Having a Good Memory is Critical to Success – One Simple Strategy to Improve Your Memory

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The self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study used various strategies to increase retention of facts and figures they deemed critical to their goals and dreams.

I’ve tried several of those strategies, but the one I found to be the easiest and best at improving my memory was one that Abraham Lincoln used.

Abraham Lincoln was considered one of the most electric speakers of his day and many of his speeches have gone down in history as among the best of any president.

Lincoln, wrote almost all of his own speeches even as president, an incredible accomplishment considering he was embroiled in a Civil War that occupied most of his waking hours. One of the reasons Lincoln was such a prolific speaker has to do with a habit he formed long before he became president. [Read more…]

Are You Forward-Looking or Backward Looking?

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Tom Corley boats - cropSuccessful, wealthy people visualize future successes, who they want to be and what they want to do and have. They focus on achieving their goals and realizing their life dreams.

Their visualizations are always positive, upbeat and focused on changing their circumstances and creating a future, ideal life.

They seek solutions.

You could summarize the Rich Visualization as Forward-Looking.

Those who do not succeed in life and struggle financially always dwell on their past mistakes, past failures, relationships gone bad, money lost, etc.

They are filled with regret. They focus on their problems, rather than focusing on solutions to their problems.

Their visualizations are always negative and downbeat and anchored in the past.

You could summarize this Poor Visualization as Backward-Looking.

You become what you focus on.

If your focus is Forward-Looking, you take action on goals and dreams which transform your life in a positive way.

If your focus is Backward-Looking, you become stuck – unable to find solutions to your current problems.

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!

6 Social Skills That Make You Irresistible

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Tom Corley boats - cropThe self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had habituated important social skills that helped them forge and grow relationships with those who matter – other sucess-minded people.

Having good social skills acts like a magnet, drawing the right kind of people to you – people who are influencers and who can open doors for you.

In my book, Rich Kids, I shared many of the social skills self-made millionaires learned from their non-rich parents; skills which eventually morphed int habits that helped them build relationships with individuals who became part of their core inner circle. Here’s a short summary, from Rich Kids, of some of the most important social skills:

  1. Look everyone in the eye for no more than 5 seconds at a time, then divert your glance for another 5 seconds. Staring into others eyes too long, makes them feel uncomfortable. This diverting practice helps keep conversations relaxed and going.
  2. Ask questions about the lives of others. The Universal Law of Self Interest is hardwired into every human being. People are constantly thinking about themselves. When you focus the conversation on the other person, they immediately begin to like you. Ask them questions about their birthday, their hobbies, their interests, the schools they attended, where they grew up, current family background (married? kids?), where they live, dreams or goals they are pursuing.
  3. Properly introducing yourself to new people at social events, is critical to building new relationships. Smile and shake their hand while looking them in the eyes. Write down their name in a notebook you carry (writing improves memory retention by marshaling the powers of the cerebellum). In one sentence explain who you are and why you are at the event. Then immediately shift to asking questions about your new future friend.
  4. Be polite – Yes, Please, Thank You, May I, etc.
  5. Smile – A lot. Smiling relaxes those you are talking to. Authentic smiling makes you appear uber-friendly.
  6. To Don’ts: Don’t interrupt others who are talking to you or others. Don’t look at your cell phone while others are talking to you. Don’t look around the room, while others are talking to you. Don’t curse or use inappropriate language.

Success is a process. At the heart of that process are good habits. Forging good social skill habits is important to building relationships.

And Rich Relationships are the currency of the wealthy.

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!

4 Paths to Becoming a Self-Made Millionaire

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So, you want to be rich.

Well, you’re standing in a very long line.

But, you may be standing in the wrong line.

You see, there are four primary paths to becoming rich. But not every path is the right path for you.

Each of us is different, genetically. Each of us was raised in a different household. Each of us grew up in a different neighborhood. Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. Each of us has different interests. Some of us like numbers. Others words.

Everyone’s different.

And because everyone’s different, each path to creating wealth, is different for each person.

So, let’s explore the four different paths to riches:

PATH #1 – THE SAVER-INVESTOR PATH

What if I told you that there is a guaranteed path to becoming rich? There is a path to becoming a self-made millionaire that does not require any unique set of skills, does not require special knowledge and does not require taking courageous risks.

The Saver-Investor Path is one almost any individual can take. It has only two rules that you must follow:

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

According to my Rich Habits Study, this chosen path took 32 years to accumulate an average of $3.3 million.

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

PATH #2 – BIG COMPANY PATH

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.

PATH #3 – VIRTUOSO PATH

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 often money.

