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.

 

 

 

Implementing this one activity every other day has been a game changer for my life.

There are certain things in life that all of us must do every single day.  Things like brush our teeth, eat, drink water, and… If you have children you have to make sure they do these same things everyday as well.

Now you could say that you have to go to work every single day, but that isn’t true.  Most of us have weekends off.  And if you don’t, you probably have vacation time. So what are the things we have to do every single day?  There probably aren’t very many things we must do every single day unless we choose to do it.

About a year and a half ago, I learned from one of my mentors to do this one thing every single day.  And it has been a game changer for me. My mentor said that I should write down my 10-15 biggest goals every single day.  Yes.  He said I should do this every single day.  He said he does it as soon as he wakes up and he does it again before he goes to bed.

Maybe he does or maybe he doesn’t.  He is wildly successful, so I am not going to question him. I like to try to do what really successful people do, so I gave it a shot.

First of all, for me, I have found that I don’t do it every day.  Hence why the title of the blog isn’t, “Implementing this one activity everyday has been a game changer for my life.”

There is really no reason why I can’t, but looking in my journal over the last year, I just didn’t.  I just looked at my journal and I counted 298 days that I wrote down my goals.  Not bad, but I could do better. Again, doing anything for 365 days a year is hard.  I can do better though.

I have been a very aggressive goal setter for the last ten or so years of my life.  I have accomplished so many things that I would have never dreamed of accomplishing, just because I wrote it down and made a plan to accomplish it.  I consider myself to be in the top one percent of goal setters and goal accomplishers.  This consideration is purely from my observations of hundreds, if not thousands of people, that I interact with in my business who don’t set goals. It is not a common thing.

All of this to say, that I know a lot about goal setting and I have helped a lot of people accomplish more in their life by becoming better goal setters.

So when my mentor told me to write down my goals every single day, I thought that this was a silly idea.  I said how will this help me.  I am already doing a really good job at setting and accomplishing goals.  I have a document that I write down all of my current year goals on, and included on that document is some long-range goals as well.  They all kind of go together.

But because of his challenge to me, I decided to take on this challenge of writing them down every day.  And in my case, I did it the last 298 days of my life. I didn’t write down every single goal.  I just wrote down the 10 to 15 bigger goals that I have in my life.

For example:  I turn forty next year.  I am not worried about the forty number, but one of my goals is to be in the best shape of my life, backed up with test results, when I turn forty next year. That is one of the goals I have written down the last 298 days of my life.

Another one is “I own 100 paid for rental properties”.  Yes a big goal.  I currently have five.

What I have learned from writing these goals down for the last 298 days, is that they are always in my head, they never leave.  I am reminding myself about them every day. This has helped me put in place certain habits and other things that are helping me work toward these goals.  Id dint have this before.  This has been really beneficial for me to doing what I need to do, every day to get closer to accomplishing the goals.

Most people never accomplish much because they never commit to accomplishing anything. That is why writing down your goals is co critical. But I have learned that writing them down every single day reminds me to do the things that I need to do so I can accomplish the goals.

This is not a to do list.  This is a reminder of the bigger things you want in your life. These are the big goals.  These bigger goals is where you get your motivation.

I can’t get too excited about running six miles a day, but I can get excited and motivated about being in the best shape of my life at the age of forty.

It is hard to get excited about making another sales call, or taking on a client that I know will be a pain in the ass.  But I know that I have to do it, to generate the money so I can get to my 100 rental properties.

These 10 or 15 goals set your task list for the day automatically.  The only difference is, the task list isn’t that exciting, but the goals list is.

As you can tell, I have some room for improvement in this area as well, but I want to challenge you to try this.  I consider myself to be a pretty self motivated person, but after doing this the last 298 days, I am even more motivated and committed to my goals and to my success and this has pushed me to do even more every day to get closer to accomplishing them.

If you want more information about my process, email me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

Check out this blog for more information about the value of writing down your goals.

50 Reasons on why I want to be Rich!

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a million times.

“Brian, you work too hard, slow down.”

“Brian, money isn’t everything.”

“Brian, your work shouldn’t be your identity.”

“Brian, be careful or you will burn out.”

The same people who say the above statements are also the same people, who probably don’t have any money, or think consumer debt is a good thing, or just don’t know what else to say.

