How to build wealth from nothing – 5 Top Tips

How to build wealth from nothingThere’s nothing anyone can do if you were born poor. That was just unfortunate. However you don’t have to go through life poor.

It is possible to build wealth over time and people do.

Many people born poor become very wealthy through their own efforts and you can too dear reader.

Here are five tips to help you build wealth from nothing.

How to build wealth from nothing:

1. Pay yourself first:

You’ll know I’m sure that making money can be relatively easy, whilst holding on to it is very, very hard.

We’re all constantly bombarded with reasons why we should spend our money in return for some fleeting sense of gratification. Would that be an experience you recognise dear reader?

It doesn’t have to be that way of course and rich people know that only too well.

So what do rich people do that’s different to everyone else? Simple! They always pay themselves first.

And what do I mean by paying yourself first?

I mean when you’re paid, you take a slice off the top of your income immediately and you put it away somewhere safe. And by a slice I mean say 10%.

And what do I mean by somewhere safe?

Well initially that would be depositing your money in an interest-bearing account.

However once your money starts building into a larger sum then you can start thinking about other forms of investment that’ll give you greater returns potentially. Stocks and bonds for instance.

Building a capital sum is important because as your money grows it starts to generate a second income stream for you. That may not seem important to you now but it will be as you get older.

So paying yourself first is a discipline to which you must adhere until it becomes a habit you do without thinking.

You must always put some money away and you must make that money work hard for you. You must grow and protect your investment portfolio with careful diversification and over time you’ll find yourself building a sizeable fortune.

So here’s today’s mantra for you: Pay Yourself First. Never forget that please dear reader.

2. Be an investor not a speculator:

You must understand that there’s a big difference between investing and speculation. They’re not the same thing at all.

I don’t wish to imply that there’s something wrong with speculation though. There isn’t.

In the world of finance speculation brings liquidity to the market and therefore it does have its place.

However speculation tends to operate on the ‘greater fool’ principle.

By that I mean someone is prepared to buy an asset for a given price in the hope that it can then be sold quickly to someone else, the greater fool, for a greater price.

This is what professional speculators do and they can make money this way because they know what they’re doing and they have sophisticated systems to support them.

However for ordinary people speculation is like gambling in a casino. And you should never invest your money as though you’re gambling in a casino.

You might get lucky occasionally of course but over time your losses will outstrip any gains you might make, and almost certainly by a significant margin.

So my recommendation to you dear reader is you should never speculate. Instead you should focus on becoming an investor.

By investing I mean buying stocks and shares in solid, well managed, cash-generative businesses which have the ability to pay good dividends on a sustained basis.

Buy stocks worth holding for the long term. This will provide you with a steady income stream from the dividends regardless of any short to medium term volatility in the market. And spread your risk by building a diversified portfolio.

If you reinvest your dividends then over time you will find that this approach should give you a good return on your money.

If you want to make money and build capital, then my advice to you dear reader is to be an investor not a speculator.

3. Focus on value not price:

The legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

With this observation he’s making a very important point. There’s a distinction between price and value.

A low price for an asset doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be getting value. And a high price doesn’t automatically mean you would not be getting value. Price in itself is not a measure of value. You must consider other factors to judge value.

When you’re buying any financial asset, says stocks and shares, you should always focus on value and you must establish metrics by which you can adequately judge the intrinsic value within that asset.

Judged in isolation price is just a number, nothing more.

A lower price means absolutely nothing if you’re getting little or no value in return for your money.

Never, ever forget that it’s the intrinsic value that will determine whether something is really worth buying or not.

Get real value at the right price and then you can get a decent return over time from an investment.

4. Create a personal private income:

Much as we all aspire to do work we love, you must never forget dear reader that ultimately work is simply a means to an end.

Essentially work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. In turn that money is then the fuel on which we run our lives.

Money provides us with the means to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and those of our loved ones of course.

If you work hard enough you can earn a lot of money.

Manage that money wisely and you can build capital. Invest that capital intelligently and you can create your own personal private income streams.

When you have a decent private income in your own right then you can truly pick and choose the work you do.

