Never quit, but you can pivot

One of my favorite topics to write and talk about is goals.  Not because I consider myself to be an expert in setting and achieving them.  It is quite frankly the exact opposite.  I actually come up short on them more often than I would like to admit.

How I learned the value of never quitting but learning how to pivot as necessary.

When I was 33 years old.  I became a student again.  This was seven years after I completed my MBA.  I consider all of my formal education, K-12, associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree.  That formal education something I just had to do.  It was required.  Not because it was forced on to me by my parents. I knew to compete in the world I had to be prepared with those credentials.

At 33 is when I started to take my personal education more serious and became a student once again.  I became a strategic goal setter.

At 26, I was a landlord.  I had purchased a duplex.  I had always had a desire in the back of my mind that I wanted to own real estate one day that I would rent. I am not sure why this thought entered my mind.  No one in my immediate family that I knew of had owned real estate.  The only thing that I can remember as a young kid that would have prompted me to think this way, could have been a good friend of mines grandparents who I spent a decent amount of time around when I was younger.

My friend was a really good student.  One of his motivations to be a good student was very simple.  For every A he would get on his report card he would get $50 dollars from his grandparents.  B’s were worth $25.  I can remember him showing me the money after every report card. I was jealous. Keep in mind this started around middle school up until tenth or eleventh grade.

To me my friend was rich, because his grandparents were rich.  I couldn’t imagine having that much money handed to me. Being around his grandparents I knew that they owned a lot of rental property.  That was the extent of my knowledge.  Outside of that I didn’t know exactly how much or how long, etc.

This is the only thing that I can thing of that would have planted the seed of me wanting to own real estate.

Fast forward back to age 33, I had owned the duplex for seven years.  I had not purchased anymore property up until that point. At 33, after purchasing a goal setting seminar.  I decided to set a goal of owning ten rental properties by age 40, and I wanted them all to be paid off by that time.  I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this goal. But I said if I can buy one house every quarter.  I could get there.

I set this goal and reminded myself of it daily.  For the next three years.  I purchased another five houses.  Now at age 36, I had seven total tenants and 6 properties. Seven if you included my own personal home.

I was well on my way.

Like most of life though, things happened and things changed.

In 2015, I met my future wife.  My dad died unexpectedly and about a year later in 2016, my wife and I decided to pack up and move to Florida.  When deciding to move to Florida, we also decided to sell the duplex I had owned since I was 26.  This is something I regret now, but at the time it made a lot of sense. I had also sold my personal residences a few years before.  We now had just the five rental properties. Two of them I paid cash for and the other three had mortgages.

Once we made it to Florida.  I took a position where I was 100% commission.  Meaning if I don’t sell, I don’t make any money.  For about the first year, my income was really unpredictable.  I had good months and months were I didn’t make any money.

Now during this time, I continued to put all of my money that came from the rental properties back in to paying off the mortgages I had.  Once I paid each mortgage,  any remaining money I would put towards the principal of my lowest dollar amount mortgage.  I knew if I could get one of them paid off quicker, it would make the next one even easier.  Because I would have more money to put towards it.

Once I started making some more predictable income with my new position in Florida, it was around the year and a half mark.  Also, at this time.  My wife and I decided that we were going to pack up and move again.  We didn’t love Florida, and we were now moving to Dallas.

During this time in Florida, I continued to look at real estate every single day.  My income wasn’t predictable enough at the time where we felt comfortable enough to buy anything.  But I continued to look and knew if I could find something I would figure out a way to buy it.

Now that we are in Dallas, I once again found myself with zero income.  This time, I was going to go out on my own.  I had been freelancing for years.  I knew where some opportunities existed and where I could make a difference and build a business.  So I poured all of my resources in to doing that.

Keep in mind I still had that goal of 10 rental homes by 40 and all of them paid off.

At this time I am now 38/39.  I am putting a lot of money into my business.  Pretty much most of everything I would make would go right back in the business.  I did this for about a year or so.  It was hard.  Really hard.  And it wasn’t bringing me any joy.

Once again, I pivot and take a position with a great company last fall. By this time I am now 40.  I was excited to take this new position because once again, it was 100% commission, but the product was a great and it had great market presence. I knew I could crush it.

This past February I turned 41.  I didn’t make the goal of ten houses by age 40 and all of them paid off.

I was only able to get four of the five paid off.  Yep.  I am sitting here today, and my goal wasn’t accomplished and if you gave it a measurement.  I guess you could say it took me a year longer, and I only accomplished 40% of what I wanted to accomplish.  This is true, if you look at it this way.

However you want to look at it.  Here is what I know.

Life is really hard. Things change.  People change. Our priorities and our goals change.  The world around us changes.  I know that with out the constant reminder to myself of what my goal was, I wouldn’t have even accomplished the 40%.  It may have been zero.

One of my favorite shows of all time is Boardwalk Empire on HBO.  if you haven’t watched it. You should.  The main character says something that has stuck with me ever since. He said “You always need to have something planned, because you need something to look forward to.”

I believe goals are a lot like this. You need to have them set because they give you something to look forward to, but even more importantly they give you a direction and more importantly motivation to do what it takes so you can achieve them.

 

 

 

142 days of motivation!

