Archive for the ‘Wednesday Boost’ Category

“The world is filled with talented poor people. All too often, they’re poor or struggle financially or earn less than they are capable of, not because of what they know but because of what they do not know.”

Robert Kiyosaki, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”

I have had a copy of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” for a long time, read it when I bought it, and haven’t picked it up to read again until this past week.  As I read through this book at this junction in my life’s journey, so much of it is making more sense now than it did in my first reading.

When I came across the above statements in the book, the reality of why so many people trudge along never finding financial success or freedom hit me like a ton of bricks. When we shut down the learning process, and we close the doors to learning something new, the opportunities to grow and expand our wealth are reduced greatly.

From my viewpoint, there are two things that will cause someone to change course from where they are to something better: desire or pain.

Desire is the strong emotional component that can drive someone forward, pushing through obstacles, and will only stop when it reaches its destination. Wait. Let me rephrase that. A BURNING DESIRE will push people to see a goal reached. Now, I have the desire to own a Nissan 370Z. However, that desire is not a burning desire so I don’t put much effort into attaining that goal. When it comes to my life goal, to inspire one million people to Dream BIG and LIVE their dream, that is my burning desire.

Pain is also a strong motivator to change. For some people, the pain comes too late to make the necessary course changes to LIVE a fuller life. For others, the pain of being where they are in life becomes so unbearable, they do what it takes to change the course of their life. The memory of that pain motivates them to push forward and crush the obstacles that stand in their way.

Unfortunately, the majority of people endure the pain, never seek to flame the desire within themselves, and don’t seek out what they need to learn to make that one change that will push them toward a more rewarding financial journey.

When you take a look at where you are at today, are you satisfied with your place in life? Does your financial balance sheet give you a sense of security for your future? If you answered yes to both of those questions, congratulations. If you could only say yes to one of those or no to both, what is keeping you from reaching your goals? Make a conscious decision to learn what it will take to make your goals happen, and start making the changes necessary.

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When the circumstances scream “IMPOSSIBLE,” the level of determination can prove otherwise.

You and I both have read, shared, and rallied behind different motivational statements to encourage us to reach for our dreams, our destiny, our goals.  You and I both know we have the same hours in the day as the richest and most successful people in our world. You and I both understand we are given an opportunity each day to do something that will turn our ordinary lives into an extraordinary life.  What then is the key motivator that will inspire us to rise above our current situation?

DETERMINATION

This is one thing that can not come from someone else. It has to come from within you. The deeper and stronger the determination, the more likely you will succeed and push beyond your original goal.

Each person’s level of determination will flow out of different motivations. Perhaps it is a desire to show someone up who told you, “You can’t do it.” Maybe you hit rock bottom and don’t ever want to go back to that place. There are those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. You may just want something so bad that you will not stop until you get it.

A dream will only be a dream and a goal will only be a goal if you don’t have the determination to make them happen. When obstacles present themselves, and they will, this inner fire is what will help you push past, go around, or blow the obstacle up that stands in your way. Search within yourself and find that passion, that sheer driving force of will that won’t be denied. Then, you will move past the majority of people and truly LIVE your dream!

“Not all people are so constituted that they wish to know the truth about all matters vitally affecting life. One of the great surprises the author of this course has met with, in connection with his research activities, is that so few people are willing to hear the truth when it shows up their own weaknesses.

We prefer illusions to realities!”

Napoleon Hill, Laws of Success

Click on the picture to see the illusion.

A few years ago, I applied for a sales position with a company who was expanding in our area. They asked me a question during the interview that went something like this: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as a salesperson?” They were a little taken back by my answer as I replied that I was an 8 or 9. My answer prompted the question, “Why an 8 or 9 and not a 10?” They were looking for someone who had the illusion that they were a 10. Who can really say they have no room for improvement?

Too often, we hide behind the illusions we create to hide what we really know to be true. We grow comfortable  hiding behind a mask and not dealing with reality. To acknowledge our weaknesses induces fear, a fear that is based on an inherent idea that the only the strong survive. So we create these facades to keep us from being devoured by those who appear to be stronger.

Only when we choose to dismantle the illusions do we really free ourselves to succeed. Once we know our weaknesses, we can then create plans to strengthen those areas. While I believe you should play to your strengths, you also need to take steps to improve upon your weaknesses. This may be done in a variety of ways including accountability, delegation, coaching, creating a well-rounded team, to name a few.

Be willing to listen and acknowledge the truth when it shows up. Stop hiding behind the illusions and create a reality of success.