Then you only have to do what you enjoy doing; that thing that gives you a genuine sense of purpose.

Creating a personal private income is a worthy goal and it’s well worth the effort.

That way you’re in control of your own life and no one else can dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

You’ll be in control of the good ship ‘Me’ and only you then decide where it goes.

The message here is, work hard so you don’t have to work hard.

5. Never forget what matters most:

It would be very easy to believe that a life filled with lots of money and materiality will make you blissfully happy. Well let me tell you dear reader, in isolation, it won’t.

I’m not suggesting that these things are not important but you must get your priorities right.

Yes of course, go out there and make money. Manage it carefully. Buy nice things and enjoy some of that money too.

However to be truly happy you must never lose sight of the most important thing in your life and that is family and friends. People are social animals; we’re not solitary like cats. We need other people and most of all we need our loved ones.

So make time for your loved ones, especially your children. Enjoy their company and make the most of every minute with them.

Never focus on work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important of course but people are much more important.

Never lose sight of the people in your life.

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8 Top Business Tips for Success

Tips for Business SuccessIntroduction:

I read an article recently about a guy with a college degree who was feeling disillusioned because he couldn’t find a job. At least not one that met his expectations relative to the type of job he felt his degree merited.

Well it’s a tough world out there, as I’m sure you know only too well dear reader, and despite what some people may think, the world doesn’t owe us a living. The world owes us nothing and it’s down to us to make a life for ourselves.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in return for money and there will always be people with stuff that needs doing. So rather than seeking a job, perhaps we’d all be better off if we focused on seeking customers for the services we could provide.

That’s at the heart of what business is all about, providing people with solutions to their problems for profit, and there is much to be said for becoming an entrepreneur.

The advantages of self-employment:

There are many advantages to being self-employed.

For instance, not having to deal with office politics is a big advantage for a start.

And of course being the beneficiary of all of the proceeds of your efforts is another good reason.

Instead of making a lot of money for other people, you make it all for yourself. The harder you work the more you make for yourself too.

Unless you’re a lawyer or an investment banker, the chances are the only way you’ll ever make serious money is through building your own business. Building a business that one day you’ll be able to sell for a lot of money.

However remember this; you might think that if you’re self-employed then you’re your own boss. Well that’s not true. The customer is the boss.

Serve customers badly and you won’t be serving them for very long, that’s for sure.

The first rule of business is that you must ‘know thy customer’.

You must gain a deep understanding of the products, services and marketing that will appeal to your target customer.

One size will not fit all and each market will require a different approach.

Now going into business is not for the faint-hearted. You must be prepared to work very hard, at least in the early days.

However, if you can provide your target customers with real solutions to real problems then you can make serious money.

If someone else is already offering a solution to the target problem then your solution must be better than theirs in some way if it is to sell.

Creating great products and offering great customer service is the route to business success. However never forget your reputation and image. These things matter too.

Make sure you create an image that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Running your own business will be a challenge but it can also be extremely rewarding, both financially and in terms of a sense of achievement.

Remember also that running a small business is not a whole lot different to running a large business. The only real difference is one of scale. The key issues are always the same.

So here are some tips for would-be entrepreneurs:-

Business Tips for Success:

1. Control your costs:

Money comes into your business and money goes out. It’s that simple.

However fail to ensure that the former is always greater than the latter and trouble will follow at some point, whatever the size of your business.

A bigger business might be able to weather the storm a bit longer but the consequences of expenditure consistently exceeding income will be the exactly same. Keep losing money and eventually your business will go bust.

Take every opportunity to maximize your revenue and always keep your costs as low as you can. And never, ever lose sight of cash flow.

Don’t spend money unless it is absolutely necessary.

Ask yourself, do I really need to spend this money? What will I get in return? Can I achieve the same result at less or even no cost?

It might surprise you to learn how frequently it is possible to avoid cost, whilst still doing all the things big businesses do.

The key message here is that you must keep an iron-grip on costs and you must manage the flow of money carefully.

2. Do your own market research:

Every product should solve a problem for your customer and you should have some idea of what that problem is and how your product will solve it relative to the products offered by your competition.

