This is one of the most important principles I learned from my own mentor and coach, Dr. Fred Grosse.
If you are really honest with yourself, you’ll come to realize that one of the primary reasons you are in business for yourself and not working for someone else is that you have (or maybe HAD) a vision of a certain lifestyle you wanted to live, and you felt working for yourself was the best way to earn the income necessary to live this lifestyle.
Unfortunately, we find that most people get into the “daily grind” of dozens of things to get done and forget about that lifestyle or put their vision of the life they want to live on the back burner.
That’s a huge mistake.
No one goes to their grave saying, “I wish I would have worked more.”
Almost everyone thinks, “I wish I would have spent more time with my spouse and kids, enjoyed the sunrise and sunset, got involved in my community, took more vacations, and relaxed more.”
These are the things that are truly important to us. Unfortunately, they are also the things most of us spend the least amount of time and energy focusing on.
So, one of your first tasks in this program is to give yourself permission to once again make your PERSONAL LIFESTYLE your #1 priority.
Re-kindle your vision of the life you want to live… and then focus on creating a practice that funds that lifestyle and gives you the time to enjoy it, instead of a practice that consumes every ounce of your time and energy and leaves nothing left over to enjoy your personal life.
Success is just like your investment portfolio. It compounds over time. Unlike your investments, however, you can determine at what rate and how frequently it compounds. If you make small, steady gains in any area of your life, they will compound into huge returns in a very short time.
If you became just 1 percent better at something each day, over the course of a year, you would improve your ability to do it by almost 38 times.
You could start improving your sales presentation by 1 percent today. If you were consistent with those small gains, you would be nearly 38 times more effective one year from today. What would that do to your income?
Have you ever wanted to write a book but thought you would never be a good enough writer to get published? Start writing today. Improving by 1 percent each day will make you a 38 times better writer in one year.
Have you wanted to multiply your income? Figure out what you can do today to increase your income by 1 percent.
If your average pay is $100 per day, figure out what to do to make an extra dollar today. Keep increasing your income by 1% each day, and you’ll be earning $3,778 per day at the end of one year.
If your annual income is $50,000 now, increasing your profits by just 1% each day for only one year will give you an additional $1.8 MILLION in profits next year.
How’s that for compound growth? And all you had to do was steadily improve 1 percent each day and allow your gains to compound.
Perhaps you won’t grow your income 1% every day - but you can clearly see from this illustration how easy it can be to at least double or triple in relatively short periods of time by compounding your success regularly.
Be consistent, be patient and compound your success. The results will amaze you.
Many people get bogged down in the Success process because they focus on what they think they are missing out on when they invest time or money in setting and achieving their goals.
- They take the viewpoint that “Gee, it’s Saturday morning and I could be lying in bed, but no, I’m up early exercising, meditating, and reviewing my goals.”
Well, that’s theoretically true, but let’s put it in different terms.
Let’s begin to think of the hours you put into your goals as an investment.
Imagine you put in two hours per day or 14 hours per week working toward your goals. This is about 8 percent of your total hours in the week.
Are you really saying that creating a better future is not worth investing 8 percent of your hours in? If that’s true, put this course down and go back to bed now.
It’s just not gonna work for you.
For the rest of you who are willing to invest 8% of your time and energy in learning how to create wealth, keep reading.
- The next insight is probably the single biggest distinction between those who go on to earn millions and those who don’t.
- It is the biggest point Robert Kiyosaki makes in his best-selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad series.
- It is the one thing that separates all my “guru” buddies who are running multi-million dollar businesses from the millions of others who are struggling to get by.
And it’s probably one of the most valuable insights that made more different in my own life than almost any other concept I have ever learned.
Simply put, here it is:
The wealthy put their money in investments. The rest of the world spends their money on costs.
- A cost is money you spend for a one-time return.
- An investment is money you spend once but which generates you returns many times and for many years.
So what is the single best long-term investment you will ever make?
I see so many people mess up by thinking that money they spend on books, seminars, and other education is a cost.
