As many people have observed, “Success leaves clues.” If you want to achieve extraordinary success in the coming year, study the experts, do what they do, and modify their techniques to suit your particular situation. It’s easy! Well, maybe not easy, but there are basic fundamentals. In the belief that we all need to be reminded of them regularly, here are some of the secrets that have helped me and my clients over the years:
1. Focus on values. I’ve known people who made some money, but I’ve never known anyone who got rich without examining their own values, priorities and beliefs. Start by writing down a list of things you value, things you believe, what you want, and what you plan to do with this incredible life you have. Start with your values.
2. Get a life. Before you can handle great wealth, you must make room for it. This is the old, “if you build it, they will come” model. Trying to squeeze success, wealth, fame or fortune into a small life won’t work. Create a life first; the lifestyle of your dreams will follow.
3. Eliminate clutter. Trying to create success and achieve wealth while your life’s a mess won’t work. Success requires clear priorities and a passionate commitment. Simplify your life. Eliminate the excuses. Clean up everything that distracts you from reaching your most important goals.
4. Specify your results. Nobody can hit a target they can’t see. Define your outcomes and set clear, achievable results in advance. Know what “success” looks like! Have measurable, specific outcomes and determine that you will achieve them!
5. Burn your ships. There’s an ancient story about a Greek general who landed his troops on an enemy shore, then burned his ships. He wanted to make it very clear: Retreat and failure were not an option! Leave no room for failure.
6. Put in more than you take out. No one will pay you more than your services are worth! Get clear about that! You just can’t fool people very long. Your services and your results must be far more valuable than the small fee you charge. Some people will rip you off; the rest will make you rich!
7. Live below your means. Rich people know this. Wealth is accumulated, re-invested, used wisely and given away. It is never spent! Let the millionaire athletes and folks who win lotteries buy the fancy cars and flashy jewelry. If you want to achieve great wealth, live simply, invest wisely, enjoy it all!
8. Get rich slowly. The key to great wealth is to minimize income, while maximizing your assets. Income is taxed. Income gets spent — think about all the cars, boats, diamonds and houses people with huge incomes like to buy! Investing in assets that are hard to spend (buildings, stocks and bonds, collectible art, etc) creates wealth that is not taxed, and isn’t spent on a casual impulse.
9. Pay lots of taxes. No, I’m not talking about paying more than you owe, but pay every cent the law requires. Rich folks don’t haggle over nickels and dimes, they invest to make millions! If you can legally avoid taxes, do so! Use the law to your advantage when you can. But juggling the books to hide income or save a few bucks, wastes your time, wastes your energy, creates fear of getting caught, and makes you cheap. Don’t do it!
10. Give it away. You can’t take it with you when you die, and money is not attracted to the selfish, the miserly or the mean. If you would attract money to your life, be clear about what you want to do with it. Contribute to charities that will use it for good. Make the world a better, richer place and you’ll create wealth that will last for generations to come. Your children will thank you!