Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Giving a gift

People sometimes wonder why when they are working hard to build a business, they should give away their hard earned money to someone else.

For me, the reason is easy to figure out. For others, the concept of giving is a little harder to swallow.

Let me tell you one reason, I think its important for entrepreneurs, business owners and investors to give ... by giving, you receive. Sometimes the receiving is monetary, sometimes it is not. All times, the giving sends a signal out to the world that you are looking out for someone other than yourself and guess what, little by little, good things will start to come your way from a bunch of strange sources.

Here's an example. My Rich Dad club was playing last week and a new player landed on charity. She was looking at the square as a lost opportunity ... she hadn't landed one something that would allow her to make a purchase.

I took the opportunity to share some of Robert Kiyosaki's views on tithing and the importance he places on investing in three areas: savings, investing and tithing. It is so important to give back, he suggests giving an equal amount away to charity, as you would put into saving and investing.

The player took up the charity option and .... because of it, was able to make her first deal faster than anyone else on the board.

With the holiday season upon us, why not look at your tithing. Do you have a favourite charity? Do you give regularly to others? If the answer is no, you might want to wrap up some holiday cheer and give to someone less fortunate. The payback will be huge.

All the best to you this holiday season!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Walk like a leader

At Success University (, there are several courses that you can take to enhace a range of areas in your life. One of them is leadership.

Why is leadership so important to an entrepreneur? Well, if you are in a people business like MLM or network marketing, you need to be a leader in order to have people willing or lining up to follow you.

When you look at the leaders in history, there are some untangeable characteristics they possess. It's almost like they resonate at a slightly different level which draws people to them. Some describe it as magnetism, others charisma.

Here's a checklist that Success University created on leadership. An important point: like many skills, leadership can be learned. Invest in your education and build up skills in a range of areas to achieve the success you want.

1. The Leader must have a dream larger than those he/she leads.
2. The Leader must have an attitude superior to those he/she leads.
3. The Leader is responsible and admits when he/she has made a mistake.
4. The Leader is a decision maker.
5. The Leader puts those he/she leads first.
6. The Leader sets the example by being in the front of the pack.
7. The Leader displays a commitment to integrity and character.
8. The Leader strives for excellence in all things.
9. The Leader displays a commitment to personal growth.
10. The Leader has the highest level of persistence and determination.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's Impossible To Fail

Read the headline. Do you believe it?

Failure is a state of mind not a state of your reality. If you are focused on not failing, trust me when I tell you, you won't succeed.

"Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are, and always have been, the greatest enemies of success and happiness." Brian Tracy

"If you do not do the thing you fear, then the fear controls your life."
Glenn Ford

Many, many people go through life trying to avoid failure and guess what, they are so focused on that result, it often comes to them. Scary thought. Focus too hard on failure and you are bringing it to you.

When you change your mindset to focus on success not avoiding failure, the results are spectacular. Achievement, wealth and all of your dreams start to be realized. It really does work. If you are focusing on what you want, not what you are trying to avoid.

The movie The Secret explains this concept in greater detail. It is interesting once you start to think more about what you want and less about what you don't want, doors start to open up for you.

A speaker from success University, Michelle Blood, further explained this concept in her course Be A Magnet for success. When you focus on what you want, your thoughts turn into feeling then action and results. And, when you are focusing on what you really want, the universe will start to deliver. Interestingly, it might not come from the source you are focused on. For example, if you are seeking infinite wealth, and working on building a business, the wealth might come from an unexpected source not the business you are focused on ... but rest assured it will come.

When you are thinking about want you want, turning thoughts into feelings and actions, it is impossible to fail. Brian Tracy says: When you make a consistent effort to say to yourself, "I can do it! I can!" you will replace fear with self-confidence.

And guess what, if you act like you can't fail, not only will you find success but you will be living a more powerful, positive life. Do it today.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Opportunity In Disguise

This morning I was listening to a fantastic speaker. A native of Ghana, this man very early in his life set a course to come to America .... what he calls the land of opportunity. Being raised in a home with no running water, no shoes to wear and disease abundant, he learned about America and set a goal to get there. It took hard work persistence and dedication. Today, he has realized his goal, and is using his wealth to give back to the community that raised him.

I wanted to give you the quick background because he opened my eyes, especially when he shared some stats (mroe than 30% of millionnaires in America are immigrants). Wonder why? We live with abundance and yet can't see opportunity. Many of these immigrants come from nothing and see opportunity everywhere.

He talked about taking a job at university where his roommates would wait for a cheque from mom and dad. He talked about the classified job sections, which immigrants see as listings for opportunities. Pages and pages of opportunities.

How many times has opportunity come knocking and you've closed the door with a polite no thank you.

How often do you see a big problem, not a huge opportunity. When you are facing obstacles or challenges do you run from it ... rather than standing up and facing the fear. When you face a fear, you have conquered it forever.

Today, there are so many opportunities for abundance and yet so many people have their eyes closed to it.

Resolve something: resolve to see opportunity where before you might have seen a problem. Take a fresh look at the world around you and revel in your abundance. The world has now, more than ever, so much to offer if you are willing to open the door and answer the call.

Your true opportunity might be in disguise ... disguised as a big problem ... see it for what it is and grab hold, don't run away. You might be very surprised by the outcome.

Adopt an attitude of gratitude. That's the difference between immigrants and us ... we take everything around us for granted. They see it as abundance. Maybe we can learn to see our own opportunities through the eyes of those around us.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Want them to beg?

I was enjoying re-reading some articles by Kurt Mortensen, the master of persuasion. I was thinking today about how to turn prospects into recruits. I enjoy this one, as we all want people to beg us to join our business.

Here's Kurt's article:

Have you ever dealt with a prospect and had them suddenly interject and say something like, "uhm...this all sounds great. How do I get started?"

If not, you're really missing out. If so, you probably got lucky...

Or you just know how to use external dissonance.

For you to understand this exactly, it's important to know what dissonance is in the first place. For more information, go to and click on free reports. Scroll down to the "what is dissonance" link. After you've done this, you're ready.

The more somebody commits to or participates in something, the more likely they are to be persuaded. Simple enough, right? There are some great ways to use this to your advantage as a persuader. You know that your prospects have some basic things they want and need, right? Let's say you are a real estate investor. You know that it is important to your clients to close on their property quickly. So you ask them something like this: "Bob, a lot of people I deal with in this situation want to be able to close quickly. Is that something you want?" Well, what's Bob going to say? Duh!

So, here's a big surprise: when you write up you real estate purchase contract will you have a "quick close date?" Absolutely. When you apply this technique while knowing your prospects core wants and beliefs, you achieve tremendous persuasive power! In a roundabout way, your prospects will have said "I want your product." As you close, make sure you let your prospect know that your prospect includes all of the features they "said they wanted." This creates a tremendous amount of dissonance. The easiest way for your prospects to relieve this psychological tension will be to purchase your product!

*Remember: only ask this kind of question if you know what the answer will be. If you were to get a "no" in this situation the technique would have the opposite effect.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Environments for Winning

This is part of the Why we want you to be rich series but I felt it merited additional discussion.

Robert Kiyosaki talks about winning environments ... and noted these environments are ones where you need to be exceptionally talented, driven and tenacious to succeed. He notes that sometimes the fastest way to change and improve yourself is to change your environment.

