Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Think Like a Millionaire - Brian Tracy

The most important attitude for financial success is long-term thinking. Successful people think a long way into the future and they adjust their daily behaviors to assure they achieve their long-term goals. In a longitudinal study done at Harvard University in the 50s and 60s, they studied the reasons for upward socio-economic mobility. They were looking for factors that would predict whether or not an individual or family was going to move upward and be wealthier in the future than in the present. They studied factors like education, intelligence, being born into the right family, or having the right connections. In every case, they found individuals who had been born with every blessing in life who did poorly. They also found individuals who had been born or come to this country with no advantages at all who had been extremely successful. What was the distinguishing factor? They finally determined that there was only one key attitude that mattered.

They called it "Time Perspective." Time perspective refers to the amount of time that you take into consideration when planning your day to day activities and when making important decisions in your life. People with long-time perspective invariably move up economically in the course of their lifetimes. When you spend weeks, months and years developing your skills and ability and expanding your experience in order to be successful, you have long-time perspective. The average professional person has a time perspective of 10, 15 and 20 years. Begin to see that everything that you are doing today is part of a long-time continuum, at the end of which you are going to be financially independent or financially unfortunate. People with short-time perspective think only about fun and pleasure in the short term. They have what economists call "The inability to delay gratification.

" They have an irresistible tendency to spend every single penny they earn and everything that they can borrow. When you develop long-time perspective, you develop the discipline to delay gratification and to save your money rather than spending it. The combination of long-time perspective and delayed gratification puts you onto the high road to financial independence. Now, here are two things you can do to develop the attitudes of financially successful people: First, think long-term about your financial life. Decide exactly how much you want to be worth five years, ten years and twenty years from today.

Write it down. Make a plan. Take action on your plan every single day. Second, develop the ability to delay gratification. Instead of buying something on impulse, put off buying decisions for a day, a week or even a month. Decide in advance to "think it over" before you buy anything. This can change the way you spend money almost immediately.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Magic of Making Mistakes By Robert Kiyosaki

My real dad came from the world of academics, a world where mistakes are perceived as bad and to be avoided. My rich dad came from the streets. To him, mistakes were opportunites to learn something new, something he did not know before.
Street Smart Versus School Smart My rich dad was very successful financially for many reasons. At the top of the list was his attitude towards making mistakes. Like most of us, he hated making them, yet he was not afraid of making them.

Each time he made a mistake, instead of being depressed, he often seemed happier, wiser, more determined, and often richer from the experience. He would say to his son and me, "Mistakes are how we learn. Every time I make a mistake, I always learn something about myself, I learn something new, and I often meet new people I would never have met."

As I watched my real dad struggle financially and professionally, my rich dad said, "To be successful in the real world of business, you have to be school smart as well as street smart. In school, you're given the lesson first. On the street, you're given the mistake first and then it's up to you to find the lesson. Since most people have not been taught how to make mistakes and learn from them, they either avoid mistakes altogether, which is a bigger mistake, or they make a mistake but fail to find the lesson from the mistake. That is why you see so many people making the same mistake over and over again." Rich Dad said, "I am so rich because I've made more financial mistakes than most people. Each time I made a mistake, I learned something new. In the business world, that something new is often called 'experience.' But experience is not enough. If a person truly learns from a mistake, his or her life changes forever, and what that person gains instead of experience is 'wisdom.'"

The Art of Making a Mistake Rich Dad taught us the art of making a mistake and gaining wisdom from it. "The first thing that happens after you make a mistake is that you become upset. At this point of upset, you find out who you really are," he said, going on to describe the cast of characters who are brought to center stage when upsets from mistakes occur:

The Liar. "I didn't do that."

The Blamer. "It's your fault, not mine."

The Justifier. "Well, I don't have a good education so that is why I don't get ahead."

The Quitter. "I told you that it would never work."

The Denier. "No, there is nothing wrong. Things are fine." Rich Dad said, "If you want to learn and gain wisdom from this priceless mistake, you have to let 'The Responsible You' eventually take control of your thinking."

Mental Attitude Quiz

What are your attitudes to risk, making mistakes, and learning?

What are the attitudes of the people around you to risk, making mistakes, and learning?

Are there still some financial, professional, or business upsets that remain unresolved?

Are you still angry with some one else in regards to money?

