Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann von Goethe

Actually starting a project can often be one of the hardest parts of getting the entire thing done. I am willing to bet that you will sometimes have one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments where an amazingly good idea just suddenly pops into your head as if from nowhere. And I would further bet that if you gave it any serious thought at all then most of those thoughts consisted of finding reasons why you could not possibly do whatever it was that you had just thought of.

Sometimes you find that some months or years down the line another person has had exactly the same thought you had all that time ago but that they have gone on to change their lives by actually putting it into action. When this happens you are left holding your head in your hands and lamenting: “But that should have been me!”

So if you have a great idea that you have not acted upon or a dream for changing your life that you have been unwilling to put into action then what are you waiting for? Nobody is going to fulfill your dreams for you and only you can put them into action. Yes it can be scary taking action because you are going into uncharted waters but it will be an adventure and it could change your life.

You owe it to yourself to at least give yourself the opportunity to fulfill your dreams. Be bold and put your dreams into action and be prepared to experience the genius, power and magic within you. Yes it can be hard to start, especially when you are already telling yourself all sorts of reasons why it will not work, but at least give it a go. Just getting started creates a momentum of its own and you will find that many of the fears you had for not taking action simply disappear as you discover that the power of “I can” unleashes its own magic which overpowers the fears of “I can’t.”

Follow your dreams and stop giving yourself reasons not to do so because you will never experience the power and magic which lies within you unless you actually take action and start.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

“Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.” – Willis R. Whitney

One of the things which really annoys me in life are those people around me who always have excuses for not doing something they were supposed to do. Sometimes the amount of time and effort people put into coming up with excuse after excuse is extraordinary. Here are a couple of examples which come to mind.

I was once watching the reality TV show Big Brother, a show where complete strangers share a house together and are filmed around the clock for the viewing audience’s pleasure.

On this particular show two housemates were arguing over whose turn it was to do the washing up after dinner. “I did it last night,” said one. “Well I did it the night before and I made you breakfast,” countered the other. This argument went back and forth for at least ten minutes but during this time, quietly in the background, a third housemate was at the kitchen sink washing up the dirty plates. When he had finished he walked up the arguing housemates and said: “During all this time while you were making excuses you could have got the job done.”

Further back in time when at school I always remember one teacher who would never accept any reason for pupils turning up late to his lessons. Whenever it happened he would say: “It is your first responsibility to turn up for class on time.” I loved that expression and it has stayed with me for my entire life.

It seems to me that the whole idea of taking personal responsibility is now a decidedly old-fashioned concept for many these days. As personal responsibility declines so the excuse culture thrives and this is something we must all be wary of.

It is easy to make excuses but very often it is just as easy to find the one reason to do something and get the task in hand finished.

You’re Not Running for Office

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that matter, don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.” – Theodor Seuss Geisel

Politicians will say anything to get elected and I’m sure they would do all of it if they could but there is a reason most of them never do. What pleases you displeases someone else and vice versa. This is the main reason why politicians, as a whole, are not thought of as very honest people.

One of the biggest mistakes early on in my business was trying to make everyone happy. I was allowing others to make every decision and this lead to me having no identity. A true leader is someone people can look at and know where they stand. They are like trees, willing to bend in the wind but with their roots firmly planted deep in the ground.

Focus on being everything to someone. Narrow down your focus like a single beam of light and it will start a small fire. The key here is being true to yourself in everything you do because that way you will always stay grounded in reality. If you try to do something you don’t feel is right just to please someone else then you are not being true to yourself and unless you are true to yourself you cannot be true to anybody else.

No matter what you do in life, you will never be able to bring the whole world along with you but you will be able to reach out and touch the hearts and minds of those people who share your core values. It is for this reason that you owe it to yourself and to those who believe in you to be who you are and to say how you feel.

Far too many of us feel we have to be the person we feel others want us to be and, as a result, we end up making our lives miserable. Also when you have the courage to be yourself life becomes so much easier because you have given yourself the freedom to be the person you really are. And those that matter will thank you for it.

Why Smiles and Kindness Matter

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.” – Humphry Davy

It is tempting to look upon our lives in terms of great achievements, milestones reached or heroic efforts to secure some lofty goal or ideal. However in reality life is just not like that. Yes there will be the occasional really big moment here and there but our lives are really made up of a long series of seemingly inconsequential events. Yet it is these moments which make up the majority of our lives so we should pay them more attention.

Taking the time to smile, to say “please” and “thank-you” and to be polite to others might be little things but they are also things which serve to brighten up the lives of others and you can do this at absolutely no personal cost to yourself.

I found another example which illustrated how it is the smaller and less significant events in our lives which can be more important than we give them credit for when I read a newspaper report titled: “The top five regrets of the dying” and I was struck at how ordinary the things on that list were. The top five regrets were as follows:

1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

These regrets are all very telling especially the first one. Your life is your own and nobody else’s so it follows that you should be true to yourself. There is a huge difference in being true to yourself while respecting the lives of others around you and in living a life you think that others expect of you. If you can do this while getting the little things right then not only will you be a happier person but others around you will think better of you too. The little things in life really do matter but sometimes in our fast-paced world we can lose sight of that fact.