For many years, I have been active in community groups, investment groups and always investing in my education through courses, night school and even online training. Through these groups and education, I have consistently expanded my context and allowed my reality to expand beyond my up bringing. I was raised in a middle class family. I was taught to value my university education, strive for a good job that would look after me into my retirement at 65. From a very early stage in my career, I had other ideas but I was uncertain how to go about it. Everyone around me were in traditional careers and roles so ideas I bounced off people sank like a lead balloon!

So what changed: I kept talking to people and networking. Eventually, I started connecting with people who, like me, believed that the old 9-5 sucked. More than that, they wanted early retirement and more time freedom to enjoy while they were young enough to have fun.

What's the message: For me, persistence is the key. Not talking "you can't do that" for an answer and rather constantly look for the how to do something. Many people will think you are nuts but who cares ... they'll still be working for someone else while you are enjoying the good life. Looking back, who was really nuts ... certainly not you!

From the book here are some ideas to create powerful environments:
* for your intelligence to grow, go to a library, bookstore or school
* for your health to grow, go to the gym, ride a bike, walk or play more
* for your spirit to grow, find a quiet spot to meditate or go to church
* for your wealth to grow, go places where people are getting rich (real estate office, stockbrokers' office, join an investment group and meet new friends who want to be rich as well
* for your world to expand, visit new places and do things you've never done.

"In other words, sometimes the fastest way to change and improve yourself is simply to change your environment."

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Why We Want You To Be Rich ... Part 5

Many who read Robert Kyiosaki's books thinks he tells people not to "go to school and get a good job". In this latest book, he clarifies what he means and I think it is an important clarification.

In fact, I think there has been such a misunderstanding about Robert's perception on school that he felt it was important to clarify it in this book. RK didn't like school and didn't do well at school, but he still recommends that all young people complete their education (which means at least 4 years of college).

Here's the rationale:
1. It gives you a time to grown up. "All I found out after I left school was how much I didn't know"
2. " A college degree is a ticket." There are still many things out there that require a college or university degree.
3. You are given the opportunity to explore many different subjects at school and you can learn different skills that will be useful later in life.

I agree wholeheartedly with this argument.

First, people are growing up way to fast. High school and university are times for fun, experimentation, and learning important life lessons, but often people are so focused on the next step in their career and life they miss it. Don't miss it.

Number 2, while I am not working as a journalist (I have a university degree in journalism), the skills I learned at university including writing skills, and management skills (honed as the production manager of our local university paper) were very useful later in my life.

One regret from my university experience was my narrow course focus. I studied journalism and history. I didn't stray into the areas of politics or economics (two subjects that would be helpful on my financial path.) Kiyosaki says that if there are two subjects he recommends, it is accounting and business law. Not because he thinks everyone should be accountants or lawyers but because they will help you see what others cannot ... Xray vision into investments. I have had to learn accounting and law on the ground and it's a big learning curve. I have a good team helping but it would have helped to have some fundamentals.

So, when you are told by people to go to school and get a good job, perhaps hear it in a different way ... go to school and get the education that will lead to riches. That sounds better to me.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Why We Want You To Be Rich Part 4

A subtext to the book Why We Want You To Be Rich highlights the importance of picking your battles, battlefields and the terrain in which you will achieve success.

What does this mean? If you go back to the cashflow quadrant, there are people who fit exceptionally well in the E quadrant and are happy there. Does that mean they should quit and become a B? No, but perhaps they can be and E and an I ... and through the I quadrant achieve freedom.

You need to really think about the characteristics of each quadrant. After all, this is your future that you are charting. No one can tell you where to focus your energies. It has to come from you. (Note earlier posts where each of the quadrants is described).

When considering the question of quadrants, you might want to also consider the question of Why you want to be rich? Is it for security? Freedom? For me, and in case you can't tell from the name of this blog, money brings me freedom ... freedom to choose what I spend time on, how I spend my days and what I buy. It is a lifestyle choice that goes beyond security.

What do you value and why. Think about that for a while.

Trump suggests writing the script to your life ... then producing it yourself and find yourself living the way you want. Writing a script of your life is a lot like manifestations. If you haven't done it already, stop now and do it. It's hard to find yourself living the life of your dreams if you can't articulate that dream!

An interesting sidebar to the discussion: Did you know that both Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki had military training? Both attribute some of their success to their military training because it taught them leadership, how to follow orders and how to get people to follow them.

That's all for now. There is so much in this book, I'll bring you another snapshot next post.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

A nation that's MAXED OUT!

I'm taking a break from the review of Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki's book because I stumbled across an article today that warrants discussion. It's scary. Has anyone noticed the proliferation of television shows, businesses and articles being written about debt? As a nation, we are raking up the debt on what Kiyosaki calls bad debt or doodads. The scary part about it is that most people don't even know they are doing it.

Here's an excerpt of the article from Motley Fool, as well as a link to the whole piece:

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ad Council, who are working together in this project, hope the dose of nostalgia will get more young consumers to skip the plasma TV purchases and become young savers ... (paints) a bleak picture of his targeted age group:
  • Their average credit card debt is $4,088.
  • Their average student loan debt is $20,000.
  • They spend 24% of their income on debt payments.
  • They have the nation's second-highest rate of personal bankruptcy.

A study commissioned by the accountants' group also showed that the proportion of young adults with a simple savings account fell from 61% to 48% from 1985 to 2004. Over the same time period, the median net worth of adults in that age group has fallen dramatically, from $6,788 to $3,746. This means lots of young adults are missing out on one of the biggest advantages of saving while they're still young -- the advantage of time. Several thousand dollars put away early will grow exponentially greater than several thousand stashed away a decade later.

When I was in my late teens, my parents gave me a copy of the Wealthy Barber. While I don't follow all of the advice outlined in the book, it gave me a start on the path I'm currently following. It also sparked an interest in wealth creation that has lived on to this day.

In a RichDad CD, Robert Kiyosaki says that the only problem with keeping up with the Jones is that the Jones are going broke. I believe this is true. With the mentality of instant gratification, need it now, don't pay a cent, people are racking up debt they can't get out from under. It's truly frightening and what is worse is that most people aren't aware of what they are doing to themselves until its too late.

Take some time to review your personal budget (manage your household like a business). Look at the expenses and income. If you are red-lining, take action now before you are in so deep you can't get out.

Now let me be clear on one thing: I'm not talking about becoming cheap. If you become rich by being cheap you are still cheap. I am talking about being responsible with your income and your expenses. A trick I was taught by Kiyosaki is to have passive income businesses pay for my doodads, that way you have the doodad you want, and you have the passive stream of income for life.

Next time: More on Why We Want You To Be Rich

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why We Want You To Be Rich ... Part 3

I can't put this book down. The two styles of Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki are so different, yet complimentary. And, the message they deliver hits home.

Those who have been reading RD for a while, know that Robert advises learning one thing, mastering it, then moving on to the next area of expertise. In this book, he calls it FOCUS.
F = Follow
O = One
C = Course
U = Until
S = Successful

If we think about how we bounce about life, trying a few things, giving up and moving on to the next, it's no wonder there's such a big difference between playing to survive and playing to win ... those playing to win continue to focus on one thing at a time until successful. They overcome the challenges in front of them and continue forward.