Just because you think you’ve got a great product, doesn’t mean you have in the eyes of customers. Your opinion means nothing if there are not enough people willing to buy your product at the price you’re trying to charge for it.

If your product won’t sell then potentially your business could be in trouble.

Perhaps you think you’ve spotted a gap in the market?

If it’s a genuine gap then you might be on to a winner. However a gap in the market doesn’t always guarantee that there is a market within that gap. Maybe there’s a reason for the gap which you’ve yet to understand.

In business, the trick is to find out what people really want and then offer it to them.

How do you find that out?

One very good way is simply to ask them yourself.

I’m not referring to your family and friends here. They’ll be far too polite to give you any meaningful feedback.

You must talk to real customers, if and when you have them, and potential customers.

You can conduct some of your own market research in your local shopping mall or wherever you think your target customers might congregate. And don’t be shy. Only by actually talking to people can you confirm whether your ideas have real potential.

So identify some basic questions, stand there with a clipboard and just start asking people, as politely as possible.

Often they’ll be far more helpful than you might expect.

And don’t forget you can always use the Internet too.

Search engines like Google have keyword search tools which are free to use. These tools allow you to get a ‘rough and ready’ measure of what people are searching for and how frequently.

Market research doesn’t have to be expensive. As a small business entrepreneur it is possible to do it yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this activity but it’s essential that you do it.

Your results might not be quite as scientific as those produced by the professional market research people but they will provide you with a rough guide and that’ll be good enough in the first instance.

3. Advertising costs money: is there a better way?

It’s true that visibility matters. For your business and your products it’s essential.

Your products might be the best in the world but they won’t sell at all if potential customers have no idea they exist. Surely that much is obvious.

The question is, how does any business ensure that customers have visibility of its products? The obvious answer is advertising of course.

However media advertising can be very expensive and it’s a cost which new businesses often cannot afford.

One small advert in the back of a glossy magazine can cost you a lot of money and yet you have to ask yourself whether that would be money well spent?

How often do you notice the small advertisements in the back of a magazine? In my case, the answer is not very often.

With so many advertisements competing for my attention I tend to filter them all out. I’m willing to bet that you do too dear reader.

So, if you’re not careful, money spent on advertising can be money wasted in my experience.

A better approach might be to use some creative thinking with a focus on public relations.

Smart entrepreneurs know that business is show business. It’s all about getting noticed.

For example the entrepreneur Richard Branson is a brilliant exponent at getting media attention at little or no financial cost to his business.

It helps that he’s a likeable guy of course but he’s also clever and creative in his approach.

If you have an interesting back story perhaps the local press, local radio or even television might be willing to run a story on you and your business and the products you have to offer?

Social media can be a very powerful medium for gaining attention for your business too.

Social media is also a useful way of driving traffic to your company’s website, particularly Pinterest which is an incredible tool.

Then there’s using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques on your website content to ensure you drive traffic to your site from the search engines.

Let’s face it you do need to appear on the first page of a Google search if there’s to be any chance of anyone noticing you and your business. However if you can make that happen you can get enormous amounts for traffic from Google and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo.

Make sure you offer visitors to your company website the opportunity for signing up to a regular email newsletter. And give them an incentive to sign up.

This could be a free report or perhaps a discount code for one of your products.

How about running a competition using your company’s fan page on Facebook or your company website?

The price of say a smartphone or a Kindle or other electronic device as a prize would be cheaper than the cost of a small advert in a glossy magazine but it’s more likely to get noticed and it’ll probably generate a lot more excitement.

If you have a car or van; don’t forget that it can be emblazoned with your company logo, your website details and product information on the back, sides and front. Even on the roof.

It would be free advertising as you’re driving around.

Park your vehicle at a big event attended by thousands of people and you’re beginning to master the art of guerrilla marketing.

The bottom line is that creative thinking and public relations can produce powerful results in your quest for visibility at a fraction of the cost of advertising. The key message is; be creative.

4. Don’t make yourself indispensable:

The biggest mistake any entrepreneur or business manager can make is to think that every decision should be made by them.

If you’ve started a business from scratch you tend to form an emotional bond with it. It becomes your baby and you become very protective of it.

