Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why Eliminating Debt Should Be the First Step on Your Road to Riches

If you ever want to become wealthy one day, you should first put in place a debt elimination plan - if you don’t already have one!! Eliminating debt may just be the most important step you ever take in your quest for riches. Allow me to explain:

The first realization of rich people is the difference between an asset and an expense. So, I have two questions for you:
  1. What is the greatest financial asset in your life?
  2. What is the largest financial expense in your life?
Your greatest financial asset
What was your answer for your greatest asset? If you’re like most people, you might have said, “My house or my IRA or my 401(k).” Those are all wrong. The best definition of a true asset that I’ve seen comes from Robert Kiyosaki, from his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, in which he says, “An asset is anything that puts money in your pocket. And an expense is anything that takes money out of your pocket.” Does your house put money in your pocket or take money out of your pocket? Unless you sell your house, in which case, you wouldn’t have a place to live; your house takes money out of your pocket. It costs you money every month for your mortgage, property taxes, interest, furnishing it, fixing it, maintaining it, etc. Your primary residence is not an asset then, is it? It’s a huge expense!

Your single greatest financial asset is your ability to earn income. So, what you need to be doing is, figuring out a to grow your skill sets, is to become more valuable, so people or companies will want to pay you more money and so you can grow your income. In other words, the money you make from your job or your work or your business is your greatest asset. You will probably not make more money from an investment than you will from your personal income when you are first starting out on your road to building wealth.

Freeing up your earnings, and working to build up your ordinary income then are the most impactful investments that you can make. So, the problem is that your overspending and your debts may have taken control of your greatest asset. Your real reason why getting out of debt is such a critical part of being rich is because the moment you don’t have any monthly payments – debts, bills, etc. – your greatest asset – your earnings – starts to pile up and you start to get rich.

I want you to think – How much extra cash would you have every month if you did not have a car payment; if you did not have a house payment; if you did not have any credit card payments or any student loan payments; any debt whatsoever? How much extra cash would you have each month? Well, for the average person, it’s going to be about $2000, $3000, maybe $5000. Some people who make significant income, it could be anywhere between $5000 and $10,000 a month additional income coming in that you have control over – that you can now start investing. And when you start investing like that, your earnings can start to pile up like crazy. This is the smartest thing you can do.

Big return on investment
You do not need a get rich quick Real Estate scheme or initially to learn how to play the stock market. Those are things that might, if you are lucky, make you a 10-15% return. Once you are out of debt, your regular income will stop accumulating only by the amount you have to pay for ongoing bills like cable, utilities, phone and you have some fixed expenses that you need to have right? But, they are relatively low, when you take out your car payments and your house payment and any other debts you might have like furniture payment or student loan payments. You take all that out and all of a sudden you have a lot of extra cash every month – which means as an investment strategy, getting out of debt is huge!

It’s huge because the income you get to keep as a result of being debt free functions like the return you get on that investment. So, since you get to keep 80% of your earnings, after becoming debt free, it’s like an 80% return on your money! If you make $50,000 per year after taxes, then getting to keep, $40,000 of it because you don’t have any debt, is much better, not to mention more secure and more guaranteed, than taking a financial risk to make $10,000 - $20,000 on some side real estate project or startup venture.

Can you see, all of a sudden, you have an extra $40,000 that you didn’t have before that you could do whatever you want with. You can go on some vacations; you can invest it; you can put your kids in private school or whatever you want to do; you can do a lot of things, right? If you make more than that, it’s even more profound.

If you want to get rich, the first and best investments you can make are learning to work your tail off to grow your ordinary income and getting out of debt. Start a business; get a part time job or something where you can make more money.

Your largest financial expense
By the way, how did you answer the question, “What’s your greatest expense?” You might have said college, or the wedding, or kids or retirement or the house. Again, you’d be wrong. The single greatest expense you will ever have in your life is taxes.