Writing my goals down has been a deliberate action that I have taken the last eight years.  When I look at my spreadsheet from 2010, I laugh because I wasn’t very good at it.  My goals were small, they weren’t very specific, and there also wasn’t very many of them.

Fast forward to today, and I look at my goal sheet and it looks more like a ten-year strategic plan for a very successful and large organization.  And as good as I am in the area of strategic goal setting and accomplishing the goals I have set for myself, there is always room for improvement.

A couple of years ago my mentor challenged me to write down my goals every single day.  Yes.  Every day.  He writes them down in the morning and again at night.  I don’t do this, although maybe I should.

So around a year and a half ago or so, I started doing this.  I started writing down my top ten to fifteen goals I have in my life every single day. These goals could be one year, two-year, or even ten-year goals.

These goals are not the strategic document that I write down at the end of the year for the following year.  That document is much more comprehensive and very specific.  I do write down the ten to fifteen overarching bigger goals that I want to accomplish in my life though. The big things.

By doing this I have learned that I am much more motivated to stay motivated and accomplish the goals.  I am reminded every single morning that I must do this, or take this action or that action, because if I am going to accomplish the goal, that is what is required.

I have learned that although I had a very good goal setting and goal accomplishing process that I could be even better than I was.

One of the big goals that my wife and I had in 2018 was to buy her a new car with cash.  Not a brand new car, but something a few years old.  And since we both like really nice cars, I knew this would be an expensive endeavor.  When we sat down at the end of 2017 and the start of 2018, we wrote this goal down as something we were going to do in 2018.

We didn’t know when we would do it in 2018, there wasn’t an exact date.  It really came down to when we chose to do it, and when it made sense based off our income flow of the business.

Here is one thing though, I didn’t want to use our money to buy the car.  I wanted to use someone else’s money.  Which required me to get up every single day and make sales calls, follow-up with clients, and find new clients so we could get the money to buy the car.

From the time I first wrote down the goal on 12/7/2017 to 4/28/2018, it was exactly 142 days.   I wrote the goal down for 142 days just like this:

“We paid cash for a brand new car this year.”

If I am honest, I will tell you that I started off writing down the goal as:

“We paid cash for a brand new Lexus this year.”

But my wife decided that she did not want a Lexus.  Probably because I have one.  So the goal changed over the 142 days to just a car. Because we didn’t know exactly what she wanted until the day we bought it.  As you can see by the picture I didn’t get what I originally wrote down.

I tell you my story not to brag but to encourage you to set goals.  You must write down your goals for your life. This is required.  Whether or not you choose to write them down every day is up to you, even though I would highly suggest you do. Especially the bigger goals and even the more immediate goals you are going after.

As an executive coach and trainer I work with companies and individuals to help them accomplish their companies goals and their personal goals.  If you are interested in learning my system let’s have a conversation.  Hit me up at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

How I set a goal to find my wife.

I talk to lots of people all of the time that tell me they are just not getting what they want in their life.  It could be a certain career, better children, more money, investments, relationships, health and fitness, etc.  You name it and I have heard it. I have been there myself many times.

About five years ago, I was one of those people who said I need to find a partner/woman who I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Someone who is aligned with the way I think, we want the same things in life, business, and everything else.

I challenged myself with this question:  “Am I the person, the person I am looking for is looking for?”

That is a big question isn’t it?  It required me to take a deep look at everything I was doing in my life at the time.  It challenged me to ask myself what do I need to change to find the person that I want in my life.

At the time I was thinking about this ideal person and ideal wife.  I had been in a long-term relationship off and on that was just never going to go anywhere.  We have all had one of those relationships.  There is nothing wrong with you, and as much as you may agree or disagree, there wasn’t anything wrong with the other person.

If the relationship you are in or was in, is just really jacked up, than shame on you.  Don’t be stupid.  But most of the time, relationships aren’t that jacked up.  If it is, get the heck out of it.  Mine wasn’t. It was just two people who had fun together, but were on two different pages in life and other things.

So I asked myself the question “Am I the person the person I am looking for, is looking for?”  I then got out of the current situation that I was in.  Then the next step was to put together a list of what it was that I wanted in a person.

This is the process for all change to occur in our life.  This is the process to setting goals, changing behaviors, and getting what you want out of life. You ask yourself the questions.

Where am I?  Is this where I want to be?  If the answer is no.  You get out of that situation, if it is a situation that you have to get out of it to move things forward.

And then you ask yourself the final question before you get to work finding it.  Which is “What do I want?”

I asked myself “What do I want?”  I am not going to give you my full list here, but if you have attended one of my workshops or seminars, then you have heard the list, or you can attend and get the list.

But here are a couple of things:

  • Goal Oriented
  • Doesn’t blame others for their problems
  • No Kids
  • Career Minded
  • No debt or very little debt
  • Certain income level
  • A good heart
  • Spiritual

I got even more specific in my list creation than what I have shared here, but you get the point.  You could say black hair, no hair, height, weight, etc.  Its your damn list and your life.  Put whatever list you want.  Whatever you do, don’t ever settle for less. Settle for more.

Now you can’t find out all of this stuff on one date or two dates, it takes some time. But here is the deal though.  If you actually go through the process of creating a list and doing the work in advance of what it is you want and don’t want, then you will know it when you see it.  That is the value of the list.

