Its all about your attitude

Happy grimmace sad

As I think more and more about the road to financial independence, I become more and more convinced that your attitude is the primary factor for success. Unlike the graphic above, whether or not you are happy or sad won’t decide if you will make a million dollars but your attitude towards getting to that goal will be everything.

At my work I’m surrounded by colleagues who make six figure salaries and barely can put together ten thousand dollars for a house down payment. There is NO reason why they can’t be financially successful (savings I mean, not earnings) except for their attitude. They treat money like air, something to be breathed in and out without a thought to saving, investing or planning for the next step in their lives. Opportunities about; the average person probably has about a half dozen opportunities in their life to stake a claim on their fortune. Whether or not you are prepared will mean everything.

I have one old buddy from high school who started real estate investing in the last 6 or 7 years. I even went in on one of his deals and it is paying off nicely. He first bought a 3 room house and then rented it followed by a one bedroom apartment. He paid enough down so that his monthly cash flow was positive on both properties. Later he bought (also with positive cash flows) a 3 unit condo complex and later a 4 unit apartment building (the unit I helped to finance). He has just informed me that he closed on an 18 unit apartment building. Each property has a positive cash flow and I estimate that he is earning somewhere between $6,000-8,000 per month in EXTRA income.

I say extra because he still has his job and his wife still has hers. Because the cost of financing is cheap (rates in the 4% range), he uses the extra $6k each month to finance new properties. After a year, you have an extra $80k – this can be used for a down payment on a new property. I guess that he will hit his million in a decade.

Realize now that he started with NOTHING. He and his wife worked, skimped and saved until they had enough to buy their first rental property. After that, they skimped and saved more. And over time, it is paying off handsomely. I suppose that in a few years he will be so busy managing his properties that he won’t have time to go to work. What a glorious day that will be when he can quit his job and be self employed.

The American Dream.

And so, what set him apart from his friends and colleagues who aren’t growing their net worth like him? It was all his attitude. He made a goal to own 20 properties and started with just one. When his first was bought, he set his sights on the next.

It was all ATTITUDE.

If your attitude isn’t such that your mindset is that you’re ALWAYS looking for your chance to stake a claim to one of your life’s jackpot opportunities then you’ll probably never succeed. Have an attitude check on yourself and ask if you’re motivated and focused on becoming a millionaire. If you are, you can find a way. If you aren’t, someone else will take that opportunity that you pass. They’ll be the “lucky” one who was “at the right place at the right time.”

Luck is when preparation meets with opportunity.

Good luck!

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Make a Goal

One of the most important steps – and perhaps the most overlooked step to wealth building is the setting of specific goals.  I once read an article – it has been years so don’t quote me on specifics.  The article quoted a study of college students, graduates and working professionals.  It asked if the study subjects wrote down their goals.  Most people had goals but this study was looking at the difference between those who wrote their goals and those who just had them in their heads.

The results of the study were interesting; if I remember correctly, 80% of the people who wrote their goals were successful in attaining them whereas only 20% of those who did not write their goals were successful in attaining them.  This observation echoes the same findings that Napoleon Hill had in his book “Think and Grow Rich.”

It is very important to write down your goals.

In November 2004, after I had read Napoleon Hill again (I had read it twice back in my college days), I sat down and wrote out my goal.  It was an ambitious plan and I did not know if I would accomplish it or not but I wrote it down.  I’ll have to admit, I didn’t read it twice aloud daily like I was supposed to.  Perhaps I read it a few days a week and sometimes I would forget for a week or two.  But I would always come back to it, visualize it, fantasize about it and try – as hard as I could – to will it to happen.

It read:

11/15/04

I, Samuel, will have in the bank, $1,000,000 – one million dollars, cash, by 30 November 2012.  For this amount of money, I will give my time, effort, energy, liberty, ego, family, relationships, friendships, freedom, hard work, travel, recreation and hobbies; I will use all of my determination, nuance, skill or anything else necessary to make this goal a reality.

I can already see myself in possession of this money.  As I close my eyes, I can already see this amount of money in the bank.  It is as sure as there.  I will attain this goal.  I will focus on this goal and all of my actions will drive me towards this end; I will conduct myself in a way that is compatible with the successful attainment of this goal.  I will forgo and ignore all distractions that take my attention and efforts off of this goal.

I will read this statement, aloud, twice daily, morning and evening, until this goal is a reality.

I surpassed the $1,000,000 cash mark on 5 August 2012, about 3 months before my goal date.  There were many months (years) where I thought I wouldn’t make it.  Especially after the 2008 stock market crash.  I lost over $100,000 in one month.  Many of my work colleagues freaked out and abandoned the market and put their money in FDIC insured accounts.  I re-read my goal and thought about it and realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I piled what cash I had left into the Dow Pro-Shares Ultra fund (leverages the Dow Jones Industrial average 200% – if the Dow is up 10%, you’re up 20%, if it is down 10%, you’re down 20%).  Then, I took out a margin loan with my broker and plunked down some more in this fund and some other blue chip stocks.  For the entire year 2009, I put every last paycheck I had into good stocks that I thought were severely undervalued.

I received an application for a Discover Card & it invited me to “transfer balances” interest free for 6 months.  I thought, “Why not,” and put down my brokerage as a creditor – I did have a margin loan after all.  Sure enough, Discover mailed them a $20,000 check.  This freed up $20k in margin allowing me to buy more stock.  I then called up my Visa card and asked if they would send me “some of those balance transfer” checks.  They were happy to oblige.  My account climbed about $400k from Fall 2009 til Spring 2010.

During the French Revolution, one of the frogs said, “Buy when there is blood in the streets.”  How true that is.  If you want to be rich you have to be bold when others are scared.  You have to think outside the box.  You have to seek the advice of wise people (I pay more in financial newsletter subscriptions than I ever paid for any membership or subscription and it has paid off 100 fold).

Back to goals.  Have you written your goals down yet?  If not, 80% chance you won’t make your goal; you probably will not become a millionaire.  Better to write your goals and be in the 80% club!

Good luck!

The use of copyrighted material in this website is protected by the Fair Use Clause of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, which allows for the sharing of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary, criticism and education.  All shared material will be attributed to its owner and a link provided when available.  All other comment on this site may be reproduced with the author’s consent.  Please source any references or quotes of this website to: http://www.my1stmillion.net