It’s time to start planning on ways to cope with the challenges of tomorrow. Start with your own goals. Set a time frame and financial framework within which you intend to implement action to achieve them. Understand the rules. Learn what to do and what not to do. Like the cop said to the man who asked him: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” – PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
One you’ve gotten your plan down on paper and internalized, and winning principles incorporated into your methodology – START DOING IT! Resolve to find your place among those at the top of the heap whatever the challenges; and to stay there. That’s a broad overview of the goal-setting process, but setting detailed financial objectives can be a time consuming procedure. Maybe I can help make it a little easier.
Think of goals as promises that you make to yourself in private. They’re day dreams put into action. A universal truth is that you’ll rarely exceed your own expectations of yourself. So you have to deal with what kind of a person you want to become – you’ll need to devise sort of an ethical and moral framework within which you want to work so that you’ll feel good about yourself at the end of the trail, once you’ve managed to climb to the top of the financial mountain.
1. WHAT ARE YOUR LIFE OBJECTIVES IN TERMS OF PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL GROWTH?
2. HOW MANY YEARS ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK FOR THESE COMMENCING WITH THIS CLASS?
3. HOW DO YOU INTEND TO ACHIEVE THIS? BE SPECIFIC AS TO WHAT YOU’LL DO, AND HOW YOU’LL DO IT.
4. WHAT SACRIFICES ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE IN TERMS OF YOURS AND YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE STYLE?
5. DO YOUR PLANS INCLUDE OTHERS IN YOUR FAMILY? ARE THEY IN ACCORD? WILL THEY HELP OR HINDER YOU? HOW? WHEN?
6. WHY DO YOU FEEL YOUR GOALS ARE WORTHWHILE?
Until you are able to provide comprehensive, accurate, precise, will considered answers to the above questions, you’ll have a tough time achieving long term financial success!
If these questions make you feel uncomfortable, then they’ve done their job. Consider how many people spend their entire lives wandering aimlessly with little feeling of solid accomplishment because they’ve never set goals for their own happiness. When you finish reading this book, see if you can’t work out a realistic course of action for yourself and your family.
It is estimated that about 3.5% of Americans are millionaires. Except for those who have harvested a fortune from stock market speculations, the vast majority of the others were entrepreneurs. So to get rich, plan on becoming an entrepreneur by starting up and running your own business. Don’t consume your capital and profit; reinvest it to help your business grow.
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GETS!
Whether we fail or succeed, we first do it conceptually. Ultimately, thinking people work to fulfill their expectations of themselves rather than merely for money.
Think of life as a journey that extends from birth to death. Both the start and finish of the trip are clearly marked. Everyone starts at one point and proceeds toward the other. The only thing we don’t know is the route we’re going to take. Planning this trip to make it as enjoyable and entertaining as possible is the challenge that all truly successful people must ultimately meet.
When you set out to acquire your first dollar your financial life starts. Your investment life begins the day that you use the first dollar that is surplus to your economic needs to buy something to produce income or profit at some point in the future. Both your financial and investment lives end when your last dollar has been spent, lost, strayed, stolen, taxed away, gifted, or bequeathed to someone or something.
In the final analysis, the way in which you use your assets to bridge the gap between your first and last dollars is the key to how successful you’ll be, not only in financial terms, but in the degree to which life is rewarding to you, your family, and those who ultimately benefit from what you achieve.
Reaching goals almost always involves making enough money to be able to devote time to non-financial pursuits. This process can’t be done from a lofty perch in some ivory tower. You’ve got to plan your financial life and pursue the goals you set just as vigorously as you plan your family life.
There’s nothing new or revolutionary about these hints. They’ve worked in one form or another since the dawn of time. If one studies the lives of successful people, one sees certain similar ingredients: self-discipline, desire, commitment, honor, purpose, challenge, self-sacrifice, study, and persistence. And why not? All of these are controlled by the individual, not society. Thus the seeds of success lie within each of us. I-low can we fail?
If you can think of your goals as true North, then all you’ve got to do is to keep your efforts aimed in that direction. To this, you’ve got to map out a plan which will not only reveal the direction in which your efforts should take you, but the terrain over which you’ll have to travel and the speed with which you’ll have to travel to meet your financial objectives.
There are two basic approaches to this. You can either decrease spending for current lifestyle and increase investment for future lifestyle, or you can increase your current earnings and profits so as to be able to fund both your preferred current lifestyle as well as to increase investments to support your future lifestyle after you quit producing income personally. The range of activities that can be devoted to you overall plan can be divided into two parts:
1. Active enterprise in which you earn financial remuneration as a result of your personal efforts or of those you employ for that purpose.
2. Speculation or investment in passive enterprise in which money is earned by assets that are managed to produce income and gain at the time they are sold.
Practically speaking, you’ll probably wind up with a combination of the two approaches. In doing so, you’ll soon discover a simple truth:
1. The more deals you become involved in, the more experience you’ll gain.
2. The more experience you gain, the greater expertise you’ll acquire.
3. The more expertise you can bring to bear, the better deals you can close faster.
4. The faster you can close good deals, the more profit you’ll make.
5. The more profit you make with each transaction, the less time that will be required to build assets and income.
6. The more assets you have, the easier it will be to make money, and the better current lifestyle you’ll attain, with more future financial security.
7. But the first step is to decide how far you want to climb.
DECIDING HOW RICH YOU WANT TO BE
Setting goals isn’t all that complicated; imagine the life style you’d like to have or the responsibilities you’d like to assume. Put a price on them. Write it all down and internalize what you’ve written. Then, and only then, start to work for the money it will take to do the job. And most importantly of all, know when it’s time to quit and take the money and run. Here are 10 more questions you might want to ponder:
1. How much will you sell me, or anyone else, a year of your life for?
2. What would you pay to buy back last year and be a year younger?
3. Are you selling the next 12 months, or using it up to follow pursuits that will yield you less than you’d pay to buy it back?
4. What could you do to make your time worth more this next year?
5. What do you want to accomplish for yourself for the rest of this year?
6. Where will you be living?
7. What will you be doing?
8. Who will be with you?
9. In five years?
10. In a Decade?
Once you arrive at the answers to those questions, the next step is to lay out a written plan to assure that your personal predictions come true. Those who spend the time to write down the things they want to achieve in their lives know the joy of accomplishment that only goal-setters attain.
On the other hand, those who don’t plan their climb to life’s pinnacle rarely reach it. The hallmark of the loser is that he daydreams of doing wonderful things for mankind during his life, but doesn’t ever accumulate the financial wherewithal to accomplish anything.
YOU RARELY EXCEED YOUR OWN EXPECTATIONS
From Jack Miller’s book Cash Flow Concepts