Over the last couple of years I have become a writer, ( I can call myself that now).  I have told my readers that one of the main reasons I write is because it gives me clarity and ultimately holds me accountable to my words and my actions.

Here are 50 clarifying thoughts, things, and concepts that I am going to hold myself accountable to.

  1. I don’t want to be the opposite.
  2. I can use my time to do what I want to do.
  3. I can buy my soon to be wife whatever she wants.
  4. I can have flexibility in my day.
  5. I can become even more generous with my giving to others.
  6. I can give more of my time to people and things that I care about.
  7. I can protect myself from a major disaster wrecking my finances.
  8. I can buy the best that can be got.
  9. I can buy whatever I want.
  10. I can buy more time.
  11. I can tell a customer, I don’t need your business.
  12. I can provide opportunities to those less fortunate.
  13. I can travel wherever I want.
  14. I hate cooking, I want someone else to do it for me.
  15. I want to make more time to read the books I want to read.
  16. I want to leave a legacy.
  17. Lack of money causes stress, believe me I know. I want to eliminate that stress out of my life.
  18. The people with the money have the power, and some of those people are idiots.
  19. I want to give my friends and family nice stuff.
  20. I want to pay for my nephews college educations.
  21. If I get rich, I can help others get rich.
  22. I can write more.
  23. I can be wherever I want, whenever I want.
  24. Freedom is the number one objective of all human beings.
  25. I like nice stuff.
  26. I really like fine shoes.
  27. My soon to be wife likes nice stuff.
  28. Waterfront property costs more money.
  29. When I get there, I know I did it myself. (no head-starts here)
  30. My brother died way too early in his life. I owe it to him to live for the both of us.
  31. The last time I looked, they don’t just give those $5 dollar coffees away.
  32. I want to say how much, not how much do I have to put down.
  33. When my final day is here, I want to say I did all I can with what I had.
  34. Because I live in America, and we have the opportunity.
  35. My Lexus is a 2006.
  36. My mom.
  37. My dad.
  38. I buy a lot of running shoes.
  39. I actually waste a lot more money than I should.
  40. Because it is the right thing to do.
  41. I want to prove to myself that I can do it.
  42. Because I don’t want to rely on anybody but myself.
  43. I don’t want to have to do things I don’t want to do.
  44. I will pay more taxes.
  45. I like to have fun.
  46. On days that I am sad, I can buy myself something that makes me happy.
  47. I am tired of driving, I want a driver.
  48. You will always have a seat at the table.
  49. Investments take money.
  50. Organic and health foods are more expensive.

I am not sure my list included every reason, but it is a start and it is from my heart.

A goal properly set is 50% percent complete. Now I have to do the other 50%.

I just set 50 goals. I encourage you to do the same.

To your success and your future.

5 must do’s to hit goals and eliminate excuses

Are you just trying to get through your day or are you trying to get something from the day?  That is the question.  I know many people who are intentional about their life, but intentional meaning they are intentionally getting through all of the tasks they must do each day, instead of pursuing the things they want out of life.

When it comes to goals they require a new discipline a new habit.  Which unless you are just amazing these are very hard to do.  Discipline and habits are formed over time.  They just don’t happen over night.  A lot of research says that a new habit takes 21 days to form. In Charles Duhiggs book “The Power of Habit”, he says this: How long does it take to change a habit pattern? From Maxwell Maltz and his book “Psycho-Cybernetics” (1960), habit change could take from 21 to 28 days of repeating behaviors that could change an attitude or deeply held belief. Lally’s more recent research, however, would suggest as low as 18 and as high as 254 days, with a median of 66 days are required to crystallize a new habit in our body, hearts and minds. Still others suggest that through hypnosis, application of willpower, or cultivation of a strong heart’s desire, the habit change can happen much more quickly.

So what do we do to form a habit to hit our goals?

Define your purpose or why:  Sure we all talk about this purpose thing and the why you want to hit your goal, but it is deeper than surface level stuff.  I don’t want to be overweight, or I don’t want to be broke are pretty surface level things.  You have to go deeper than that.  Why don’t you want to be overweight?  What would it mean if you were the right weight.  If I have more money what would I do with it.  Why is more money important and what will I do with it when I have it?  These are the questions you need to answer.

