Your Words Matter

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The average adult knows between 5,000 – 25,000 words.

Those at the higher end of the spectrum are perceived to be highly educated. They are respected and admired by others.

The words that come out of your mouth paint a picture of you to the world. Those with a greater vocabulary are perceived as more intelligent. Since perception matters, it is therefore, in your best interest to increase your “working vocabulary” if you want to improve your chances of success in life.

In order to increase your vocabulary you must read consistently, identify words that you do not know, learn their meaning and then put those words to use in conversation and also in writing.

Here’s a process that I use, every day, to make vocabulary growth a Rich Habit:

  • I highlight unfamiliar words in the books I read.
  • After I am done reading a book, I transfer the highlighted words to a word binder that I maintain.
  • I find the definition or synonym of the new word and write it in my word binder.
  • Every day, I spend 15 minutes studying my word binder.
  • Every day, I try to use at least one new word in conversation or in my writing. This reinforces, through practice, my ability to incorporate new words into my working vocabulary.

I do this day in and day out. It’s now a Rich Habit that I engage in daily. It’s no longer a task; it’s a routine. I have no emotions about it, good or bad. I just do it.

Increasing your vocabulary will make you a more effective communicator. Sometimes just the right word is all it takes to get a deal done, to acquire a new customer or client, or to persuade someone to do something you desire.

Making a daily habit of increasing your vocabulary habitualizes growth, a prerequisite for success, helping move you forward in life, inch by inch, towards becoming the person you need to be in order for success to visit you.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Beliefs Create Habits – How To Change Your Beliefs/Habits In An Instant

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Tom Corley boats - cropBeliefs are emotionally derived unconscious programming. They are created from positive or negative feedback received from an influencer – someone you respect, admire or love.

“Tom’s a great tennis player”, Tom’s no good at math”, “Tom is clumsy”, “If Tom’s head wasn’t attached to his neck he’d forget it somewhere”.

That last line was spoken to me by a loved one when I was just nine years old. I remember where it was said, when it was said and how it made me feel – stupid.

It immediately became a limiting belief because of the powerful negative emotion I felt at the time I received that feedback.

Once I accepted that belief, it triggered all sorts of bad habits.

I stopped doing homework, paying attention and participating in class.

Why do homework, pay attention or participate in school? I’m too stupid to get an A.

My new limiting belief caused me to hate school. School only reminded me of my belief – that I was stupid.

As a result of accepting this new limiting belief, I adopted habits that caused me to struggle academically for many years.

But the amazing thing about beliefs is that they can be changed overnight.

Ms. Somers was my very, very hot 8th grade science teacher. Early into the 8th grade, I was, surprise, failing science. After failing another test, Ms. Somers asked me to stay after class. She wanted to speak to me.

Unfortunately, staying after class had become, for me, a regular occurrence. I just assumed I was going to get another lecture about not working hard, being an underachiever, etc.

Instead, Ms. Somers told me that she believed I was actually very smart and that my problem was that I didn’t believe in myself.

She told me she believed in me and went a step further saying that she believed, if I studied hard enough, I would get the highest grade in the class on the next test.

I remember going home on the bus that day and all I was thinking about was studying for my science test, which was three days away. I studied every night for three days for that damn test. I never studied so hard. I still remember those three days like it was yesterday because of what happened next.

When Ms. Somers handed me my test results, in big black numbers was “99”. I had received the second highest grade in the class, a 99. Ms. Summers then called me to the front of the class and spent, what seemed like an hour, telling everybody in my class how smart I was.

The emotion, the elation that I felt in not only getting the second highest score, but in how Ms. Somers made me feel, is still with me 45 years latter.

I felt smart.

Ms. Somers was able to shatter my limiting belief because of the strong emotions I felt after doing so well on the test. Ms. Somers caused that emotion by making such a fuss with me in front of the entire class.

One person’s words changed my life forever because it created new emotionally-driven belief that I was, in fact, smart.

And it all happened in the course of just three days.

I went on to become a solid B+/A- student the rest of my 8th grade and into high school and college. I was even able to pass the CPA exam, get a Master’s degree in taxation, and passed the Certified Financial Planning test, a ten hour exam, on the first try. The new belief, that I was smart, changed my study habits for the rest of my life.