Education is in reality one of the best investments you will ever make- and one of the most important investments all wealth people have made.
Let’s say you invest $5,000 in a coaching program. You only get one good idea from this program and use that idea to earn only an extra $20 a day. In five years, you will have earned $36,500 extra income on your investment of $5,000 to participate in the program.
Compare that to the approximately $1500 you would have earned if you would have put the same $5,000 into a bond that compounded at 6 percent annually.
Which is the best investment?
There is no comparison.
Even if you had to participate in five $4,000 programs to get that ONE good idea, you would still generate many times more income than sticking the money in the bank or buying a government bond.
And if you got just ONE single idea that earned you an extra $100 per day from that $5,000 you invested in a coaching program, your initial $5,000 investment would have given you an extra $365,000 in your pocket in the next 10 years.
Would you be cool with an extra $365,000 burnin’ a hole in your pocket or what?
Plus, who can put a price on developing better self-awareness, more inner peace, more loving relationships with your family, and more happiness in your life?
So the key insight here is…
Think of the time and money you put into education and setting and achieving goals as the best investment you will ever make, and you will be sure to stay on the right track to your goals.
Despite the negative news that bombards us daily, we are living in one of the most glorious, prosperous times ever in the history of the world. Technological innovations have allowed us to live in levels of comfort and luxury our ancestors couldn’t even dream of. Even the poorest welfare recipients in the U.S. are many times better off than much of the population in Third World and other poor countries.
It is our choice whether to actively demand your share of the incredible prosperity around us or passively settle for whatever mediocrity comes our way.
It takes no more effort to demand abundance than it does to accept misery.
After all, misery IS a full-time job.
I mean, it’s tough to be truly miserable without committing at least 3 hours a day to complaining and whining; 5 hours to watching TV; 1 hour to moping about how bad the world is treating you; and 2 more hours stuffing your face and engaging in other activities to try to take your mind off how miserable you’ve become. All that adds up to 77 hours a week job, just to stay fully miserable.
What would happen if you took all that time and energy and invested it solely in goal-achieving activities? Let’s see… 77 hours a week of goal-achieving activities. I bet you’d see some awesome results, don’t you? And it wouldn’t require any more time or effort than it does to be miserable. Which one are you going to choose?
Which would motivate you more: the chance to earn $1,000,000 in the next year or the opportunity (or necessity) to keep from losing the $1,000,000 that you earned last year? Almost all of us would say we would be more motivated to work to keep from losing the $1,000,000 we already had than to gain the $1,000,000 we hadn’t yet earned.
That means for most of us the fear of loss is stronger than the potential of gain.
If we live our lives with this hierarchy of beliefs, we will waste most of our lives and tie up virtually all our energy trying to hold onto the things we think we already have.
This is dangerous for two reasons:
First, we don’t already have any physical things because physical things are all temporary. Trying to hold on to them is like trying to run in quicksand. We’ll never feel too secure inside if we try to do it.
Second, if we’re investing our time and energy into holding on to what we already have - material things, belief systems, relationships, and all the rest - we won’t have a whole lot of time or energy left over for pursuing what we really want.
Think about that for a minute. If you are trying to hold on to what you already have, you are guaranteeing that you’ll never get what you really want. You have to let go of one to get the other.
As they say, “You can’t steal second with your foot on first. And you can’t cross a chasm in two jumps.”
Think of this process as a spring cleaning. You want some new clothes. Your closet is full of old clothes. Until you clean out the closet and get rid of the old clothes that don’t work for your anymore, you won’t have any room for the new ones.
Begin your own spring cleaning. Begin releasing all of the things in your life that are holding you back. Release your limiting values, beliefs, and the physical possessions that are not totally ideal for you .
And get ready for the burst of fresh energy you will feel as you free up your resources from holding onto the old.
In Russell Conwell’s famous speech, “Acres of Diamonds,” he tells the story of an old Persian farmer named Al Hafed. Al Hafed was eaking out an average existence for he and his family when one day an ancient Buddhist priest, one of the wise men of the East, visited him.