If you haven’t found the person you want yet, it is because you don’t know what you are looking for.  That is how goals work.  You have to set them in advance, because that is how you will know when you see the opportunity or in this case, the person, when you see it.

My wife sometimes reads my stuff and sometimes doesn’t have the time, so just in case she reads this.  My guess is she will since her title is in the subject line.  I am going to make sure I add this.

I got everything on my list and then some.  I settled for more.  She is amazing and beautiful and I definitely won.

I want you to win as well. I challenge you to go through this process.  Visualize the person you want, make the list, and then you will find it.  Until you do this you will never get what you want or deserve.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

The secret to accomplishing everything you have ever wanted is here.

Perhaps by now you have heard about the research study that was conducted at Harvard or Yale University on written goals?  You know the one.  Where so many people of a certain graduating class had written goals, and a certain percentage of the class didn’t have any written goals.  And after several years, they followed back up with those graduates to see what they had achieved.

What they found was that the 3% of students who had written goals, clearly defined, accomplished 10 times more than the students who didn’t have written goals.

Well, just so you know, that research was never substantiated.  Because it never existed.

As a person who has studied goals and speaks on goals a lot to others. I have to admit, I had actually referenced this fictional research myself.

Luckily, a professor of Research by Dominican University of California psychology, Dr. Gail Matthews actually conducted some research that supported this urban legend.

A total of 267 participants were recruited from businesses, organizations, and business networking groups. However, only 149 participants completed the study. The final participants ranged in age from 23 to 72, with 37 males and 112 females.

Participants came from the United States, Belgium, England, India, Australia and Japan and included a variety of entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, artists, attorneys, bankers, marketers, human services providers, managers, vice presidents, directors of non-profits, etc.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of 5 conditions (groups):

  • Group 1- Unwritten Goal;
  • Group 2- Written Goal;
  • Group 3- Written Goal & Action Commitments;
  • Group 4- Written Goal, Action Commitments to a Friend;
  • Group 5- Written Goal, Action Commitments & Progress Reports to a Friend.

Participants in Group 1 were simply asked to think about their goals (what they wanted to accomplish over the next 4 weeks) and then asked to rate that goal on the following dimensions: Difficulty, Importance, the extent to which they had the Skills & Resources to accomplish the goal, their Commitment and Motivation to the goal, whether or not they had Pursued this goal before and if so their Prior Success.

Participants in Groups 2-5 were asked to write (type into the online survey) their goals and then to rate their goals on the same dimensions.

Group 3 was also asked to formulate action commitments.

Group 4 was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.

Group 5 was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports to a supportive friend.

At the end of four weeks the participant were asked to rate their performance.

The results showed:

Types of goals: Participants pursued a variety of goals (in order of frequency reported) completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, getting organized, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety and learning a new skill. Examples of “completing a project” included writing a chapter of a book, updating a website, listing and selling a house, completing a strategic plan, securing a contract, hiring employees and preventing a hostile take-over.

Which Group achieved the most?  Group 5 achieved significantly more than all the other groups; Group 4 achieved significantly more than Groups 3 and 1; Group 2 achieved significantly more than Group 1.

76% of the participants in group 5 achieved their stated goals and only 43% of the participants in Group 1.

And groups 2-5 had a 50% higher chance of accomplishing their stated goals than did group 1.

So what do you need to do to achieve more in your life?  Very simply, do what the participants did in Group 5.  Write down your goals, and create an accountability system with someone other than yourself.

If you want to learn more about how to do this.  Please contact me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

Pieces of this blog pulled from this link 

New Year. New You. Or have you already quit?

New Year. New You.  Does this sound like you?  Hey, I hope so.  I think the beginning of the year is as good as any to start a new thing.  Whether it is your health, your money, a bad habit you want to quit, or anything else.

But do you want to know what is even better than a new start or a fresh start?  To never quit in the first place.

I have been looking at my Facebook feed since the beginning of 2018.  Which is exactly 31 days ago from the time I am writing this blog.  Today is February 1, 2018.  I see a lot of people on there pursuing these new things, and many of them said the same thing last year.  And most of them quit by this time last year, and many quit before the end of the year on whatever it was they were doing. They are now attempting it again.  I am proud of you.  Stay with it this time.

Hey, I have been there before.  I am no different from anyone else.  Working out is a discipline that I just do.  I don’t have to think about it. I just do it.  I have been doing it for so long that it is just past of who am I.

However, where my opportunity for a fresh start exists. Is eating better. Just like many of the people in my Facebook feed, I have made some changes to my diet this year.  When I was younger, I always thought I could just exercise my way through a bad diet.  And what I have found the older I have gotten, that this has become increasingly more difficult.  So I had to make a fresh start as well.

In this blog I want to suggest a few ideas that can keep you consistent versus always having to start over.

A new year is a great place to start a new thing.  However, it doesn’t only have to be at the beginning of a New Year though.  In Daniel Pinks new book “When: The Scientific Secrets to Perfect Timing” He actually provides a list of 86 different days, dates, events, etc. that could be a great time for you to make a fresh start.  The first year being one of them and here are just a few more from his book:

  • First day of the month
  • Mondays (52)
  • Seasons (4)
  • Your birthday
  • Your anniversary of whatever
  • First day back from vacation
  • A Holiday

His goal was to get us thinking about the different days that we could use other than the first of the year to provide us a fresh start.