Many people ascribe to the concept of diversification, but if you really look at this strategy it runs contrary to the concept of focus. It's a strategy that many financial planners use to convince people not to keep all their eggs in one basket. That through diversification, they can weather the ups and downs of a marketplace and protect themselves for major market shifts. It is, as Robert points out, a defensive strategy. These are the same advisors who tell people to work hard, get out of debt and save for the long term.

People like Robert and Donald believe in debt ... or using other people's money ... but they don't load up on bad debt which the poor and the middle class do. They use debt to buy assets that put more and more money into their pockets. And, the leverage those assets to buy more assets ... mastering one investment strategy after the next.

Now, I can already hear the protests and excuses that inevitably come up when I talk with people about this concept. The excuses will disapear if you conquer your fear, and set your mind to mastering one area of wealth creation, then moving on to another. Do you want to use your mind to make excuses or lever your mind to make money. I'll take the latter thanks!

We are all born rich. We all have been given the most powerful lever on earth, our minds ... so use your mind for leverage to make you richer rather than making excuses.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why We Want You To Be Rich Part 2

Before I continue with today's post, I want to underscore that I am not summarizing Why We Want You to Be Rich. I am simply sharing aspects of the book I find interesting or thought provoking. I think every book of this kind should be read more than once to truly grasp all the concepts being presented. I have found that going back and re-reading Prophecy, Rich Dad and other books, there were different elements that strike a chord because of the differing stages in my life.

3 Types of Investors: See if you can recognize yourself and the people around you in these three investors.
1. People who don't invest at all (and expect family, the government or their company to look after them ... see previous info on entitlement)
2. People who invest not to lose (safe investments and a saver mentality)
3. People who invest to win (those who invest in education, higher returns and greater control).

When Pete and I started RD Coaching this year, our goal was to further our education. We had set a goal to win ... within three years ... but knew we needed more education and experience to get there. So, we invested in the education we knew we needed to win.

Interestingly, Investing to Win, is a large section of this new book. Both Robert and Donald underscore that those who are investing not to lose will. Financial experts (who as Donald explains takes the subway to work and advise those driving BMWs) teach people to play it safe. "Those experts aren't focussed on winning. They are focussed on not losing. "

When you look at the so called safe investments, Robert and Donald say they are actually very risky. People socking their money away into these vehicles will get a rude awakening when retirement hits ... all the while they cling to job security ... and we all know there is no such thing as job security.

The majority of people are playing the game of life not to lose ... people like Robert and Donald are playing to win.

I found it very interesting that, in an interview with a reporter Robert confessed he hadn't set any goals for this year. When asked why (it goes against his teachings), he said he doesn't know what else to ask for ... then in the next breathe said: I think I need to dream wilder dreams.

Robert is not satisfied to stay in one place but is already looking beyond to see what else is possible. He reminds me of another business person I recently interviewed who said: I think I need to dream harder dreams because I keep reaching mine.

Living life beyond our dreams seems like a wonderful goal ... if you dare to take it on, but I fear few are up to the challenge. Are you?

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Why We Want You To Be Rich Part 1

Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump's new book is now on bookshelves, and its title is Why we want you to be rich. A compelling title that has some shocking reasons behind it: The book is about the shrinking middle class and how the future shows a widening gap between the rich and the poor, the have and the have nots. These two financial powerhouses, or as they call themselves, the millionaire and the billionaire met during a Learning Annex seminar and discovered they had a lot in common. That commonality lead to the creation of a book that I would suggest you read if you are serious about becoming rich.

As a side note, some of the proceeds from this book are donated to financial education charities ... a sign of the importance of tithing.

Get the book here

The book opens with both Robert and Donald writing about their first meeting and their concepts for a new book. They both talk about WHY this book is important to write and why they are so concerned about the state of the US and global economy. As they state, if there's one why for becoming rich, it's so you aren't poor. A pretty compelling reason to strive for financial freedom.

The eye opening part of the introductory chapters is that the shrinking middle class and the collapse that awaits us as baby boomers retire is something we've done to ourselves. Robert and Donald want us "to let go of our entitlement mentality and become rich so we can solve our own problems." In quoting Mark Twain they say: Don't go around saying the world owes you a living, the world was here first.

Donald shows the changes in economic powerhouses in the world and how China and India are emerging as major economic forces. They are viable competition for countries who believe they are the global economic engine. Today's a wake up call.

Why we want you to be rich starts where every successful project should ... with the why. It doesn't need to be complicated. The why for this book as written by Robert Kiyosaki is:
"We want to encourage you to become rich because American and many other countries are becoming two class societies - rich or poor ... One reason: If you do not decide to become rich, the chances are you will become poor"

I can't think of a better reason to strive for wealth, can you.

Get the book here

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Lemmings & Crowds

The road less travelled will sometimes take you past some interesting landmarks. All too often, some of the most beautiful sites are a short walk from the highway, or a hike up the mountain.

I recently moved from Ontario to BC and one of my favourite pastimes is hiking. I take Kayley on awesome walks that often take us to peaks in the area where we can look over a stunning vista. It is worth the sweat-equity.

When we are walking, we pass few people along the pass. There are few cars in the parking lots and even fewer hikers on trails. The herd hasn't wandered off the road yet.

The same can be said for business and investing. Quite often, those who are willing to take the road less travelled, investigate options that the herd hasn't found yet, have greater chances of return. Even more often, by the time the herd tunes into the opportunity, it's too late.

I see the same thing every day in the stock market, particularly around people who think the market is "risky". They watch and watch a particular company until everyone is talking it about it and the share price goes through the roof. That's when the inevitable person will buy only to find the company can't sustain the high price and starts to fall ... and guess what happens to the followers who waited and watched.

The same is very true when you are in business, particularly when you select a business that might be considered by many to be "risky" or leading edge. You will get all kinds of people happy to tell you that you are nuts for doing it, and watch you succeed from the sidelines. It is at that point, they'll try something quietly on the side, likely fail, and then blame the system.

What can you do? Have faith in what you are doing and keep focussed on the end result. The herd could be running for a cliff and I doubt you want to be with them.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Work to Learn

In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki introduces us to the concept of working to learn, not working to earn. For those who have read his books, you know he took a job at IBM to learn to sell. He worked for an investor to learn to invest. Throughout his career, he has taken jobs or positions to further his education not necessarily his income.

This is something I think we can all learn from. How many people do we know have been in the same job for many years and are simply running the treadmill. How familiar does this sound: get up, drink a coffee, get in the car, commute to work, do the job, come home, eat dinner, fall asleep unmotivated and exhausted. I'll bet anyone doing the 9-5 thing can relate. Here's the question: what are you learning between waking and bedtime. If the answer is nothing, you might want to revisit your choices.

There are a few ways to build your education without quitting your job (at least in the short term). Take a sales training course in your spare time. If you have the time and money, you could do personalized coaching: I am a huge fan of Magnetic Persuasion

The course teaches you the power of positive persuasion ... a tool we can use in all facets of our lives.

Another concept that I love about RD's recommendation about working to learn is the idea that you "want to know a little about a lot" I started my career as a journalist and what I loved about this position was learning about all different industries, businesses, politics and people. It was a dynamic (if poor paying) job that sparked my interest in lifelong learning ... and was the foundation of my outlook of today. The more time you spend investing in your education, the more you will profit in the long term.

