, there are a few more questions you should ask.

  1. Am I actually doing that special something that I have a great passion for?
  2. If so, am I doing it for the right reasons?
  3. What are those reasons?

Asking questions gives us the opportunity to really come to understand ourselves, what we are thinking, and maybe even what we want. But mostly, asking and writing our thoughts down make them more concrete and can jumpstart a plan to get more out of life, to find or chase a passion you may have been ignoring because you were afraid, uncertain, or just let life distract you.

The new year is just around the corner, so this is the perfect time to define what you want and start in on a plan to make that happen for you so you are living a fulfilling and passionate life in 2023.

Rallying for Passion and Against Fear

November 27, 2022 by  
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I’ve written about turning dreams into reality before and I do think there are lots of things you can do to really make those dreams come to pass in your life. It’s been said that “Lucky are those who have a passion for life, but blessed are those who have passion ALL their life.”

I don’t know about you, but I believe one of the most important keys to staying young, in nearly every way, is to flood my life with passion. For me, that comes from pursuing what I want out of life, really going after my dreams full force, keeping an eye on my priorities, and doing those things that I love to do with all the energy I can muster!

I set very specific and tough goals for myself, and I go after those goals like my life depends on it, because, you know, I really DO believe my life depends on it. When I write those goals down, I am much, much more likely to follow through and reach those goals. You see, I loathe the idea of living a life of insignificance. It’s like wasting the most precious resource in the entire world. A human life. My life!

If you don’t feel the same way, then ask yourself, “Why don’t I know what I want in life?”

That question is particularly bothersome if you once had a great passion for something and then you lost it somewhere along the way. Far too many people give up on life when that happens, fearful of the outcome if they try something else. But they’re losing out on so much more when they don’t try.

Here are 3 common fears that can slow us down or stop us from going after what we really want and dream about. Are one of these stopping you?

1. Fear striking out aggressively in a new direction because we don’t know what it will be like.

2. Fear of taking risks because risks include the possibility of failure.

3. Fear of the possibility, real or imagined, of losing what we have already.

When we give into these fears, we end up just sitting on our hands. We give up on having what we really want and totally miss out on having long-lasting fulfillment and contentment in our lives.

I’ve talked to many very, very successful people that freely admit they had an enormous fear of becoming a total failure, but they pushed themselves forward anyway and, most of the time, they were very successful, despite their great fears!

How did they do that? Well, everyone has their own specific methods, but next week, I’ll give you some ideas on how to push your fears aside and push yourself to go after the things you really want in life.

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