If you made a commitment on January 1, 2018, and have already quit, today would be a great day to start over again. You don’t have to wait until next year.  The first of the month is as good or better day to start than others.

Here is the good news.  If you are someone who quits and has had to start again.  Don’t wait until another year goes by before you start again.  Use another date and start your commitment from that date.   Today would be a good day to do that.

How else can you keep going?  As a runner, I have had a few injuries along the way. And I am the opposite of my most people.  If I don’t workout or exercise, I get very irritable, because it is breaking my routine. And I hate to break my routine. Over the years, as I have had these injuries, I would just have to modify my workouts. If my leg or calf is bothering me, then I would just do an upper body workout.  If my upper body is sore, maybe I just do a leg workout or run.

The key is to not stop.  But you may have to make adjustments and modify. What is it that you are trying to accomplish?  If you have already quit.  Why did you quit?  Were you trying to go all-in too fast?  If that is the case, don’t quit, make adjustments.

I had someone tell me one time, that you only have to get in shape once.  And that is the hard part. Once you do, then you just have to maintain it. Since then, I have never quit. Are there times where I more focused and disciplined than others?  Absolutely, but I never quit and that is the key to success when it comes to health and fitness and most anything else in life.

Another way to keep your commitment and not quit.  Is to remember why you wanted this in the first place.  And when I say remember it, I highly demand that you write it down.  By writing it down you put it to memory.

If you want to become healthier?  Why?  Is it because you want to look good in a bikini or without a shirt on if you are a guy.  If it is to quit spending so much.  Why is this so important to you?  Is it because you want to have a more secure future?  Is your job situation uncertain?  Or is it because you hate your job and you need to be prepared for an exit?

I have written about goals a lot here.  And if you are interested in taking your goal setting and goal accomplishing to the next level, then I would encourage you to reach out to me.  I have some resources that could be beneficial to you.

But I want you to do this one thing to increase the likelihood that you don’t have to start all over again.  And that is write down your goal, why that goal is important to you, and when you will accomplish it by.  Once you do this, you will be well on your way to accomplishing the things you want to accomplish.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

The guaranteed success plan to get SMART.

Many people have come up with different acronyms using the word SMART.   The one that is most known is creating SMART goals or objectives.  Which means they must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.  If you are not familiar with creating goals that are SMART, just do a quick google search, or contact me and lets discuss.

However, this post is to share with you another SMART acronym that I learned at a client’s office the other day.   By using the letters that make up the word SMART, they created a creed that all sales representatives can use to ensure they are the best sales people they can be.

It was the first time I had seen it used this way.

To be a successful sales representative in your industry, my industry, or any industry, this can be a blueprint to ensure you are the best you can be.

S     Service:  As a sales representative your number one mission is to deliver great customer service.  You do this by simply providing not only what is expected from your customer, but providing them even more.  Don’t just meet their expectations, exceed their expectations in everything you do.  This alone will put you in a different category of sales representatives.

M   Motivation:  All sales representatives must be motivated.  Motivation is an inside job.  Meaning that you as the individual sales person need to find and create ways to ensure you stay motivated.  All great sales people know how to do this.

A    Accountable:  If you desire to have success in anything in your life personally or professionally, you have to create systems that hold you accountable to doing things you have to do, and doing those things you hate doing.  The bottom line is there are many things we can do to have success, but one of the best things we must do is create a system of accountability for ourselves, when we don’t do something we should have done.  This usually requires someone else to help hold us accountable.  If you want more information on how I do that reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com

R   Results:  At the end of the day the only thing that really matters is our results.  Sure we can celebrate our activity, we can celebrate our conversations, but in sales, the only thing that pays bills and puts money in our pocket, is results.  Translation: Sales. Great sales people know that results are critical to everything they do and they hold themselves accountable to achieving them.

T   Time Management:  My mentor told me this:  He said “Multi-millionaires have 24 hours a day to accomplish everything they want to accomplish.”  He then said “That poor people have 24 hours in a day to accomplish everything.”  He challenged us and said “What is the difference between the two groups of people?”  The answer:  What they do with their 24 hours a day.  That is the difference.  Successful sales representatives own their schedule and make sure they do the most important income producing tasks first and foremost.

Questions for you:  Are you a SMART sales representative?  Do you deliver amazing Service, before, after, and during the sale?  Do you create your own motivation and know what motivates you to get up, and get out and make things happen?  Are you accountable to yourself and to others?  Do you deliver results? And lastly, do you dominate and own your schedule and control your time?

Most successful sales representatives are SMART, however, these same successful people also know that they can be even more successful.  They realize that even though they are SMART, they are constantly looking for that slight edge to be even more SMART. If you want to be even SMART ‘er reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com.

2018 is right around the corner.  If you haven’t already started setting goals and thinking about how you will be even more SMART in 2018, here is your chance, reach out to me.  I coach individuals and companies to achieve higher performances and goals in their business as well as their personal life.

To your success and your future.

Four hundred times later, this is what I’ve learned

On January 13, 2014, I was sitting and staring at my computer just like I am now.  I had just purchased the domain name selfdevelopmentaddict.com My goal was to write/type a blog at least once a week for a year, and at the end of that year turn those blog posts into a book.  I now write everything on that domain and share it to my website brianwillettgroup.com

I quickly turned that original goal in to something else soon after.  My goal was then to write as often as possible and see at the end of the year what I tended to write about the most.  I was looking to see what it was that I was really passionate about.  By looking back at what topics and things I wrote about most, I would be able to clarify a path for future writings or even a different career path.

