Category Archives: affluence

Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow

Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow

Some say this gentleman speaks a little differently. Regardless, overlook that and concentrate on this good, simple message!

It’s easy to imagine saving money next week, but how about right now? Generally, we want to spend it. Economist Shlomo Benartzi says this is one of the biggest obstacles to saving enough for retirement, and asks: How do we turn this behavioral challenge into a behavioral solution?

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/shlomo_benartzi_saving_more_tomorrow.html

A video: how to handle money

Another great yet quick video about thinking about, and handling money…..

 

FROM:http://brendonburchard.tumblr.com/post/110086806578/how-to-handle-money

Summary:
If you handle your money in the right way, you can have more, give more, and enjoy your life more.
Here’s what you can do to start taking control of your money now:

1. Revisit your story about money. Where we come from and what we hear about money unconsciously shapes our lives. If you think rich people are negative or that having money is bad, you won’t attain wealth because you don’t want to be negative or bad. If wealth is something that brings you more happiness, joy, and service, you’ll want to make more of it. So, first, redefine what wealth means to YOU!

2. Make sure you automatically invest. When get a check from your employer, have some of the funds automatically go into your savings account or investment account. This way you won’t forget and you won’t spend the money unnecessarily. Automatically investing means your money will be earning money for you and working for you.

3. Ask the question, “How can I add more value in the time in which I serve?” Squeeze in more value. Hustle a little bit more. Serve even more. Adding more value to people in the same amount of time makes you more productive, gets you more recognition, and gives you more opportunities. There’s no traffic beyond the extra mile! Just add a little more than anyone else is doing, and you’ll be in a category of one.

4. Raise your standards for a reward! If you’re a high performer and really adding value but you’re still not being rewarded for your true contribution, raise your minimum of what you will allow in your life. Be bold, push the boundaries, and you will be rewarded.

When you follow these simple steps for handling your money, you will have a positive story about wealth, your money will be earning money for you, you will be adding more value, you will have a higher standard for yourself and you will be experiencing The Charged Life!