Discipline: Lets be honest with ourselves here, I will as well.  I live a pretty disciplined life in almost every area of my life.  However, there are times and situations where my discipline is lacking.  I am not sure what causes this, other than it just happens.  The last three weeks of my life I have lacked in a few disciplines that I have established over the last five years, but even though the discipline wasn’t there, it was still in my mind. The disciplines and positive habits that I had formed were hard for me to break.  When your positive habits become hard to break, you have disciplined yourself in to a good spot.

Accountability: We all need it, but most of us don’t want it.  Why don’t we want it?  Because we know that accountability is just holding ourselves to account to what we said we were going to do.  And when we don’t do what we said we were going to do, we are embarrassed and we don’t want to be reminded that we didn’t do what we said we were going to do.  We all need accountability from ourselves as well as from others.  It is the only way we can achieve the goals we want to achieve.

Consistency: When we do something over and over, and over, and over, it means we are forming the a habit and creating a discipline because we are being consistent in our pursuits.  How long does it take to be considered consistent?  That’s a good question.  I looked up the word and did some research to see if there is a particular amount of time we must devote to a pursuit to be considered consistent in that pursuit?  I couldn’t find anything.  However, I guess one way to determine that is whether or not you made your goal?  And the other answer would be:

Results: If you have applied the above four areas to your goals, the chances of you achieving your goals is greatly increased.  And at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the results.  Did you lose the weight.  Did you save the amount of money.  Did you pay off your debts. Did you find a career you are more passionate about.  Some people say it isn’t all about results.  Yes it is.  The results are what matter.

Are you applying the five areas to your goals?  If not, start with the first area and define the why.  My mentor said this:  When the Why gets stronger the How gets easier.   Once this is defined the four other areas are the how, and they will get easier.

To your success and your future.

 

The Law of Diminishing Intent

This truly is a law.  It’s a law because it is true and without a doubt I have, and many of you have all broken this law many times in our life.

What does the law mean:  We have all had that moment when we get really excited about something, maybe it is dieting, getting out of debt, planning our day more effectively, redoing the kitchen, painting the bedroom, etc.  You name it.  At that moment we get excited about doing the “thing” but we don’t take any action to get the ball rolling on doing it.  So for every second, minute, hour, day, week, month that goes by, we lose that passion and excitement about accomplishing what we were so excited about accomplishing.

I can remember learning this lesson years ago.  It was around November or so, and I was telling a friend of mine that I was planning on starting to workout after the New Year.  Sound familiar?  He replied back “Why wait, why not start now, what is the difference between now and then?”  He was right.  I learned the Law of Diminishing intent almost 16 years ago.  He didn’t call it the law of diminishing intent, but that’s what it was.  I started that day.  Guess what?  It is a discipline that I practice still to this day.  My mentor Jim Rohn says it like this:  “The pain of discipline weighs ounces and the pain of regret weighs tons.”

The key is to set up the discipline while the emotion is at its highest.  Go buy the paint, clean the refrigerator out of all of the snacks, cut up your credit cards, go outside and run a mile or walk.  The goal here is to start down the path of setting up some disciplines in your life, some activities, that can then turn into habits that will allow you to accomplish the activity or goal that you are so excited about at that time.

Is there something in your life right now that you are excited about?  What are you doing to set the disciplines and activities in motion to ensure you keep the energy and actions moving forward? Please share with me, I would love to hear them.

Brian Willett

 

The Goal Setting plan that changed my life

This one little exercise allowed me to set goals that I would have never even considered, thanks to my mentor Jim Rohn. And guess what!!! I have accomplished a lot of the little ones already.

Here is your challenge today.  Write down 50-100 things that you want.  ALERT:  WHAT YOU WANT, not what you think you can get.

Example:

  • I want a lake house that is paid for.
  • I want a promotion to….
  • Pay off my car
  • Pay off my student loans
  • Be Vice President of Sales
  • Make $100,000 dollars a year
  • Have X amount of money in my childs college fund
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Have 5 paid for rental properties
  • Complete my Masters degree
  • Go on a cruise

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good start.  Now take your list and put a 1, 3, 5, 10 next to it.  These numbers represent how long you think it will take to accomplish these goals.  Be realistic with your self, but also put a number next to it that will stretch you some.

