Three things I did to pay off my third rental property

As of this writing I have written well over a thousand articles on a wide range of topics.  A topic that I haven’t written about is real estate.  And it is probably one of my favorite topics on the planet.

I bought my first rental property in 2006 at the age of 26.  It was a duplex that I owned up until I moved to Florida in 2015.

My attraction to real estate started when I was young and it is something I have loved ever since.

As of this writing I own five single family residences.  Four of the five are paid off. Two of the five are condos that I paid cash for when I bought them, so I never had mortgages on them.

Over the years I have listened to many so called experts.  I say so called experts, because I am sure they are all successful in whatever they have done and accumulated.  However, they all had different processes they used to get there.

Some of them used a lot of debt to have success, some used minimal debt, and some used no debt to accumulate the wealth and experiences they have in the area of real estate.

I have always been a fence rider on the topic of debt when it comes to real estate.  I innately hate debt. When I became debt free other than the mortgages I had on rental properties and the house I lived in.  I said I would never have debt again.  And I haven’t.

The topic of debt in real estate is something I go back and forth on though.  I am not sure I have a clear opinion one way or the other on it as of today. However, I did make a commitment to myself that I would pay off the other three houses that I did have mortgages on though.

This morning I looked in my journal to see when I made the goal to get the third rental property paid off. The first date I wrote in this journal is 10/19/2018.  Today is 7/1/20.  I assume it may have been in there before.  However, lets just assume that was the first date I wrote that goal down.

On 1/31/2020 we paid off the third mortgage. Since then we have paid off a fourth and could pay off the fifth, but I am having that whole internal discussion on whether to pay it off or use the money we have saved to buy more.  This is another topic for another day.

How did we pay off that third mortgage?  What did we do?

  1. I wrote the goal down everyday:  As I mentioned, I can look in my journal and tell you when I started writing that goal down.  I wrote it down for close to two years almost everyday, until I accomplished the goal. This one thing is first for a reason.  To achieve what it is you want to achieve you have to remind yourself daily that this is what you want to achieve.
  2. Everything extra went towards it. As I mentioned I struggle in the area of whether to have debt or leverage debt when it comes to real estate.  There is one person who is clear on this topic though.  That is Dave Ramsey.    He is a firm believer in no debt on anything.  He has a proven method for people to get out of debt and has helped millions of people do it. One of the things he talks about is the snowball effect.

    The snowball effect is if you take a ball of snow and you roll it down ahill.  As it makes it way down the hill it gets bigger and bigger as it accumulates more snow around it.

    Also, the momentum of the snowball picks up as it makes it way down the hill.  He uses this method when it comes to paying off debt.  Which is to take all extra money and apply it to your smallest debt and pay it off first. He believes, and he is right, that the momentum that a person creates when they are able to pay off something quickly provides them the momentum they need to keep them going to pay off other debts.

    I used this method for paying off this mortgage.  I took all extra money we made and applied it to this mortgage.  It allowed us to pay it off in seven years from the time we took the loan out.

  3. Stay committed no matter what: From the time I made this commitment until we accomplished it, a lot had changed.  I started two different companies, we moved twice, and my income was wildly unpredictable.  During these kind of times most people throw their goals out the door and say they will come back to them when things are more secure. I did not.  I stayed committed.  I kept committing to that goal everyday.

I am a novice when it comes to real estate investing  However, it is something I am committed to and will continue to get better at.  My hope is you find this information to be helpful in your journey.

To your success and your future.

 

Show up

Success in life really comes down to these two words:  Show up.  

There is nothing magical or hard about it.  When you show up good things will eventually happen.

When you show up you are keeping the commitment that you made to yourself.  This one thing alone is just as important as the showing up part.  Once you quit lying to yourself, you can take control over everything in your life.

Humans suck at commitments.  We don’t like to make them to ourselves and we definitely don’t like to make them to there people and be held accountable to them.  When we commit we are putting ourselves out there. We are taking the chance that we could fail.  Humans don’t like failure and we will avoid it all cost. Because of this we don’t go “all in” on commitments.

Work is a commitment that you keep because there is an incentive tied to it.   I am not talking about these commitments.  These are the easy ones.  I am talking about the commitments that you don’t have to make.  And you definitely don’t have to keep them. These are the hard ones and these are the ones that will impact your life the most positively.

When people aren’t getting the results they want.  When they are not accomplishing their goals.