Full Transcript:
How to handle money. First, wash your hands. Kidding.…that’s a great question.
How do you handle your money more intelligently so you can have more of it, so you can give more of it, so you can enjoy your life to the next level?
1. Number one, I think you must revisit your orientation to wealth.
If I say to you, ‘rich people,’ what does that bring up for you?
When you think about rich people,what do you think of?
Are they good? Are they bad? Are the rich, 1, 2, 3, 4% of the world good people, bad people?
What are they like?
What are their values like?
Do you want to become one of them?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes you discover that where you live or where you came from or what you heard of about money in your life is absolutely unconsciously driving your life today.
For example, I grew up in a very difficult economic situation. I grew up in a very difficult town and place, an old Irish mining town that had been economically depressed for nearly a century, where people didn’t have a lot, and people really struggled. Very blue collared, tried to get through the day, lots of poverty, lots of people struggling and I can share with you that there was this conversation often, about people on the other side.
There’s people on the other side of the tracks. There’speople on the other side who are wealthier. There was a lot of the culture Igrew up in where, ‘oh, those rich people.’ There was this projection offrustration, restlessness or anger towards ‘rich’ or ‘wealthier’ people, andbecause of that I didn’t ever want to become one of them. So I didn’t, for avery long time.
It’s funny, because one of the basic human drives we have isthe human drive for congruence. We want to be congruent in our thoughts and behaviors.
If we think that a type of person is negative, our body, our mind and our subconscious will do everything it can not to become that. We don’t want to become something that we think is negative.
So if you think wealthy people or rich people are negative, guess what you’re never going to attain? Wealth. And that’s why it’s important to revisit all those old stories and phrases we heard growing up, you know.
‘Money is the root of all evil.’
‘People with money are insensitive.’
‘People with money are selfish.’
If you gain more wealth and success in life you’re just going to be more busy and you’re never going to have time for your family, and you’re going to forget anybody who ever came along with you and ever supported you and all these things. We think this big story about money.
So, what’s your story about money? Is it positive? Is it negative? Is wealth something that will bring you more joy, more happiness, more ability to give and serve and do something with in your life? Or, is it something that terrifies you because you think you won’t be able to handle the obligations that come along with it?
You worry that if you make more money or to make more money you’re going to have to be away from your family more, so you never try.
Most of us have a lot of really bad assumptions about what it would take to succeed, but also what it would take to make more money, and ultimately to keep more money, to sustain more money. Because I bet you also think, ‘oh I heard it’s lonely at the top.’ Well who wants to be lonely? And if rich people are bad, who wants to be a bad person? If rich people are pushing family members away and becoming selfish, who wants to become that?
So you have to redefine what wealth would mean for you specifically, not what the culture told you it could be.
I will share with you that after… I’ve been through the ringer financially in my life. I grew up with nothing and then I started making something in corporate America. I built something of myself. I started working really hard. I got a good job. I started climbing that corporate ladder. I discovered that the corporate world wasn’t for me, and so I left, I quit to start my own dream of doing videos and writing, and doing my seminars and all the things I do now. You know what, I did exactly what people predicted; I promptly went bankrupt. I went broke. I had no idea what I was doing.
It would have been easy at that point, very easy to quit, very easy to say, ‘oh you know what, money’s not for me,’ but I thought I know that sometimes if you don’t have money you can’t sustain the message. If you’re not earning than you can’t keep giving. I thought, ‘I have to change my orientation here. I have to get serious about making money and do it without all the guilt and the nonsense that my culture, the past or the popular media thrusts on people with money.’
Because guess what? There are also philanthropists. There are also people who take money and support their family. They send their kids to college. They get safer cars. They do well in their community. They buy books for kids. They do things that matter with their wealth and matter of fact, that’s most wealthy people.
It’s really hard to believe that if you’re not wealthy yet, but I can share with you, after I had my big breakthrough and I started learning how to build more value in the marketplace, everything shifted for me. For the first time in my life I had money. The funniest thing is, I didn’t even know what to do with it, because I never had it before so it was just there.
Guess what? I started finding things to do with it, no problem, as you will. But those things I found to do with money, they didn’t tear me from my family or make me a bad person. I gave more to charities. I spent more time with my family. I could take them on vacations. We could go to the Caribbean together. I could do things for people I love, little gifts, treats and acknowledgements that made them feel happy.
I found ways to utilize it that made me happy and now I had no negative associations to it anymore. So, all I can encourage you to do if you have any hooks or negativity about rich people, or about wealthy people or about the top 1, 2, 5, 20, 30, 50%. If you have any negative thoughts about people in general, it’s time to clear those up and try to rewrite your own meaning about what it would take and what it would be to have wealth in your life.
2. I think the second thing you already know, I just want to make sure you’re doing that, is that you are automatically investing.
If you’re not already doing that, please do that. It’s so simple. There are so many books on what you need to do. It just basically means, if you are in charge of putting money in your savings or into your investments, you’re in trouble. Because you’re never going to do it. And I’m not saying go hire somebody. It just means, when a check comes to you from your employer, have it automatically divert some funds to a savings account or investments account, so you never even see the money. You don’t have to write the check, you never see it, it’s just gone.
Just take 5 – 20%, whatever you can do, do something. Put it directly into savings or into an investment account. You can ask your banker about it. You can ask anybody about it. You can read tons of books, like The Automatic Millionaire or Money Masters. You can learn how to do this. All it means is you just never see the money, because if you’re in charge you’ll forget or you’ll say, ‘this month i’m not going to do it,’ and then for four months you don’t invest and put your money away.
Warren Buffet was asked, what would he do if his family didn’t have money? What advice would he give them? He said, ‘you know what, to take whatever extra money they do have and put it in an index fund.’ Index funds beat the market over a period of time almost always, not always, but over a period of time they’re one of the safest investments. So put your money there. If you don’t know anything just keep putting money there and over a period of time it seems to do pretty good. It usually seems to work.
