Monday, November 30, 2015

Rules for money have changed | Corporate bankruptcy is NOT personal bankruptcy

You cannot follow your parents' rules of money. The old rules were you go to school, you get a job, you work hard, you save money and you invest for the long term in the stock market.

Savers are losers. And many parents are still telling their kids to save money. Why would you save money when every central bank is printing money ? 

When I was a millennial, I could get 15 percent interest on my money. Today, I'm lucky to get one percent. I'm a debtor. I borrow because I'm in real estate. So I'm getting money at 2.5 percent. I just recently refinanced $300 million at 2.5 percent. So debtors are winning and savers are losing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Practise, take risks and learn from failures to be the best you can be

Many years ago, once I decided that I wanted to be a teacher and a speaker, I began to practice. I made sure that I took as many opportunities to speak in front of others as I could. Along the way, I made many mistakes, but it was those mistakes that made me successful.

What dialing for dollars taught me

Let me share a story to illustrate this point. Earlier in my career, when I took a job at Xerox in order to learn how to sell, I discovered that Xerox wasn’t as interested in my learning as they were in my producing. They wanted me to sell, not learn. In fact, if I didn’t sell, they would fire me.

The work environment at Xerox was a product of our modern school system, in which those who are successful are the ones who memorize information and avoid as many failures as possible.

In order to get better at sales, I knew I needed to practice. Much like I spent five days a week in high school practicing football so that I could shine during a game once a week, I needed to do repetitions and learn from what I did wrong, as well as what I did right in sales.

So, I volunteered for a charity in the evenings, dialing for dollars. Cold calling was hard, but thankfully, the charity was in such dire need of volunteers they didn’t care if I was failing or not. They were just happy to have me sitting and calling.

Paradoxically, the more I failed as a volunteer—and learned from those failures—the more successful I became as a salesman at Xerox.

This highlights an important principle: mistakes are more important than answers. Why? Because the answers always emerge from the mistakes. Sure you can memorize answers, however, that fades fast. When you discover an answer from perseverance through failure, that answer stays with you forever.

At the end of the day, successful people are those who practice, practice, practice; fail, fail, fail; and eventually succeed as a result.

I’m reminded again of the famous Michael Jordan quote, “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

The million dollar questions

So the questions I have for you today are, “Where do you want to go?” and “What are you practicing?” If those two things aren’t aligned, it’s time to make a change.

Monday, November 16, 2015

5 point test to see if you can be a successful business owner

These days it seems like everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. If so many people want to own a business, why is it that so few do? 

The answer is simple. It's hard. I firmly believe that anyone can be an entrepreneur, but most people won't put in the time, energy, and commitment it takes to be successful at the ownership level.

And that's OK. Not everyone needs to be a business owner. But if you're wondering whether the entrepreneurship game is for you, consider the following five statements. If you say yes to any of these, you might want to reconsider.

If, however, you read these five statements and don't feel that they represent you, then maybe it's time to take the leap.

-    You don't have thick skin. It seems that as soon as you announce you are starting a business everyone is an expert in starting a business. Not everyone will love your idea or product, and they won't be afraid to tell you. I'm not saying you shouldn't listen to criticism, but you have to be able to take the punches and not take everything personally.

-    You don't like being "connected." As an entrepreneur, there really isn't such a thing as "disconnecting" from the world, not in the beginning anyway. You'll be living and breathing your new company while trying to educate everyone about your business. You'll be constantly thinking about how to improve things, reduce costs, and sell more. There is no such thing as a 9-to-5 work schedule when you're an entrepreneur.

-    You need to be praised for your efforts. If you're an employee, you're probably used to getting constant feedback about your performance, task and project completion. A lot of employees are even used to their bosses telling them how great they are - even if they know they aren't. This is not the case for an entrepreneur. You won't hear any of that unless you tell yourself. Your praise comes in the form of making money. And it's going to be a while before you really get the praise you're looking for.

-    You need someone to give you motivation. Similar to needing praise, if you need external motivation, you shouldn't be an entrepreneur either. When you wake up in the morning as an entrepreneur, there isn't someone standing in your kitchen ready to give you that day's tasks. It's all on you.

-    You're only comfortable wearing one hat. There are people I know that are only comfortable being an accountant, or a writer, or an event planner, These people are only comfortable doing one thing and, as such, should never be an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, especially a solopreneur, you are often putting on different hats, making a multitude of decisions and you need to be confident in doing so.

Here's the good news. Even if you said yes to one or more of these, you can make a change. I'm a firm believer that anyone can change his or her mindset. All you need is the determination and a little help along the way.

But if you want to be an entrepreneur, change you must. No better time to start than today.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Working hard part time in your own business can be better than working extra in a regular job

In order to grow as a business owner you can't simply gain new knowledge but also shed certain thinking as well.

In today’s world, there are many people who want to change their circumstances by becoming an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, many of these people are unable to make the shift from an employee to a business owner.

Why? Because old thinking gets in the way.

The good news is that it’s never too late to change your thinking. The bad news is that sometimes some of the hardest things to change are old ideas. Some of the ones that need to change have been handed down from generation to generation. They are very powerful ideas to break. But break them, you must.

The following are three ways of thinking that every entrepreneur must change.

-    Be a good, hardworking person

The reality today is that the people who physically work the hardest are paid the least and taxed the most. I am not saying not to work hard. All I am saying is that we need to constantly challenge our older thoughts and maybe rethink new ones. For instance, consider working hard in a part-time business for yourself instead of working overtime for your employer.

-    The idle rich are lazy

The reality is that the less you are involved physically in your work, the greater your chances are of becoming very rich. Again, I am not saying to not work hard. I am suggesting that today, we all need to learn to make money mentally, not just physically.

Those who make the most money work the least physically. They work the least because they work for passive income and portfolio income rather than ordinary earned income – the highest taxed income.

In my mind, today’s idle rich are not lazy. It is just that their money is working harder than they are. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn how to make money mentally rather than physically.

-    Go to school and get a job

In the Industrial Age, people retired at the age of 65 because they were often too worn out to lift tires and put engines into a car on the assembly line. Today, you are technically obsolete and ready for retirement every 18 months, which is how fast information and technology are doubling.

Now, more than ever, rich dad’s statement is relevant, “School smarts are important, but so are street smarts.” We are a self-learning society, not a society that learns from its parents or from its schools. Kids are teaching their parents how to use the latest technology, not the other way around. And tech companies are looking for high-tech kids more than middle-aged executives with college degrees.

To stay ahead of the obsolescence curve, continual learning from school, as well as the street, is vital. When I speak to young people, I advise them to think like professional athletes as well as college professors. Professional athletes know their careers will be over as soon as younger athletes can beat them. College professors know that they will become more valuable the older they get if they continue to study. Both points of view are important today.