As adults, we’d like to think that children books are just for them, is just for children; but we’ve tend to forget that a lot of the lessons that helped us out in life are actually the very basics.
So I’m going to quote an example here by the book “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll and this was a conversation between the Cheshire cat and Alice. So Alice comes up to a fork in the road and she asked the cat:
“Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”
“Well that depends a good deal on where you want to get to”, said the cat.
“I don’t much care where”, responded Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”.
So what I want to use this for is to show you the importance of planning. Planning for your future, planning where you want to be at, what your purpose is. Having a very clear picture of where you want to be at tomorrow, or in a year, or five years from now.
I’m not saying plans are not going to change, but it’s a really good idea to have a kind of direction on where you want to take yourself and give you that sense of progress. If you don’t remember Alice in Wonderland I’d recommend you reread it, another book is “The Tortoise and The Hare” which will remind you to take it easy, that slow and steady wins the race, and we don’t want to get to tomorrow too fast because you’ll miss what happens today. So be patient with yourself, give yourself permission to enjoy the process.
Every year, sometimes two or three times a year, my wife and I we go into a goal planning session; this is we also refer to as “future viewing” or as “future planning”. The purpose of this session is for us to get three things: first to find what purpose we are going to focus on this year, second is which direction are we going to take to be able to achieve that purpose, and the third thing is clarity we need the clarity to know exactly what we need to do down to a daily basis. So at the end of the year there is no question about it that we will be where we were meant to be; barring any unusual circumstances that life likes to throw at us. But overall you will achieve what you’re out to achieve and we’ve seen it time and time again that, what we put down on paper, is no longer a dream it becomes a goal; and at the end of the year if we didn’t hit our goal, we got very close. Sometimes it’s scary how close we got to everything that we wanted to accomplish that we wrote down a year before; so I strongly recommend you look into this. If you want to know how we do our process you know please just let me know and I’ll put something together for you and show you how important it is, how amazing it is, to be able to get in touch with your subconscious self and get the clarity that you need to accomplish the goals that you want. Everything that you want to achieve in life for that matter whether it is buying a new car, moving to a bigger house, a promotion at work; everything has a logical process in which if you just ask the right questions, you’re going to achieve what the process offers, and if you break it down step by step it’s a very easy to follow process.
In the military for example, we have what we call evaluation periods. Once a year, the command takes a look at your performance and takes this in consideration for your promotion. So there are areas in which you need to focus on depending on your rank to qualify and or be eligible for advancement for promotion. In every company there should be something in place that can give you the clarity of what you need to do to get promoted or to get a raise; so take it upon yourself to find out what these items are, what is it that you need to do to be able to achieve that next step on the ladder; whether it be the corporate ladder, or military ladder, or just a raise in your in your current job. Now, because this program is focused on getting you to perpetual happiness, if you’re not happy in your current job, then what you may need to consider is what steps you need to take to either change that to like it, or get a different job.
So you might say “well Tony, yes I understand what you’re saying but I don’t need more money, I’m fine the way I am, and you know money just makes people greedy. It’s evil you know, people pray to money and they just turn into this evil, greedy people that nobody likes”. Well I’ll tell you that it’s been my experience that the opposite is actually true, that the less money people have, the tighter they hold on to it and this comes from my experience managing homes from different areas of the city, different cities themselves, in which the fair market rent rates of the area attracts only the people that can afford it; that’s just logical.
If you go to an area you start buying houses in, where rents are typically $500 a month, the people who are attracted to those areas are those that can afford $500 a month to pay in rent; and if you go to the other extreme in which rents can be upwards of $2,000 a month, the people that are attracted to those areas are those that can afford $2,000 a month in rent; you get it, it’s a very logical thing to think about. However, when you get into the details on the ways that people think, that’s how you have different levels of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods where the median household income is a lot less could be for a number of factors; either they are students, or blue collar workers, middle-lower class, or professionals up in the higher class. There is something to be said about why people gravitate to certain areas and to certain social groups in which they feel comfortable. Somebody that lives in the suburbs would probably not feel comfortable living downtown, and the opposite is also true.
So going back to money makes you evil and it’s only for a greedy people that want to have more of it I’ve seen that the people that are in the lower class neighborhoods are the ones that have to be taken care of more than those who live in the upper class homes or neighborhoods. So for example, somebody that lives in the upper class neighborhood will probably set their rents to be paid automatically every month so they don’t have to deal with it, they probably have more things to worry about, and every month the rent comes in on time every single time. Because of that, they never have to pay a late payment fee or administrative fee, whatever you want to call it. Each manager manages their company however they want to, but it’s all the same; it’s a fee in which, because the rent is late there is some kind of consequence. It’s not necessarily a punishment and I don’t use the word penalty; it’s not a late rental penalty, it’s more like an administrative fee. Because either I have to go to the Post Office twice or go to the bank twice or it takes time out of my day or it takes me a different day, just because that person was late.