You can talk with any investment advisor or your banker to set it up so that your employer’s money comes to you or your business money comes to you, but not into your account. It comes to and through your accounts right into your money market fund, your index fund, and your savings. Just have it happen automatically so you’re never in charge of that money, because if you’re in charge of it you know what you do. You spend it or you lie to yourself and say, ‘one day I’ll put it in there and it’s not earning money for you.’
Once your money is automatically placed in that investment account, that index fund or savings fund, it starts earning money for you and it’s working for you.
Most Americans unfortunately, are going to retire with little to no retirement funds, because they never set it up automatically. Personally, I feel like it should be a political thing that people should have to do it as part of employment. It’s like make sure they’re guaranteeing their future will be okay, but I know that’s very controversial and the reality, now we have such a situation of so many people retiring with no money, not because they’re stupid or bad people, because they didn’t learn to beat human behavior.
Human behavior is to delay. Human behavior is to utilize resources now. So cut yourself out of the equation, and set up the process so that it happens automatically. Money is being diverted into your own account, earning money from you, setting you up. You have to do that.
3. Third, I think it’s important for you to ask, ‘how can I add more value in the time in which I serve?’
Meaning, if your day is eight hours a day for a company, how can you squeeze in more value in that eight hours? I don’t think it’s necessary for you to work 9-10-12-14-15 hours and, I think, for most people that’s a negative thing. It causes too much stress, too much lack of sleep, so their creativity goes down and their productivity goes down. But, if you’re working, within that time you’re working, how can you do a little bit more than the next guy or the next gal? How can you hustle a little bit more? How can you see the connections between what everybody else is doing in the company or what everyone else needs in the company and serve them?
How can you come up with a new idea for your clients, for your customers? It’s about adding more value in the marketplace in the same amount of time that gets you more productive and it gets you to be recognized more for what you’re doing. The janitor, who does more than just sweep the floors, but starts asking intelligent questions around the place in which they work to discover, how can we add more value, starts getting recognized more and soon gets other opportunities.
It’s time to add more value during the same amount of time that you are currently working. Most people are working at a mediocre level, and that’s not to be judgmental, it’s just the reality of the stats, the graphs or efficiency curves. You can tell, most people are just going through the motions in the day. They aren’t adding a tremendous amount of creativity or value they’re just doing what they were told. And so, if you can go beyond that… it’s like that old saying, ‘there’s no traffic beyond the extra mile.’ If you add a little bit more extra than anyone else is doing, you’re flying out there. You’re out there and you’re standing in a world by your own. You’ve gotten to a place where so few people can keep up with you they’re not even around.
People don’t try at work as hard as we think they do. It’s negative to say that, but we can see that from every single productivity study, efficiency studies at workplaces. Most people, because they don’t like their job, they aren’t giving to their job.
But here’s the deal, what if you could teach yourself to like your job by giving more to your job?
What if you could learn to enjoy what you’re doing by thinking of new creative things to add to what you are doing? And by adding new creative things you start to get more results. By getting more results you usually get more recognition and rewards and you start to add value and eventually move on up or get paid more.
Now, in some cases that doesn’t happen, which is why I have this last point.
4. Also, raise your standards for reward.
What do I mean by that? It’s like, if you’re a top contributor, if you’re what we call a high performer… many of you know I teach a program called High Performance Academy, I hope you attend it, it’s one of the best programs in personal and professional development in the US today. I can share with you, what we know at High Performance Academy, if you’re a higher performer, if you are giving and you are not being recognized it’s time to leave or to have a very honest conversation with the people around you and say look, ‘I’m giving a lot. I feel like I’m doing great value of service here and I don’t feel like I’m being compensated enough, so I need to have a forthright conversation of whether or not it’s time for us to revisit my contract or it’s time for me to leave.’
You have to have the boldness in life like that. If you are not being rewarded for your true contribution and you have to question it, because lots of people are entitled and say, ‘I’m contributing so much.’ And you look at it like no, you’re really not, you’re contributing the same as the 15 people around you.
But if you’re really raising the bar on yourself and you’re really hustling and adding value then guess what? You deserve to be compensated. And if you’re not, it’s time to look for new places to go work. It’s time to look for new job opportunities or new employment or entrepreneurial opportunities.
Raise your standards. Raise the expectation. Raise your minimums. Raise your minimums of what you will allow in your life that is not good for you, do something that honors or respects you. Raise your minimums of what you expect out of your bank account. If your only expectation, if every month you’re like, ‘gosh I hope I’m going to have $500 in my bank account this month.’ You’re never going to become wealthy, ever! It’s mean to say that, especially when you’re there and I’ve been there. I’ve been in places where I couldn’t afford a burrito, so believe me I get it sucks when you don’t have money.
But if your only expectation is, ah you know, I hope I have $500 and every month you have $500 and you’re coasting through at $500, you’re never going to become wealthy. Because, at some point, you have to say, ‘what is that number for me that I can aspire to and work myself into?’
A lot of people who discover that six figure job, that $100,000 job, when you interview and ask them, how’d you end up at a six figure job? They all say the same thing. They say, ‘I started looking for a six figure job.’ You’re like ‘whoa!’ Isn’t that amazing?
How’d you end up in a six figure job? They started looking for jobs that were like that and they earned their way into it. They got the experiences or the results that were necessary to earn their way into it or, they just went buck wild crazy and started applying for jobs that were beyond their capabilities and some of them got lucky enough to get hired into them and that’s what happened. Sometimes to get paid at the next level you need to move your city, you need to move to another place, you need to move the employer, you need to quit, and you need to do something new.
But, you shouldn’t be afraid of doing something new that could potentially bring some new value, new lifestyle into your life experience. Sometimes you have to be bold, try new things, push the boundaries, and I think the more you do that with your career, your entrepreneurial opportunities, the way you look at money then you start to experience what we call, The Charged Life.