So how do you apply what you are learning. Learn one thing, master it, then move onto the next. You then build expertise and excellence in so many areas that you have a diversified background in which to build multiple streams of income. Let me give you a tangible example, this year I've investing in sales training (through magnetic persuasion) and business planning through RD Coaching. I am now putting the skills of these courses into practice in order to "master" them.

Most people who know me, know that I am anti-JOB ... mostly because I abhor the idea of working for someone else. BUT, I would take a job if I thought there was something I could from it ... for example, I would work for a real estate agent or a mortgage broker to learn the ins and outs of this industry.

What's next? Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Expect Success

"Winners and losers aren't born, they are the products of how they think." Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach.

This morning, I read an article by a Rich Dad coach who explained some of the greatest achievements are realized because the individual expects to succeed, even in the face of adversity.

Many, many people already know that if you expect to succeed you will, and if you expect to fail, you will. Either way, you are right. What I loved about the coach's article was the connection he made to financial success. You need to approach every deal with the positive expectation that it will work out. I think that by approaching it in this way, you look for the opportunity and see if there's a way to make it work.

Lets take a real life example. A few years ago, we were looking to buy a property that we felt would be a great investment. We ran the numbers, knew how to make it work, and started shopping for a bank to invest in the property. Much to our surprise, we were turned down ... and not just once.

We could have given up and decided to let the property go but we knew it would be a great opportunity so we started looking for other options. We called the agent and asked if the vendor would take back the mortgage with 10% down. To our surprise, he was very interested. For tax reasons, getting smaller increments of the sale price made the sale more palatable.

We not only got the price we wanted for the property, we got the financing terms and we got the property. There were some hairy moments during the purchase but by focussing on the positive, we made it happen.

In another case, we owned a large piece of property, 1/3 of which was unusable and under the protection of a conservation authority. We knew the land had some potential if we could make some changes. Everyone around us told us it couldn't be done but we knew there was a way. We met with the authority, presented a plan, after 6 months of meetings, we got approval. The effort resulted in $150K profit when we sold.

I don't think anyone believes the path is an easy one, but it can be filled with positive possibilities.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Marketing 101

When I first started in this business, I thought there was some magic formula that allowed some people to be successful while others floundered around hoping to make money but never seeming to connect.

I looked around at the people who were realizing success and those who weren't to try and identify the different skill sets, characteristics or activities that made one person successful and the other not as successful.

Here's the secret: It wasn't about skill set. It wasn't about personal characteristics and it wasn't about talent.

So what does make a difference? Pure and simple. Marketing. Marketing both yourself and your product. It's really not rocket science. Like many people who are new to this industry, you seek the magic bullet. The one thing that will rocket you to success. The reality is that it's not one thing.

Now lets take a closer look at the people in this industry (or any business) who achieve success, and what do we find. They are really, really good at marketing themselves.

Am I saying that if you don't have marketing skills you won't succeed? Not really. Most good companies or programs will teach you what you need to know to market the opportunity effectively. What I am saying is you have to do it. You have to implement the marketing tools and tactics you are being taught ... and here IS the secret: You have to do it consistently. Day in Day Out while you are building the business. If you are in a true passive income business as taught by gurus like Robert Kiyosaki, momentum will build and you will be able to coast on auto pilot but you have to build it first.

I have been gathering some of the secrets from other top marketers and will start sharing them here but what is important is that you take action and start to implement them.

Oh yeah, just to clarify something. Marketing does not always mean spending money. Marketing can be as simple as publishing a blog (which is free), posting to forums (which is also free) or writing articles (which if you do it yourself is free). Marketing takes time, effort and diligence but the pay off is huge in both business growth and profits.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Passion ... Do you have it?

Do you have passion for your business? Can you talk with anyone about it with pride and energy? It's very easy to start a business, be energized by its potential and then slide into mediocrity. Why? For every person the reasons are different. For some, it's the thrill of the hunt (finding that new business and starting it that' s exciting). Once it's strated, the shine dulls and it becomes routing. For others, success can wear at the enthusiasm we have for a business, and for still others it can be criticism or worse ridicule that we may be subjected to along the way.

Whatever the reason, when the energy wanes or the positive motivation dulls, often it has a ripple effect on the business causing a further spin toward unprofitability.

I was sent a copy of the movie The Secret this weekend. If you haven't seen it, the cost of a download is worth it. The movie shows how the energy we are projecting, both positive and negative are attracting those things we think about towards us. That means if we are thinking about debt, bills, lack of money, we could be attracting more of it to us. The movie explains that the universe is constantly bringing us what we think about ... so why not think about positive things and have more of them come our way.

So, how does this related to the beginning of this blog? When you have passion for a business, an idea or even a person, you project that passion to others ... and guess what, the universe respond bringing more of it to you.

I am going to retire free in 3 years with cheques filling my mailbox and bank account every day ... I'm passionate about making that happen.

How about you? Take a few minutes and write it out, say it out loud. Then start making it happen for you.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

How Many Streams Of Income Do You Have?

In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki outlines the differences between assets and liabilities. Assets put money in your pocket, liabilities take money out.

When you build a business, the objective is putting money in your pocket. As you build a business, you are working to establish a business that will continue paying you even when you've decided to take a break from the business. That's called residual or passive income. And that's the key to retiring early and retiring free.

If you haven't read Multiple Streams of Income, within the pages is a great concept that is important to understand: You accelerate your earning potential, as well as the speed with which you can retire when you increase the number of passive income businesses you are building.

Another aspect of the streams concept is controlling the outflow of your streams (ie your expenses). By increasing your income with income from passive income businesses, while managing your expenses you will start to the path to financial freedom ... how these residual streams of income will allow you to quit your current job and spend more time on the things you enjoy.

Robert Kiyosaki outlines three asset classes and as you build your passive income, he advises having passive income in all three areas: business, real estate and investments. He also recommends learning one, mastering it and moving on to the next.

So, since this blog is all about business, we are focussing here on building a series of passive income businesses. Those passive income businesses ultimately provide money to invest in the other asset classes.

That's the road to stability and financial freedom.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Are you really secure?

I received a shocking email recently from a friend and business partner. It's someone I've worked with for a number of years and has been with the same Fortune 500 company for many years.

People would say, she has a good, secure job.

Here's the shocking part. The company announced downsizing a few months ago, and she just found out she is one of the casualties of the slowing economy. So, in the next two weeks, she'll be re-evaluating her options and considering a new career move.

When I hear about people like this, it tugs at my heart. How many others out there are keeping their heads down hoping the axe won't fall on them. How many people are sitting in their offices or cubicles figuring they have a good job, they don't have to worry.

It's an illusion.

No job is secure.

We have been watching as the governments have been making moves to protect our countries from a recession. Is is working? Time will tell but in the interim, companies are making moves to protect their bottom line and react to slowing consumer sales and weaker economic outlook.

For those of us who made the decision to start moving to the right side of the quadrant and build a business, we have a greater level of control over our destiny and future earning potential.

It's news like my friend received that reinforces my decisions, strengthens my resolve and gives me the determination I need to keep building a business that will provide the financial stability I need to retire early.