I did switch careers, and with that, I changed the path for my writings to what they are today.  My job is to increase the skills and the performance of leadership professionals and sales professionals in all facets of business. To ensure I continue to make the biggest impact with my clients, I use my writing to flesh out thoughts I may have.  I use my writings as a follow-up with my clients to reenforce a concept that we may have discussed. I use some of what I write to generate leads or provoke a thought in someone’s mind.  And lastly, I even use my writings to rant at times.

The reason for my reflection this evening, is because this post is my 400th blog post since I started writing. Although 400 hundred doesn’t seem like a lot, and I know I am capable of more, and I could do more writing.  I am still happy to say that 1,075 days have passed since I started writing.  Which means:

  • Over the last 153 weeks of my life I blogged at least twice a week.
  • I have roughly compiled about 240,000 words.
  • I wrote a self published book titled “Seven Ways to More”
  • I wrote two e-books.
  • I switched careers
  • I wrote my fathers eulogy.  The reason this is so important, is writing provided me the confidence to write the thoughts I shared that day.

I haven’t made any money from any thing I have written so far.  I don’t think I have written anything that has gone viral. Most of my closest friends, family, etc. rarely ever comment, share, mention, etc. anything I have written.  I don’t know if I am a better writer today than I was on January 13, 2014.

In church last week, my pastor asked the congregation a question that was posed to him at an event he attended several years ago.  The question that was asked of him was this: “If your church were to disappear tomorrow, would your community even know it.”

He took that question and modified it and challenged us with this question: “If our church were to disappear tomorrow, would our community even know it.”  He just changed the “your” to “our”.  He challenged us with continuing to commit time and resources, and help the church and the community in any way we can.

The reason I share this story is because I am asking myself this same question about my writing.  If my blog posts didn’t exist anymore, would anyone even know it.

And here is how I answer this question.  It may sound a little selfish, but my heart is in the right place.  Based on my experiences so far, the answer is, nobody would miss it.  Lets be honest.  If you are reading this, you are most likely finding out that I have written four hundred times.

None of that matters though.  I am going to make it my mission to matter though.  I am going to go back to the drawing board and see what I need to do to produce a better and more compelling product.  I am going to continue to challenge myself to become a better writer and storyteller.  And if I still haven’t gone viral or received many comments or shares, it wont matter.  Because, here is the selfish part.  I started writing for me.

The benefits I have gained from 4oo blog posts.

  • I am more confident
  • I have added value to the people and clients that have read anything I have written.
  • That ongoing writing propelled me and gave me the confidence to find another career.
  • I expanded my skills sets. For every skill you develop you increase your potential income.
  • I have become a better communicator verbally, because I have expressed my words in written format first.
  • I have become a better goal accomplisher.
  • I have monetized writing by being a better trainer.  I don’t get paid for writing, but I do get paid for training. The writing has made me a better trainer.
  • I have met people who I would have never met, because of something I have written that they liked.
  • I showed myself that I can commit to something that is very hard to do and do it, over and over.
  • I have 135 drafts of blogs that I have never published. Because they are undone thoughts I had. Not worthy of pushing out just yet.
  • I have about ten writings that are not for public consumption. That are near and dear to me.

I am sure there are other benefits to my writing then the ones I mentioned above, but that is all I can think of this evening.  If you happen to read this, or have read anything I have written. I want to thank you.  My next goal for my writing is to make sure it doesn’t take another 1,075 days to get to 800 blog posts.

To your success and your future.

Some of the bad advice I have received along the way

I am sure it will come as to no surprise to you.  Especially, since you are reading this blog.  Is it just me or do you see this to?  The older I get, and yes, the wiser I am getting.  I am learning that most of the things I was taught.  Outside, the basic, basic shit.  Like manners, respect, appreciation, love your mother, love your father, etc. Outside that stuff. The rest of shit we have learned was probably not very good advice.

I am finding that some of the smartest people I know, really gave a lot of bad advice to me along the way.  They didn’t do it intentionally.  It wasn’t their fault.  That is all they knew as well. They thought they were doing me a favor when they passed their horse shit advice  on to me.  Many times the advice someone gives us, is the advice that they have been comfortable in receiving as well. Meaning, they aren’t going to tell you something they aren’t comfortable themselves doing.

My third grade teacher.  I remember her name, but I am not going to blast them in this blog. I was a talker when I was a kid.  I guess I still am, but I think I cared less when I was a kid than I do now.  Which is sad, because that is where it started.  When that teacher told me that being loud and talking to everyone is not a  good quality to have.  They actually punished me for it.  Being friendly, and probably saying some crazy stuff at that time, I was punished for it.

And when you punish a kid for something too many times, then other people get involved and punish them as well.  The principal, other teachers, counselors, and then lastly your parents, because they don’t want to listen to these teachers bitch about you.

The bad advice that my third teacher gave me, stunted me.  It started me down a path,  that I may have not gone down otherwise.  It prevented me from being who I wanted to be.  And ultimately changed who I was or who I was going to be. It made me insecure. Which is a horrible disease for a kid to have and it doesn’t get better as an adult.