And if you are upset with someone else or yourself, what lesson can you learn and be grateful for being courageous enough to have taken a risk and maybe learned something.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

How Do I Get Started? 12 Steps to Financial Freedom

Below are 6 steps from Robert Kiyosaki that will help you increase your financial IQ and assist you on your journey to financial freedom.

1. Control Your Thoughts
Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. To control your thoughts, simply control what you say. Don’t say what you don’t want to think. Positive thoughts bring about positive results. Don’t say you can’t… because you can.

My poor dad would always say, “I can’t afford it!” My rich dad, on the other hand, forbade me from saying, “I can’t afford it!” and challenged me to ask instead, “How can I afford it?” The word “can’t” closes your mind, while the phrase “How can I?” opens your mind.

2. Learn the CASHFLOW Games
Have fun learning and increasing your financial IQ. The more you play the CASHFLOW games– the richer you become. They will change the way you think. The games teach you to have money work for you so you don’t have to work for money.

Too often, people just can’t see great opportunities in front of them. Playing the game helps you to open your mind and the more you play, the better you get. You will see your thoughts change.

3. Teach the CASHFLOW Games
Teaching the CASHFLOW games, in addition to playing often, is the Fast Track to learning. Give and you shall receive… it’s the law of reciprocity.

Make an agreement with yourself to teach the game to others. Agree to teach the games on a regular basis and see YOUR learning accelerate. Volunteer to teach at schools, clubs, classes and groups.

4. Look at Your Friends
When you look at your friends, you look in your mirror. Tell me who your friends are… and I’ll tell you where you’re going.

Who are the six people you spend the most time with? Make a list and next to each name, write what quadrant of Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant they are in (Left side: E= Employee; S= Self-Employed or Specialist or Small Business Owner; Right Side: B= Big Business - 500+ employees; I= Investor). If they’re Es… do they want to become Bs and Is? Do they - like you - want to have their money work for them?

You can tell a lot about a person from the friends they have. The same is true for a partner or spouse. It’s important to grow and learn together.

5. Keep Accurate Records
To be successful, you need good records. At a minimum, that means a bookkeeper.

As your team expands, it should include an accountant and an attorney. If you have accurate records, it is easier to get rich.

6. Understand the Asset Classes
The wealthiest people know how to acquire assets in all three classes. There are three asset classes: Business, Real Estate and Paper Assets.

Business is the best asset of all. The richest people in the world own businesses.

Real Estate investment has great tax advantages – and your banker will lend you money to buy real estate. The tax code offers great tax incentives for businesses and real estate investors.

Paper assets are the easiest to get into, but carry the highest risk.

The best plan is one that has investments in all asset classes. The richest people have investments in all three asset classes. The least successful investors focus on only one asset class. Even two of the three is better than only one.

7. Find your Passion and Have Fun!
What are you good at? What are you passionate about? You will find greater successes if you play to your strengths. Think about what you enjoy most and how those skills and talents can support your dream of financial freedom.
Most importantly: Have Fun!

8. Never Stop Learning
The world is changing - fast. And the only way to keep pace is to never stop learning. Keep educating yourself and insist that your team does, too. Read books, attend seminars and surround yourself with friends and partners who share your commitment to life-long learning.

9. Look at Deals
Start looking at deals! And not just a few - hundreds of them! Look at 100 real estate deals and 100 companies you could invest in. Train your mind to see opportunities that your eyes don't see.
• Business Deals
Call a business broker and ask for information on a business that is for sale.
• Real Estate Deals
Call a real estate broker and ask for proformas on a real estate property that's on the market.
• Paper Asset Deals
Call a stock broker and ask for a financial report from a public company.

10. Start a Wealth Library
Every time you hear a word you don't know - look it up! Then use it. Every type of investment has a vocabulary that you need to master. And starting a Wealth Library is a good beginning.
Build your wealth library - build your financial IQ - build your wealth.

11. Attend Seminars
Attend one seminar or course each year to open your mind and keep it open!
Education is a life-long process and attending seminars is both educational and energizing. Your goals should include attending seminars that help build your financial IQ as well as those on personal development. If you have a partner or spouse, it's important to learn and grow together.

12. Keep Score
It's important to know your goals and to keep score so you know how you're doing. As they say, "Out of sight, out of mind." Your future is determined today - not tomorrow.
I might not always be happy with the returns I'm getting on my assets, but I know what they are.
Keeping score is a way of measuring, and goals need to be measurable.