It's a wake up call for all. Safe, secure jobs ... are not so safe and secure.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Investing in Freedom

The last quadrant is the I quadrant. In RD's books, he talks about the differeny levels of investors from beginners to the highest levels of qualified expert investor.

Like the other quadrants, investors have a particular skillset that needs to be honed over time.

Here's what Robert Kiyosaki says about the I quadrant. As you'll see the I quadrant is where money gets turned into wealth. Like the B quadrant we talked about earlier, this quadrant is needed to realized financial freedom.

If you’re an I (investor)

You make money with money. You do not have to work because your money is working
for you.

The I quadrant is the playground of the rich. Regardless of which quadrant people make
their money in, if they hope someday to be rich, they ultimately must come to the I quadrant.

It is in the I quadrant that money becomes converted into wealth.

Now that we've reviewed the different quadrants and the characteristics of each of those quadrants. In my coaching program, we had to articulate and answer the following questions: Who are you? How do you earn money? What is your idea of risk—or security for that matter? Equally important—how does your spouse answer these questions?

When you've answered these questions, we can take a next step and start building your foundation for financial freedom.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Move to the right ...

In the past 2 posts, we've talked about being on the left side of the quadrant, the rat race side. It's the side most people are on.

To become financially free, you need to start moving to the right side ... the freedom side. Most financially successful people are active in both quadrants on the right side but Rich Dad says the ones who are the most wealthy know the skills of building a business. If you are reading this blog, you are also interested in building a business. The skills outlined on this site are the ones needed to build a passive income business.

For those building a network marketing business, keep at it, you're on your way to moving to the right and becoming a B.

Lets remember the difference between a B and an S ... a B could leave his business for a year, come back and find the company as profitable, if not more so, than when he left. A person leaving an S business would return after a year to find no business remaining.

If you’re a B (business owner)

You’re almost the opposite of an S.


Because rather than doing things yourself, you like to surround yourself with smart people from all four categories: E, S, B, and I.

Unlike the S, who does not like to delegate work, the true B likes to delegate. Many people know either the essence of leadership or the technical skills of business. To be a successful B, you really need to know both. Rich dad always said, “The technical skills of business are easy…the hard part is working with people.”

Many entrepreneurs who start up a new company to produce something no one else has produced wind up starting an S-quadrant type of business and not a B-quadrant type.

Not that one is necessarily better than the other, but many people who want to start the latter end up starting the former—out of ignorance or inexperience. And they become stalled in their quest to move to the right side of the quadrant.

B owners own a system, not a job. So when they go on vacation, they still make money.

To be successful as a B requires both:

a. Ownership or control of systems.
b. The ability to lead people.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Independent streak? You might be an S

This one is near and dear to my heart. For those who know me, you'll recognize many of the traits I exhibit.

Interestingly enough, my husband is also an S and many of the people we know are Ss (more on this later). As you will read in this post, there are many positive aspects of an S, as well as many things both of us are well aware that we need to mitigate in order to be successful on the right side ... or the freedom side ... of the quadrant.

If you’re an S (self-employed professional)
You’re a “do-it-yourselfer.” Often, when it comes to the subject of money, a hard core S does not like to have his or her income dependent on other people. In other words, if Ss work hard, they expect to get paid for their work. Those who are Ss do not like having the amount of money they earn dictated by someone else, or by a group of people who might not work as hard as they do.

If they work hard, they expect to be paid well. They also understand that if they do not work hard, then they don’t deserve to be paid much. When it comes to money, they have fiercely independent souls.

An S responds to fear differently than an E. An S doesn’t respond to fear by seeking security, but by taking control of the situation and doing it on his or her own. When it comes to fear and financial risk, he or she wants to “take the bull by the horns.”

Also in the S group are people who took educational paths other than, or in addition to, traditional schooling. In this group are direct-commission salespeople—real estate agents, for instance—as well as small-business owners such as retail shopkeepers, cleaners, restaurateurs, consultants, therapists, travel agents, car mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, preachers, electricians, hair stylists, and artists.

For this group, money is not the most important thing about their work. Their independence, the freedom to do things their way, and to be respected as experts in their fields, are much more important than mere money. They have a hard time hiring other people to do what they do simply because, in their mind, nobody else is up to the task. This causes this group to often say, “It’s hard to find good help these days.”

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Where are you today? A look at Es

I talk a lot about the fundamentals of Rich Dad Poor Dad so I thought I'd dedicate the next couple postings to characteristics of each segment. Can you recognize yourself in any of them.

To recap, there are four quadrants ... the ones on the left are those getting income by trading dollars for hours ... they are firmly in the rat race. Those who are out of the rat race, or are getting out, gather their income from the right side of the quadrant. If you are on the left today, the goal is to start moving to the right side.

(Excerpted from Rich Dad Coaching Materials) If you’re an E (employee):

When you hear the word “secure” or “benefits,” you get a warm, fuzzy feeling. The
word “secure” is a word often used in response to the emotion of fear.

If a person feels fear, then the need for security is often a subject of conversation. This is a
“dead ringer” for someone who comes predominantly from the E quadrant. When it
comes to money and jobs, there are many people who simply hate the feeling of fear that
comes with economic uncertainty—hence the desire for security.

If you’re an E, the word “benefit” means you would also like some kind of additional

reward that is spelled out—a defined and ensured extra compensation, such as a health-care or retirement plan. The key is that you want to feel secure and see it in writing.
Uncertainty does not make you happy; certainty does. Your internal workings say, “I’ll
give you this…and you promise to give me that in return.”

As an E, you want your fear satisfied with some degree of certainty, so you seek security

and strong agreements when it comes to employment. You are accurate when you say,
“I’m not that interested in money.”

For you, the idea of security is more important than
money. Employees can be presidents of companies or janitors of companies. It is not so much what you do, but the contractual agreement you have with the person or organization that hires you.

If this sounds like you, take a note, we'll work with this information onces we looked at the other quadrants.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

What are you thinking?

"If you think you can do it or think you can't do it, either way you're right." - Henry Ford

Everyone has heard that expression, repeated as a motivational tool to help people understand the power of their own mind when it comes to success or failure.

Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich says: There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Both poverty and riches are offspring of thought.

Robert Kiyosaki in his coaching program outlines that money is just an idea.

So, why do these gurus spend time ensuring that "you've got your head right" before outlining other paths to riches? Because your conscious and your unconscious mind can undermine your efforts to attain new levels of wealth.

How? If you think you can't you won't. It's simple as that.

When you have a very strong belief - one that taps into your beliefs and your emotions - you will find that similar thoughts, feelings or beliefs are drawn to you. Have you ever smiled at a stranger, and found them smiling back? In the simplist of terms, the reaction you are looking for is drawn to you.

Try this: Have you ever had a really bad day and it seemed like everyone around you is in a bad mood. If during this bad day you started smiling at people and having a more sunny disposition, you would find that those around you seem to be in a better mood.

It's amazing how a conscious act, such as smiling, can be contagious. That one act feeds your beliefs (that people are in a good mood, as an example) and that belief translates into positive results.

How deep do you believe it? If you are speaking one set of words but don't believe them, your contradiction can be transmitted to those around you .. unconsciously and unintentionally ... and that can limit your success and even prevent you from succeseeding.

