The Only Question You Need to Ask

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“How will this move me forward?”

That is the only question you need to ask. When should you ask yourself this question?

  • When You Are Angry
  • When You Are Sad
  • When You Want Revenge
  • When You Feel Like Quitting
  • Before You Gamble
  • Before You Turn on the TV
  • Before You Click on Facebook
  • Before You Surf the Internet
  • Before You Spend Money
  • Before You Take Another Drink
  • Before You Cheat on Your Spouse
  • Before You Gossip
  • Before You Engage in a Bad Habit
  • Before You Light That Cigarette
  • When You Feel Like Hitting Someone
  • When You Feel Like Sleeping Another Hour
  • When You Feel Lazy
  • When You Feel Jealous

Those who succeed in life focus on their destination. They do not allow anything to distract them or take them off their path. They are only focused on one thing – moving forward. Anything that does not help them move forward, they ignore, shake off or avoid.

Find Your Team

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Geese fly in a “V” Formation. Why?

By flapping their wings in this “V” formation, geese create increased uplift. This joint effort increases their range by 70%, than if they were flying alone.

“One hundred organized men can always defeat one thousand disorganized ones.” Lenin

One of the common attributes of self-made millionaires is their ability to forge strong relationships with other success-minded individuals. Their objective is to surround themselves with individuals who can help them achieve achieve their dreams and realize the goals behind their dreams.

There is nothing that can’t be accomplished when the right people work together in any worthy cause.

The most successful people are the best team-builders.

Find success-minded individuals, then build a relationship with them.

Not sure where to look? Find a local, community-based non-profit that you believe in and join it. The individuals who run the board and the committees are almost always the most successful people in town.

What Excites You Reveals Your Calling

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T. Harv Eker, in his book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, stated that true happiness lies in the intersection of what excites you and what you do for a living.

When what you do for a living excites you, you will devote significantly more time and engage in more deliberate practice in your “work”.

Those who rise to the level of exceptional, put in more hours of practice in what they do then their competition. What fuels them is their desire to do what they do. That desire is not something that can be willed into existence. There must be some underlying why that motivates an individual to devote more time to practicing their craft. In most cases, that why is having a passion for an activity or being excited every time you engage in the activity.

Liking or loving what you do is the key.

In the book, Talent is Overrated, the author found in his extensive research that those who were the most successful in their careers, devoted many more hours to their craft than their competition. These exceptional individuals found something they liked doing and, thus, devoted more time to it. Their why was excitement. They were excited every time they practiced their craft.

So, what excites you? What makes your heart sing? What activity gets you up in the morning?

When you find the answer to that question, you will have found your true calling in life.

Don’t spend your life doing something that bores you. Find what excites you and devote your entire life to it. Happiness and success will follow.

The Joneses Are Everywhere

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When your values are off, when what’s truly important in life is forgotten or overlooked, it’s easy to become a victim of the influences of your environment.

The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses,” originated with Arthur (Pop) Momand’s Keep Up With The Joneses comic strip in the New York Globe. The strip was first published in 1913 and became popular quite quickly. By September 1915, a cartoon film of the same name was touring US cinemas.

The ‘Joneses’ in the cartoon weren’t based on anyone in particular. It was a very common name and ‘the Joneses’ was merely a generic name for ‘the neighbors’. Keeping up with the Joneses is construed to mean striving to match your neighbours in spending and social standing.

But the Joneses are no longer confined to the neighborhood. They are everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TV reality shows.

We see pictures on Facebook of people living in beachfront homes, showing off their new vacation home, driving expensive cars, toting around the latest Burberry or vacationing in some exotic place.

Thanks to the Internet, our perception of the ideal standard of living has moved beyond the neighborhood. The Joneses are now everywhere and it’s far easier to become a victim of super-sizing your lifestyle in an attempt to keep up with those omnipresent Joneses, leading many to incur debt they will never be able to repay.

When your definition of success is what the Kardashian’s or the Housewives of LA are doing or buying, it’s safe to say, you’ve lost your way – and your values. 

Your lifestyle end zone should not be defined by the Joneses. Your ideal life should be defined by what is truly important to living a happy, successful life: family, friends, relationships and having enough wealth to meet your basic needs. 

Relationship Luck

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Mike Francesa is the host of the top sports radio program in America on the WFAN sports radio network, also known as The Fan.

In 1987 Mike Francesa was a behind-the-scenes sports analyst for CBS sports. He wanted to be part of the nation’s new all sports-talk radio talk station, as an on-air host. But he had a problem, in the eyes of Luke Griffin, the executive in charge of picking the new hosts for the sports-talk shows. Francesa’s Long Island accent. Griffin felt it was a huge negative, so he said NO.

But Francesa had an ace in the hole.

At the time, one of Francesa’s best friends was Jim Nantz, the host of CBS’s college football and basketball shows. And Nantz knew Griffin very well. So, Francesa made a phone call to Nantz, asking him to talk to Griffin. Nantz made a phone call on his pal’s behalf and Griffin relented, offering Francesa a weekend host spot on the new sports-talk radio station.