It’s critical that you surround yourself with Rich Relationships – individuals who are can-do types, upbeat, optimistic, open-minded and positive. These Cheerleaders lift you up and encourage you to be the best person you can possibly be.

It’s equally critical that you minimize interaction with Toxic Relationships – individuals who are toxic, negative, pessimistic, closed-minded and whose lives are filled with never ending drama. These Booleaders will drag you down and discourage you.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

 

I Created Me is a Rich Habit

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Tom Corley boats - cropThose who take individual responsibility for their lives give themselves a shot at being successful.

Those who outsource individual responsibility to others invite mediocrity or failure.

When blaming others for your circumstances becomes a habit, you’re resting your butt on a broken stool. That stool will eventually collapse, dropping you to the ground.

Accepting individual responsibility for your life, your habits, your behaviors, your decisions, your thinking and the people you surround yourself with, gives you a ladder to help you climb out of your current circumstances.

Blaming others for your life circumstances does you absolutely no good and, in fact, relegates you and your children to a life of financial misery.

Those who accept individual responsibility are growth oriented. They continuously seek to improve themselves.

Those who assign blame are victims. They have an Victim Mindset. As a result, they are unable to grow and improve.

Taking individual responsibility for your life circumstances, forces you to change. That change makes you better than you were the day before.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

 

Business Bad Habits

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Businesses, like individuals, have habits.

Most businesses are not even aware of them. They go unnoticed by its founders, leaders and employees.

Habits are automated routines that occur without thinking. Some habits are good and some are bad.

Business bad habits can be as infectious as the Ebola virus, spreading throughout the organization, infecting one employee after another. These business bad habits, when left unchecked, will eventually become a part of your company’s culture, hampering growth and limiting your success.

Below is a list of some of the business bad habits that may be holding your business back.

Continuous Email Checking is a Bad Habit

There is no such thing as effective multitasking. Humans are simply incapable of focusing on more than one task at a time. Each time an employee checks their email, they become disengaged from the task at hand. They shift their attention, even momentarily, each time they check their email.

Studies show that a person who is interrupted, takes 50% longer to accomplish a task. This wasted time creates inefficiency that adds up daily, monthly, annually and over the course of an employee’s career with the company.

Not only that, employees make mistakes switching back and forth from from tasks: work to email, email to work, back and forth, all day long.

Checking email throughout the day wastes time, causes mistakes and costs your business money. The fix is to create an organizational good habit, requiring every employee to isolate a block of time each day to check their email.

Gossiping is a Bad Habit

Gossiping is a bad habit. It is almost always destructive in nature.  It damages working relationships and distracts employees from getting work done. Their minds are elsewhere, after being stabbed in the back by gossip.

Plus gossip is a negative use of time. Employees gossiping about other employees or their boss is a negative use of time.

When employees spend time gossiping, they have lost valuable time communicating about other important work-related issues that may need solving. They are focused on negative, destructive criticism, rather than positive, constructive criticism.

The best most successful companies have a “no gossip” policy. Dave Ramsey, famed radio host, has a “no gossip” policy in his company for this reason.

Blame is a Bad Habit

Something is always going wrong when you run a business. It’s part of the business environment. How you deal with mistakes and failures, as an organization, can dictate the overall success or failure of your business.

When leaders assign blame to employees for mistakes and failures, and when this blame causes negative career consequences to that employee, they are creating an organizational bad habit.

Too many businesses have a Cover Your Ass mindset rooted in the planning and assignment of blame whenever anything goes wrong. Eventually, this infects the entire organization.

The fix is to create a culture of seeing mistakes and failures as a good thing – a learning experience. That employee’s failure or mistake may very well uncover and important “what not to do” lesson that could benefit others in the organization.

Businesses who have a culture of encouraging or even rewarding mistakes and failures, grow. They create a culture where employees have no fear and readily take individual responsibility for their mistakes. They own the mistake.

Businesses who punish their employees for mistakes, don’t grow, lose market share and eek out a small profit or loss. In my organization I congratulate my staff for making mistakes because that means we’ve all learned something that will help us in the future become better as a team.

Excessive Planning is a Bad Habit

Too much planning is a bad organizational habit.

Excessive planning is rooted in fear. Fear holds organizations back from growing.

It is far better to take action and fail then to plan for every possible contingency. Only through action will companies find out what works and what doesn’t.