“There are millions of people who BELIEVE themselves ‘doomed’ to poverty and failure, because of some strange force over which they BELIEVE they have no control. They are the creators of their own ‘misfortunes,’ because of this negative BELIEF, which is picked up by the subconscious mind, and translated into its physical equivalent.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

This is our final post in this series as we finish out the 30 causes of failure Napoleon Hill revealed in his book, Think and Grow Rich. As we mentioned with the previous 25, you can work to correct these as well. Be sure these final five are not holding you back from from achieving the success you want.

26. POSSESSION OF POWER THAT WAS NOT ACQUIRED THROUGH SELF EFFORT – Those who inherit either a position or wealth have a tendency (not always the case) to not handle either properly. Studies have been done on those who have won large sums of money through the purchase of lottery tickets. What is interesting about their findings rings true with this cause of failure. Most winners find themselves back in the same place they were financially prior to winning the money. They have not developed a mindset nor the habits necessary to handle such an influx of wealth.

If you have been the recipient of a position of power or wealth, you will have to work hard to earn the respect of others who have given of themselves to achieve their success. You may have to forgo some luxuries or humble yourself to find out what it is truly like to work your way up the ladder. Only then, will you truly understand what it takes to achieve high levels of success and gain the respect of those around you.

27. INTENTIONAL DISHONESTY – There is no substitute for being honest. Those who intentionally lie and deceive will find themselves failing to reach success. The results of dishonesty can be devastating and the hopes of ever reaching success are slim to none.

No one likes to work with or do business with someone they cannot trust. Once word gets out about a person’s dishonesty, their reputation is tarnished. Depending on the severity of their dishonesty, they may even lose their liberty (Bernie Madoff ring any bells?). There is no place for intentional dishonesty on the road to success.

28. EGOTISM AND VANITY – A recent gathering of friends had interesting results. One person with whom I was formerly associated with was bragging about his levels of wealth and success to a couple of my other friends whom neither had ever met. Afterwards, my former associate wanted to set an appointment to meet the newly introduced couple who wanted nothing to do with that man. They said a red light went off in their minds when a total stranger began boasting about how much money he had made in the past. A person’s ego can get in the way of developing profitable relationships.

Check your ego at the door and don’t become so vain that people can’t see the real you. Both of these things can have negative affects on your reaching the success you want to have. They hinder relationships from being developed which are crucial to anyone wanting to succeed.

29. GUESSING INSTEAD OF THINKING – “It was on the internet, so it must be true.” We live in an information age and it has become easy to find information quickly. What Napoleon discovered in his time, is valid toady. People who fail have a tendency to guess rather than think through or truly research the facts. How many of us have been the recipients of emails or Facebook posts of outlandish claims without any proof? People pass things along as if they are true without even thinking or finding the facts.

The path to success requires us to find the facts. When we are well informed and educated, we are able to make the best judgment calls and decisions that will move us forward. Be sure you acquire the facts!

30. LACK OF CAPITAL – Those who begin new business ventures without any capital to fall back on when things don’t take off as quickly as they’d like, find themselves struggling to succeed. Mistakes, setbacks, or market conditions may cause financial stress that will possibly be a cause for failure.

The best thing you can do before venturing forth with a new business is to make sure you have the financial reserves to take care of needs if it takes longer than expected to produce income. A well stocked savings would be best and first choice. A part-time job is always an option while you build your company or continuing with your full-time position until you have your savings or adequate income from your new business to replace it.

31. Is there something you have experienced that is not on the list that has been a cause of failure for you? We know that every list has exceptions or additions. Please share anything that has been a cause of failure to you so others may learn from your experiences (don’t worry, you can post them anonymously if you want).

I am putting all 30 of these causes into one downloadable document. If you would like to have a copy, sign up on the right to receive it and share it.

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do.

“More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

We continue our series covering the 30 major causes of failure that Napoleon Hill discovered in his research and interviews of thousands of people. We are not only sharing the causes, we are sharing how to correct these causes so you can be back on the road to success.

21. THE HABIT OF INDISCRIMINATE SPENDING – Those who have the habit of spending everything they get, cannot succeed. Only when you develop a habit of systematic savings do you begin to create a safety net to pursue your goals without the fear of poverty taking hold. Knowing you have a significant amount of savings allows you to act with courage, not with desperate need to take anything offered.

A couple of things you can do to correct this problem. One, begin to set aside a certain percentage of your income for savings (not investments). Do this regardless. Make it a habit because there is always something else to buy or an expense that comes along. Two, track your spending for a month, I mean everything. Be sure to include the money you drop into the vending machines at work and the extra items you pick up at the gas station. You might be surprised how much you could cut back and put into savings.

22. LACK OF ENTHUSIASM – Are you more likely to buy a product from someone who displays an enthusiastic demeanor or the person who appears to be uninterested? A person’s enthusiasm is what generates a sense of convincing.  Enthusiasm is a contagious attitude that when it is under control, lights up a room.