It comes down to their lack of commitment to them.  If you haven’t fully committed, you won’t show up.

Take inventory of your life today and ask yourself the simple question.

Are you showing up to the things you said were important to you? If the answer is no.  Then I would challenge you to ask yourself how committed you really are to the thing.

My mentor said it best.  “action follows commitment.”  You won’t take action until you are committed.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

You’re Going To Miss Me When I’m Gone

I have spent the last 73 days (based on my calculations) tracking the lockdown, quarantine, shelter in place, or whatever you want to call it.

By tracking, I mean I have written a few notes down in my journal.  Nothing too elaborate.  But just some general notes to remind me of the sentiment of what I was feeling and what was going on in the climate and culture as a whole.

Overall I believe this situation was a totally oversold and overhyped by the media, who are dealers in “fear” and basically created the situation and the politics were forced to follow suit.  But I digress, this is not the point of my writings today.

This past Saturday May, 23, the gym I attend opened for the first time in the last 73 plus days. As I walked in, I was more than enthusiastic. I was so glad to be back in there and was grateful for the opportunity.  Before the lockdown, I never resented the gym, but I don’t think I always appreciated it the way I should have.

This morning the gym at our high rise building opened for the first time in 73 plus days. It was so great to walk in there, even with a lot of restrictions, and have the opportunity to get a workout in and use the equipment.

Over the last few weeks, we have now been able to actually go back into restaurants for the first time. If I am honest, I kind of liked the fact that during the lockdown we saved ourselves a lot of money by only being able to do takeout.  Mainly the savings being not spending money on alcohol while dining in.

However, being back around people, the energy in the restaurants, and supporting people to have jobs that can contribute to the economy as a whole is even better.

On Monday, my wife and I randomly went to the mall. Walking around the mall again, which is not something we did very often pre-shutdown, it was still nice to have the opportunity to do it again.

As I am sitting here typing this post, I am in my favorite coffee shop drinking my mocha.  This is something I have done for years.  I usually spend the first hour of the day in here.  During the lockdown, I was unable to sit in the coffee shop, but was thankful that they were open and I was able to get it to go.

I say all of these things really as a reminder to myself that some of the small things we take for granted can easily be taken from us.  For the most part we never think about it when we have them.

Brooks and Dunn one of the great country ban duos of all time, have a song titled “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.”  The song was a great hit for a a lot of reasons, but one of them being that it is so true.  We typically don’t miss something until it is gone.  Which is why we must appreciate it when we have it.

I am not perfect by any stretch and I am sure I will forget at times.  However, I am going to do what I can to remind myself to appreciate the little things I mentioned here, but more importantly, the bigger things in life as well.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Why closing these Gap’s are vital to your life and success.

If you had to sum up life it could really be summed up in one sentence.

You spend most of your life trying to close the GAPs in the most important areas of your life.

The GAP between what you might be asking.  The GAP between you and everything you want out of your life and want in your life.

So what is a GAP?  Lets get a definition for this first.

A GAP is described as a break in continuity.  I also like the definition of an, unfilled space or interval.

So where are some GAPS in your life?

Here is a quick list of GAPS that may or may not pertain to you?  This list is by no means final and is up to each person to create their own.

A Success GAP:  The GAP between the expectations you have of yourself and where you currently are today.

The Health GAP: The GAP between your current health situation and the health situation you would like to have.

The Relationship Gap:  This could be a lot of different relationships in your life such as: with your wife, your boss, your children, your parents, your neighbor, etc.  The GAP between where your relationship is today and where you would like that relationship to be.

The Confidence GAP:  Where you stand today with your confidence in your own abilities and skills in an area of importance to you versus you pursuing that of which eludes you.

The Communication GAP: Most likely this GAP exists in a variety of different ways in your life. It could be the lack of communication from your boss, the lack of communication you and your spouse may have, and may more areas of your life that are important.

The Income GAP:  This is the GAP in between your current financial status and the status you want to have.

So how do we close the GAP?  That is really all we can seek to do.

Like everything in life.  The first thing you have to do is become aware that it exists.  In this case, you have a GAP in one of the above described areas, or another area in your life. Once you identify the GAP.  Then you can seek the information to help you close the GAP.

Lets use the Health GAP as an example.  What is the GAP? What is the current situation for you and secondly, what is the desired situation you want.