That was thirty years ago.

“They gave me a shot on the weekend. If it hadn’t been for Jim Nantz knowing Luck Griffin, I don’t think I’d ever have gotten a shot,” Francesa said in a recent interview with the New York Post.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

You’ve no doubt heard that line before. The fact is, both are equally important. What you know and who you know are joined at the hip, when it comes to success – you need both.

What you know makes you an expert. It separates you from the competition. Experts add more value to society. Francesa was considered one of the most knowledgable sports analysts in the country, at the time he was given his shot as a CBS sports radio host.

But, what you know, will only get you so far. 

And as luck would have it, Francesa knew Nantz, and Nantz knew Griffin. 

Who you know opens doors that are otherwise closed. Who you know allows you to take advantage of opportunities. Who you know, creates luck. 

Relationships are the currency of the wealthy and the successful. Successful people associate with other successful people because successful people can make luck happen. This is why so many rich and successful people happen to be the best networkers. They join clubs, groups, companies and non-profits whose memberships includes other successful people. They then build strong, long-lasting relationships with these successful people.

And luck follows them everywhere they go and in everything they do.

Beware of Toxic People

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Relationships are the currency of the wealthy.

In my Rich Habits Study, I learned that one of the most important traits of self-made millionaires was the habit of forging long-term relationships with other success-minded people.

If you follow me, you know I spend a great deal of time advocating the need to remove toxic people from your social networks. Toxic people drag you down and distract you from the pursuit of your dreams and your goals.

But what does it mean to be toxic? Toxic people live in a world of negativity. They expose their negativity through their words, their social media posts, their emails or their actions:

  • Toxic people are demeaning – They belittle those they disagree with.
  • Toxic people believe their opinions are superior to your opinions – If your opinions differ from the opinions of a toxic person, they ridicule you and try to make you feel inferior or inadequate.
  • Toxic people are ideologues – They have beliefs and ideologies that they wish to impose upon you. They don’t respect your beliefs or ideologies.
  • Toxic people are closed-minded – They close their minds to contrary thoughts, ideas, opinions and facts.
  • Toxic people are Fault Finders – They seek, and thus find, fault in others.
  • Toxic people are perpetually agitated – Their emotional state is one-sided – agitated or angry.
  • Toxic people are unfiltered – They say whatever is on their mind, irrespective of the damage that might do to their relationships.
  • Toxic people struggle with relationships – Toxic people are constantly damaging or destroying relationships. They have few long-term relationships.
  • Toxic people are in constant turmoil – Toxic people struggle financially, struggle with relationships, struggle with their jobs, struggle with their clients or customers.
  • Toxic people are problem seekers – They look for problems in everything.
  • Toxic people are pessimists – They see the bad in situations and in life.
  • Toxic people are Mistake Finders – Toxic people are vigilant in finding and pointing out the mistakes of others.
  • Toxic people are sarcastic – They use sarcasm, blanketed inside humor, as a means of putting you down.
  • Toxic people are gadflies – They provoke others, behind your back, and cause problems for you with other people.
  • Toxic people are selfish – They put themselves first, always.
  • Toxic people are judgemental – They believe they are superior and look down on others.
  • Toxic people are gossipers – They will talk badly about you behind your back.
  • Toxic people lie and are untrustworthy – They struggle with the truth.
  • Toxic people are disloyal – Toxic people will turn their back on you in a time of need or unexpectedly stab you in the back.

Having one or two of these toxic habits does make someone toxic. Some very successful, upbeat people in my study had toxic habits. The difference was they did not have many toxic habits or their good habits, by far, outweighed their toxic habits.

The important point is awareness. Have your antenna up. Know what to look for. It takes time for most individuals to reveal their toxic habits. But once they do, disengage with them. Eliminate them from your life. Toxic people have deep-seated problems that become your problems if you allow them to be a part of your life. Toxic people will distract you from your pursuit of success. They will drag you down emotionally. They are wrenches, potholes and obstacles along your path towards success.

When you make a habit of eliminating toxic people from your life, your life will improve. Your mindset will shift from negative to positive. You will have fewer problems and less stress.

Blame Keeps You Living Inside Negativity

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The other day I received a very well-thought out comment from one of my readers. He was struggling with poor parenting issues that left him ill-equipped and shortchanged in life. The fact is, most of the financial issues we have can be traced to the Poor Habits we pick up in our childhood, primarily from our parents.

When our parents fail us as mentors, it’s easy to fall into the habit of blaming your life’s circumstances on your parents.

I was fortunate. Thanks to my Rich Habits research and the reinforcement of those principles through my books, speaking engagements, and hundreds of media interviews, I realized that blame keeps you living inside negativity. At some point, you must let go. You must end the blame game and move on. When you stop blaming your past for your present, it frees you to change your life. Resisting the urge to blame and eliminating as a Poor Habit is like removing a great weight from your shoulders. It’s liberating and it allows you to forge a positive mental outlook.

Positivity is the bridge towards prosperity. When you blame, it’s like closing access to that bridge. End the Poor Habit of blaming your parents and others for your lot in life so that you can cross the bridge of positivity and give yourself a shot at prosperity.