If you are a sports fan, you will notice that the teams who are winning will have the most enthusiastic fans. Those fans exude an energy that is felt by the players. Go to a stadium where a team has been on a losing streak, and the level of enthusiasm is so low, it drains any positive energy. It leaves you feeling dejected.

Be enthused about your goals, your purpose, your company, your products, or in whatever you are doing to create success for yourself. Your enthusiasm will overflow into the lives of others who will help you succeed.

23. INTOLERANCE – Those who go through life with a closed mind about anything seldom find success. The most damaging aspect of intolerance is when it relates to people’s race, religious beliefs, gender, political differences, age, or sexual preferences.

Unfortunately, this is one of those issues you may not realize how intolerant you are to others. You may need some close, trusted friends to be brutally honest with you about this one. This one takes an effort to begin opening up to new ideas, new thought processes, and accepting people for who they are. Here’s a challenge for you if you are intolerant of others: Make it a point to engage in meaningful conversation with a person whom you have shown intolerance and get to know the person. You just may be surprised what you learn.

24. INTEMPERANCE – People who overindulge in their base appetites (food, alcohol, and sexual activity) often find themselves struggling to reach success. Moderation and self-control of our desires is key to success.

Think about how much energy that is stolen from your body by overindulging in food. You know the feeling. You ate so much that your body is using so much energy to digest the food, you want to take a nap. Anytime we are intemperant, we will find it hindering our ability to reach success.

25. INABILITY TO COOPERATE WITH OTHERS -No one cares about your success more than you. However, to achieve great success, you need the cooperation of others. There is no such thing as lone ranger success. You need to learn how to cooperate with others.

I have found a couple of great resources that will help you learn how to better cooperate with others. The first is a classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. The second, Winning Without Intimidation, by Bob Burg. This would be an excellent resource to study. You can learn new skill sets to help you become a more cooperative person.

Don’t let these causes keep you from reaching success. Do what it takes to correct these, and you will be much closer to LIVING your dream.

“It is one thing to WANT money–everyone wants more–but it is something entirely different to be WORTH MORE! Many people mistake their WANTS for their JUST DUES. Your financial requirements or wants have nothing whatever to do with your WORTH. Your value is established entirely by your ability to render useful services or your capacity to induce others to render such service.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Successful people have learned how to bring value to the marketplace and to others. They know it isn’t all about the money, it is about WORTH. 

As we continue to look at the next 5 causes of failure that Napoleon Hill shares in his book, Think and Grow Rich, keep in mind, these can be corrected. You can increase your worth and it will increase your level of success as you have defined success.

16. OVER-CAUTION – There is a certain amount of risk you need to take in order to achieve higher levels of success. People who are over-cautious fall into the same category as those who are under-cautious. Both extremes will leave you in the wakes of failure or limited success. There comes a point in time where you have to step forward and risk something to gain.

In the financial world, there are investments that are riskier than others. Safer investments, like a CD at a bank, are low risk resulting in smaller returns. Commodities and options trading are high risk investments with a chance for huge returns but also susceptible to huge losses. The key is finding the middle ground where there is still risk with the chance of making a great return on your investment.

Be willing to step out and take a chance. That next step may be the one that catalyzes your success.

17. WRONG SELECTION OF ASSOCIATES IN BUSINESS – Whether you are building your own business or looking to advance your career in a company, be wise in who you choose to work with or for. If we are the composite of the five people with whom we spend the most time, make sure those people are worth emulating. If you are in a position where your manager or supervisor is holding you back, begin to plan how you can change departments or companies to work with people who will help you succeed.

I have worked in environments where negativity was abundant and it wears you out quickly. I prefer to have the choice of who I will working alongside. For that reason, I have chosen an entrepreneurial path to accommodate this choice. I will be highly selective in who I hire and who I partner with. This is a vital part of success.

18. SUPERSTITION AND PREJUDICE – I have been around people who are highly superstitious and rarely do they succeed. There is always a fear of something and that fear holds them back. Superstitions create failure mindsets that are triggered by some action or event. Once those triggers are activated, the mind begins to play out the upcoming failure. You need to remove superstitions from your life.

Prejudice will also hold you back as you make judgments prior to having the facts. Acting in ignorance is a sure cause of failure. Be willing to withhold judgment until you obtain more facts and information about an issue, a person, or a group of people.

19. WRONG SELECTION OF A VOCATION – Andre Aggassi, a great tennis player, admitted in his autobiography that he hated tennis. The really striking thing about that is he was still able to accomplish great things playing tennis. Not many people become great doing something that don’t like. Imagine if he took all that energy and discipline and applied it to something he truly loved.