They got to talking and the priest told Al Hafed the story of how the world was created. He told him how when the earth was formed, different parts of the molten mass cooled at different rates. The parts that cooled the slowest of all became the hardest substance known to man - diamonds. The priest told him that if he had a diamond the size of his thumb nail, he could purchase a dozen farms like his.
And with a handful of diamonds, he could become one of the wealthiest men in the country. All Hafed’s eyes lit up. He went to bed dreaming of his own mine of diamonds.
When he woke up, he sought the priest and asked him where diamonds were found. The priest told him that if he wanted diamonds, he would have to find a stream of water that runs over white sands, between high mountains. In the white sands, the priest said, Al Hafed would find the diamonds he sought.
Al Hafed sold his farm, left his family and relatives and went off in search of diamonds. He searched across Palestine, through Europe, and finally he wandered into Barcelona, Spain. By this time, he was starving and the only thing he owned was the few rags he wore. Poor Al Hafed could not resist the temptation to throw himself into a tidal wave between the pillars of Hercules in one last attempt to find his diamonds. He sank beneath its foaming crest, never to rise in this life again.
The man who purchased Al Hafed’s farm let his camel out to drink one day. When the camel puts its head in the water, the man noticed a flash of light from the white sands of the stream. He reached down and picked up a dark stone with a strange eye of light. He put it on his mantel and forgot about it.
The old priest returned one day and saw the stone. He was shocked. “Here is a diamond! Has Al Hafed returned? The new owner of the farm told him it wasn’t a diamond, but a stone he found out in the garden. The priest would not believe him. They rushed out to the garden and began digging in the sand. They found other finer specimens and discovered the diamond mines of Golconda, the richest diamond mines in the history of the world.
Yes, literally acres of diamonds were right in Al Hafed’s backyard. If only he had stayed home and mined the diamonds he already had, he would have been one of the wealthiest men in history.
Don’t forget your acres of diamonds. We all have them and we can all become wealthy by noticing them- often right under our own nose, in our own “backyard”.
This one is really messing up a lot of our lives. Happiness comes from within you. It is a choice you make on a moment-by-moment basis. And, at any point in time, you can choose to be happy, no matter how little money you may have.
There are thousands of happy, poor people in the world. And thousands of unhappy wealthy people. It isn’t the money, or lack of it, that makes them happy or unhappy. It is how they respond to life and the choice that they make about how to perceive the world around them that creates their happiness or unhappiness.
Many of us are wasting large chunks of our lives running around trying to accumulate material wealth because we think it will make us happy.
We work 70 hours a week at a job we hate just to earn money to pay for the car to drive to work in and the house that we enjoy for about 15 minutes each evening before we crash from exhaustion.
And we repeat this pattern, day in, day out for years.
In my dictionary, that matches the definition of “stupid” very well.
But let’s take it a step further.
Let’s assume this pattern goes on for years. Finally, it starts to “pay off.” We begin getting raises, moving up the ladder. Our business starts cranking and we’re earning all kinds of money. We buy the BMW, the big house in suburbia, and take our family on vacations to Europe each summer. We’re living the “American dream” but we don’t feel happy.
We just invested tens of thousands of hours accumulating material wealth and material wealth does not make us happy. We make ourselves happy.
What has probably happened is that we’ve been so focused on creating material wealth, we’ve neglected to create any inner emotional and spiritual wealth for ourselves. We are out of balance. Our feeling of unhappiness is a sign that our inner being is in conflict with the outer person we are trying to act like. If this is you, slow down and think about your life.
If you had one week left to live, how would you spend it? Would it matter how much material wealth you had?
Don’t make the mistake, though, of thinking that material wealth is bad.
It is not.
In fact, it is very good.
The material things that we buy and create are expressions of our creativity and our individuality. They allow us to enjoy life more fully. And, our purchases keep money circulating, which allows others to enjoy their lives more fully as they earn livings for themselves.