The fix is to set a deadline on planning for new projects or initiative. When that deadline comes, action commences. Even if it means all of your ducks are not lined up.

Organizations who act, grow. Those who don’t, stagnate.

Ignoring Employee Feedback is a Bad Habit

Feedback is critical to growth as an organization. Unfortunately, too many businesses feign interest in employee feedback but never act on that feedback. This disempowers employees, and will eventually lead to no feedback whatsoever.

Taking action on employee feedback empowers employees and motivates them to brainstorm for solutions, knowing their feedback will be acted upon.

Have you given any thought as to what organizational bad habits are holding your business back? Changing your organizational bad habits is a 3 step process:

  1. AWARENESS: Leaders need to seek feedback from their employees to help identify organizational bad habits.
  2. SUBSTITUTION: Once they become aware of organizational bad habits, they can eliminate them and substitute them with organizational good habits.
  3. TRACKING: The final step is to track the adoption of new organizational good habits throughout the organization at all levels, not just at the higher levels.

Businesses need to eliminate bad habits and replace them with make good habits. Those good habits will become part of your culture and help you achieve your goals, help you realize your vision and help you reach your destination.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Successful Entrepreneurs Take Their Ideas on a Date

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It’s very easy to fall in love with an idea.

Most entrepreneurs do. They fall head over heels in love with their idea. In a sense, they marry their ideas.

When you marry an idea, you become petrified that the competition will steal your idea from you. You fear being left at the alter, as your idea runs away with the competition.

But the most successful entrepreneurs do not fall in love and marry their ideas – they take their ideas on a date instead.

Those who “date” their idea, test its marketability to a small group – they pilot their idea in the marketplace.

This dating or piloting process helps provide the entrepreneur with valuable feedback from their micro marketplace. The feedback allows them to pivot, or make adjustments, prior to rolling out their idea to a broader marketplace – their target market.

Piloting not only helps improve the product or service offering, it also helps you better understand who your target market actually is.

Dating, or piloting your idea, is all about learning.

You learn from feedback what enhancements need to be made to your product of service.

You learn from feedback who you should be targeting your product or service to.

You learn from feedback how much to charge for your product or service.

You learn from feedback the best way to deliver your product or service.

You know you are on the right track when your micro market starts writing checks. When money starts to flow in from your micro market, that is the time to ask your idea for its hand in marriage. Not before.

Never fall in love and marry an idea. Always date your idea first. Find out if it’s worthy of marriage. Then, make the big, long-term commitment.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Who’s In and Who’s Out?

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Toxic Relationships have a Negative Mindset. Rich Relationships have a Positive Mindset.

You want only Rich Relationships as members of your inner circle and you want to firewall Toxic Relationships from entering.

Forging Rich Relationships and avoiding Toxic Relationships is a science, or process. At the heart of that process is understanding the difference between Toxic Relationships and Rich Relationships.

Building Rich Relationships is only possible if you know the traits of the members of each group.

Toxic Relationship Traits                                  Rich Relationships Traits

Scarcity Mindset                                                     Abundance Mindset

Problems-Focused                                                 Solutions-Focused

Destructive Criticism                                               Constructive Criticism

Pessimistic/Hopeless                                              Optimistic

Insecure – Exaggerated Ego                                  Confident – Humble

Uncontrolled Anger/Emotions                                 Emotionally Stable

Helpless, Dependent-Victims                                  Independent, Can-Do

Sad/Depressed                                                        Happy, Upbeat

Wanting                                                                   Grateful

Drama                                                                     Calm

Lying Habit                                                              Truth Habit

Me First-You Last                                                    You First-Me Later

Impatient                                                                  Patient

Offensive Language                                                 Controls Words

Fear of Feedback                                                     Seeks Feedback

Fake                                                                         Authentic

Uncharitable                                                             Generous

Short-Term Focused                                                 Long-Term Focused

Mean                                                                         Kind

 

When you know what traits to look for, finding the right people to become part of your very unique inside circle becomes easy. Your life will improve when you eliminate your Toxic Relationships from that inner circle and surround yourself with the right people.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

What is Success?

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If you were to ask ten people their definition of success, most would agree that success is doing something which makes you wealthy.