Are you doing something you love? Are you able to give a wholehearted effort into your job, your career, or your business? Be sure you are pouring yourself into something you have a burning desire to achieve. Only then, will you truly find yourself on the path of success.

20. LACK OF CONCENTRATION OF EFFORT – At times, I feel like I have become a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. Here is a partial list of all the things I have done:

  • Carpentry work
  • Dairy farming
  • Landscaping
  • Youth Ministry
  • Sorter at UPS
  • Management
  • Direct Sales
  • Retail Sales
  • Event planning
  • Medical Technician
  • Auto Sales
  • Financial Services

Those are highlights out of my job experiences. Each experience taught me something about myself, and I have learned valuable lessons that I am able to apply to my life and career. What I have come to realize is I have common threads that run through each of my previous jobs that point out where I need to concentrate my efforts.

The key to remember is rather than trying to be everything to everybody, concentrate your effort on one “definite chief aim.” Then you will become a resource and an expert for others in that particular area. This concentrated effort will keep you on the path of success.

If you find any of these causes of failure holding you back, begin to make the corrections necessary so that you can LIVE your dream.

“Life’s greatest tragedy consists of men and women who earnestly try, and fail! The tragedy lies in the overwhelmingly large majority of people who fail, as compared to the few who succeed.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

This is our second post as we look at the next five causes of failure that Napoleon Hill lists in his book. Each of these causes can be corrected if they are holding you back from reaching success in your life.

6. “ILL HEALTH” – Poor choices in food, overeating, lack of exercise, all contribute to poor health. Poor health has an impact on your creative thinking process, your energy levels, your self-image, time spent recovering from illnesses, money spent on health care, and ultimately affecting your success.

We live in a time where the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle is abundant. There are health clubs, nutritional products, healthy food options, programs designed to help you eat right, fitness coaching, and information galore to help make great healthy choices. Unfortunately, fast, easy choices paired with eating more food (often unhealthy) than is needed has created a crisis where the leading causes of death today are health related.

Fortunately, you can change your diet, add more physical activity, and create a lifestyle that promotes optimum health. You can create a diet that stimulates your creative energy and keeps you healthy. You can choose to be healthy and rule out one more cause for failure.

7. “UNFAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES DURING CHILDHOOD” – There is a proverb that says, “As the twig is bent, so shall the tree grow.” The choices we saw our parents and influential adults make growing up have a huge impact on our attitudes, choices, and character. Children who grow up in homes where criminal behavior is a norm will have a tendency to follow that same pattern in their lives. We see this epidemic when it comes to people who grew up in abusive homes. The same pattern of abuse tends to show up generation after generation.

Although an unfavorable environment may have been present during childhood, you can choose to change the negative elements for a positive constructive environment. This may take a lot of effort and outside support to accomplish but it can be changed. We love to hear the stories of those who overcome this obstacle and reach success. If this is one of the causes of your failure, choose to be one who overcomes and lives an epic journey through life that is one for the storybooks.

8. “PROCRASTINATION” – This is a common cause for failure. People who wait for “just the right time” just keep postponing the opportunity to achieve success. If you find yourself waiting for something else to happen to make the time just right, take action immediately. It may only be a small step. That small step will get the snowball started.

What are you waiting for? GO! Do something now!

9. “LACK OF PERSISTENCE” – There is a tendency for some people to give up when there is resistance to their forward motion. They throw in the towel when the going gets tough. There is no persistence in moving toward success.

The lack of persistence is also found in “starters” or what I have come to know as “Quick Starts.”* The energy when starting something new is phenomenal with starters. Once things are in motion, however, the starter has a tendency more times than not to not continue on with the goal. The luster wears off once things are in motion and the need for persistent, steady work sets in and so the starter usually quits.

A couple of ideas to correct this cause of failure. One, you can surround yourself with people who are great with follow-through and will keep you on task. Two, you can develop persistence by facing each and every obstacle with determination to succeed. Three, create a goal or objective that resonates so deep within you that you would do anything to see this goal completed. A burning desire will motivate you to continue moving forward regardless of what comes your way.

10. “NEGATIVE PERSONALITY” – If you are prone to having a negative personality, success will not come. Success doesn’t come to an individual by themselves. Success is achieved through the efforts of multiple people. A negative personality will repel others from wanting to cooperate with you to achieve your goals.

Although this may seem like an impossible barrier to change, a person can develop a more positive personality. The process may take time and will require the mind to be trained to think in a different direction. The mind needs to begin to see things as they could be in a positive light. People love to be around positive people. Change a negative to a positive and it will start attracting more success.

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*Quick Start is one of four instinct-driven behaviors we possess. You can find yours by taking a Kolbe test. I recommend a session with my coach, Dixie Gillaspie, a Kolbe specialist who will help you understand how you can apply your results to achieve the success you want.