I’ll use myself as an example.  I have a GAP in between where I am today and where I would like to be ten months from now at age 40.  At age 40, I seek to be in the best shape of my life.  Which would require me to be at 195, my blood pressure being at 120/75, my BMI at 15-20, and have all of the major health tests conducted and show that I am a healthy forty year old man.  I would even love it if they said I was better than average.  I don’t want to be just average.

So where is the GAP?  I currently weight about 200 or so.  My BMI is closer to 24, my blood pressure is usually around the 120/80-83 mark.  And I haven’t had all of the major tests a forty-year old should get yet.  Although I know the surface level GAP’s of where I am and where I want to be, I have to go to the doctor to get all of the necessary facts to totally see the entire picture.

Once the GAP is identified, I can now learn and create an action plan to close the GAP.

For you to close any GAP in your life, you first have to go through the process of determining that a GAP exists.  The GAP is the space between where you are and where you want to be.

After the you identify the GAP, the big question becomes how bad do you want to close the GAP?  What is the intensity of your desire to make this GAP smaller and smaller.

This GAP will exist as long as you want it to exist.

Now here is the GAP Closer.  Now that you have identified the GAP, and your desire to close the GAP is strong. What do you do?

You go and get the knowledge and education you are missing to close the GAP.  Now the chances are you may already have some of the knowledge and education, but you just aren’t applying it.  That is another blog for another day. But for you to close the GAP in anything you have to apply the necessary knowledge and education you already know, or go out and find the right information and knowledge and then apply it.

This is the only way to close the GAP.  Once you start this process, you can speed the process up, or you can take forever to close the GAP.  It is up to you.

The key to closing a GAP in any area of you life, is identifying you have a GAP.  Once you do this, you then have to identify your motive and desire to close this GAP. After that, you either must apply what you already know, or go out and get the information so you can apply it to closing the GAP.

Life is really a big GAP that you are costly managing and seeking to close.  If you don’t have any GAP’s in your life, then my guess is you don’t have any goals or dreams, which is probably the reason you don’t have any GAPs.

If you want to start closing some GAPS in your life, then reach out to me.  I coach leaders, sales people, and individuals who want to close the GAPs in their life.  I have found that without some help and accountability, closing GAP’s can be very difficult.  Everybody needs someone to push them to accomplish the things in their life that require them to change something in their life.

How big are the GAPs in your life?  How bad do you want close them?  The only way to closing the GAP is getting the knowledge and education you are missing, and then having someone hold you accountable to applying it.

To your success and you 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.

 

 

 

How many Thursdays do you have left in your life?

I don’t know about you, but no matter what I do, it seems like I always use more time to do something than I should use.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Actually if you look it up there is actual supposed law for this belief.  Called Parkinson’s Law.

Cyril Northcote Parkinson, actually wrote about this law in a humorist essay he published in the British publication, “The Economist” in 1955.  Parkinson was actually referencing the fact, and the math to support his belief on how bureaucracies expand over time.  Long story short, he was talking primarily about how officials in government seeks to grow subordinates over time, and as they grow the staff, the work increases, but the results do not increase.  Because the bureaucracy creates more work for itself.  But I digress. Go here and read about it yourself.

In my world, Parkinson’s Law manifests in certain projects that I want to complete.  The best example of this I can give is the one I am working on this week. I have to give a keynote presentation next Friday.  I have delivered several presentations that are similar to the one I am giving, but I have to change this one up for the audience more than normal. This week has been a light week for me, which has provided me a lot of time to work on this presentation.

I started on Monday, and I am 75% complete.  But I should be 100% complete and not have to look at it again until next week.  But I know I have until next week to do it.  Well, really Monday or so.  And because I know this, I haven’t completed it yet.

I have always tried to do whatever I can to get the most out of my time, but I still find myself, like in the above example, using more time than I should.

I recently was listening to a book where the author asked me “How many Wednesdays do you have left in your life?”  Well, I had never thought about the question like that before. I never thought about how many Wednesdays an average person lives, or any other day for that matter.

After hearing this question I thought about it, and like most of us would do, and maybe you are doing it now.  I started doing some math.  The math I will do today is on how many Thursdays I have left, obviously I hope I have more, but lets just play the averages.

I am 39 years old. My dad died when he was 60 (ugh), not sure how that plays in.  One of my grandfathers lived until 86 and the other lived until 83.  However, this plays in, I don’t know, but it gives me some benchmarks.

So how many Thursdays do I have left?