Some other bad advice.

Play fair and be a good team member.  Growing up, I played basketball. And a lot of it.  I was a decent player and worked really hard with the athleticism and skills I was given and ultimately developed.  When I was younger playing basketball, I was the best on the team, or one of the best.  As I got older and moved into middle school and high school, the athletes got better and the game became more competitive.

Many of the coaches at that time was focused on me passing the ball, or finding the open man.  Well, we all know that the person who does that is never celebrated as much as the person who can dunk the ball or shoot the hell out of the ball.  But I conformed, and became more of a “setting other players up” to score kind of guy, and ultimately became a non-factor.  In high school, they want athletes that can score, dunk, or make a difference, by this time, my skill set had evolved in to something that wasn’t flashy or amazing.

Again, the advice I was getting was from people who I thought knew better.

The next bad advice I got, is everyone needs a college education.  Hey I get it, I agree with this premise for the most part.  Where I disagree with this notion is that everyone needs a college degree. Is if you don’t know what the heck you want to be, don’t go to college and figure it out. Go to work and figure it out.  College then, and especially now, is way too expensive to just go and figure it out.

What you really learn in college, is how to learn.  Now you can learn how to learn on a job, or in college.  One pays you to learn, the other one charges you.  You tell me which one is better.

Get married and buy a house.  My advice.  Don’t do either one of these until you are at least thirty years of age.  Lets start with the first one.

All I know is my experiences, so that is all I can talk about.  Everyone I know, well, take that back.  A large percentage of everyone I know that got married before age 25, were divorced before they were thirty.  I don’t have a clue why this is, but from my observations and According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average age of divorce in America is thirty years of age.  Which means you had to get married before age thirty.  The statistics prove my theory on some level.

Buying a house.  Again, don’t do it before you are at least thirty years of age, if ever.  If ever, is another conversation for another day.  Buying a house before age thirty is too risky.  What I have watched is people that buy the houses are already in debt before they purchase the house.  That is problem number one.

Then they buy the house, which consumes well over forty to fifty percent of their cash flow each month, so they became strapped and stressed out over money and in life. And no relief for many years.  My guess is, that there is a correlation between the high divorce rate and purchasing a home before age thirty.  I am by no means a finance expert.  I am just speaking from my own personal experience and my experience watching others.

We have accumulated a lot of bad advice already, and I am just now getting to age thirty.  Lets keep in mind, I am not quite forty yet either.

Quickly here are a few other doozies of bad advice given along the way.

  • If you want to have a nice car, you will always have a car payment.  Nope.  That is bullshit. You can have a nice car and have it paid for, you just have to control your impulses.
  • You have to find work that you love and you will never work a day in your life.  This is a huge crock of shit.  I love what I do, but I hate most of the stuff I have to do, to be able to do the part of my job I love to do.  My guess is, you are in the same boat.

    This is life. You don’t love to take out the trash, but you sure are happy that your house doesn’t smell like a landfill.  You don’t love doing dishes, or putting dishes in the dishwasher, but you love reaching up into the cabinet and getting a nice clean glass or plate down. I don’t love working out, but I hope that it will continue to allow me to live and be active and healthy.  Should I keep going?Again the chances of you loving most of what you have to do, is slim at best.  You have to love the result. That is what should be taught.

  • Dont set your goals too high.  Ask any five to ten year old what they want to be when they grow up and most of them will say doctor, engineer, lawyer, astronaut, teacher, and now they may say an app creator, a founder of a startup, etc.  And what happens, is most parents and most teachers, tell you to make sure you make good grades and do well in school, and this will prepare you for life and success. And we all know that this just isn’t case.  Success in life comes from fulfilling ones purpose and bringing value to the marketplace.

    Bill Gates brought a lot go value to the marketplace and was rewarded heavily for it.  Anybody can do this. Sure school can help, but it isn’t the end all be all.  And so instead parents and teachers and everyone else,  tell you to have more realistic dreams.  In school they should teach you how to become a great goal setter. Instead of doing the opposite and telling you that the only way to achieve your goals is through an education.  Tell kids to set their goals high, and then equip them with a formula to achieve them.  The goal itself is important, but what is more important is a formula for setting and then achieving goals.  This can be taught as well.

  • “Get a degree”.  Instead of saying this everyone should be saying “Develop your skills” in something.
  • Save for retirement.  I mean this is not all bad advice.  However, most people tend to say “save for retirement”, instead of saying “invest your money”.  Remember, retirement isn’t an age. It is a financial number. Once you hit this dollar figure.  You can retire.  You have to figure out what that dollar figure is.
  • Don’t work too hard and make work your life.  This is information that is usually coming from someone who has different priorities, or hates their job.   Bottom line, is it is bad advice.  Don’t listen to them.  You have to do what makes you happy and allows you to build the life you want to build.

I guess somewhere between age thirty and today, I have learned that most of the advice I have received was from a person who was giving me advice that they were most comfortable with.  It isn’t that it was bad advice or wrong advice.  Is was just all they knew.   We just have to remember that when we seek advice and get advice, we are getting that person biases, baggage, experience, and lastly what they are most comfortable with.