Law of Forced Efficiency

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The law of forced efficiency says: “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”

The fact is that the average person today is working at 110-130 percent of capacity. And the jobs and responsibilities just keep piling up. One recent study concluded that the average executive has a backlog of 300-400 hours of reading and projects at home and at the office.

What this means is that you will never be caught up. Get that out of your mind. All you can hope for is to keep on top of your most important responsibilities. The others will just have to wait.

The key question you can ask is: “What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?”

Every hour of every day, there is an answer to this question. Your job is to ask yourself that question, over and over again – and to make sure you’re always spending your time working on whatever is most important at that particular moment.

The more accurate your answers to this question, the easier it will be for you to set clear priorities and overcome procrastination.

3 Tips For Creative Thinking

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Creative thinking is a potential we are all born with. If you don’t use that potential, it is probably because you don’t know and apply the simple principles for developing it. We can remedy that right now.

The two basic principles of creative thinking are:

1. There are methods and techniques of creative thinking.

2. Making these methods and techniques a part of your mental habits will make creative thinking easy and automatic.

An entrepreneur sees the potential profit in a situation, because his mind is trained for that. A lawyer sees the potential problems, because that is how his mind is trained. How we repeatedly think becomes a habit, and that is how you train a mind. Learn the techniques of creative thinking, use them until they are a habit, and creative thinking will be as natural for you as lying is for a politician.

The Techniques Of Creative Thinking

There are dozens of creative problem solving techniques you can learn to use. “Concept-combination,” for example, will have you mixing roses and clocks to create the first alarm clock that wakes you up with a gentle release of fragrance. Use the technique of “random-presentation” and a cell phone can give the idea to do your dictation with a pocket tape recorder while you walk, so you’ll have time for exercise and still get your work done.

Creative thinking goes beyond just solving specific problems or inventing new things. A truly creative mind is always coming up with the questions too, not just the solutions. To be more creative all the time, focus on three things:

1. Challenge your assumptions. What if a restaurant didn’t have employees? Customers could pay a machine as they enter, and feed themselves at a buffet. If everything was as automated as possible, maybe one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge everything. Do you have to go to work? Do pools need water? Is education always a good thing?

2. Change your perspective. Imagining a dog’s thoughts about your busyness could clue you in to the unecessary things you do. Thinking dollars-per-day instead of per-hour could give you a plan to let employees go home when they finish a certain quota. Greater efficiency would be almost certain, and you could adjust daily pay and quotas so both you and employees made more money. Look at everything from several perspectives.

3. Let your ideas run wild. Flying furniture seems silly, but it may lead to the idea of a hover-lifter. Slide the device under furniture and it lifts it with a cushion of air, making for easy moving. Don’t stifle your creativity. Relax, let ideas come, and know that you can always discard them later.

Creating Creative Thinking Habits

To make the above techniques into an automatic part of your thinking, just use them enough. Usually it takes several weeks to develop a habit, so you need a way to remind yourself each day during that time. Try writing a few of your favorite techniques on a card and carrying it with you. Pull it out throughout the day and apply the techniques to anything. Soon, more creative thinking will be a normal part of your life.

3 Tips To Stay The Course

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If you are an entrepreneur, you know that your success cannot depend on the opinions of others. Like the wind, opinions change…like the weather, opinions change frequently. To succeed at any endeavor, you must stay the course…no matter what the cost! Here are some surefire tips to help you on your journey.

1. Avoid Negativity. Negative people are all around us. They can include our loved ones as well as a dear friend. Most often, it is the opinions of total strangers that breeds the most negativity as if someone who doesn’t know or understand you is able to voice a reasonably thought out opinion about you.

No, you shouldn’t avoid those who are close to you, rather there are areas of conversation that are less profitable. Accept criticism constructively, but steer the conversation away from nonstop negative banter. Negativity will grow on you unless you take control.

2. Build Yourself Up. No, I do not mean for you to puff yourself up with pride, rather you can be your best source of encouragement by encouraging yourself. How can you do this? Read the testimonies of other entrepreneurs who have gone before you. Current day success stories of people who have gone from “rags to riches” [or from simple means to great influence] include personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Bill Gates. Yesterday’s success stories are numerous and include: Thomas Edison, Harry S. Truman, and Abraham Lincoln.

3. Go Back to Square One. Should you find yourself wavering, recall those things that encouraged you to take your “step of faith” in the first place. Recall what it takes to succeed: discipline, self confidence, independence, hard work, sacrifice, etc. Look forward to the anticipated results: a good income, independence, a job you love, etc. Finally, remember the worst job you ever worked…imagine yourself working there again. Blah! Use whatever it takes to motivate you.

So, toss off the negative thoughts and embrace that which is uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, warm, friendly, and helpful. You are on track to achieving great things as long as you do not let yourself become derailed by the negative words of others.

The Four Species of Money

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Zig Ziglar famously said, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale”. I want to refine your understanding about money because one of my greatest insights on wealth is to accept that money is not all the same. There are different species of money, you can divide money into 4 categories.