Taxes, at least in the US, they can take as much as 40% of your money out of your pocket before it even reaches your pocket, depending on what you earn. And then if you live in a tax state like California, where the top income tax rate is 13.3%, you add that to the 40% and you are at 53%. 53% of everything you make goes to the government. So, learning to manage your taxes becomes a key part to becoming rich in the long term, but in the short term, getting out of debt is more powerful, and that is what you should be focusing on.

Getting rich isn’t as hard as you think when you know how to think about it in the right way. If you wanted to plan to get debt free and you got really aggressive, the smartest thing you can do is to really work hard to grow your income and start taking that additional income and start paying down that debt as quickly as possible.

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

3 Proven Ways to Overcome Your Biggest Mental Blocks – and Take ACTION That Generates Results
Written by Jack Canfield

Fear. Doubt. Hesitation. They’re the three biggest success blockers out there.

All too often, when presented with an exciting opportunity, we refuse to take action on it until we can see the entire pathway from start to finish. We are afraid to start because the outcome is uncertain.

And without that certainty, we succumb to doubt and question whether our efforts will deliver the results we long for.

And so we hesitate.

We spend too much time planning, thinking, researching, and analyzing – and don’t notice that the opportunity has already slipped away.

Highly successful people take a different approach.

When presented with an exciting opportunity, they lean into it. They don’t let doubt or fear stop them from taking action. They open themselves to possibility and pursue that opportunity further – without any expectations or guarantees of success.

Do you ever wish you could embrace opportunities without fear – and not let your mental blocks get in the way of creating fantastic results?

I’ve got your back!

Here are four proven ways to cultivate a success-focused mindset within yourself – so you can act on opportunities faster, get better results, and create a life you love.

1. Focus on the “what” – the “how” will take care of itself
When we are presented with opportunities or envision big goals, one question often stops us in our tracks:

“But how will I do it?”

Even if we are able to picture the goal and get excited about the end result, our minds quickly start doubting our ability to turn our dreams into reality.

For example, you may picture yourself as a best-selling author, but then a little voice in your head reminds you that you don’t know the first thing about writing a book, the odds are stacked against you getting a publishing contract, you’ve never marketed a book before – and dozens of other excuses that make you hesitate and provide you with the justification you need to stay right where you are and NOT go after your dreams.

I’m here to tell you right now: DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE HOW.

Just because you don’t know how every single step of your journey is going to unfold, that shouldn’t stop you from getting started!

All you need to do is get clear on what you want and then take that first step.

When you lean into opportunity, you create momentum. Each step forward, no matter how small, broadcasts your intention to the world. And the Universe will respond by sending you the opportunities, resources and people you need at just the right moment in your journey for you to receive maximum benefit from them.

By leaning into it and being willing to explore the unknown, you became a co-creator with the Universe. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and keep taking the logical next steps toward your goal – and trust that the answers and resources you seek will appear.

Your journey will take you where you want to go… or even someplace better.

2. Turn roadblocks into redirection
If you’ve read my book The Success Principles, you might remember the story of a singer named Jana Stanfield.

After several years working in Nashville in pursuit of her dream of becoming a songwriter and recording artist, she concluded that trying to get a record deal was like pounding her head against a wall. She could try forever without any guarantee of success.

It felt like she was up against an insurmountable roadblock that was preventing her from going forward.

And so, because she loved singing so much and wasn’t willing to give it up, Jana decided to go sideways – and follow a new direction.

Instead of staying in Nashville and trying to get a record deal, she started singing at churches. The people in the congregation loved her voice and asked her if she had any CDs available.

So she took a leap of faith and hired an engineer to record 10 of her songs.

And the first time she offered her new CD for sale after a church service, she made more money than she had earned that entire week in her job!

Jana quickly realized that trying to get a record contract wasn’t the only way for her to create a successful singing career. She started her own recording company and today that company produces more than 50 motivational concerts around the world every year.

Jana’s songs have been recorded by internationally renowned singers such as Reba McEntire and Andy Williams and have been featured on Oprah, 20/20, and Entertainment Tonight.

Roadblocks don’t have to be insurmountable obstacles that put an end to your journey. Often they’re just sign posts pointing you in a new direction that will help you get where you want to go faster and with greater joy and ease.