Here is what we have to do.  As we grow up, there is certain advice that we have to take and most of it is not going to kill us.  However, we have to look at the results of the people who are giving us the advice and ask ourselves, “Would we be satisfied” with the results that person has gotten?  If your answer is yes.  Then go with it.

However, most of what happens in this world, everyone is, or most likely will do.  Like many of the examples I mentioned above.  If you are looking to be different and set yourself apart, without a doubt you will have to do something different than what everyone else is doing. When the crowd goes one way, what is in your best interest may be the other way.

So when it comes to taking advice, proceed with caution.

What is some of the bad advice you have received along the way?  Please share in comments.

To your success and your future.

Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm

 

 

Distance = Rate X Time, Which piece is missing from your equation?

When I was growing up I can remember playing outside for hours and hours with my friends.  Anything from riding bikes, playing basketball, or street football.  The school year always seemed to drag on forever and summer vacations flew by like a squirrel trying to get across the highway to avoid an oncoming car.

Regardless of how we spent the time, either in school or playing, it always felt like we would always have more than enough time to do what we wanted to do and we had our entire lives in front of us.

Then something happened. I turned 30 years old.  Maybe it was a little bit sooner, but at 30 years of age or around 30 years of age, I figured out that we don’t, I don’t,  have some endless trove of time, our time on this earth is truly finite.

This is not a typical time management post.  Nope, I can do that as well. See some of my other blogs.

No, this is a time realization post.  Meaning you have to realize that everything in life revolves around time.  And you are either trading time for money, trading time for nothing, or trading your life away thinking you have more time than you actually do.

I had a vision at 30 years of age.  I said, I would work really hard and be able to retire at age 50.  Pretty simple right.  The problem though wasn’t the vision. It is a pretty solid vision.  Nope, the problem was I didn’t understand the equation.

Let me get a little wonkish with you here:

Rate = Distance/Time
Distance = Rate x Time
Time = Distance/Rate

Example:  If you want to run two miles in 20 minutes, find rate:  2 miles (distance) / 2o minutes (time) = .10 move the decimal two spots and you get 10 mins. Rate equals 10 mins per mile.

Example: Find distance: Car doing 50 mph for 3 hours, goes how many miles?
50 mph (rate) x  3 hours (time) = 150 miles (distance)

So lets look at my situation.  I have 20 years.  Age 30-50.  Simple enough. So we know what the time is don’t we.  So what is the rate?  And what is the distance?  These are the two missing variables from my situation.  I didn’t have either one of these in my vision.

So around 35, I got a little bit wiser and I said.  Okay, I need to have 10 paid for houses by the time I am 50.  So that makes it a little easier doesn’t it?  Throw dollars out of the equation and just use the amount of houses for the numbers.

We now have Time = 20 years.  We have distance = 10 houses. But, I need to solve for rate.  10 houses / 20 years = Rate of  .50.  Which means I would have to buy a half a house a year, for 20 years.  Now we all know that I can’t buy a half a house. So what if I only bought 1 house a year for 20 years. Than I would exceed my goal by a lot right?  I would double my rate, which would allow me to get there sooner.

To get to 10 houses, paid for, by age 50, means I would have to add in some dollar figures. What would I spend on the house? How much would it cost me to maintain? and how much revenue can I generate by renting them out during this period?  These numbers would allow me to make the target even more concrete on how I would achieve it.

Why does any of this matter?  And why should it matter to you or me?  Many of us are walking around with the time in our head, but we don’t have the other two pieces of the equation.  We don’t know what the distance is, meaning we haven’t set a target.  We don’t know where the hell we are going.  And since we don’t have a target, we don’t know what rate of speed we should be going.  We are aimlessly walking around thinking we are traveling well, but we really don’t have a clue.

As you wrap up 2016 and are thinking about 2017, what are your targets?  If you have some targets, good for you, you are better off than most. However, the second and most important question is, “Do you know what your rate is and the amount of time it will take to get there?”  Just like I pointed out before.  I had a target, but it wasn’t clear, once I made it clear, I knew that I needed to buy a half a house a year (1 at least) to get where I wanted to go.

Rate and speed is one of the most important pieces of most decisions we have to make.  The reason I say that is this:

If you have a good thought, or are motivated to take action.  The amount of time that passes between the thought and your first step towards action will determine your success in pursuit of this new motivation or thought.

Example:  Lets pretend that its Saturday (which it is as I am typing) and I have gotten up early and I decide that I am going to clean the house before we have this party to go to this afternoon and the basketball games that I want to watch start.

Instead of taking action and starting the cleaning, I decide to cook some breakfast, go for a run, and do some work that I wasn’t able to get to during the week.  I had the thought at 8:00 am to clean the house, and by the time I do all of the other things I decided to do instead, it is now 12:30 and we have to be at the party at 3:00. It will take me an hour to get ready and an hour to get there.  So that means, I only have 30 minutes to actually do the cleaning.  Well, we all know that is not enough time to clean, so I put it off.

Sound familiar?  This happens to everybody, everyday. It is that vicious cycle that we all have fallen victim to at one time or another.  We plan on doing something very good for us and very rewarding.  Which I think, having a clean house fits for both.  Instead of doing it, we allow others things to get in the way and we never get it accomplished.  Now cleaning the house isn’t going to kill us is it?