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

Analytical Practice often requires the services of a coach, mentor or expert who can provide immediate feedback. This feedback, in most cases, costs money.

Knowledge-based Virtuosos must 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.

PATH #4 – DREAMER PATH

The Dreamer Path 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.

According to my Rich Habits research, this chosen path it took approximately twelve years to succeed and become rich.

This path requires a high tolerance for risk, stress and uncertainty. Not everyone has the fortitude, being a Dreamer requires.

There are other secondary, improbable paths to accumulating wealth, such as marrying into money, inheriting money or winning the lottery. These are strategies, however, that depend more on random good luck than anything within your control.

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!

How To Create Positive Outcomes and Prevent Negative Outcomes

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Those who are mired in negativity, have negative expectations. When you expect bad things to happen, you increase the odds of negative things happening.

Conversely, those with a positive mental outlook, have positive expectations. Positive expectations increase the odds that good things will happen.

Why is this so?

We all have something called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS, in concert with the Insula and Thalamus, work behind the scenes searching for opportunities or triggers in the environment that will help you realize your expectations.

When you have negative expectations, the RAS, Insula and Thalamus seek out negative opportunities in your environment, alert you to their existence, and this shifts your focus to those negative triggers, cueing you to take action  – action that will help manifest, or bring to life, the negative expectations you seek.

When you have positive expectations, the RAS, Insula and Thalamus seek out positive opportunities in your environment, and stimulate you to take action on those opportunities – action that will help manifest the positive expectations you seek.

The law of attraction, therefore, is a physiological reality. Your thoughts are not actually attracting good or bad opportunities, but rather opening your eyes and prodding you to focus on them.

So, if bad things keep happening to you, don’t just chalk it up to random bad luck. It may be bad luck you are creating due to your negative expectations.

This is why it is critical to forge the Rich Habit of thinking good thoughts and expecting positive outcomes. Positive thoughts and positive expectations put your RAS, Insula and Thalamus to work for you and not against you.

When you set big goals or pursue a dream, this reprograms your RAS, Insula and Thalamus to go to work seeking out opportunities in your environment that will help you to achieve your goals and dreams.

In short, what you expect, you get. If you expect bad things, bad things will happen. If you expect good things, good things will happen.

If you allow yourself to think negative thoughts, those thoughts become seeds that will bear the fruit of negative consequences.

If you make a habit of thinking positive thoughts, those thoughts become seeds that will bear the fruit of positive consequences.

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!

To Do or Not To Do – That is the Question

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We’ve all heard about To-Do Lists.

The best To-Do Lists incorporate daily activities that help you move yourself forward in life towards accomplishing your goals and realizing your dreams. A To-Do List is a powerful tool that helps you to focus on what to do.

But To-Do Lists only get you half way down the field. To get down the rest of the field and score, you must avoid distractions and time wasters. You must be wary of doing things which will hold you back in life.

This is where an equally powerful tool comes to the rescue. It’s called a To-Don’t List.

A To-Don’t List is a list of things you should avoid doing, because they are either time wasters, bad habits or things that hold you back from achieving your goals or realizing your dreams.

A typical To-Don’t List might include the following:

  • I did not watch more than 1 hour of TV today.
  • I did not waste time today on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • I did not allow any negative emotions to consume me today.
  • I did not make any impulse purchases today.
  • I did not gossip today.
  • I did not listen to gossip today.
  • I did not gamble today.
  • I did not drink in excess today.
  • I did not lose my temper today.
  • I did not ignore my family today.
  • I did not read negative news articles today.
  • I did not procrastinate today.
  • I did not ridicule anyone today.
  • I did not hate anyone today.
  • I did not smoke a cigarette today.
  • I did not eat unhealthy today.

To-Don’t Lists are just as important as To-Do lists.

For those who have a lot of bad habits, they may be more important. To-Don’t Lists help keep you aware of the things you should not be doing.

Knowing what not to do is just as important in achieving success as knowing what to do. To-Do’s, while a great success tool, only get you half way there. To-Don’ts take you the rest of the way.

What would be on your To-Don’t List? Take your life to the next level. Start a To-Don’t List today.

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!

How Far Are You Willing To Go?

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In order to know how far you are willing to go, you must be honest about how far you are willing to go. You must come face to face with your own self-imposed limits.

To help you better understand yourself and your limits, I would like to ask those of you who are pursuing a dream, some questions:

  • How many years are you willing to chase your dream?
  • How many hours a day are you willing to put in?
  • How much family time are you willing to sacrifice?
  • How much friend time are you willing to sacrifice?
  • How much stress are you willing to shoulder?
  • How much financial risk are you willing to take?
  • How much disappointment are you able to tolerate?