  • If I make it to 60 = Currently week 15 of my 39th year, 1,077 Thursdays left.
  • If I make it to the average for males in the United States: 78: 2,013 Thursdays left.
  • Average of my two grandfathers 83+86=169/2=84.5, 2,325 Thursdays left.

If you think about life experiences how many times do you really do certain things.  For example:  How many Super Bowl parties do you really attend.  Lets just say you started going to Super Bowl Parties when you were 18.  Then you if you just use an average life span, (78), you could have only attended 60 Super Bowl parties throughout your life.  It seems like a lot, but when you look at it like this it makes it seem really small in my mind. Not sure how you think about it.

Now that I got you thinking.  Well me too.  I am trying to create a stronger sense of urgency in everything I do.  Look, I consider myself, to be very disciplined, very focused, and very consistent in just about everything I do.  But even I have a room for improvement.

This little exercise challenged me to think about how many days I really have to do what I want to do, and need to do.  When you are a kid, you think you will live forever.  And then as an adult you are too busy to think about living forever. Then you wake up one day and realize you have been out of high school for 20 years.

I have accomplished a lot.  I don’t know if it is more or less than I thought I would accomplish, because I never really thought that much about it.  However, as I am sitting here today in Naples, Florida where I have lived for the last two years, typing this blog, and now that I think about what it is I am achieving and accomplishing, I can honestly say I have accomplished a lot.

However, I know I am capable of so much more, and you are as well. We just have to quit falling victim to Parkinson’s Law and create the urgency to do whatever it takes to start and  finish things quicker.

To your success and your future.

 

Can people really change?

This is a question that I have been asked many times by people.  You most likely have a strong opinion on this question as well.  Can people really change?  Especially if they are more experienced (older) and more stuck in their ways.

As a leader for well over twenty years now, a full-time corporate trainer and speaker the last five years. I have come across lots of people in a variety of different environments. I have also studied human behaviors for the last ten years or so.  When I say study, I mean not only through observation, I have been doing that for my entire life.  I mean studying the research that has been conducted and collected by some of the experts in the field of human behavior since the beginning of time.

One of the best books I have read on the study of human behavior, and specifically on the question of whether or not humans can Change, is a book titled Change or Die, The Three Keys to Change at work and in Life.  

In the book, the authors look at research conducted by doctors on people who were diagnosed with severe heart issues.  Some of the participants in the study even have had open heart surgery to other heart related surgeries.  The question was simple.  When faced with death, would the patients change their behaviors to prevent future heart related issues.

What do you think they found?  Did people change their behaviors?

The study concluded that after one year after the diagnosis, or the surgery, that well over 50% of the patients had stopped taking the medication they were supposed to be taking.  At after two years, well over 90% were back to the same behaviors and lifestyles they had before the surgery or diagnosis.

This example says a lot about change doesn’t it?  It says that even when faced with death, change is very hard. Luckily most of us are not in position at this moment that we have to make a life or death decision, and our willingness to change determines what the outcome will be.

However, many people are in situations where making some changes could greatly impact their career and success. The question is, are they willing to make the changes necessary. As the book would tell you, most people aren’t.  But the book, also shares many stories on where people did make changes and how they did it. And in my business, I see the same thing.

From my observations through meeting thousands of people in my training seminars and courses, I have watched people significantly change to get better outcomes in their life and their business.  But there are some conditions and questions that must be answered for those changes to occur in those people.

First, the person must have a need to make a change.  As my mentor said, we make changes for two reasons.  We are either inspired or desperate.  Obviously, both situations lead to change.  I just prefer to make the changes before I am desperate to have to make the change.

For example: Lets says I am an employee at a company.  I have been there for five years.  I know my business pretty well.  So well, that I don’t listen to feedback very well.  Matter of fact, I dismiss most suggestions people make.  In addition to being dismissive I am kind of known as a jerk that nobody likes to work around.

This person could become inspired to make changes, because they realize the impact they are having on the coworkers around them.  Or they could be sat down by their manager and told how they are perceived, and if they don’t change it they will no longer work there anymore.

In either case, a need has been identified, but the better path is to become aware of the change yourself and start to make shift.

My experience tells me that people who do make changes see the need.

The second piece to change is the want.  Do they want to make the change.  Again, it comes down to motivation.  How motivated are you to want to make the change.  If you are about to lose your job, you may be highly motivated, however, are you sold on the concept?   You could fake it for a while, but eventually it will come out on whether or not you really want to change.

