I’ve said it before — success isn’t just one thing. It’s more than a single attribute or skill, more than making money or being content with where you’re at in life.
So what can we say about success without writing a whole book?
Well, success is basically all about working smarter. And there are a few primary ways to do this…
The Abundance Mentality
A fundamental trait for achieving success is developing an attitude of abundance. So, if that proverbial glass really is half-empty… because there’s a giant hole in the bottom of it… that’s OK. An abundance mentality realizes that all you have to do is fix the hole ‒ then the glass really will be half-full!
In other words, thinking in terms of abundance doesn’t mean you’re naive and unaware of what you lack or the setbacks you’re facing. It simply means that you take stock of them… in the light of what you DO have going for you.
You notice and evaluate the negatives. But you obsess and focus your energy on how you can leverage your resources to improve your life.
So maybe you have too much credit card debt and a mountain of medical bills. You gotta deal with that, and it may mean you won’t be able to invest for a few years while you fix that problem. But you do have a wonderful spouse… a fine brain and serious life skills… a concrete vision for a better future… and a job that provides a good income stream on which to build. Just put together a plan to use those resources to overcome the obstacles on your way to success.
That’s an abundance mindset. It’s the opposite of obsessing over the problems and wringing your hands because “everything’s hopeless.”
The Love of Lifelong Learning
Being a lifelong learner is like having a bag full of gold coins that magically never runs out. Actually, that kind of wisdom is far more valuable than gold…
A business partner can steal your business, or some economic disaster can wipe out your assets. But the skills you’ve acquired ‒ including the ability to keep picking up new capabilities and knowledge ‒ is what will enable you to get off the ground and rebuild from scratch. Nobody can take that away from you.
It’s actually closely related to the abundance mindset… Say you discover there’s some new piece of software you could learn ‒ it would make a huge difference in how well you manage your investments. Do you think, “Oh no, I don’t know how that works. I don’t have that skill, so I guess I’ll just be left behind. Too bad I’m so old…”?
Or do you think, “Cool. All I gotta do is learn how to use this software. I’ll buy it and look for a training video to see how it works. Thank God I’ve got a decent brain and the cash to buy this thing!”
It’s pretty clear which approach is more likely to lead to success. Learn to love the learning. Because the schooling ends… when you take your final breath.
Knowing the Numbers
You’ve got to find a way to become comfortable with “the numbers” on at least a basic level. You need to understand cash flow, how to create your income statement and balance sheet, the ways interest (the basic measure of “the time value of money”) can work for and against you…
It’s not that you have to be some financial genius ‒ a little knowledge goes a long way here. But if you lack basic financial literacy, you’ll be handicapped in a major way.
Think about it: even if all you do is work a job and raise a family, with no desire to invest or think beyond putting a little money into savings each month, you can’t escape the need to apply financial math. For example, you’ll still need a budget and a way to track income and expenses. And if you don’t know how the time power of money applies to those credit cards… well, you will learn ‒ the hard way.
So there’s no getting around this need for some basic financial skills. The good news is, it’s so easy to acquire these skills! We offer a ton of this knowledge here at RP Capital ‒ for free. And for a few bucks you can go out and pick up or download a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s books Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant today. A few hours’ reading or listening will get you an advanced degree’s worth of usable street smarts.
The Power of a Clear Destination
This one’s also essential. Of course, it applies specifically to your financial goals. Instead of saying, “I want to make enough money to retire on within the next five years,” do the math to formulate an actual number, so your goal is concrete and measurable. “In five years, I want to be making $12,000 a month in passive income so I can retire from my career and focus on leveraging my investments and spending time traveling with my spouse.”
It’s more than just money, though. As that last example shows, you need to remember that money is a means to an end. Money helps you live life on your terms. Whether you want to send your grandkids to expensive schools, give more to charity, or collect fine art, it’s money that will make that possible.
So you need to think way beyond financial goals ‒ the real target is lifestyle goals, “meaning and purpose” goals. Train yourself to see clearly and concretely where you want to be down the road, and to turn those visions of dreams-come-true into concrete goals… and you will have unlocked the Fountain of Youth when it comes to success.
Balancing the Big Stuff and the Little Stuff
Finally, learn to pivot between the Big Picture ‒ things like long-term goals and ongoing acquiring of skills and knowledge ‒ and the Practical Details ‒ taking the concrete steps, every day, that actually move you towards your goals.
You need them both: a “big picture” perspective, and the ability to execute and make sure the details are being handled. You’ve gotta know your financial goals ‒ and you gotta understand what’s going on in your spreadsheets on a day-by-day basis. Really, it’s about focus: knowing when to focus small, and when to zoom out and focus big.
So that’s it for now. I’m not saying there aren’t a few more factors that lead to success, but the more you make these your own… the more you’ll know success on higher and higher levels in your life.
Ready to see greater success as a financially savvy investor? Give us a call at (801) 990-5109 or schedule an appointment here to build a Wealth Plan. We’ll help you apply these success principles to your particular situation… so your real estate investment success story becomes an inspiration for others.