7 Steps for Creating the Life YOU Want

7 Steps for Creating the Life YOU Want

Stairway in blue heavensWe all aspire to do, be and have great things. Yet most of us simply aren’t creating the results we want. We complain that we don’t have enough money, romance, success or joy in our lives. We point fingers and blame outside problems that “happen” to us and make life more difficult. But what we need to understand and keep at the forefront of our minds is that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out of ourselves. Regardless of personal circumstances, economic climates, and access to resources, it helps to maintain faith in the fact we each are more powerful than we think. We all have the ability to create the life we want. We just need to learn how to do it. Is there an exact “formula”? No, but there are certain common features that successful people exhibit and that anyone can practice. They are what can jumpstart your success and attract what you want in life. You’d be hard pressed to find any high achiever who doesn’t live by the following 7 tips:

1. Take No Less than 100% Responsibility for Your Life

One of the greatest myths that is pervasive in our culture today is that you are entitled to a great life and that somehow, somewhere, someone is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist. But the real truth is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you. Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello! I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but the mind can play games, tricking plenty of people into thinking external factors are the source of failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that external factors don’t determine how you live. You are in complete control of the quality of your life. Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don’t waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

2. Be Clear Why You’re Here

I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they’re here to do, and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, then just tune in to the signals around you. Looking toward others for help and guidance is helpful, but don’t forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, likes and dislikes, and life experiences. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. If you need to, write it all down. You might be surprised by what you discover.

3. Decide What You Want

It sounds so simple, but here’s the problem: I see plenty of people who are overly-busy yet who feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They are physically tired, spiritually drained, and far from where they’d like to be—as if they’ve been running on a treadmill going nowhere fast. Why? Because they haven’t clearly mapped out what they want and then taken the steps to get there. Rather than identifying specific goals, milestones, and dreams (and I’m talking BIG dreams and goals here), they go through the motions day in and day out tackling unimportant tasks. They end up…you guessed it…going in circles and wasting lots of energy. In the meanwhile, they grow increasingly uninspired and out of touch with their authentic selves. This, of course, sets anyone up to living a life out of balance. One of the main reasons why most people don’t get what they want is they haven’t decided what they want. They haven’t defined their desires in clear and compelling detail. What does success look like to you? Not everybody’s definition of success is the same, nor should it be. Don’t let your inner devil’s advocate (or that incessant but unimportant To Do list) inhibit you from dreaming big. As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also compel others to want to play big, too.

4. Believe It Is Possible

Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they’re learning that instead we respond to what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next. In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument; it can deliver literally everything you want. But you have to believe that what you want is possible. As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to toning down the complaint department. Look at what you are complaining about. I’m fat. I’m tired. I can’t get out of debt. I won’t ever get a better job. I can’t stand the relationship I have with my father. I’ll never find a soulmate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

5. Believe in Yourself

If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes; the abilities, inner resources, talents and skills to create your desired results. Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to believe that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.