Accidental Millionaires

Tip of the MorningForest Gump wanted to be a shrimp boat captain. So, after he returned from the war, Forrest went out and bought a shrimp boat and persistently failed until luck visited him. With that luck, as well as the help of his reluctant, yet devoted apostle, Lieutenant Dan, Forrest was able to build a shrimp distribution empire that transformed him into an Accidental Millionaire.

Only in the movies, right? But, as I learned from my five year study of self-made millionaires (Rich Habits Study), luck plays a very important factor in striking it rich. But the luck I’m referring to isn’t a random good luck many rich-haters ascribe to the wealth. The luck I’m referring to is called Opportunity Luck. This is a type of luck that only visits those with persistence, good daily habits and a work ethic driven by a passion that borders on the obsessive.

There are many self-made millionaires out there who were beneficiaries of Opportunity Luck.

Tabasco Sauce

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Edmund McIchenry, a struggling farmer, was tired of eating bland food. So, in 1865, in an effort to liven up his food, he began experimenting with some of the hot Mexican peppers that were growing in the garden, just outside his kitchen.

The sauce he created became known as Tabasco Sauce.

Q-Tips

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Leo Gerstensang noticed his wife trying to clean their baby’s ears with a toothpick and some cotton. Worried she might hurt their child, he created the Q-Tip.

Apple Computer

Steve Jobs was desperately seeking seed capital in order to get his fledgling Apple Computer up an running. There was one wealthy individual in town who had turned Jobs down on his funding request. That was until the wealthy local saw Jobs having lunch with a representative from Rockefeller Venture Capital. The wealthy local man, thinking the Rockefeller’s were investing with Jobs (they too turned Jobs down), decided to invest $150,000, which gave birth to Apple Computer.

Slinky

Sam Spratt/Gizmodo

In 1943, Navy engineer Richard James was trying to figure out how to use springs to keep the sensitive instruments aboard ships from rocking themselves to death, when he knocked one of his prototypes over. Instead of crashing to the floor, it gracefully sprang downward, and then righted itself. Slinky’s went on to sell 300 million worldwide!

Opportunity Luck requires that you be tuned in to opportunity. The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is part of our old brain (brain stem) physiology. It’s purpose is to filter out most sensory data, unless that data is important to us. Our name, for example, is important to us. When you hear your name, even in a crowded, noisy airport, you turn in the direction of the person calling your name. That’s the RAS at work.

You can tune your RAS into receiving only specific sensory information, like your name. When you set a big goal or follow a life dream, your RAS becomes tuned in to sensory data that will help you achieve the goal or realize the dream. Opportunities we did not see previously, become obvious. The law of attraction is actually the RAS system at work. You are not actually attracting opportunities but rather becoming aware of them thanks to the RAS. This is why those who set big goals or pursue a major purpose or dream in life are so much more successful than everyone else. Their RAS is working for them, allowing them to achieve great things in life.

Aim For Achievement and Success Will Follow

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“Achievement is knowing that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you.” Helen Hayes, actress.

In a horse race, the horse that wins, even by a nose, may win $30,000, while the second place horse receives only $10,000. The first place horse is not three times faster than the second place horse.

Success is the byproduct of consistent, steady preparation. You have to be willing to go the extra mile because most people won’t. Those who prepare the most and work the hardest, win the most. They pursue success every day through their efforts and eventually, their hard work and consistent preparation result in success.

Focus on getting better at what you do and not on the money. Money will follow those who are the most prepared.

Bragging vs. Self-Promotion – Two Very Different Things

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Why do people brag?

The objective of bragging is to try to impress others. We want people who really do not know us to think we are more important than we are, more successful than we are, smarter than we are, harder working than we are, richer than we are, make more money than we do, have more influential associations than we do, etc.

How many times have you had to endure the endless name dropping of someone you just met at some event? Braggers have that affect on people.

When you get right down to it, people brag because, deep down, they feel inadequate in some way. Braggers are trying to sell a false narrative, typically to individuals they do not know.

According to my research on the daily habits of the rich, those who pursue success and end up becoming very successful in life, don’t brag. They will promote what they do, but their self-promotion is factual – it’s not a fabrication. They are not pushing some false narrative in order to get something from someone. The are pushing reality.

The most successful people are great at telling the truth about themselves by sharing their value proposition.

“I help people rise from poverty or the middle-class by teaching them about my Rich Habits through my books, blog, media exposure and speaking engagements.” That’s me self-promoting. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it.

“I am a huge bestselling author. I know Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dave Ramsey and I’ve been on national TV many times.” That’s me bragging. I’ve sold a lot of books but, huge is an exaggeration. I’ve met Robin Sharma, and Richard Branson once at a speaking engagement in which I was one of the speakers. They probably don’t even remember who I am. I’ve been on the Dave Ramsey show once. He might still remember me, but who knows. I’ve been on national TV three times. Three times is not many times.

Bragging is about exaggerating the truth. Self-promotion is about telling the truth. Two very different things.