That’s natural of course but as the business grows you’ll have so many things to do that you couldn’t possibly do them all. You could try, of course. However if you try to do everything you’ll find yourself falling behind in key areas like product sourcing, sales and keeping your accounts up to date.

Fall behind and it becomes very hard to catch up. Potentially it is also very damaging for the business.

So you have to learn the art of delegation.

A good start would be to document every task and process within the business and then create an Operations Manual. This can include everything from the preferred method for answering the phone to completing invoices and dealing with complaints.

It can also include the degree of flexibility which you are delegating to staff, so they can get on with basic tasks allowing you to get on with those activities which are much more important for achieving business success.

No business should be dependent solely on one person.

If it is and that person gets seriously ill or has an accident then obviously the business would be in trouble very quickly and it would struggle.

Delegate basic activities to your staff and you can be sure that the business will continue to function even when you’re not around.

It will also give you a bit more thinking time for steering to the company towards bigger and better things.

The key message here is that you must delegate. Never delude yourself into thinking that only you can do a particular task.

5. Charge sensible prices:

It’s easy when you’re a small business to undervalue your products and your time. The result is that you undercharge for what you have to offer.

This is particularly true when professionals are selling their expertise and time on the basis of a consultancy arrangement.

It’s common for first-timers to lack the confidence to charge what they might perceive to be a high rate for their services.

The problem is that selling things cheaply can be counter-productive because customers then think they’re getting an inferior product or service and can be put off.

It is a fact that price can often be used as a proxy measure for quality when your business is being judged.

You have to be very business-like when considering the pricing of your products and services.

So look at what your competitors are charging and then analyse where you think your products and services fit into the market.

If you struggle with that idea then you can always seek guidance from someone else, like a fellow business owner or your accountant.

However you must always remember that you must believe in your products and services. If you don’t then why should anyone else?

You must project confidence.

If you don’t have the courage of your convictions then the chances are that your business will never succeed.

Believe in yourself and charge what you’re really worth. Sell yourself on the basis of the value you bring.

6. Make the best use of technology:

Sometimes small business owners think that because they are small they can act in a small way. However that can be a mistake.

Don’t be afraid to invest in your business. For instance investing in up-to-date technology like the right phone system and websites do not have to be expensive but they can be the difference between a customer contacting you or not.

These days no business, large or small, can operate without a website.

And that website needs to be as user-friendly as it possibly can be.

Make sure your website provides customers and potential customers with the opportunity to sign up for a regular email newsletter. And as suggested earlier, offer them encouragement so they do sign up.

Ensure also that your telephone system allows customers to reach you at their first attempt. Certainly customers won’t make too many attempts to call you before they will simply go elsewhere.

If you don’t know how to do all this yourself then go on a course or seek guidance from someone with the right expertise.

Good communications will pay handsome dividends over time.

7. Set goals:

You have to know what it is you’re trying to achieve, if you are to have any chance of successfully achieving it.

Never set your sights too low either. Set yourself a challenge and then put all your energy into achieving it.

Once you’ve set a goal then you need to establish a plan as to how it is going to be achieved.

For instance if your goal is to achieve a certain level of turnover over the next year, you have to break that down into the small steps you will need to take for it to be achieved.

How many sales will you need to achieve each day, each week and each month?

What implications will those sales targets have for production?

Do you have enough sales staff to generate that amount of business?

And so on.

Always create a plan and review it regularly making adjustments as and when necessary.

8. If you got a great idea then do something with it:

How many great ideas never see the light of day because the person with the idea fails to do anything about it?

And how many times does someone with an idea see someone else come along with the same idea and beat them to market?

Procrastination stops many entrepreneurs from cashing in on a great idea. Don’t let this be you.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to do anything you will be waiting for the rest of your life.

Now is always the perfect time.

Don’t wait until you think the economy will be better or your children have left home or some other arbitrary barrier.

The right time to start your business is right now.

So go for it. Yes you’ll make mistakes. You won’t get everything right first time. You won’t become an instant millionaire either.

However by getting started you will be heading in the right direction and you will learn along the way.