6. Become an Inverse Paranoid

This one is straightforward: Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. Successful people do just that.

7. Unleash the Power of Goal Setting

Experts on the science of success know the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever goal you give to your subconscious mind, it will work day and night to achieve. To engage you subconscious mind, a goal has to be measurable. When there aren’t any criteria for measurement, it is simply something you want, a wish, a preference, or a good idea. Sometimes we need to make just one initial goal to get started, and that’s okay. At least it comes with a few actions to achieve. A first step simply can be making an immediate change in a single area in your life. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself. Making a change might be uncomfortable and overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain? You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices. Bear in mind that you have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you’ve already taken an initial step in the right direction, now’s the time to plan more steps to keep moving you forward faster. Isn’t it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn’t it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else? So if you need just one thing to do different today than you did yesterday, make it this: Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you’ll discover it is much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!


  WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul®and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Courage to Take that First Step

A good article from Craig Ballantyne and Early to Rise…

Action Takers Rule the World

As Mark Ford correctly points out in his book, “The Reluctant Entrepreneur”, most business owners do not bet the farm. They take little bets. Little bets start with having the courage to take the first step. Today, Ryan Murdock shows you how. I did it, he did it, and you can do it too.Craig Ballantyne”If you’re always thinking about possibility, you’ll find it. You’ll always be creating your future.” – Sir Ken Robinson


How to Find the Courage to Take that First Step

by Ryan Murdock

It was 9:30am on a Wednesday. And I was sitting in a bathroom stall in an office building in Ottawa writing Communist slogans on the toilet paper.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a Communist by any possible stretch of the imagination. I was doing this in an effort to stay sane. Working as a temp in a government office where not a single person bothered to learn my name was starting to get me down, and drastic measures were called for.

And so each morning on my break I stuck a felt tipped marker in my back pocket and went to the toilet. I rolled down the paper and wrote things like “Power to the People!” or “The Party is Always Right”. And then I rolled it back up again.

I spent the rest of my mornings unfastening endless piles of research grant applications and putting them into a different order, because the applicants hadn’t followed the directions. I was grateful for the money, of course. But it was mind numbingly boring.

Whenever I began to feel my soul draining out of me, I pictured some guy in the bathroom peeling off a strip of toilet paper and finding one of those slogans. His first reaction was likely to be, “What the….?” quickly followed by, “Why…?” And then hopefully he’d start laughing like he hadn’t laughed in years. I wanted to bring a little sunshine into that otherwise grey world.

I hated that job. I hated every job I ever had. I woke up swearing every morning. I swore in the shower and I muttered profanity under my breath all the way to work. I felt useless because the work I was doing had no meaning. I wasn’t drawing on my talents. I wasn’t making the world a better place. And I felt trapped because the pay I earned was barely enough to live on, and I didn’t have any savings.

I wanted to write, and I knew my words would add value to other people’s lives. But I couldn’t see a way to make enough money to survive at it.

I finally reached a point where that didn’t matter anymore. I couldn’t imagine a more miserable life than the one I was already in. And so I vowed to make a living by doing what I loved — or starve to death trying. And I meant it in every fiber of my being.

When the contract ended, I asked the temp agency to remove my name from their list. And that was the last actual “job” I ever had.

Since then I’ve met an awful lot of people who feel trapped by the miserable circumstances of their lives. They’re completely unhappy. But when I ask them why they don’t change, they say they’re afraid to take the first step.

Well I’ll let you in on a secret…

You don’t need courage to take that first step. You just need to focus on two things: hate and desperation.

You already know that I hated my old job so much that even the worst failure was better than going back to that office. But where does “desperation” come in?

Fast forward to a couple years later. I was earning a little money from my writing, but we were still living on my wife’s salary as a translator in the automotive industry.

Payment for freelance work was irregular at best, and I needed money to pay some bills. Badly. By the middle of next week. And I had no idea how I was going to get it.

I had no one to borrow from. I didn’t have a job. And I wasn’t expecting checks from any magazine publishers either — not that you can ever count on “Check’s in the mail” from them!