How strongly do you believe you can attain real wealth? The answer better be very strong ... you need that strength to conquer all the challenges that lie ahead ... and you need it to draw the success to you that you need.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Power Investing

When I start talking to people about Rich Dad and creating passive income to enable time and financial freedom, I immediately hear about people's plans for buying real estate. I try to listen patiently as I also believe that real estate can be a great investment vehicle ... but, as Robert Allen, Robert Kiyosaki, David Bach, and many, many more outline, having multiple streams of passive income is the true path to financial freedom.

So, what is RK's power investing principle?

1--Start a part-time business for the cashflow & tax advantages.
2--When the market is right invest in real estate. (Now is not the time.)
3-- Invest your excess cash from the real estate in paper assets.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are jumping into real estate without a lot of background knowledge about how to make that investment a lucrative one. Here's a clue, the property needs to generate passive income (that means it should be putting money into your pocket not taking money out).

When we were doing our personalized coaching program, one of the first steps was identifying how we were going to generate passive income from a number of sources; businesses, real estate and paper assets. The reason for this is to create a stable platform on which to build financial freedom you need all the elements ... and the first is to build a business.

Businesses provide the financial backing to support real estate investing. Makes sense right?

RK recommends learning a system, mastering it and then moving on to learning a new system. Start by learning the system of building a passive income business. (A passive income business is one that you could leave for a year and return to find it stronger than when you left.) Then, move into the business of real estate investing, learn the system, master it and then move on.

Taking it step by step will lead to prosperity and reduce your risks along the way.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Lattes Anyone?

Does this sound like a strange topic for my blog? Well, I'll take a Tall, Skinny .... We all have our morning routines. Drive through coffee before sitting in gridlock, lunches out on Fridays with the office, drinks on Saturday with friends ... We have the things we spend money on, without even thinking of it. Have you ever stopped to think about how much you spend on these little routines ... it's just 1.25 for a coffee right? Have you added that up over the course of a year?

It's funny how we scruntinize in minute detail the money spent on building a business, buying a business or promoting a business but the order for a Latte is flying out of our mouths without consideration.

David Bach called this the Latte Factor ... for all those people who think they don't have money for a business, don't have money to invest, don't have money to make a better future for themselves all have one thing in common ... everyone has a latte factor.

Here's the deal I've made myself. For every Latte Factor or in Robert Kiyosaki's words, Doodads that I purchase, I make an equal contribution to three funds: savings, investing and tithing (more on this in a later post). That way, I really think about the things I am buying because it will cost me double ... once for the latte and once for the rainy day fund.

If you take the time to review your savings and your expenses, you might be surprised at how much money is slipping between your fingers. The trick is, once you identify the money, is getting it to work for you. And by working for you, I don't mean putting it into a savings account and watching it NOT GROW. I mean putting it into something that will generate long-term passive income.

So lets recap: identify your latte factor, know what you are spending on and try to divert it to other productive purchases ... then, invest those funds in a business or investment that brings you closer to your goals for early retirement.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Who do you hang with?

Look around you. Who are the people you spend the most time with? Are they entrepreneurs, employees, investors or business owners?

Robert Kiyosaki says the people you spend the most time with, are already in the quadrant you will end up in. Does that mean to move from one quadrant to another you need to change your friends. Not necessarily ... but it might mean you need to expand your circle of friends to include people in the quadrant you want to enter.

How do you do it? Join a club, take a course, go to a seminar. The more activities you undertake that introduce you to people who are interested in the same investing opportunities as you pursue. By doing this, you'll expand your circle of friends to include others who have interests in the same areas you are moving into.

Another way to expand your circle of friends is to see if there is a CashFlow Club operating in your city. For those who are new to Robert Kiyosaki, CashFlow is a game he developed to teach financial literacy. By playing CashFlow you can learn the skills needed to get out of the rat race ... and by playing with others in your community, you will network with people trying to be financially free, just like you.

Let me be clear: You don't have to shed all your old friends just because they are Es and you want to be a B. What I am saying is that to grow into the business owner and investor you want to be, you need to start networking, connecting and learning from others who are already where you want to be.

I will also offer you a word of caution. If the people around you are pulling you back into your old ways and holding you back from becoming the person you want to be, you should limit your exposure to them. When you are starting a business, you experience many days of self doubt and you need people around you who would be more apt to offer encouragement and support than criticism and skeptism.

Look around you today. Are the people you spend the most time with in the quadrant you want to be in? If the answer is no, you might want to expand your circle of friends to include a few new friends.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wishing or Desiring ... one wins, one doesn't

Do you wish you had more money, wish to win the lottery, wish for business success, wish for .... insert dream here.

If you spend all your time wishing, you won't get there. You need something deeper.

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says: "Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches."

This is a powerful statement. It synthesizes all the elements you need to gain the riches you desire. Not only does it cover the desire (why), but puts steps in place to get where you are heading.

I think this is the greatest and overlooked element of a home business ... planning. So many people start out in business with a vague goal (translation wish) that they are pursuing. They have a vague plan to get there but no plan to handle obstacles ... and certainly not a plan that does not "recognize failure."

The how of a plan that does not recognize failure is harder. It involves digging deep inside to find the strength to continue on your path without letting disappointment smother you. You need to address contingencies ... how you will overcome challenges, and I would argue it includes a list of coaches and mentors you can call for help and support.

While we are all independent business people, we are not in business alone. Robert Kiyosaki says investing is a team sport. He's right. You need a strong team around you to be able to succeed. You team should be made up of professionals but also mentors and coaches who can provide you with guidance and support as you grow ... both personally and in business

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Don't get discouraged!

Have you ever gotten discouraged? You start off with a bang, that fizzles.

Here's the good news ... it is normal. I would argue that if you ask anyone who has either built a business or changed their life if they felt discouraged from time to time, the answer would be a firm YES.

The measure of your ability to ultimately succeed is your ability to battled back from setbacks. Long term success will be realized when you overcome obstacles and keep you eye on the prize. As a side note, this is also the time when you should be reading your manifestations (your why) every day at least once so you can remember why you are doing this.

Common causes of discouragement include results that don't match up with your goals, people around you saying no (or telling you that you are crazy to be trying), and even you own self doubts (can I really do this?!). In my own experience, I have found that it's the self-doubt chiming away in my own head that can be the most destructive.

So, with constant reminders to "get out of my head", I refocus on the day's activities and keep pushing ahead.

Don't forget, it's only when you give up on yourself that you will fail, and I have seen it so often. Everyone can be successful in business, it takes dedication, internal fortitude, and often the support of a good mentor or coach.

So why do so many people fail? In my opinion, it is caused by a combination of factors: planning, dealing with challenges when they come up, and staying focussed on the end goal but taking small steps to get there.

Take credit for every success and stay positive about where you want to end up ... given time, success will come. When you give up on yourself, you won't reach your goal, you'll be stuck right back where you started.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Get Organized ... It Saves Time & Money

When you work from home, having a comfortable space to work is critical. Lets face it, if you are uncomfortable in your office, you will find 100s of reasons to do something other than work, and needless to say that will impact your success (and finances).

I recently met a professional organizer, Linda Andersson, whose contact info is below. She helps people get and stay organized. When I first met her, I was a little nervous. I am a self-confessed pack-rat and desperately need help but didn't want to live in a sterile environment. Her approach to organization works with your own habits to make getting and staying organized possible.