Obviously, success has many dimensions that do not necessarily require the accumulation of riches.

You can be a successful mother or father, without being wealthy.

Mother Teresa was successful. She helped millions struggling with poverty. So, Mother Teresa was successful, yet not wealthy.

Most teachers are not wealthy. However, they nonetheless succeed in educating children, who go on to become productive members of society.

But, since most associate success with wealth, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room – success and wealth.

According to my Rich Habits research, success comes in many flavors -there is more than one way to become successful in the context of wealth creation.

In fact, from my research, I’ve identified four types of success.

#1 – SAVER-INVESTOR 

There is one path to success that does not require any unique set of skills, does not require special knowledge and does not require taking significant risks.

Success as a Saver-Investor has only two requirements:

  1. Saving 20% or more of your income by living off of 80% or less of your income and
  2. Consistently and prudently investing your savings.

According to my Rich Habits Study, this guaranteed-success path takes about 32 years to accumulate enough wealth ($3.3 million) to render you financially independent.

This path is not for everyone. It requires enormous financial discipline and a long-term commitment.

#2 – BIG COMPANY SENIOR EXECUTIVE

Working for a big company and rising up the ladder into senior management is another path to riches. In most cases, the wealth these self-made millionaires accumulate comes from either stock compensation or a partnership share of profits.

This path is also not for everyone. You must devote yourself to one company for a long period of time. And there are risks. The biggest risk is you could be fired.

A secondary risk is profitability. If the company struggles financially, for whatever reason, your time investment in the company may not be rewarded, to the extent you expected.

#3 – VIRTUOSOS

Virtuosos are individuals who are the best at what they do or possess knowledge which sets them apart from all of the competition.

Becoming a Virtuoso requires an enormous investment in time, and sometimes money.

There are two types of Virtuosos:

#1 Skill-based Virtuosos devote themselves to many years of Deliberate Practice and Analytical Practice.

Deliberate Practice involves Repetition – repeatedly practicing some skill until that skill can be performed expertly and without conscious thought.

Analytical Practice requires feedback from someone watching you perform your craft; someone who is also an expert in the same craft. In most cases, getting someone to watch you do what you do and then evaluate your performance, requires money to pay for that coaching.

But you don’t always need to pay someone to be your “coach”.

You can shadow a Virtuoso, intern for a Virtuoso, or find a job working for a Virtuoso. In this way, the Virtuoso is your unpaid “coach”, also known as a mentor.

#2 Knowledge-based Virtuosos spend many years in continuous study. Oftentimes, this requires formal education, such as advanced degrees (PhD, Medical Degrees, Law Degrees, etc.).

Again, this path is not for everyone. Not everyone has the ability to devote significant hours every day practicing their skill, or the financial resources to pursue advanced degrees or pay for a coach.

#4 – ENTREPRENEURS

Entrepreneur success requires the pursuit of a dream. This might be starting a business. It might involve becoming a successful author, musician, actor or artist. It might be the creation of an app, product or some unique service, which provides added value to a significant number of people.

Of all of the ways to become successful, entrepreneurship delivers the biggest bang for the buck – the average self-made millionaire entrepreneur in my Rich Habits Study accumulated $7.4 million in an average of just twelve years.

This path requires a high tolerance for risk, the ability to handle enormous stress and emotional  discipline in dealing with uncertainty, pitfalls and obstacles. Not everyone has the fortitude, being a Dreamer requires.

The fact is, everyone is different.

Not everyone has the discipline to save and prudently invest their savings.

Not everyone can tolerate the politics inherent in working in a big company environment.

Not everyone has the time or money to become a Virtuoso.

And not everyone has the requisite high tolerance for taking the risks, Entrepreneurship requires.

You have to choose the Success path that is right for your unique personality.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

What is Persistence?

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Persistence is a word used to describe success or the successful. It’s used so often that it has become white noise, something you tune out and ignore.

So, some people, like Angela Duckworth, offer an alternative word – Grit.

But, who cares what you call it? What does Persistence mean and why is it so critical to success?

Persistence is a very rare, unique trait that separates the successful from everybody else.

Only 5% realize financial success in life (see The Wealthy 5% – Who Are They?http://richhabits.net/the-top-5-who-are-they/)

The other 95% choose the path or least resistance. They either pursue “safe” careers, are too afraid to pursue their dreams or they quit on their dreams when the going gets tough.