In my observations, the people who really see the need and then really want to change are the ones who can make the changes.  And I know it isn’t that simple.  The environment has to be right, and then the right support has to be there as well, but when the need and the want are strong by the individual, change will occur.

The third piece to making a change is a question the person will ask themselves. Can I change?  The simple answer is, Yes, they can change.  But it is the follow-up question that is more important.  Will I change?  We can all change, it is just whether or not will we change.  These two questions, have to be asked and answered with a yes.

To answer the question I posed at the beginning.  Can people change?  Yes, I whole heartedly believe people can change.  They must answer the four questions above though.

Do they see a need to change, however the need is presented to them.  Either they see the need or someone shows the need to them.  Do they want to change?  And then lastly, do they think they can, and will they do whatever it takes to make the changes. When these four questions are answered, and how they are answered, you will know whether or not someone will make a change.

Once these four questions are answered, and answered correctly, the person is willing to do whatever it takes to make whatever the change is.  Then they must get in to the right system or program to make the changes.  This is where it can get complicated.  What is the best system.  I’ll keep it generic on my suggestions as far as what the right system is.  I will just tell you what I believe the system must include.

First the system, must have a singular focus.  It must be focused on whatever the change the person is trying to make is.

Secondly, it must have daily accountability of some kind, that requires the person who is making the change to have to be accountable to.

Thirdly, they must receive some kind of coaching along the way.

Lastly, it must be at least a year-long process with accountability and follow-up.  This is by far one of the most critical things.  The bottom line is change is hard, we know this.  People would rather die than change, as the book validates.  And this kind of change doesn’t happen over night, it takes at least a year to make sustainable changes to a behavior that we have had for a long time.

I have watched people in my training courses make significant changes in their behaviors over the years.  Whether it is a leader that changes the way they interact with their employees and peers.  Or the sales person that has to change their work behaviors to make more sales.

These people were able to make these changes, because they not only answered the four questions.  They had a need, they wanted to make the change, and the sad they Can and they said that they will.  But they also found the right system, with a singular focus, with daily accountability and coaching, and they were committed to at least a certain period of time to work in the system to make the changes.  They haven’t always been year-long processes, but they were lengthy periods of time.

Here is the question for you.  Can you change?  Are you willing to make a change?

I know the answer to the question.  People can change. Will you?

To your success and your future.

 

 

Spaghetti and Marshmallows and why kindergartners beat CEO’s in this task.

If you had to make a bet on which team could perform a certain task better between a group of kindergartners, or a group of business students amongst some of the top elite schools in the United States and abroad.  Who would you bet on?

Peter Skillman, an engineer, put together a competition to answer this question.  The task was simple.  He assembled groups of four people at several colleges and universities.  Their task was to see who which group could build the tallest possible structure using the following items:

  • twenty pieces of uncooked spaghetti
  • one yard of transparent tape
  • on yard of string
  • one standard size marshmallow

The contest had one rule.  The marshmallow had to be the final thing on top of the tower.

Who did you bet on?

The students took the approach of first tossing ideas back and forth.  They asked questions to each other.  They looked at several different options.  It was very strategic and professional.  They then decided on an approach.  Divided up the tasks and started building.

The kindergartners did something different.  They didnt strategize. They did not analyze anything or generate any ideas, or banter back and forth. Nope they stood amongst each other.  Grabbed the materials and started building.  No plan.  No strategy.  They started putting things together, and as they got in to it.  They would say to each other.  “Lets try this”.  “No, here”.  “Lets put that here.”

So who did you bet that would build the taller structure?

If you bet on the business school students, you are wrong. In dozens of trials, kindergartners built structures that average twenty-six inches tall, while the students from these universities average structure was about ten inches tall.

Teams of kindergartners not only consistently outperformed business school students, but they also conducted these same trials with lawyers and CEO’s.  The lawyers averaged fifteen inch structures and the CEO’s averaged twenty-two inches structures.

So how is it? and Why is it?  That kindergartners could outperform all of these highly educated and skilled groups of people?

The simple answer is that kindergartners:

  • Don’t have any egos.
  • They are not trying to prove their intelligence
  • They are not trying to be in charge.
  • They aren’t scared to speak up because they may be wrong.
  • They are not afraid to say no to each other.
  • They are not trying to adapt to any social norms.