So that doesn’t usually happen with the with upper-class homes but it happens almost every month on the lower class homes. Every month it seems like it’s a battle to figure out what happened this month: “sorry, my car broke down”, “somebody’s in the hospital”, “cutbacks at work”. There always seems to be problems, and I understand that there’re problems, everybody has problems, but every single month? Come on
If you are an adult and you’re the head of a household, there is a minimum amount of skill that is expected of you; and I’m not saying me personally, in general there is unspoken rules that you should be able to know: when you’re getting paid, or know when you have to pay your bills, know that if you don’t pay your bills there’s consequences, basic responsibilities. This happens regardless of how well you screen your future tenants or how much in detail you go into their background checks. This doesn’t make them good or bad people it just makes them people, and that just is what it is. But they still try to get out of paying the administrative fee or the late penalty fee.
So money doesn’t make people greedy, money simply amplifies who you already are. You hear the stories of lottery winners that go bankrupt within a year because money is not the answer to their problems; in fact it may not be the answer to most people’s problems. At some point we may think that it is, but usually the answer is closer than you think.
On the other end of the spectrum if you have a family that is very religious church-going and they give to their church a 10% donation every year on what the household makes; whether it’s just salary or they get bonuses, they still find a way to afford to give to their church 10%. Now I’m not saying “go out and do this because this is good” or “if you don’t do it its bad”, I’m not here to judge, I’m just using this example to illustrate my point. So if those people still find a way to spare 10% of their total income for the year and you 10x that income in a year they will just give more to their church. Whereas if before they gave 10% of $100,000 that was like their salary for a year and all sudden they make $500,000, the church is going to get $50,000 a year from them and they won’t think twice about it because that’s just what they’re used to, that’s their custom. So if you already are a charitable person, and I’m not just talking about giving donations but I like helping your family out, helping friends out; if you have a skill, if you know how to repair cars, and your friends and family have car trouble, you could say “you know what, don’t pay a mechanic I’ll come in and check it out and don’t worry about it. Just give me a case of beer or just invite me to lunch and we’re good”. Or if I’m a plumber or I’m a rehabber “I’ll come by and I’ll fix your wall for you no problem, just pay for the materials”. Well if you increase your income, if you 10x your income, that’s not going to change; you’re not all the sudden going to become a recluse and get rid of all of your friends. What you might actually do is help them to buy better materials or get that nice upgraded part for their car, because you can afford it and it it’s transparent to you, the cost doesn’t really matter to you; and all without expecting anything in return.
You are the same person that you were before you became a millionaire and believe me, anybody can become a millionaire, and it’s not hard, especially if you’re an English-speaking country; easy. If you want to know what hard is then start at a third world country and try to move up from there, that’s hard; really hard. So don’t think that money makes people greedy or corrupts people, it just amplifies who they already are; if they’re already greedy they’ll be greedier, if they’re charitable they’ll be more charitable. So don’t be afraid of that and don’t let that stop you, it is a myth. If that myth is stopping you from wanting to increase your means, don’t. I think we’ll leave that that horse alone.
So this next topic is recognizing value. I want to use the example of a friend of mine who’s a gold prospector and yeah, they still exist; and don’t get too excited, it’s more of a hobby nowadays then it could be a way of making a living. So he’s a gold prospector as is he really goes out to the river and pans for gold; and if you’re interested in doing that he’ll take you out and show you how he does it. I don’t if he does it for his friends or if he has a package open to the public in which he will teach you how to do it.
The main lesson that he shares with us is the single most asked question from the people he takes out to the river to pan for gold, and it is “well, what does it look like?”, “how do I know if there’s gold in my pan?” His answer is: “if you think it’s gold, it’s not”.
I know this is kind of counterintuitive, but just hear me out. So if it looks like gold, it’s not gold, when you find gold you will know without a shadow of a doubt, that it is gold.
We apply this to finding houses, to finding deals. If you are car dealer you know what I’m talking about; you go out to an auction and you look at a hundred cars. I’ll talk about houses because we’re Real Estate Investors, but after you look at a hundred houses, you know exactly which deals are gold and which ones just kind of look like gold. Our business is centered around helping people solving problems so the people that sound like they need help are a lot different than people that actually need help and you find this out when you’re talking to the homeowners. It doesn’t matter how terrible or how nice the house looks, when you talk to the homeowner is when you realize if it’s gold or it just kind of looks like gold. When the homeowner says something like “just send me some information that you have, you know, and will follow up next week or next month and we’ll talk about it and see if we can if we can make a deal, if I can sell you my house” this looks like gold. The ones that are gold will say something like “I am ready to do this, just send me the paperwork that I need, let me talk to your attorney and let’s get the ball rolling” and “let’s do this, I want this house out of my hands as soon as possible”.
So see if you can apply this gold analogy to facets of your life whether it be that dream vacation that you want to take, that car that you’ve been looking at buying or the house you have your eyes set on; you have to look in enough places to find out what looks like gold and what is gold.
That’s all the time we have for today next episode we’re going to talk about the acronym of TIME either take initiative or make excuses let’s expand on that a little bit, don’t cheat on your family by taking time away from them; how to plan ahead so you don’t leave anything to chance; and the difference between calculated risk and ignorance. You don’t want to miss it.