But, in order to understand Persistence, you must first understand Consistency, its close cousin.

Consistency is Repetition.

People who practice their craft day in and day out, eventually gain Mastery – they become experts or Virtuosos in what they do.

Consistency, or Repetition, results in Mastery, transforming you into a Virtuoso.

This is why I harp so much on habits. Habits force Consistency. Habits help you to become a Virtuoso in whatever you do.

Persistence, on the other hand, is the act of being Consistent when you are struggling with Adversity.

Adversity are wrenches that are thrown into your path, along your journey towards success. Those wrenches, if you allow them, can take you permanently off track.

Example

Your spouse issues an ultimatum to cease and desist from the workaholic schedule you’ve been at since you began pursuing your dream. If you don’t, it’s off to divorce court.

That’s Adversity!

Self-made millionaires ignore the ultimatum and continue to do what they’re doing. Self-made millionaires choose divorce, rather than quit on their dream.

That’s Persistence!

Persistence is continuing to do what you’re doing, NO MATTER WHAT.

The Persistent are Consistent, when everything is going wrong and all hell is breaking loose. They are Consistent when obstacle after obstacle is thrown in their way. They are Consistent when they are running out of money. They are Consistent during periods of unrelenting emotional stress.

So, what is Persistence?

It is the Consistent pursuit of success in the face of Adversity.

Or, put another way, it is the refusal to surrender to Adversity.

A lack of Persistence is why there are so few successful individuals.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Rich Habits Poor Habits Podcast

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Many of the recent comments on my blog have requested that I host a podcast. The good news is that I do have a podcast with Michael Yardney, Australia’s #1 Real Estate and Wealth Expert. I post our podcasts on my website’s Tip of the Week.

You can also find them here:   https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLssKuseYAEYxNlvoXfEHABEuw4q4JjqoA

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Habits Make The Pursuit of Success Automatic

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Success doesn’t happen overnight.

Oftentimes, it appears that way because many successful people explode onto the scene. They seem to manifest out of thin air.

Warren Buffet was a relatively unknown person even into his late 40’s. And then in the mid- 1980’s he was everywhere. T.V., magazines, national newspapers, in books by other authors. All of a sudden, everyone knew who Warren Buffet was.

But Warren only received recognition after decades of pursuing success. His overnight success took a long time.

Success is the byproduct of years of writing your story through your body of work, increasing the number of people in your herd, growing your brand, doing little, consistent things every day which eventually leads to success.

What makes successful people different from the rest of humanity is that they do the things they should do when they need to do them. They don’t wait until the spirit moves them. They make the pursuit of success a daily habit. Their success habits automate the pursuit of success.

If you really want to be successful you first have to become clear about what it is you want to succeed in. You need clarity.

How do you become clear about your success? There’s a process.

Take out a pad and pencil and create a script of your ideal future life. Define exactly what that future, ideal life will look like.

This exercise will spark your imagination and toggle on the creative parts of your brain. Five hundred words is all you need.

Once completed, this script becomes the blueprint of your life. In a few weeks after completing your script, the specific goals you need to accomplish will manifest seemingly out of thin air.

Once you have defined your goals, you then create specific daily habits that will help you achieve your goals.

Every day do five things that will move you forward towards achieving your goals. You do these five things even when you don’t want to. You do these five things even when you’re sick, having a bad day, tired or unmotivated. You make this Daily 5 a daily habit.

I process my Daily 5 onto my to do list. Most are exactly the same every day, and stay that way until I accomplish my goals. Then I move on to the next set of goals and design a new Daily 5 around those new goals.

Every day, rain or shine, I complete my Daily 5. I even complete my Daily 5 during tax season, when I’m working 80 hours a week, including weekends. Circumstances don’t matter.

I am, like a mad scientist, fanatically automating success on a daily basis.

In the beginning, you will struggle with your Daily 5. But after about two months, the habit will begin to cement. When that happens, you have made the pursuit of success a daily habit.

Let’s summarize the process of automating success:

  1. Create a 500 word script of your ideal future life.
  2. Define the goals that you must accomplish in order to have that ideal life.
  3. Do five things every day that will move you forward in achieving each of your goals.

Success is a process. Habits are the foundation of that process.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!