Hard work combined with implementing good ideas will get you there eventually.

Concluding Remarks:

I hope these tips prove useful to you dear reader.

It was not intended to be a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs and I recognise that you may many of your own ideas.

I love to hear them, so please feel free to share them with our readers.

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How to ensure you’re a satisfied customer

Pay beforehand was never well served. ~English Proverb

Have you ever been in a situation where someone is trying to sell you something and seemingly they can’t do enough for you? They promise so much and they seem so keen to ensure that you enjoy a ‘great customer experience‘.

Then you buy, part with your money and suddenly everything changes.

They’d love to help you but that wasn’t included in the sale price, despite you having been given the impression that it was.

This is particularly true with a service.

If you have a tradesman or woman doing work for you, for as long as they haven’t been paid, they’ll do just about anything and everything you ask.

Once they’ve been paid, “they’d love to help you but they’re far too busy”.

The moral of the story is that paying for a service before you’ve actually received it is always a mistake.

You won’t be well served if they’ve already got your money, undoubtedly that’s a fact I’m afraid.

So my message to you is clear dear reader. You pay as little as possible upfront and retain as much as possible until the work has been finished to your complete satisfaction.

Do that and you’ll always be sure to get a job well done. Part with your money first and you’ll be a hostage to fortune.

Tell us about your experiences:

Have you had any bad experiences when making a purchase or with tradespeople?

I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure other readers would love to hear from you too.

So please, add a comment and tell us all about it. Your experience can help someone else avoid being ripped off.

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5 short inspirational quotes that’ll really make you think

Short Inspirational QuotesDon’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

On days when I don’t work I am working on maintaining my image, just like an athlete. ~Linda Evangelista

I would perceive three years at university as a waste of time. I would have made £200,000 by then. ~Lord Sugar

You have to rule the money. Don’t let the money rule you. ~Fil Adams-Mercer

Marriage is an investment that pays dividends if you pay interest. ~Bob Monkhouse

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21 most inspirational quotes about life to empower you to succeed

  1. Inspirational quotes about lifeYou only live once, but if you do it right once is enough. ~Mae West
  2. One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching. ~Gerard Way
  3. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford
  4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others. ~Hasidic Proverb
  5. What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110% all the time. ~Don Zimmer
  6. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis
  7. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney
  8. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
  9. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else. ~Les Brown
  10. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  11. The only way it gets better is when you get better as whatever you do. ~Jim Rohn
  12. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. ~Joshua J. Marine
  13. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. ~Og Mandino
  14. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. ~Maya Angelou
  15. For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded. ~Jack Canfield
  16. Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. ~John Wooden
  17. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ~Zig Ziglar
  18. There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking. ~Brian Tracy
  19. We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. ~Dr Henry Link
  20. If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. ~Steve Jobs
  21. Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities. ~Robert H. Schuller

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Why you must spend some time learning the art of negotiation

Learning the Art of NegotiationYou have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl. ~Claire Danes

A new year is often a time when people decide that it’s the right time to change jobs. For whatever reason they decide it’s time to move on.

That’s fair enough; if you’re not enjoying doing whatever you’re doing or you no longer feel challenged by whatever you’re doing then it’s important to find something that really does get you feeling energised again.

However whilst finding a new job is one thing, getting fair recompense for the value you will add is quite another.

As a hiring manager I’ve always been amazed by how many people settled for the first figure offered to them. It’s surprising just how many people have little or no sense of their own worth relative to their skill-set and the real market value of jobs.

Now it’s important to remember that hiring managers work within budgets obviously and they have a duty to their employers to keep costs as low as possible.

When hiring managers are recruiting they’ll know the market rate for the job on offer, or at least the HR department will and they will have advised the hiring manager accordingly.

Nevertheless dear reader you must recognise that the market rate for any job is not a single figure. The market rate falls within a range and it’s the range that will have been supplied by the HR department.

So when the hiring manager decides that you’re the person they want to hire then in negotiating a package with you they will have that range in mind.

Naturally they’ll want to minimise the impact on their budget and so they will attempt to recruit you at the lower end of that range if that’s possible.