What did I do? I drew on everything I learned in my 20+ years of martial arts training. It was the only other thing I could consider myself a legitimate “expert” in. I drove over to Future Shop and bought a mini-DV video camera and some editing software with my credit card. Then I sat down with a paper and pencil and wrote a list of every crazy push up variation I could think of. I got on the floor and made up a bunch of new ones too.

I filmed it all as a 25-minute tutorial, named it Beyond Pushups, uploaded it to a website called E-Junkie, and linked it to my PayPal account. And then I posted a teaser and description of my program on a fitness forum where I was a certified coach, and I emailed the link to everyone I knew.

I set the price at $10. My wife didn’t think I’d even be able to pay for the camera. She gave me a smug look and said, “And then what are you going to do?”

I plugged my ears and went to bed. And when I woke up the next morning, I had $1,000 in my PayPal account. I paid off the camera and software immediately, and still made a nice little profit.

I ended up filming several more of those downloadable tutorials in the following months. One on ab exercise variations, one on ankle strength, and one on mobility drills using a stick. My audience loved them. Each one sold better than the previous installment, and always for $10.

People would write to me and say, “Why are you giving this away for so little? You could easily make it into a full DVD!”

But I didn’t raise the price. I over delivered and built loyalty and trust with my audience instead. And six months later, I coauthored a larger online product with a friend. We called it Bodyweight Exercise Revolution and it made $10,000 in its first month.

Fast forward again — this time by 3 or 4 years. That coauthored program evolved into a business partnership. Adam Steer and I created and sold many more online fitness programs through a site called BodyweightCoach.com. And today we’ve got a seven figure business called Shapeshifter Media, where we help other new authors publish their work in the online fitness niche.

So yeah, that’s what I tell people when they ask me, “How do you get the courage to take that first step?”

In my experience you need two things:

1) Hate: you have to hate where you are right now so much that staying the same is far worse than the discomfort it’ll take you to change.

2) Desperation: sometimes you have to back yourself into a corner so you’re forced to come up with creative solutions.

I hated my job so much that staying there was worse than the risk of trying to live my dream and starving to death. And I needed that moment of desperation — having bills to pay but no money to pay them with — to free up my imagination so it could find a creative solution.

But thankfully you don’t have to do anything dumb to get that desperation. There’s no need to go into massive debt, or poke a lion with a stick. It can be something as simple as setting a really tight deadline. Or buying a one-way ticket to a place you’re scared to travel.

Try it today. Rig the game in your favor and commit to your goal in public. You’ll be amazed at the creative solutions you come up with.

And don’t sweat it too much if you hate your current circumstances with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I hated mine too. Transform that energy into positive momentum instead.

Tell us what first step you are ready to take.

Share Rate today’s article

[Ed. Note: Ryan Murdock is the author of Personal Freedom: A Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams. When not helping people find their own brand of personal freedom, Ryan travels the world’s marginal places as Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Outpost magazine. He recently released his first travel book, called Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America

Is your business listed here? Make it better

Is your business listed here? Maybe you can learn a little what you can do to make it better?
· The E-Myth Real Estate Brokerage: Why Most Real Estate Brokerages Don’t Work and What to Do About It

  • · The E-Myth Accountant: Why Most Accounting Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Insurance Store Why Most Insurance Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Physician: Why Most Medical Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Financial Advisor: Why Most Advisory Firms Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Chiropractor Why Most Chiropractic Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Landscape Contractor: Why Most Landscape Contractors’ Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Architect: Why Most Architectural Firms Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • The E-Myth Optometrist: Why Most Optometrist Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Contractor: Why Most Contractors’ Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Dentist: Why Most Dental Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It

· FYI Only – I‘ve read a few of Michael Gerber’s books and had friends tell me some of the above are good. Some things you may even already know, but good refreshers… Good luck.

How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior; $, time

How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior

A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let’s hear now about a new book that explores a major source of stress. The book is called “Scarcity” and it’s a look at what happens to us when we’re pressured with too little time or too little money. The authors say “Scarcity” actually changes how we think. NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam explains.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Each September the state of Massachusetts asks one thing from “Scarcity” author and Harvard economist, Sendhil Mullainathan, to renew his car inspection sticker and each year this recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award does the same thing. He’s really busy, so on each day leading up to the expiration of the sticker, he tells himself he’ll attend to it the next day.

SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN: One more day of delay, I mean, what’s the big deal?

VEDANTAM: Pretty soon, Mullainathan finds himself driving around Boston with an expired sticker.

MULLAINATHAN: The sticker is three months expired and now you’re doing all sorts of stuff, like you’re driving down the street, oh, look, there’s a cop. I better make a right turn so he doesn’t see my expired sticker.

VEDANTAM: Turning the wrong way makes Mullainathan late for a meeting or late for class. Now, he has to spend time fixing the mistake, rescheduling meetings with students, playing catch-up. His next day gets even busier. Now, he definitely doesn’t have time to fix that sticker.

MULLAINATHAN: I do this constantly. Right now, I’ve got a meeting to get to. I don’t have the time to replace the sticker. Whereas, the truth is, the enormous amount of distortions I’ve now made for the last three months because of the stupid sticker add up to five times as much time as I would’ve spent just going and having it fixed.

VEDANTAM: Mullainathan recently decided to think about his behavior like a researcher would. Was he just a busy absentminded professor or was there something else going on? He thought about research in his own field. He studies the economics of poverty. Lots of studies show poor people tend to make bad financial decisions, the kind that land them in ever deeper cycles of debt.

Mullainathan realized there was an unexpected connection between his behavior and the behavior of the people he studied.

MULLAINATHAN: Just as the poor mismanage their money, isn’t it astonishing how badly I mismanage my time?

VEDANTAM: Not having enough money and not having enough time, might not seem like similar things, but psychologically, they are similar. You’re running low on something you desperately need, you feel the pinch of scarcity. Mullainathan turned to a colleague of Princeton, the psychologist Eldar Shafir. That conversation lead to the book, “Scarcity,” which they wrote together.

Just as Mullainathan was asking why he mismanaged his own time, Shafir said he was asking why the poor make bad financial decisions.

ELDAR SHAFIR: Perhaps it’s the context of poverty itself, being in that context, that brings about a very special psychology, a psychology that’s particular to not having enough. And in that psychology brings out problematic outcomes.

VEDANTAM: After lots of research Mullainathan and Shafir have concluded that when you don’t have something you desperately need, the feeling of scarcity works like a trap. In a study looking at poor farmers in India, for example, the researchers found that farmers tended to be better planners and thinkers when they were flush with cash. But right before harvest, when they were strapped for cash, Mullainathan says their brains focused only on short term goals.

MULLAINATHAN: When you have scarcity and it creates a scarcity mindset, it leads you to take certain behaviors which in the short term help you manage scarcity, but in the long term only make matters worse.

VEDANTAM: Poor farmers, for example, tend to weed their fields less often than wealthy farmers. It’s the same with being super busy. The busier Mullainathan got, the harder it became for him to make time to get his car sticker. In fact, there was a short term reward for not getting the sticker. On each day he didn’t get the sticker renewed, he saved a little time to devote to other pressing demands.

But each delay made things worse the next day. Scarcity, whether of time or money, tends to focus the mind on immediate challenges. You stretch your budget to make ends meet. People in the grip of scarcity are tightly focused on meeting their urgent needs, but that focus comes at a price. Important things on the periphery get ignored.

MULLAINATHAN: That’s at the heart of the scarcity trap. You’re so focused on the urgent that the important gets waylaid. But because the important gets waylaid, you’re experiencing even more scarcity tomorrow.

VEDANTAM: Mullainathan and Shafir think we ought to change how we think about poverty and how we think about time. When poor people and busy people run short of money or time, we tend to blame them.

MULLAINATHAN: There’s this presumption in our entire social policies here that mistakes happen because of willful negligence and I think just understanding that, yes, we need incentives to prevent willful negligence, but we also need a way to recognize that no matter how hard somebody tries, there will be mistakes.

VEDANTAM: It might be possible to reduce the impact of mistakes caused by scarcity. The poor farmer in India might need repeated reminders about weeding. One might not be enough. The minimum wage worker in America might need a couple of extra days to pay her bills instead of being slapped with a fine one day after payment is due.