But the material wealth itself doesn’t make us happy.
Almost all of us hold a deep-seeded belief that the time, effort, and money we spent in the past must be considered when making a decision in the present.
Expenditure of resources is only important before you expend them.
You are not tied to a past mistake until you bind yourself to it. And you are the only one who can bind yourself to it.
The only thing you have today is the present value of an investment. Ask yourself, “How can I make the most of this in the present and the future?”
A few examples to illustrate:
About 80-90 percent of all individual stock market investors lose money because they are caught up in this trap. They hold on to loser stocks and watch them do down, down, down and then rationalize their decision by saying, “Some day it will go back up. If I sell it now, I’ll lose the money I invested in it.”
What they fail to realize is that there is no requirement that a stock every go back up and by holding on to “dogs” they are preventing themselves from ever making any money in the stock market.
What every successful stock market investor should do is continually ask, “What is the highest and best use of my money today? What is the best investment I can make with these dollars today?”
If that investment is different than the ones that are currently made, sell the current investments and buy the ones that are better (of course, don’t go around doing this on a whim- make sure you know what a sound investment is before you start randomly selling stuff because you see “greener pastures” somewhere else).
The amount of money you originally invested is basically irrelevant in this decision. The only thing you have today is the current value of the investment, so it doesn’t matter how much you paid for it. All that matters is whether or not that investment has bright prospects for making you money in the future. If it does, hold on. If it doesn’t, sell it immediately and move on to something else with better potential.
The same is true for relationships.
Countless thousands of us rationalize our dead-end relationships daily with stupid logic like “I’ve got to make this work. I’ve invested too much time and energy in this to let it go now.”
Get off it.
The amount of time and energy you’ve invested in the relationship in the past is totally irrelevant. It is totally impossible for you to live in the past and that’s what that thought process is causing you to do. The only place you can ever live is the present, so live there.
Quit wasting your life holding on to the past.
Release it, NOW, before it’s too late.
Go on with your life.
Ask yourself, “Is this relationship one that I want today? Do I feel healthy, vibrant, and positive about the relationship and the other person involved in it?”
If the answer is yes, great. Enjoy every single moment of your wonderful relationship.
If the answer is no, move on. You only live once and there is absolutely no reason to waste your life holding on to things you don’t want and that aren’t good for you just because you’ve “invested too much to let them go.”
Many of us hate to admit this because we have this subconscious belief that if we let this person go, we’ll be lonely and won’t ever find someone else. If you have ever thought that, remember three things.
First, you don’t NEED any other particular person in your life. Relationships enhance life. They don’t totally define life. You can do just fine without that person.
Second, the only time you will be lonely is when you don’t know yourself. Once you know yourself, you won’t ever feel lonely again. You will have such a rich inner life that it won’t bother you one iota to give up an unhealthy relationship because you will know that giving them up is like a good spring cleaning. It makes room for new, healthier relationships to come into your life.
And that is the third key to remember: Nature abhors a vacuum. When you get rid of one relationship, your life won’t stay empty. Another relationship will come into your life to replace it. And by keeping the proper mindset, that relationship will be far better than the one you let go of.
So, never forget that the time, energy, and money you have invested in something in the past means nothing when it comes to making decisions in the present.
Make your decisions from the clean slate of the present moment. Don’t cloud them by hanging on to the past. The past is gone and you can’t do a #%*&@! thing about it, so let it go.
View each moment as a blank page and decide exactly what’s best for you and what will contribute most to living your ideal life in harmony with your mission and values.
Then do it.
Joyously and without hesitation.
This week I had the privilege of participating in a Mastermind conference call with some of the top marketing minds in the world. One of the themes that kept coming up on the call was how many people waste most of their time keeping themselves busy with activities that make very little difference when it comes to achieving their major goal. I thought this was a subject we could all benefit from, so I’m summarizing my thoughts on it here:
“Major Outcome” Activities (MOAs)
If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably found yourself wondering at times, “If I’m so busy all the time, how come I’m not moving forward any faster than I am?”