Yes, they’ll recognise that they have to offer you a premium on your current salary if it’s to make sense for you to leave your current employer. After all you’re always taking a degree of risk when you change jobs. And so a risk premium must be paid by the hiring manager.

That premium typically will be an uplift of around 10% – 20% above your current salary.

Beyond that, for the hiring manager, it’s all about securing your services for the lowest rate possible within the market rate range. And from a business standpoint that’s fair enough.

It’s the nature of business after all. If fact in our daily lives we’re all trying to purchase products and services for the lowest rate possible; so why should we expect businesses to be any different?

However as a jobseeker, you should be trying to sell your services for the highest price possible. That too is fair game. You must always look after your own interests because if you don’t then no one else will, that’s for sure.

Think about it. In selling products and services, businesses are trying to sell at the highest price the market will stand so they can generate the highest margins possible for their shareholders.

So why shouldn’t you get the best deal possible for yourself, relative to what the market will stand? You must know your own value and you shouldn’t just accept the first figure on offer.

Essentially it’s all a game of horse-trading. The company almost always makes a low offer, so you must try to negotiate a better offer.

To do that, before going into any negotiation, it’s important that you have some idea of the market rate for the role.

That means you need to have done some research to establish the likely range the hiring manager will be working within.

You also need to have a sales pitch available so you can highlight your own unique selling proposition and why you are worth a bit more.

The key message here is that you don’t just accept the first offer.

In today’s quote, originally recorded in the British newspaper the Financial Times, actress Claire Danes reminds us that there will be more money available and if you ask for more you might just surprise yourself.

In making this observation, modestly Ms Danes said that this was what she had learned from older actresses.

It’s a useful tip for every jobseeker, female or male.

Never be afraid to negotiate and when you leave the table make sure you’re taking away as much as you can within reason.

Once again I cannot emphasise this point too much. You must know your own worth, always.

Don’t be bashful; be business-like and make sure you get a fair share of the pie.

As I said earlier, if you don’t look after your own interests, no one else will.

In the year ahead I recommend that you spend some time learning the art of negotiation. It really is a very useful skill to develop.

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Habits of Success

Habits of successHave you ever wondered why some people are successful and others are not?

In this video Brian Tracy provides some useful advice on the habits you will need to develop if you really do want to be successful.

As always Brian provides us with some great insight into how successful people behave and the structured way in which they work towards turning their goals into achievements.

Whether you’re a fan of Brian Tracy or you just want to be successful, this video is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Watch and learn.

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Why your time is valuable

Time is valuableDo you want to make money from Facebook? It’s easy. Just go to your Account Setting; deactivate your account; and go to work! ~Author Unknown

Dear reader, if you’re not currently successful, would you like to be?

Many readers will answer in the affirmative of course but then they don’t quite know how to realise their dreams. You may be one of them, perhaps?

Well today I offer you one tip that will be useful to you whatever it is you’d really like to do with your life.

If you’re not sure how to become successful then start by looking closely at successful people and you’ll find at least a few clues there.

However allow me to offer you one of those clues now. And that is that if there’s one thing all successful and wealthy people have in common it is that they don’t waste their time.

They know that time is a precious and limited resource and they recognise that they must use it wisely. And in using it wisely they avoid ‘time sucks’.

The biggest time wasters by far are television and social media. People waste hours of their time on both, particularly on social media nowadays.

Now don’t get me wrong, social media can be a very useful tool as a vehicle for communication both professionally and with friends and family.

However it can also be a distraction. And if it’s a distraction then it might just limit your earning power.

Social media really is just a tool. It might be a useful tool but it’s still just a tool.

Use it by all means but be disciplined in your use of social media.

Your time is precious and, if you want to be successful and make serious money, then you need to use your time wisely. That is today’s underlying message.

Spending your time on social media might be entertaining and informative but it’s unlikely to be profitable.

You can spend your time on social media or you can work hard, with a sense of purpose, on realising your goals and your dreams. The choice is yours; and the consequences will be too.

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Why you must know your why

know your whyIt’s the first day of a brand new year and our lives are full of possibility once again.