In short, how far are you willing to go in the pursuit of your dream?

When you are done, ask your spouse, if you have one, these very same questions.

Your answers, and the answers of your spouse, will determine if you have what it takes in order to pursue a dream.

According to my Rich Habits research, the average dreamer devoted twelve years or more in pursuit of a dream.

And when I asked these self-made millionaire dreamers these questions, their answers were almost always the same:

I Was Willing to do Whatever it Took

Being a dreamer is a very selfish thing. You have to put your dream first.

Ahead of family.

Ahead of friends.

You have to be willing to forgo vacations, weekends and holidays.

You have to be willing to go all in.

Most people who fail to achieve their dreams, are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary in order to realize their dreams.

That is why there are so few self-made millionaire Dreamers. It’s just too hard and too much of a sacrifice for most.

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!

The Virtuoso Path to Riches

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Whatever it is you do for a living, involves some set of skills.

Most individuals possess ordinary skills, meaning they possess skills almost anyone can replicate in a short period of time.

When you have ordinary skills, you get paid an ordinary income.

But some individuals possess Virtuoso skills. These are unique skills that take many years of daily practice.

Virtuosos are paid a high premium for their skills. Because Virtuosos earn more money than others, they are able to acquire more wealth than others.

Playing the piano is a good example.

Many people know how to play the piano. Some may even be good enough to make a few hundred bucks playing in a local band, at a local pub, every weekend.

But Virtuoso piano players, like Liberace, are so expert at what they do, they create a large contingent of fans who are willing to pay a premium to hear them play.

What transforms an ordinary skill into a Virtuoso skill is how you practice.

Virtuosos Engage in Deliberate Practice

Deliberate Practice involves consistent, focused practice in specific subsets of your skill set which transforms you from ordinary to extraordinary.

Deliberate Practice requires many hours a day of Targeted Practice. Targeted Practice involves practicing specific sub-elements of each aspect of your skill.

Top tennis professionals, for example, will hit 500 backhands down the line from one side of the court. They will then hit another 500 backhands cross court from each side of the court.

The backhand is just one sub element of their overall skills. When they are done with their backhand, they move on to hitting lobs, volleying at net, hitting overheads, etc.

But there’s more to becoming a Virtuoso than Deliberate Practice.

Analytical Practice, when coupled with Deliberate Practice, transforms you into a Virtuoso.

Virtuosos Engage in Analytical Practice

Analytical Practice takes you to the top level, beyond excellent, and into the rarefied category known as Virtuoso status. When you reach Virtuoso status, you are among the very best at what you do in your field.

What is Analytical Practice?

The bedrock of Analytical Practice is something called The Feedback Loop.

All Virtuoso’s have one thing in common – some means by which they are provided immediate feedback after engaging in Deliberate Practice.

This feedback is typically provided by a coach. A coach will analyze how the budding Virtuoso engages in their Deliberate Practice and discuss ways to improve each element of that skill set.

But not everyone has the resources to hire a coach to get them to Virtuoso status.

So, what do you do?

You do what you can.

You seek feedback from people you know who share your skill.

You join Mastermind Groups specific to what you do.

You seek feedback from those you serve with your product or service.

You seek out a mentor, with a similar, albeit more advanced skill set.

You seek out family and friends who share your skill set.

You join Internet groups, specific to your skill set.

Your supervisor can provide feedback.

You can create your own Feedback Loop by evaluating your own performance (videos, review your own work, etc.).

Or you can spend a little bit of money, spread out over many years, to have some expert periodically review and critique what you do.

Becoming a Virtuoso is one of the four paths to wealth (#1 Saver-Investors, #2 Senior Executive at Publicly-Held Corporations, #3 Virtuosos and #4 Dreamer-Entrepreners).

If your desired path to riches is the Virtuoso path, you need to do what Virtuosos do – they engage in Deliberate Practice and Analytical Practice, every day for many, many years.

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!

The Get Rich Quick Mindset

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One of my clients runs a pretty successful landscaping business. One payday, he noticed that his employees immediately headed to the convenience store located in a nearby strip mall. Once he became aware of this oddity, he noticed that every payday, this pattern repeated itself.

Out of curiosity, he followed them into the store after one payday and was shocked at what he saw.

Each of his employees were handing over to the store clerk what my client guessed to be about 10% of the hard-earned pay he’d just given them – on lottery tickets.

Many poor people would rather spend 10% of their income on the lottery, roulette wheel, or sports betting, rather than save and invest that same 10%.

