Category Archives: Self-Development
The most tragic thing about the secret to successful investing is that most people completely overlook it. The secret is simply this; time. If you have money, and plenty of time before you’re going to need it, you can confidently sit through tough times in the market, and even sustained down markets like we’ve had over the last few years.
You can also wait confidently for an upward trend to come back and, while you’re doing it, get some bargain prices on stocks at the same time. In other words, time is definitely on your side. (We believe Mick Jagger would definitely agree.)
The average worker doesn’t take advantage of this time however, especially those in the period of their life when they actually have the longest time between starting work and retiring. A recent study showed that, of consumers between the age of 20 and 29 who have access to employer sponsored retirement plans like a 401(k), less than half actually take advantage of them.
In fact, when it comes to excuses about putting off retirement savings, every single one is fundamentally flawed. Let’s take a look.
Excuse #1: I’m too young to start saving for retirement. Even though a person might have 30 or even 40 years ahead of them before retirement comes around, and might have student loans and other debt that they need to pay off, the fact is that if you can give your money and extra 10, 20 or even 30 years to grow, the difference that it will make in your retirement account is massive. Not only that but saving when you’re younger starts a great habit that will serve you well throughout your life.
Excuse #2:The time is wrong to invest. While this sounds reasonable, especially considering that America is still struggling to recover from its recession, the fact is that there is always going to be a reason to not invest. However, when you look at stocks from companies like Starbucks and General Electric, both of which look like they were in seriously bad shape not too long ago, you can see that this logic is flawed. Even in a recession there are plenty of opportunities to pick up stocks an excellent prices.
Excuse #3: You don’t have enough money to invest to really make it worth it. Most people believe that a small amount of money like $50 a week won’t really do much good but, over 30 or 40 years and with the help of compound interest, that small investment could put an extra $30,000 into your retirement account by the time you’re ready to use it.
Simply put, time is definitely the one factor that can make you truly wealthy and, since it’s also exactly the same for every single person, there’s no reason that you can’t use it to your advantage.
The only thing you have to start doing is start using it today. If you don’t, it ends up working against you in the end.
I’ve found that the plight of many consumers is that at one time or another they find themselves grossly underinsured. It doesn’t matter what type of insurance we are referring to, between one policy or another they will find themselves in a financial bind at least once in their lives because of the unexpected. In fact, this has happened to me more times than I want to admit.
When I first graduated college I started with an automotive company and I was kicked off my parents health insurance. My new company had fantastic benefits, but being new to the health care scene I opted for the cheapest monthly premium. It cost me literally nothing each month for full coverage. What I didn’t pay attention to was the catastrophic coverage in case of an emergency. A couple years into the job and I needed to have surgery, an unexpected one at that. That result in an expensive $10,000 surgery that I need to pay out of my own pocket! Had I been paying just a few more bucks a month I would’ve been covered.
I remember when I purchased my first new car, I just graduated high school and used my entire savings as a down payment. Not the most financially responsible thing to do, but I was just a kid after all. Within a week I was rear-ended on the freeway by a very large truck! Because I only cared about having the lowest monthly insurance payment and not the coverage itself, I ended up paying for an expensive rental out of my own pocket for the next several weeks. That cost far exceed the few measly dollars it would’ve cost me extra each month to have rental coverage. Live and learn I suppose.
This takes me to my current day situation, and the life lessons I have learned. There are two areas that I have made sure not to skimp on. Life insurance and an overall umbrella policy! I’m no longer a single man, and I have a family to think about, which means I can’t afford to get it wrong when it comes to life insurance. Once you are married with children this probably becomes the most important type of insurance. Stop by and check out InsureChance today for the options that are available to you.
An umbrella policy is also important to have. I have one of these policies to protect my assets in case of a lawsuit. The lawsuit could stem from something that happens in a vehicular accident, or even a slip and fall at my home. While these things are unlikely, they can and do happen.
One way your ego interferes in a career path is by convincing you that running your own business gives you control of your own destiny. This feeling is, as with many ego-driven feelings, a bit misguided. The desire to control your destiny may actually be your ego trying to protect you from rejection. It tells you that if you aren’t working for someone else, or applying to work for someone else, they can’t fire you, and they can’t prevent you from getting hired or getting a raise. They can’t reject your work (i.e. have control over you) if you aren’t working for them in the first place.