No matter how bad the old year proved to be for you dear reader, it’s gone now and so you start afresh.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably come up with a few resolutions already. And if you’re serious about your resolutions then perhaps you’re serious about being successful too.

However, what’s the real secret of success?

Why is it that some people are successful and others will never be?

In the embedded video, Hollywood legend, movie star, two-term Governor of California and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his five secret steps to tackling life and achieving success.

Essentially these are his five rules to excel at whatever you choose to do.

He has an interesting story to tell and his story proves that no obstacle is too big to overcome and no vision, too big to achieve, if you’re determined enough and you’re prepared to work hard.

Change the world:

To summarise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules, they are:-

  1. Find your vision and follow it;
  2. Never, ever think small;
  3. Ignore the Naysayers;
  4. Work your ass off; and
  5. Don’t just take, give something back.

However if you listen to Arnold’s story, his burning desire was to move to the United States and become a big star. This was his reason why.

Initially he has no idea how to achieve that goal but a little piece of good fortune came his way.

Arnold happened to read an article in a magazine about a man just like him who achieved just what he wanted to achieve. The article explained how the man did it and Arnold used that success template as the basis for pursuing his own goal.

Identify successful people and do what they did:

Once he knew his why, Arnold Schwarzenegger just needed to work out a way to get there. Knowing your why will always, eventually, lead you to your how.

Once Arnold knew his purpose and his passion, he was always going to find a way. His determination and his willingness to do whatever was necessary saw to that.

Had he not been lucky enough to identify a role model through a magazine article, something else would have guided him because that’s the nature of life. When you’re searching for something you’ll tune in to all the little clues you need.

Once you know your why, you develop a keen sense of that subject and everyone else involved.

Trust yourself:

If you know your why then you’ll have the drive and determination to pursue your goal.

Nothing happens by accident of course. You must make it happen.

So figure out for yourself what it is you really, really want. What would make you happy? What would you regard as a real achievement?

Then find a role model.

Someone who’s done what you want to do. Identify how they did it and copy what they’ve done. If their approach worked for them, it can work for you.

Avoid distractions:

If you want to be successful then don’t allow ‘time sucks’ to throw you off course.

Television and social media are the biggest time wasters of all.

Time is a precious resource and successful people don’t waste it. So if you want to be successful, don’t waste yours. Put every minute to good use.

Know your why

The key message today, both from this article and the embedded video, is that you must know your why.

That’s the starting point for success.

So if you’ve yet to do that then I suggest that’s where you start in this brand new year if you want to be successful.

And remember this; if not you, who? If not now, when?

Other people achieve success and so can you. Good luck.

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Why you should lead a life worth living

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it. ~Harold Kushner

So many young people crave fame and celebrity as a life goal in itself. They see it as a road to riches and a life of hedonistic pleasure.

However what they fail to see, it seems, is how pointless such an existence will become in reality.

Firstly having fame and celebrity comes with its own problems and it’s certainly no guarantee of happiness. Getting the public’s attention is relatively easy but keeping it is a much more difficult proposition.

Which leads naturally to the second point; to be a ‘celebrity’ simply because of any media attention you’ve gained and the notoriety on which it is based means that you trade largely on the ‘car crash’ which your life must gradually become. Your life must be constantly full of drama and each episode must be more dramatic than the last.

The media, whether it’s television, the press or social media, exist to make money not to promote celebrities. They just need drama and content that will attract viewers and readers, which is where so called celebrities can be useful to them.

Celebrity stories appeal to viewers, which is the reason for media interest. However it is the ‘car crash’ celebrity stories that really draw viewers in. So to grab regular media attention you must compete in the ‘my life is out of control’ stakes.

How pointless is that? What a waste of any natural talent you may have, if that’s as far as your ambition goes.

Surely it’s much better to make a difference in life and leave a legacy behind you? Then you’ll be remembered for the difference you made to the lives of others.

No one will remember you just because your name regularly appeared in down-market tabloids for all the wrong reasons.

If that’s all you achieve, in the end you’ll be regarded as just another loser.

So make sure you lead a life worth living and leave this world a better place for you having passed through it. Be remembered for the difference you made to the lives of others.

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