Her simple advice, both at the seminar I attended and through her newletter, is helping me to take one step at a time towards being better organized. I thought this would be a valuable resource to all of you as well. We can never be too organized!

Here's her most recent newsletter, as well as a link to her email and web site at the end of the aticle.

She is amazing. Take some time to read her advice and visit her web site.

Thanks Linda for giving me permission to share your article.

A New Perspective

Does getting organized seem to forever be on your “to do” list? Do you often find yourself saying “I really should get rid of some stuff and get better organized”, but then don’t manage to follow it up with action?

Saying we “should” do something is often not enough of a motivator to actually do it. We “should” ourselves into a guilt-ridden state then lose motivation or just don’t know where to begin.

What if, instead of feeling guilty and trying to force ourselves to do something, we looked at it from a different perspective?

Try this exercise: Sit down in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Mentally walk through your home or office, examining each room and its contents carefully. Once you are finished the tour of the entire space, begin to watch, in your mind’s eye, all of your possessions floating out of the house and onto the front lawn. Sit in the centre of each empty room and just look around and enjoy the empty space. Then, imagine only the items from the front lawn that represent who you are as a person, or family—just those things that you use and love—being brought back into your home, item by item. Imagine where you would place each item and how your new home would look and feel if it were just as you want it.

By envisioning the emotional and physical benefits of being organized, we are more likely to move towards creating that vision and let go of the things that no longer support this focus.

Simplicity is not about sacrifice. It’s about focusing on what truly matters and creating an environment to reflect that. This month, why not try a new perspective and see what wonderful simplicity you can create in your life.

Visit Linda's web site at:
Email her at:

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Pests, Guests and Pushovers

While I was spending way too much time in airports yesterday, I remembered a saying used by Kurt Mortensen when talking about prospecting. He asked the call participants if they are pests, guests or pushovers.

If you think about your techniques, they will likely fall into one of these categories.

Lets start with Guests: This this where you want to be. Your prospect has invited you in and is actively listening to what you have to say. What does it take to be a guest? The right combination of confidence, assertiveness (matched to your prospect), listening and tapping into the needs and wants of the person. When you can consistently be a guest, you will see your business soar.

Now let us talk about the other two. You will likely lean towards one or the other more naturally.

Pests: These are the people who call many times to get hold of a prospect. Are so focused on the sell, they are not listening to what the other person is saying. You won't make the sale if you are perceived as a pest. You need to back off a little, listen more, and ask more questions. We've talked about the why for building a business, when prospecting, you will have more success if you know why they are looking at what you have. Stop talking and start listening.

Pushover: These people are wishy washy and allow prospects to control the conversation and the direction of the discussion. When you are a pushover, prospects know they can give you an objection and you will fold. If you find you are tending towards this area, you need to handle objections and keep the conversation focused on the prospect and what they need (tap into their why).

We all want to be our prospects guests and by asking questions, actively listening and not being distracted, you can understand their why and have a more powerful connection that will have them invite you in ... As a guest.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Source of Inspiration

On a slightly different vein today. I heard a speaker today who moved and inspired me ... not only by what he has had to endure in his life and his ability to survive but also through the lessons he learned along the way.

The speaker Li Cunxin, is the author of Mao's Last Dancer's. Here is a snapshot of his life from his website.

"Li was born into bitter poverty in rural Qingdao, China. Certain years the peasants in his village even ate tree barks to survive ... One day, a delegation from Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy arrived at Li's commune school to find suitable children to study ballet and serve in Chairman Mao's revolution. At first they passed Li without taking any notice, but just as they were walking out of his classroom, the class teacher hesitated, and suddenly tapped the last gentleman from Beijing on the shoulder and pointed. `What about that boy?'. And that boy was Li. And so began Li's remarkable journey. He was 11 when he left home to begin a seven-year harsh training regime from 5.30 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week at the Beijing Dance Academy ... With incredible determination, resilience, perseverance and vision, Li graduated as one of the best dancers China has produced ... And became one of the first two cultural exchange students allowed to go to America to study under Mao’s regime ... In a dramatic defection, Li was subsequently locked up in the Chinese Consulate in Houston. This created a standoff between the Chinese and the American governments. Even George Bush senior, then US Vice President intervened. FBI agents surrounded the consulate in Houston, and negotiations between Chinese and US diplomats had begun. His defection was the headline story in America. Twenty-one hours later, Li walked out of the Chinese Consulate as a free man."

What impressed my about this man is his drive. He had a very poor upbringing but knew that if an opportunity presented itself, he would leap at it and try to get a better life for himself and his family.

He says you can't get anywhere without sacrifice and dedication. As a new dancer, his legs were not strong enough to perform the jumps he needed so he would wake at 5 before rehersals start, strap sand bags to his legs and run up and down the stairs. He would do the same at night when his rehersals ended at 9 pm, and eventually, his legs were strong enough. It took dedication to get where he needed to be.

Finally, he talked about passion. He said that after spending 2 years at the academy, he hated ballet (but continued to do it because it was an opportunity to escape his poverty. One day, a new instructor inspired him and a love of ballet grew. I also believe it is that love of the ballet that would have transformed him from an average dancer to an extrodinary dancer.

Think over your life, are there people who inspired you so much that you took on challenges you would have never conceived?

Think of your business, do you challenge others and instill a passion in them.

If not, why not. In our business, being a coach is critical but inspiration will lead to miraculous results in our businesses.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is your mouth muted?

I was at a convention recently and a wonderful speaker was talking to us about business development and growth. He had a phenomenal presence ... one of those magnetic personalities I've talked about before.

He used a great expression that I think we should all remember.

Get your mouth off mute ... you can't build a business with your mouth on mute.

What a great expression. During many of my training and coaching sessions, I encounter people who are facing challenges with building their business. They want to make more money in their business, they believe in their business and they really want to make it work ... but for some reason, they aren't having much success.

Here's the first question I ask: How many people did you talk to today.

More often than not, the answer is no one ... and then the excuses start ...

This is what we call having your mouth on mute ... no one can hear your message if you don't open your mouth and talk to people.

Take your mouth off mute and start talking, you'd be surprised at the success you can achieve.

What's in a plan

I've talked before about having a plan for your business. Have you thought about a plan?
Lets talk about common elements you should include in your plan.
1. Business overview: If you can't explain it how can you sell it
2. Competitive analysis: who are your top competitors, where are they strong, where are you strong, what differentiates you from them ... and I'm not talking about the we're the best bavado.
3. Business objectives: what do you want to do and by when. Be specific and outline what it will take to get there
4. Marketing plan: how will you promote your business and how much will you be spending on promotion (include everything from samples to seminars and advertising, web hosting, travel etc.) You want a realistic picture of how much you need to invest in your business
5. ROI: Take your plan, your investment and start outlining the financial returns for the business. It doesn't have to be complex but make it complete.

If you've taken the time to do a good business analysis, the plan you have in your hot little hands after this exercise is a workable plan for business success. Now don't let it get dusty in the corner of your office, review it weekly or monthly, adjust the activities and the results.

Your business plan is a living breathing document that will allow you to forecast expenditures and project cashflow. It's a snapshot of your path to financial freedom.