This ignores the reality that if you own your own business, you are controlled not by a few people, but rather by many; these people being customers . It is much worse to get rejected by everyone in the United States—306 million potential customers that don’t want to buy your products or services—than a few prospective employers that don’t want to hire you. The ego doesn’t understand that it is much easier to reach and sell yourself as a prospective employee to potential employers a few times in your life, than reach your target customers and keep selling your goods and services to them each and every day.
Your ego doesn’t understand this because the potential rejection with employers is direct, versus indirect rejection with customers. If you reach out to an employer to be hired or to your boss for a raise, or if you get fired, you take it personally. If you are rejected by potential customers, at least some of the time, you don’t even know that you are being rejected—you have never made a true initial connection to be able to be really offended by the indirect rejection in the first place. If you are directly rejected by a customer or potential customer, you can hide behind the corporate entity so that you don’t take it personally (or at least your ego leads you to believe you won’t). Let’s be honest, if you can’t woo your boss into a raise, or woo a prospective employer to hire you, how can you woo your employees to perform at top levels or woo customers to patronize your business? If you don’t have those skills in one arena, you aren’t going to have them in the other. Whatever rejection you are running from will be exacerbated by a factor of at least a hundred when you are on your own and your money is on the line.
Another thing that your ego does is guide you to try to impress other people. They call it “keeping up with the Joneses,” or more accurately these days, “outdoing the Joneses.” Your ego tells you that if you are feeling down about your career or other things, starting your own business can give you a spark or even the beginnings of an exciting life. You may think it sounds sexy and gives you stature to be a CEO, owner, and entrepreneur of “Youco.” You can tell everyone that you are the HBIC or the BMOC, and that makes you feel good and powerful.
Productive people have daily routines that help them succeed. Success begins and ends with both mental and physical well-being. Health is heavily dependent on nighttime routines. Here are the things that many successful people do before turning in for the night.
1. Review the Day
Before going to bed, think about the day, asking yourself if the things you did had meaning. Consider how your actions have positively contributed to your life and the world. Review your goals to make sure they line up with your how you’re spending your time. By using time-tracking software during the day, you can better review how you spent your time.
2. Write Down Your Thoughts
By writing down your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions, you can analyze where things went wrong. Writing also helps you improve your communications skills. Overall, writing down your thoughts will help you think clearly, eliminate negative self-talk, and notice your most dominant emotions. By journaling, you may uncover something that you haven’t been giving enough attention. In a pinch, use your smartphone’s built-in note taker app.
Heavy readers make great leaders. For example, Bill Gates reads for one hour each night, choosing from a variety of topics. A lot of the world’s most successful people are big readers, fitting in at least 10 minutes every night. As if you needed more motivation to pick up a book, readers also improve their brain’s long-term health. Reading on the go? Invest in a tablet and carry your books in one device.
4. Set the Next Morning’s Priorities
Since so many things take place every day, it’s easy to lose focus. Every evening before bed, look over your schedule and plan for the next day. Make a list of the things that have to get done, assigning each task a priority. Don’t list more than five things that have to be done the next day. The next day, you’ll be less stressed, better prepared, and more confident. For every minute you spend planning, you save yourself 10 minutes in execution. Use Evernote to keep your daily schedule on all of your devices.
5. Spend Time With Family
In order to stay connected with the people in your life, you have to make time for them, plan and simple. When things in your life are hectic, this is the perfect time to treat your family like a priority.
6. Get Things Done
Successful, productive people utilize their talents, skills, knowledge, and energy to get things done, including the things they have to do, not just the things they’re good at. Squeeze the most you can out of the 24 hours you have available.
7. Detox, Digitally
By disconnecting from your busy work life, you can relax, care for your body, and soothe your soul. Each night, put your phone in a different room, turn off the television, and spend some time unplugged. Your health will improve and your energy will skyrocket. Plus, you’ll make time for those other activities you’ve been neglecting.
8. Get Outside
In order to be refreshed enough to handle your wild work life, get outside and experience nature. The great outdoors is restorative, fun, and exciting. There’s no better way to unwind after a stressful day than heading outside.
Several successful people, including Tim Ferriss and Oprah, meditate before bed. Set aside ten minutes before bed to meditate, letting your thoughts flow. The next day, you’ll be more focused and productive. Plus, you’ll be relaxed enough after your meditation to easily fall asleep.
If possible, develop these nine habits to increase productivity and become more successful!