EX:

  • I want a lake house that is paid for.  (10)
  • I want a promotion to…. (3)
  • Pay off my car (1)
  • Pay off my student loans (1)
  • Be Vice President of Sales (5)
  • Make $100,000 dollars a year (3)
  • Have X amount of money in my childs college fund (5)
  • Lose 20 pounds (1)
  • Have 5 paid for rental properties (5)
  • Complete my Masters degree (3)
  • Take a cruise (1)

Does this make sense to you?  Again I reiterate write down things you want, NOT what you think you can get.  The purpose of this is to expand your thinking, I WANT YOU TO THINK BIG here.  What will happen if you come up a little short?  NOT much.  You will accomplish something.  80% of something is better than 0% of nothing.

Also, use numbers that you think make sense to you.  I used the 1,3,5,10.  But maybe you want to use 6 months, 1 year, 3 year.  However, I challenge you think longterm. Many studies show that the ability to think longterm is a path to success.

Now that you have these goals established, what do you do?  If you are interested in the next step, email me and I will send you the next steps in the process.

 

 

I failed miserably, but I will keep pursuing the goal

8 years ago, I received a promotion as a Sales Manager.  At that time, I was really growing and learning a lot.  I was also still under thirty.  So in my brilliance and sophistication I started keeping a journal (that’s what I would call it today) but then it was a WORD document.  All it really was at that time was phrases regarding leadership that I liked, or things that I learned by making mistakes, or things I didn’t want to forget, etc.  It could have been the way I handled a situation that worked out well or it could be a process that I learned that I wanted to document.  It became about a 10 page document comprised of bullet points. 

I started telling myself that I would turn those bullet points into a book titled “The Top 30 Things I learned as a Sales Manager before 30.” It would be targeted for a young sales manager.  Well, that never happened.  However around 30 years old, I did make some more progress.  I created another word document that took the information from the 10 page document paired down to 30 bullet points that was more title format of those things that I learned and liked.  I didn’t get the book done by 30 either.  So then I started thinking I would change the book title to 35 things. I had to do something, I was getting older and I liked the title so much. (LOL)  I thought at that time, that is way too many chapters and I didn’t know if I could write that much (I was defeated before I started in a sense). Oh by the way, I attempted to do that book of 35, but I could only come up with 31 as the list below shows.  But I started writing some chapters about 4 years ago and stopped, and then I started again about 2 years ago and stopped. Now I am 35, and the book still isn’t finished, but it is on the goal list for 2014. 

So over the next few months I will be posting some of the chapters that I have written and will be trying to write more chapters.  I am desirous of being a top trainer, speaker, and executive.  I know I will never get there, but I will pursue those goals daily.  By writing, I become better at all three of those things.  Along the way I would appreciate any feedback or additional insights you may have.

I am sure some of these chapters sound familiar and have been written about before, but this book will be my story and my examples and they are unique.  It is really cool as I read each chapter title below and reflect on my reasons for having that title.  They truly are just examples of lessons that I had to learn on my own and learn from. As I look at them again, I see a lot of duplication as well. Oh well, its my list. 

  1. Cant, wont, don’t know how
  2. Not everyone is motivated the same way
  3. You have been put there for a reason
  4. Confidence is king
  5. Leading people that have more experience than you
  6. Set the pace (Run faster than everyone else)
  7. Personal and Professional growth is key
  8. Don’t forget to have a little tact
  9. Keep a finger on the pulse of your industry
  10. You will inherit people.  Find out who is bought in and cut the rest
  11. Charisma is good but competence is better
  12. Hire Slowly and Fire quickly
  13. Hire people who are smarter than you
  14. Remember Management and Leadership is not a popularity contest
  15. Inspect what you expect
  16. Don’t Manage people, lead people, manage a process
  17. Seek to understand before trying to be understood
  18. Create an accountability system to manage results
  19. Results only work environment
  20. Provide Training
  21. Over-Communicate
  22. Celebrate often
  23. Motivation is short lived, inspiring people is long-term
  24. Coach up or coach out
  25. Spend time with people
  26. Be yourself
  27. Praise in public, and criticize in private
  28. Lead up
  29. Set High Expectations
  30. Don’t forget where you came from. 
  31. Take the Temperature