If you need more help, Microsoft has some great free templates you can download but KISS (Keep it simple stupid) you don't want to spend do much time writing the plan you have no time to implement it.

What are you waiting for, start writing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Do you have a business or hobby

Working from home is a great way to gain personal time freedom. It also presents lucrative tax savings, earning potential and if you build it right, passive income for life.

Here's today's question: Are you really running a business or do you play at it (more like a hobby.)

To decide which is which, ask yourself a few questions

1. Do I have a plan? (this includes marketing, promotion, sales, competition, business goals, financial projections etc). In a future blog I'll post a simplified business plan that outlines categories.
2. Do I have a schedule (do I work at this business consistently to implement the plan)
3. Have I set budgets for my business and am I spending within those budgets effectively (this may include sampling, promotion, advertising etc., whatever is appropriate in your business)
4. Do I have a contigency plan if my sales objectives aren't being met. How will I address it, what will I do, who will I call for advice
5. Am I investing in my education (all business people need to stay current. It's the best money you can spend.)

I hate to say it but if you aren't doing all of the above, you are playing at running a business and are not seriously running a business.

Take some time and answer each of these questions. Where there are gaps, start filling them in. This is another great step in your business development.

When you are starting a home business, it is tempting to play and enjoy your newfound freedom but you need to set the solid foundation first. Build the business on a solid footing and retiring free and early is possible.

Make your business real ... not a hobby and you are on your way.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Are You True To Your Word?

Do you act with integrity? Most people when confronted with this question will state firmly that YES, they have integrity. They don't promise things they can't deliver and their word is their bond.

But are you true to the promises you make to yourself? Most people who fail in their business-building dreams are so busy keeping promises to others that they back burner the promise they made to themselves ... the promise of more money, more time freedom and a better life. So why do we all do it?

There are a few reasons I've uncovered through coaching business associates. See if any of them resonate, and be honest with yourself.

1. I am too busy doing XXXXX . You can insert almost anything here. Many people keep themselves so busy doing what can only be described as busy work that they have no time to do anything else. Here's the reality: if you make your business a priority, everyone can find 1 hour a day or 10 hours a week to dedicate to a business. Sometimes beting busy allows you to avoid doing the things you need to do to make your business profitable.

2. FEAR. While many people don't admit to the fear, many are afraid of being ridiculed or criticised for their attempts to build a business or they are afraid of failing. Often, people will say they are "too busy to work at the business right now" but the reality is that they are afriad.

If you are in a business, or you are planning to start one, you need to make a promise to yourself (and show integrity in your dealing with that promise.) Promise to give it your all. To dedicate time to your business every day and not allow other commitments to infringe on your business building efforts.

Here's a tip for keeping focused on your priorities. Every day, create a list of critical and trivial activities. The only things that go on your critical list are the top 4 thing that will lead you to reaching your ultimate goal (of financial freedom). If you are in a business, it could be talking to 2 new prospects every day. You need to do the things on your critical list before anything on your trivial list. If the day ends and you haven't done the trivial things, you can head to bed. If your day is done and you haven't done the critical, better carve out a little more time.

Here's another tip. Don't turn on the TV or pick up a book until the critical list is complete.

Remember this list is not a to do list. It is a list of the things you need to do every day to get your business on the right foot and you are taking baby steps towards your ultimate goal.

Be true to your word, especially when you are making a promise to yourself and you will be more likely to be successful.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Don't Bring Me Down

Anyone who has started a business or is thinking of starting a business knows how this feels.
You are excited about a new opportunity. You are looking ahead to greater prosperity and financial freedom. You've done your research and know the business will get you closer to your goals. AND THEN ... someone, usually someone you respect or love, dumps a huge bucket of cold water over your head and you are left shivering. More often than not, you also give up on the dream, and the idea that made you so energized in the first place.


Why do we let others control our destiny? Why do others have such control over us? In a later article we'll talk about this but for now, ask yourself some questions about your critics: Are then independently wealthy? Have they gotten out of the rat race and are enjoying the type of life you aspire to have? Are they business owners? Have they taken any steps towards financial freedom.

Chances are the answers to these questions are No.

So, why are you listening. Tune out.

If the people around you aren't as excited by what you are trying to accomplish as you are, maybe they aren't the right influences. That's not to say that everyone around you should jump on the bandwagon and join you in business, but they should be supportive.

My approach to negativity is simple. Those people who consistently pull me down, are those with whom I don't share ideas I am excited about. Those people who undermine my efforts to improve my financial situation, are ones I limit exposure to.

I foster and spend time on the relationships and people with vision. Those who support my efforts and encourage me to grow and challenge myself. These are the people we want to spend time with, not those negative nellies who can't see anything positive in life.

You can't win the game when you're sitting on the bench. And, you can't win when people around you consistently tell you you're not a good player. How did professionals get good ... practice. In business, it means getting into the game and taking a few swings. Soon enough you'll hit one out of the park.

About the Author:
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today, I wanted to share an article by a master persuader. Wouldn't you love to have people banging on your door to do business with you? The secret could be charisma. Here's what Kurt Mortensen has to say about developing the skills that will draw people to you.


For some, charisma is a mysterious attribute. It’s challenging to describe someone who exudes charisma because there’s really no way to quantify the effect this kind of person seems to have on others. It seems that you either have charisma or you don’t. Charisma is not leadership, assertiveness, or enthusiasm and it’s not exactly personality either. It’s its own unique characteristic. Charisma empowers others to like you, even if they don’t know much about you and even when there hasn’t been enough time to develop trust in you. If you have charisma, not only do people want to be around you, but, whether they realize it or not, they also want to be influenced by you. Charisma gives you power, allegiance, and devotion with your audience, without leaving them feeling powerless and it creates instant support. So, are you born with charisma or is it learned? The answer to both questions is yes! Some attributes are inherent! ; others can be acquired.

The word “charisma” comes from the Greek goddess Charis. Charis’ character was one of total beauty and charity. Today, the word has to do with an individual’s magnetism, intensity, vivaciousness, and so on. Gerry Spence’s said it best:

“Charisma is energy from the heart zone. If the speaker has no feeling, there is nothing to transfer. Charisma occurs when the speaker’s feelings are transferred in the purest form to another. Charisma is not a diluted feeling. It is not disguised. It is a raw feeling. Charisma is the passing of our pure energy, our pure passion to the other.”

People who are charismatic often hold us in awe. Their energy prods us, motivates us, and inspires us. They fulfill our need to have heroes. We feel better for having met them, seen them, listened to them, and interacted with them. Why and how do they have this effect on us?

Jay Conger has identified four general characteristics of charismatic leaders. As you develop these characteristics, people will follow you! You will become magnetic!

1. They have a strong and clear vision, and they know how to present it in the context of their audience’s needs.

2. They know how to present their vision so that the weaknesses of the present condition are apparent and the recommended changes are not only justifiable, but also desired.

3. They have a history of success, expertise, and vision to make educated departures from old traditions that may be less effective.

4. They possess the behavior they encourage others to have, modeling the results of change and thus helping their audience feel motivated and empowered to do likewise.

“Charisma is the result of effective leadership, not the other way around.”
-Warren Bennis

Persuade with Power,

Kurt W. Mortensen