Why?

They get a dopamine rush when they bet.

The sensation is akin to taking a hit of cocaine.

Of course, they always lose, but the hope of getting rich quick produces a surge of dopamine that they simply cannot do without. So, playing the lottery eventually becomes a Poor Habit. Once a habit, it morphs into a full-blown, lottery-fueled dopamine addiction.

All habits are neurologically-based. And each habit is represented by a group of synapses. Each synapse discharges a proprietary blend of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine, norepinephrine and a few others.

These neurotransmitters are the chemical reward for engaging in your habit of choice – playing the lottery, for example.

The Get Rich Quick Mindset is just one example of a habit that, like all habits, is fueled by a chemical.

That is why habits are so hard to break – they are really chemical addictions. And, once an addiction, are hard to break.

Be mindful of your repetitive behaviors. Once they become habits, you become their slave.

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!

 

The Dimensions of Wealth

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When you think “wealthy”, what comes to mind?

Do you think, Warren Buffet-type rich?

Do you think retiree-type rich?

Or, do you think of someone in between?

I guess the point I’m getting to is that there are many levels, or degrees to wealth.

How many?

Well, I’ve been studying the rich since 2004 and according to all of the data I’ve accumulated on the wealthy, here’s my educated assessment of the various dimensions of wealth:

Uber Wealthy – Over $100 Million

The self-made people in this category got there one of three ways, according to my research:

  1. They Created Something the Masses of People Wanted or Needed – These would be the Entrepreneurs who pursued some dream represented by a product or service that they believed would be of value to many people. .
  2. They Were Corporate CEOs – These are the CEOs of major publicly-held corporations who received the lion’s share of their income from stock-based compensation.
  3. They Are the Top of Their Field – They are world-class professional athletes, actors, musicians, software engineers, entrepreneurs, etc. They have a well-known brand and their herd of customers or clients is numbered in the millions.

The Uber-Wealthy can afford to live in the world’s most affluent communities. They can afford very expensive Country Clubs. They can buy yachts, airplanes and beach-front homes. They can fly to Paris on a whim. They can hire people to run their businesses.

Their passive income (income from existing investments) generates more annual income then they spend in a year supporting their lifestyle. They use their passive income to take significant financial risks, without batting an eye, as such losses would not affect future passive income streams.

Near-Uber Wealthy – $50 – $100 Million

Their story is very much like that of the Uber-Wealthy. They do have certain limitations, however, that limits the scope of their spending.

Their toys are similar, albeit, watered-down versions of the Uber-Wealthy.

They have to be more circumspect when taking financial risks, as their passive income is limited due to they scope of the wealth they’ve accumulated. Any investment of their principal (their core wealth which generates their passive income), as opposed to their passive income, must be scrupulously analyzed, as a loss of that principal could impair the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.

They are, therefore, equally interested in strategies that help them grow and preserve their wealth.

Respectably Wealthy – $10 – $49 Million

These millionaires made their money one of three ways:

  1. Stock Compensation – They were senior executives who worked for publicly-help corporations and received the bulk of their wealth in the form of stock compensation. It took them about twenty years to accumulate their wealth.
  2. Virtuosos – They have certain unique skills or knowledge that sets them apart from everyone else. People are happy to pay them a premium for their exceptional services or products.
  3. Dreamers – These are entrepreneurs who pursued some dream and succeeded. They could be highly successful small business owners, but most are mid-sized business owners who make millions a year in income.

These millionaires can afford maybe one expensive toy and live in the most affluent communities. They may have two or three homes in different well-heeled places.

They are cautious with their investing – they cannot afford to take significant risks with their wealth. They can travel pretty much where they want, so long as they continue to preserve the wealth they’ve accumulated.

Borderline to Moderately Wealthy – $2 – $9 Million

They made their money in a similar fashion as the Respectably Wealthy, with one additional wealth type – the Saver/Investors.

The Saver/Investors are in the Borderline Wealthy category. They managed to live off of 80% or less of their income and over the course of 32 years or more, they saved and prudently invested their savings.

This joint category of millionaires are the bell-curve – they represent 95% of all of the “wealthy” who exist in the world. And they also happen to be the category of millionaires who were the primary focus of my Rich Habits Study.

They may have a second home, a vacation home. They may belong to a local Country Club. They can afford leisure travel a few times a year. They are cautious with their wealth, focused more on preserving it than growing it.

I’m not sure the purpose of this post, other than to better define what wealth truly means. As you can see, wealth is not one thing. It is many things, with numerous dimensions.

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!