One of the key reasons for this is the concept of what I call, “Major Outcome” Activities (MOA) . Major Outcome Activities are those items that you move you the quickest toward your goal. In other words, these are the activities that give you the “biggest bang for your buck.”
For example, if your goal is to increase your sales commissions to $250,000 annually, your MOA would probably be three-fold:
1. Identifying new qualified prospects
2. Improving your presentation and closing skills
3. Making your presentations and closing the prospects
If you repeat those three activities over and over, you KNOW that your commissions will increase and you will reach your goal.
Now, that sounds pretty simple, but almost NO ONE that I know follows this concept as well as we could. We all find ourselves spending time doing countless sorts of activities that are not the “highest and best use” of our time when it comes to achieving our goal.
At the end of the week, we look back and feel like we “accomplished” something because we were incredibly busy all week - but in reality, we “accomplished” very little because 95% of what we spend time on didn’t move us any closer to our Major Outcome (or Goal).
Examine your own life -What are YOUR Major Outcome Activities? Do you make them your #1 priority every day? How many hours a week do you spend on MOA versus all your other activities? How can you invest a greater amount of time on your MOA so you can move forward much quicker?
Think about this for a minute- you could spend 24 hours a day filing papers, making phone calls, organizing your office, driving to your prospects offices, studying reports, reading trade journals and a whole host of other activities without moving so much as a single inch closer to your goal. Why? Because none of these activities are MOA. They give you virtually NO “bang for your buck.”
But if you spent just three hours per day meeting face to face with qualified prospects, you’d make FAR more money and be far less stressed. Why? Because meeting with prospects is an MOA.
Take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to WRITE DOWN your MOA’s. Then make a written commitment to yourself to focus at least 20 hours next week on doing nothing but MOA’s. Do that each week for the next 10 weeks and you’ll be amazed how far you’ll come.
Here’s a quick guide to moving toward Stress-Free Success:
1. Identify the IDEAL major outcome for YOU - not what others have told you is important, but what YOU believe is important, deep down inside your own HEART.
2. Identify major milestones on the way to achieving your ideal outcome - in other words, break your goal down into small chunks. For example, if your ideal outcome is to earn $1,000,000, then your milestones may be $100,000; $250,000; $500,000; and $750,000 earned
3. Determine in advance a reward you will allow yourself to have for reaching each milestone. Then when you reach it, ENJOY your reward 100% - you’ve earned it!
4. Focus on two ACTIONS that you can repeat daily to move you toward your goal. For example, “Contact 10 qualified prospects” and “Practice my presentation for one hour.” Your activities must be specific and measurable so at the end of the day you KNOW whether or not you achieved them - in black and white - not in terms of “Oh yeah, I contacted some prospects today, so I can check that off my list” but in terms of “My plan was to contact 10 qualified prospects today and I contacted 11, so I can check that off my list.”
5. Identify roadblocks or “clutter” in your way. This included “unfinished business”, false beliefs you hold, and things on your to do list that don’t really need to be done. Simpler is better. Make a NOT To Do List and put as much as possible on it. FOCUS on what’s important, not all the other stuff that eats up your time.
6. EXECUTE your daily action plan. Without action, you won’t get results.
7. Find a coach or success partner to help you stay on track and be accountable. Obviously, you won’t know if you’re on track unless you keep a tally of what you’re doing. Make a simple chart that lists each day and your goal-achieving activities for that day. Then check them off each day you achieve them. At the end of a month, you’ll easily be able to tell why you did or didn’t achieve your goals for that month based on how many checks you see in your chart.
8. Refine your plan and fine-tune your skills. Focus on improving daily. Every little bit counts.
Remember, if you improve just 1% each week in a skill, you’ll be three times better at it in two years and 13 times better at it in 5 years.
If you are earning $30,000 per year and increase your income just 1% each week, you’ll be earning almost $100,000 in two years and $400,000 in five years.