3. Experience the fear and take action anyway
So many people think that in order to take risks and move beyond their comfort zone, they have to be fearless.

But that’s not true at all.

The definition of bravery isn’t being fearless – it’s feeling the fear and doing what you know is right in spite of it.

The fact is, if you want to take your life and business to the next level – if you don’t want to stay stuck where you are – you will have to confront your fears.

And that’s okay. Fear is natural.

But some people will do anything to avoid feeling fear. It’s understandable – fear is uncomfortable. And so, in order to avoid that feeling of discomfort, they let their fear stop them from taking the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.

This is something successful people don’t do.

They feel the fear – but they don’t let it stop them. They’re willing to take a leap of faith, even if they are afraid. They know that if you don’t act, opportunity will pass you by.

As former attorney general and U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

I truly believe that if a goal isn’t a little bit scary, or if it doesn’t create a bit of fear within you, it’s probably not worth doing.

So many people stop because they’re scared. Don’t let that be you! Embrace your fear. Get excited about it – because it means you’re onto something good!

Almost everything that’s truly valuable in life involves taking a risk. And the truth is, sometimes that risk means things won’t work out in the way you want them to.

But far more often than not – THEY WILL.

The opportunity WILL turn out to be something great.

The journey WILL lead you somewhere amazing.

And the risk WILL have been more than worth it.

So what should you be more afraid of...

Taking the risk and not having it pan out the way you want?

Or NOT taking the risk – and remaining stuck where you are?


Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?
Written by Jim Rohn

Don’t be disillusioned anymore—don’t hope without acting, don’t wish without doing.

Here is a good question to ask yourself: Where are you going? Ten years from now you will surely arrive. The question is, where? We don't want to kid ourselves about where; we don't want to kid ourselves about the road we're walking.

At 25, shortly after meeting my mentor Earl Shoaff, I had a day called "Do Not Kid Myself Anymore" day. I didn't want to be disillusioned anymore. I finally decided that the crossed-finger theory was not going to get me what I wanted. It wasn't where the treasure lies. I was going to have to make sure which way I was headed.

Then, with Mr. Shoaff’s help, I found a few reading disciplines, a few disciplines of mind and a few disciplines of activity, when exercised, can make all the difference in the world as to where you will arrive. But it just took a few changes.

Sometimes we get the idea that we're doing 10 percent and there's 90 percent more that we need to make the difference for our fortune, but probably the opposite is true. We're doing enough things to have bought and shared in the good life. And maybe all we need is that extra 5 or 10 percent of intellectual change, activity change, refinement of discipline, refinement of thought. And all we need is the ideas to make those simple changes and the equity starts gathering in one year, three years, five years or 10 years.

But now is the time to fix the next 10 years. You may have to come to grips with reality and with truth; that's what was good for me when I met Mr. Shoaff. I was 25 years old; he was 44 years old. He brought me a wealth of experience and he started asking me the tough questions. "Big question," he said. "Are you reading the books that are going to take you where you want to go in the next five years?"

Excellent question. To get to where you want to be in the next five years, you are either reading the right books or you're not. You're either engaged in the disciplines or you're not. But here's what we don't want to engage in: disillusion. Hoping without acting. Wishing without doing.

The key is to look and say, "Where am I? What could I do to make the changes to ensure that I can take more certain daily steps toward the treasure I want, the mental treasure, the personal treasure, the spiritual treasure, the financial treasure? I don't want to make any more errors, now's the time to adjust my daily program to take me where I want to go."

The key is to start right now making these changes to walk this new road. Just a few daily disciplines makes a great deal of difference. And before you know it, you will be walking a brand new road.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2016. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Take Control of Your Habits and Discover How Powerful You Really Are
Written by Jack Canfield

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi


You’ve probably seen this quote from Gandhi before... I love it because it’s so simple and yet so profoundly true.

The fact is, you are an accumulation of your habits. From how you get out of bed, how you shower, how you dress, how you walk, sit, and talk, how you respond to the world, how you act in front of others, and how you think – your habits determine how you move through world.