Nope.  The kindergarteners are just looking at a task that they have been asked to do and just doing it.  Although the research doesn’t mention this, but maybe the kindgartners also have a better imagination.  They are not trying to put limits on themselves and say what can’t be done. Instead, they just try to do things.  This by itself leads to better outcomes, because if you aren’t willing to fail, which it doesn’t even cross the minds of these kindergartners, than you will never know what truly could be done.

In today’s world, probably as you are reading this.  You are on your way to work where either you, or someone you will work with today, will be trying to solve a problem.  Instead of trying to decide who is boss.  Or who should be doing this or that.  I would encourage you to instead take the same approach as the kindergartners did in this research and determine what is the best way to do this and forget everything else.

I know this is a hard ask.  But if we would all approach issues at work, or in our own personal lives this way, we would accomplish a lot more.  There would be less tension and conflict amongst our peers and in our own personal relationships.  And we would just be happier altogether.

See if you can approach life-like a kindergartner today and see how it works out for you.

To your success and your future.

You can watch the TED talk on this research here as well.

This one thing is preventing you from success, and it is not what you think.

I was on the phone the other day with my good friend.  Who also is a coach and trainer.  We both have coached and trained hundred of individuals over the years.  We were talking about some of the challenges that hold people back from pursuing their dreams or realizing their full potential.  We asked each other this question?

What do you think the one thing that holds people back from being as successful as they could be?

We both thought for a minute.  I think we both said the word fear, and deep down, fear is part of it.  However, we both agreed that the one thing is Money. Yep money is holding people back from pursuing their dreams.  Or realizing their potential.  Or just getting them out of job or situation they hate.

I am not going to pretend that I am a money expert.  However, at the age of thirty-two, I started to figure some things out.

I had an income of six figures or so and I was single.  But I didn’t have any money. By the way.  I loved my job.  I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave my job.  Thankfully, I came to me senses then, while I loved my job.  Because the decisions I made then, eventually helped me to make the decisions I would make in my later thirties when I didn’t love my job.

So I didn’t have any money saved.  I had a nice car, two houses, some money in a Roth IRA.  One of my houses I lived in and the other I rented.  I bought anything I wanted.   I pretty much would eat out every single day. I was living the dream.

Keep in mind, everybody I grew up around and my family and my friends all considered me to be rich.  My parents combined had never made the kind of money that I was making by myself with no children.  And because of my lifestyle, it looked as if I was pretty well off. However, I had a car payment, a house payment, student loan payments, and lifestyle payments.

At thirty-two I started thinking about the future and how I wanted options, and I never wanted to be stuck or trapped.  Being stuck is something that has always scared me.  Whether being trapped in a closet as a kid because of my friends older brother. Or feeling like I was trapped in a situation that I didn’t like, because I had already committed to it.

I just don’t like the feeling of being trapped. So as I am having this awakening about my life. I knew I had to change.

I am not an expert on getting people out of debt or helping people save money.  However, I  have listened to hundreds of hours of people who are.  I read close to one hundred books on finances.  Here is the best advice I can give on money and finances.

  • Stay out of consumer debt (things that don’t appreciate)
  • Keep your income high
  • Keep your expenses low on the things you need
  • Invest into things that make you money.
  • Look at things and ask yourself “How long do I have to work to pay for this?” Then decide if it is worth it.
  • Pay cash for most things.

By age thirty-five I was out of all debt, and actually owned an additional two pieces of property that generated income.

I tell you my story to tell you this.  I made the decision at age thirty-two that I no longer wanted to be trapped in a job because I needed the money. And I loved my job.  That is the hard part, most people don’t make the hard decisions at the times when things are good, to prepare themselves for the future or for when times are bad.  This is why people never get where they want to go and achieve what they want to achieve.

After coaching hundreds of people myself, and my friend doing the same.  We both have come to the same conclusion, that money is the thing that holds people back.

However, you have a choice today.  You can decide to make better decisions and start to change your present and your future, by deciding today that you will no longer be trapped by money.  You just have to decide. It doesn’t matter how good things are today, one day, you will want something different. One day an opportunity will present itself, and you want to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity.  But you have to decide today.

If you are looking for coaching on your career, money, finances, success, etc. I am sure I can help you.  Someone like me who has done all of the research and lived it myself.  I have all of the best resources available to help you achieve your goals.  You just have to decide today.

Are you ready to make a decision today that your future will not only appreciate, but will need?  If so, reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.