For busy people, Shafir says a respite from scarcity might mean penciling in a block of time in their calendar so long term things have a chance to bubble up.

SHAFIR: One of the few things I’ve learned from the book which I try to adhere to now is throughout my day, when I have a day that’s, you know, scheduled moment by moment throughout the day, fully packed, I try to arrange a couple of half hour chunks, half hour slots that are unplanned.

VEDANTAM: If you try to make an appointment with Shafir at that time, he’ll tell you he has a meeting. What he doesn’t tell you is that the meeting is with himself. Shankar Vedantam, NPR News.

Save To Win’ Makes Saving As Much Fun As Gambling

Save To Win’ Makes Saving As Much Fun As Gambling

by Shankar Vedantam

January 06, 2014 5:07 AM
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One of the most common resolutions people make at the start of each year is to save more money. Researchers concluded if you want to help people save money, preaching isn’t gonna cut it. You have to make saving money as fun as a visit to a casino.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, saving more money is often a popular one. Actually being able to do that – well, we know how that story usually ends. But researchers may have come up with a winning method. NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, we are all ears.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Carolann Broekhuizen is a retired life insurance claims examiner. She lives in Waterford, Michigan. Whenever she has a little extra money, there are some things she likes to do.

CAROLANN BROEKHUIZEN: I do buy lottery tickets. I will buy the state raffle tickets on occasion. There are several casinos locally and I will go to one of them with friends every now and again, when I have a little bit of play money.

VEDANTAM: Broekhuizen never gets in over her head. And she doesn’t mind losing. In fact, she expects to lose money. The reason she gambles is because she enjoys it. Researchers have been studying people like Broekhuizen and they’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to help people save money, preaching isn’t gonna cut it. You have to make saving money as fun as a visit to the casino.

A couple of years ago, when Broekhuizen visited her credit union, she was told about a program called Save to Win. If she stashed some money away, she would get a shot at a grand prize of $10,000. The more money she saved, the more opportunities she’d have to win.

BROEKHUIZEN: I said, you know, why not? It’s saving for retirement. That can’t hurt.

VEDANTAM: Broekhuizen kept putting money away but just like her visits to the casino, she didn’t win the big prize.

BROEKHUIZEN: I thought it was a one-year program, to be all honest with you. And I didn’t hear anything the first year, so I assumed I did not win.

VEDANTAM: Even though she was a little disappointed, Broekhuizen says she liked the fact she could win something extra while saving for retirement. Then, a few months ago, she got a phone call out of the blue.

BROEKHUIZEN: The person identified themselves as being from my credit union. My first thought was that a check had bounced and I wasn’t real happy. And then she went on to explain that I had won the cash prize, and beyond that I couldn’t think for a while because something like this happens to other people; it doesn’t happen to me.

VEDANTAM: Broekhuizen’s Community Alliance credit union is one of several credit unions in Michigan that features the Save to Win program. It is also active in a handful of other states. Economists aren’t surprised the program is getting people to save. At the University of Maryland, Emel Filiz-Ozbay recently conducted a controlled scientific experiment into the benefits of prize-linked savings programs. She found people save more and are more willing to leave their savings untouched if saving comes packaged as a lottery.

EMEL FILIZ-OZBAY: We found that indeed people seem more patient or more willing to wait additional weeks to get more money when it is offered in lottery-like form.

VEDANTAM: The catch, Filiz-Ozbay says, is that banks in most states are not allowed to offer such programs because private institutions are not allowed to run lotteries. But she says policy makers ought to know these programs are different than regular lotteries.

FILIZ-OZBAY: Unlike the standard lotteries, the consumer is not losing the initial capital, initial principal. So what you invest is always there, you are not losing it. In the lottery, once you buy the ticket, if you don’t win the prize, money’s gone.

VEDANTAM: Back in Michigan, Carolann Broekhuizen has a theory about why she won the $10,000 prize.

BROEKHUIZEN: My mother passed away earlier in the year and I just looked up after it had a chance to sink in, I looked up and said thank you, Mom.

VEDANTAM: In homage to her mom – and the spirit of the prize – Broekhuizen didn’t go on a spending spree. She took the money and stashed it away in her savings. Shankar Vedantam, NPR News.

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