And this isn’t a bad thing.

Habits are necessary. They free up your mind so you can concentrate on how to survive day to day. You don't have to think about how to drive your car so you can be on the lookout for danger while you are driving. You don't have to think about how to walk so you can concentrate on where you're going.

However, habits can also keep you locked in self-destructive patterns that will limit your success.

Whatever habits you have established up to this point are producing your current level of results. More than likely, if you want to create higher levels of success, you are going to need to drop some of your habits.

For example...

If you’re always late and frequently forget to return phone calls or emails in a timely fashion, you inconvenience others and run the risk of lowering their opinion of you and missing out on valuable opportunities.

If you spend every Friday night out drinking with your friends, or sharing a bottle of wine with your partner at home, that’s going to affect how you feel on Saturday morning – and how much you’re going to be able to accomplish that day.

If you’re always buying things you don’t really need on credit and avoiding getting your finances in order, then you’re never going to be able to pull yourself out of debt and create the abundant life you desire.

So if there’s something you want to accomplish in life that requires you to start performing at a higher level, I strongly encourage you to drop these bad habits that aren’t serving you – and develop new ones that are more in alignment with the life you want to live.

What habits are keeping you from achieving your goals?

I encourage you to be really honest with yourself here...
  • Are you always running late?
  • Do you forget to return phone calls within 24 hours?
  • Do you stay up late and never get enough sleep?
  • Do you often break promises to your friends and family?
  • Do you resist planning out your day?
  • Do you spend money you don’t have?
  • Do you avoid putting important tasks and events in your calendar?
  • Do you drink alcohol more than once a week – and do you have more than two drinks per day?
Imagine what your life would be like if all your habits were their productive counterparts!
  • What would your life be like if you ate healthy meals, exercised and got enough sleep?
  • What if you saved your money, stopped using credit cards, and paid cash for everything?
  • What if you stopped procrastinating, overcame your fears, and began networking with people in your field?
  • What if you created a detailed annual plan for success – then chunked it down into monthly, weekly, and daily plans to ensure you stayed on track to achieving your goals?
Would your life be different? I bet it would!

There are two steps for changing your habits:

The first step is to make a list of all the habits that keep you unproductive or or might negatively impact your future. Ask others to help you. Also, review the list of some of the most common unsuccessful habits in Chapter 34 of The Success Principles.

The second step is to choose better, more productive success habits and develop a system that will help support them.

Here are a few of hits for making sure you follow through on your commitments on your new habits:
  • Put up signs to remind you to follow through on the new behavior. (I use this one a lot!)
  • Stay focused on your new habit with an Accountability Partner. Check in with your partner for 5 minutes daily, or at least once a week to make sure you're on track. Consider creating consequences for not keeping to your new habit. Perhaps $50+ for each offence to a charity, or other cause you care about. Make the amount high enough so it's painful to pony up the funds!
  • Perhaps the most powerful ways to stay on track is to follow the "no exceptions rule," which I write about in Chapter 35 of The Success Principles.
One habit I recommend you look at right now:

If you want to accomplish big things this year but you feel like you never have enough time, energy, or motivation to get stuff done, I encourage you to take a good hard look at your drinking habits.

The fact is, you don’t have to be a big drinker to feel the negative consequences of alcohol in your life.

If you have a drink or two after work every night, or go clubbing to the wee hours every weekend, or drink half a bottle once or twice a week, these habits are limiting your success.
  • They’re impacting your productivity and diminishing your ability to accomplish more at work and at home.
  • They’re sapping your motivation and making you willing to settle for less instead of going all-out to discover what you’re REALLY capable of achieving.
  • They’re affecting your health and energy and preventing you from experiencing the power and confidence that comes from performing at peak levels of physical fitness.
Remember, your habits can catapult you forward – or hold you back

People don't suddenly start living their perfect life overnight... their habits play a large part in making it possible for them to create the lives they truly want to live.

You can choose to develop habits that point you in the direction of creating your ideal life – or habits that keep you anchored to your current situation.

Make the decision. Make the commitment. Then watch your new life unfold.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.