  1. Credit Money
  2. Hourly Money
  3. Fast Money
  4. Worker Money

Immediately we can observe when looking at these four species of money that two are very desire-able and the other two are not. The first two lead to a life of just getting by and the poor house respectively while the second two can lead to a life of wealth and abundance.

Credit money, money you borrow to buy certain pleasures in life is the worst kind of money. Not surprisingly it is very closely connected to “hourly money” because to get credit money you must prove that you have hourly money….a job. Then you can have access to credit money.

The point of credit money is to exchange time for the interest you pay. In other words, you can buy that car today and pay for it later for a compounded interest rate of 10% to 20% you buy tomorrow’s savings today. For people that prefer “hourly money” this type of transaction can seem highly desirable. You don’t have to wait 5 years to save for that car because you can have it now. The problem with “credit money” is the same problem that one gets with “hourly money” but much worse. Not only are we selling our precious time for money, but now we are selling and committing tomorrow’s time for money today.

Hourly Money is the most obvious way to make money for people. Hourly labor for hourly money. 90% of the worlds population gets their money this way. A very inefficient way to get your money but you get it for sure. Security of a pay check is the number one reason why people strive to get hourly money.

Before reading this article, you may have never even thought about the three species of money. You may have not even considered that there is another type of money but hourly money and credit money. But there is. Fast money is what the 10% wealthy people strive for. The financial owners of planet Earth, the 10% cream of financial circles create money they don’t work for it.

Fast Money – The art of authentic creation The art of fast money can be boiled down to one specific and it’s that it’s not connected to time. In this strange world, $100,000 in 10 minutes is nothing unusual. A million dollars in an afternoon is typical. $30,000 in 2 days is nothing special. You may balk at these time frames and amounts but that is the point of this species of money. The TIME component is totally irrelevant.

So if hourly money and credit money are intrinsically centered around time…what is fast money centered around?

Fast money is not made by mindless time counting. Fast money is made by delivering solutions. An example of this can be found in the old dentists joke. A guy goes in to have a tooth removed and the dentist tells the fellow it will cost $1200 to remove. The fellow replies, well how long will it take? The dentist replies 2 minutes. The poor guy is incredulous, you mean to tell me that you want $1200 for 2 minutes work? The dentist replies, well sir, if u want me to take an hour doing it I can do that too.

You see the old fellow needed a solution to his problem. The dentist had that solution and had the tools to achieve the solution in 2 minutes. The fellow wanted a solution to his problem and THAT is what he was paying for, not the time spent, as his dentist adeptly pointed out.

Fast money and the art of finding and getting fast money can be found by finding people with urgent and pressing problems.

To get involved in this amazing fast money world, you must seek out these types of people. Find these types situations and begin providing your own unique and authentic solutions to get paid fast.

Lastly is my favorite type of money.

Worker Money – Money that you have gained through either hourly or fast money invested in opportunities where it tirelessly works to earn you more money. Unlike the previous 3 this is not based on either time nor solutions but rather your willingness to temporarily give the right of it to wise counsel. Simply meaning someone else is looking to earn “fast money” and you are giving them “worker money” to do so. An example of this is buying stock in Coke A Cola or contributing your money to a 401k.

My favorite part about “worker money” is the money it earns you which I call it’s children. By right these children belong to you and unlike human children you can put them to work right away! With in a short period of time you will have generations of your original “worker money” that never complains and works round the clock to build your wealth.

Wealth isn’t built by just working hard for 40 years but by what you do with that money.

Failure

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Failure, there is no way around it. Thomas Edison tried over ten thousand different experiments before he finally demonstrated the first incandescent light bulb on October 21, 1879. Bill Gates’ first company, Traf-O-Data, was a failure. Michael Jordan was once quoted as saying: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot; And missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

In my short stint as an entrepreneur I’ve failed more times than I can count. I have also had my share of success, but it’s not even close to equal. The failures far outweigh the successes, and I’m sure I have a lot more failure ahead of me. I’m OK with that because I know that as soon as I stop failing, I have stopped trying to innovate. It’s the nature of the business of being an entrepreneur, and of success in general.

If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is naive to think that every good idea that you have will result in a successful business venture. I have yet to hear an entrepreneur say “every single idea I come up with seems to work.” More likely, you hear something like “I failed at my first five businesses before this one took off.”

Think about that for a second. Five businesses. Sometimes the number is three, sometimes it’s 20, but the important point is that most entrepreneurs don’t hit a home-run with their first company. It really does amaze me – how many people have the stones to fail five times and still start a sixth business? You have to be supremely confident and treat those previous five times as a learning experience for the sixth. And if number six fails, you have to do the same and move on to number seven.

In my opinion, the most important thing is how you deal with failure. Once you accept that it’s inevitable, you are able to learn from your mistakes and move on. It’s easy to let the failure consume you – not so much because you are pessimistic, but more so because it is hard to see something that you poured your heart and soul into be ignored or rejected. As soon as possible you need to come to the realization that your business is what they are ignoring or rejecting, NOT you. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can objectively analyze why you failed and learn the things necessary for improvement in the future.

Failure isn’t easy and is extremely frustrating, but it’s a necessary part of success.