But what if we don’t act quickly on cutting some unnecessary spending in our budget, what if we don’t start on that assignment for work, what if the doctor tells us that if we don’t change our diet that we are going to be in trouble with our health, etc.  You can input your own scenario here if you wish.  If our rate of speed to action on any of these are too slow, they could have some very negative consequences.

This is what happens every day for most people though.  They don’t act quick enough. When too much distance gets between a decision and the first step towards taking action on that decision, your chances of doing something around that decision goes down significantly.

My favorite speakers and authors of all time Jim Rohn calls it “The Law of Diminishing Intent”; the longer you delay something, the less probability you have of actually doing it.

Rate and speed are very important pieces of the equation and we also know that having the right target, or in the equation Rate (x) Time = distance.  Which means you must know your distance (target) to know how fast and how much time it will take to get there.

So what about time.  In this blog we started off by talking about time and how we all think we have more of it, especially when we are young, than we actually do.

I read somewhere that the late great Steve Jobs believed that he was going to die young. He didnt know when, obviously, none of us do, but he felt like whatever it was that he was going to accomplish, that he needed to do it quickly because he felt like he only had so much time.

Now whether or not he felt like he was really going to die early, or he felt like an avaerage lifetime wasn’t long enough. Either way, he believed that time is our most precious commodity and that we must use it wisely and only do things we are passionate and excited about.

In our previous discussion around my vision to have purchased 10 houses between the ages 30-5o, and have them paid for.  One of the realizations I had recently, thankfully, is that I don’t want to wait that long.  I don’t want to wait until I am 50 years of age. I want it sooner. I want these houses now. I want the money theses house bring now.  I want to be free now.

What if I don’t make it to 50. I hate to be morbid, but that can happen. I changed my target to 40. How can I get to 10 houses paid for by age 40? That is the new goal.  That is the one I am working towards.

Time is the unknown and I can’t control time.  I can control what I do with my time, but I don’t know how much of it I have and I can’t stop it or slow it down.  I can only work within the 24 hours a day that I have until I can no longer do it.

I go into each day knowing that I have the time, the key question I ask myself is “What am I doing with that time?” I want to increase my rate and speed on everything I am doing.  I can control my rate.  I can control the speed of which I pursue everything.

Remember the equation above, to get to the target sooner, I must increase my rate, which in turn decreases the amount of time I have to invest in it.

Watch:  1,000,000 million dollars (target) So what is time and rate.

4 years (time) X 250,000 (Rate) =  1,000,000
3 years (time) X 333,000 (Rate) = 1,000,000

When I increase my rate, I decrease my time to get to my target.  That is the goal.  And that should be your goal.

My mission in 2017 is to speed everything up.  It is going to be a challenge in some cases, because I can’t do everything. It will require me to spend money, it will require me to make sacrifices, it will require me to rely on others, and it will require me to give up somethings for the sake of other things. And all of this is okay.  I have finally figured it out that if I want to truly speed things up, it is going to require a different approach.

One of my mentors said it this way.  The rich buy time and the poor spend time. What they meant by this is:  Rich people have the money to hire others to do things that they dont want to do and get others to expand their influence by paying someone to go out and do more of what it is they are attempting to do.

Example:  If I am a plumber.  And a really good plumber and I work on my own.  I can only service and do so much plumbing.  Plus I have to do marketing, Have to manage my books and accounting, I have to do business development, I have to do ordering of materials and supplies, etc.  You get the point.

If I am desirous to grow my business, there is no way I can do it when I have to do all of these things.  I have to hire others to help me do it.  This allows me to buy some of my time back and it also allows me to focus on the things I am really good at.  It would also allow me to get really good at the things I need to get really good at, which is finding more customers.

In order to speed things up, I have to find and seek out ways to increase everything.  I have to increase my spending to get others working on things, I have to increase the rate of my thought leadership posts, I have to get more quantity of everything out quicker than I have ever done before.

I started this post talking about a more simple time in my life.  It was such a simple time because that is all I knew at the time.  All I knew was riding bikes and having fun.

However, I now know that my potential us unlimited, my options on this earth are unlimited, the amount of houses I can own, the amount of money I can earn, the amount of influence I can have, all are unlimited.  The only thing that is limited is my time, but it is only limited in what I can do within my time.  The amount of time I can buy, the speed I can create by getting others involved, and the target I will hit are all up in the air and I can get them all, when I understand the equation of distance=rate X time.

I will close the gap on the amount of time something takes by increasing the rate at which I do it, and I will always know what the target is, you should do the same.

To your success and your future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal Setting made easy

Everyone I speak to tells me they are a big goal setter.  Then I ask them to share their goals with me and they can’t.  Here is what they say: It is in my head, I don’t have to write them down, I know what I want to accomplish.  I get it, but my advice is to write it down. There is something magical that happens when you write them down (or type them out).

Instead of a traditional goal setting plan, I wanted to keep it easy for you today.  Write down the following questions and answer them to the best of your ability, think big though.  This is a good start to setting some goals that will get your excited about your future.

  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • What do I want to see?
  • What do I want to have?
  • Where do I want to visit?
  • Who and how much can I give?

Your answers to these questions can provide you the motivation to work towards something that moves you closer to the life you want to live.

If you are interested in learning how to set goals and being more intentional about your life and your ambitions, contact me and lets see if my goal setting plan can help you get where you want to go.

To your success and your future.