Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Lord Will Make a Way


The Lord Will Make a Way

by Lawrence Powell

I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ~Isaiah 43:19

At the time of Isaiah’s ministry, Judah was going through periods of revival and periods of rebellion. Because of Judah’s rebellion, they were threatened with destruction by enemy forces. Yet, each time they were spared because of God’s rich mercies.

Have you ever been spared from something because of God’s mercy? Aren’t you grateful for it? You and I know very well where we’ve blown it, sinned, and found ourselves in great suffering from the consequence of our sin and the judgment we received. But even when we sin, God does not give up on us.

I want to encourage you today that if you’re struggling in sin, God has not given up on you. God will not give up on you. He’s begun a good work in you and that work will be completed even to the day of Jesus Christ. I’m glad that, even though God has given us the gift of choice, He is still a sovereign God and can intervene. God can step in and do whatever He wants to do so that His will is accomplished. I’m grateful today that when I was trying to go left, God said, “Not so!” and turned me back right again.

God’s got a word of promise that’s tailor-made for you today! As a principal, what He revealed to the prophet Isaiah then is still relevant, alive and powerful today: The Lord WILL make a way for you!

I want to give you six words from the Lord, as revealed in Isaiah 43:

Don’t be afraid: But now, says the Lord who created you, O Jacob, and He who has formed you, O Israel, ‘Fear not! For I have redeemed you and I have called you by name” (Isaiah 43:1). I don’t know what you’re afraid of, but God says “Fear not!” Don’t fear! Fear is a controller. It intimidates and manipulates. Fear is a crippler. It keeps us focused on the past, anxious about today and worried about tomorrow. Remember what Paul said to Timothy: “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

You belong to God: It says in Zechariah 2:8, “…he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” The “apple of the eye” refers to the tenderest part of the pupil. Imagine getting poked in the eye. When people touch you, God feels it! When they mess with you, God takes it personally. If you’re a parent you know that, if somebody messes with your child, you’ll do everything in your power to make sure that child is protected! How much more so will our Heavenly Father protect us? When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him. God’s not a deadbeat dad; He takes care of His children!

Test and trials will not destroy you: Isaiah 43:15 tells us, “When you pass through the waters, I’ll be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned.” There’s a lie circulating that when you accept Jesus into your life, you are exempted from trials and tribulations. Jesus said in this world you will have tribulation and persecution. But those who suffer with Him shall reign with Him, according to Scripture. You’ll go through, but you’re going to come out victoriously, amen? God always brings His children out of their troubles into triumphs. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). Take your eyes off the drama; get your eyes off the pain; stop focusing on the trauma. You’re coming out of trouble, and the other side is way better than what you’re experiencing now!

You are not alone: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 43:5). True, you can be in a room full of people or in a crowd someplace and still feel alone. You can reason to yourself, “Well, if I just get married, I won’t be alone.” But you can be with your spouse, your seven kids, your gerbil, your dogs, your cats and your goldfish—and have TVs on in every room–and still feel alone. I want you to know that even in times when it feels like God is a million miles away, He is right there—and you are actually never alone! He said to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage, don’t be afraid nor dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Friend, you’ve got to get this: The Lord your God is with you! Jesus said, “Lo, I will be with you always, even to the end of the world.” And He meant it!

You’re going to be a living witness: You’re going to know for yourself that the Lord is with you. It’s not what you heard from your mom or other people. Thank God for your mother’s experiences and for all the experiences that others have had and shared, but you’ve got to have your own experience. God says you’re going to have a personaltestimony to share on the witness stand—an experience of His Power and Glory all your own! He says, “You’re going to see this with your own eyes. You will go through trials, but you will experience victory …and tell others about it!

God’s got your back: The Lord is the Redeemer, the Holy One, who “makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters” (Isaiah 43:14-17). You know the people who think you’re down and out and won’t make it out of your current hardship? The ones who didn’t think you’d be able to live for God five days, let alone five years? The people who smile in your face and then stab you in the back? God says, “I’m going to handle this for you.” Remember: “’Vengeance is mine,’ saith the Lord.” Isaiah 43:19 says, “I will make a way in the wilderness and make streams in the desert.”Whenever God wills a thing, that thing, in fact, is already done!

With these precious promises, you can be sure that no matter what obstacles or hardships you face, the Lord will indeed make a way for you! What an awesome God we serve!

Energy Leadership

Energy Leadership

Leaders know that disengagement causes lower productivity, increased turnover, and deteriorating morale. 

As a leader, if you’re disengaged, or not as engaged as you could be, a game of follow-the-leader ensues.  The result: employees who are so dissatisfied that they can’t wait to find a new job. Worse, many high potentials, in whom you’ve invested, are also looking to leave. 

Core Energy Coaching™

The benefit of the Core Energy Coaching™ process is that it enables leaders to raise their own conscious awareness and provides processes and tools to assist them in leading others towards a stated goal or task.

You will learn how to break through limiting thoughts and emotional responses, so that you can replace them with supportive, empowering beliefs that will lead to powerful and consistent ACTION. When you as a leader are highly aware of how you think, feel, and act, the stage is set for sustainable growth personally and professionally. The process will allow you shift into high performance mode that you truly desire and help you accomplish exponentially greater results while expending less effort.

Benefits of Core Energy Coaching™

  • You will identify desired goals, and work with them to break through any blocks that are preventing you from moving forward
  • You will identify how your past experiences have formed beliefs that are holding you back. You will re-engineer those beliefs so you can achieve greatness personally and professionally
  • You will create measures of success that fits you and your profession
  • You will recognize the challenges you face today are often symptoms of another underlying cause. The Core Energy Coaching™ process will assist you in determining the root cause(s) of what has held you back from reaching your potential as a leader.

PRICING

Core Energy Coaching™, Energy Leadership Assessment, 2 hour debrief meeting and three 30 minute follow-up meeting with a Javis Brunson Consultants advisor will cost $575.

Email (jay@javisbrunsonconsultants.com) to schedule a 15-minute introductory phone conversation to discuss how we can help you become a better leader.

Making Every Day Thanksgiving

 
Making Every Day Thanksgiving
 
By Robert Ringer
Here it is, Thanksgiving again. I love Thanksgiving because it brings back a lot of great childhood memories — turkey, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, five or six desserts, the Packers and Lions doing battle on our black-and-white television set, snow flurries, the long weekend and, best of all, family.

Most everyone loves the festive atmosphere of Thanksgiving. The spirit of this gluttonous holiday seems to put everyone in a good mood. (Except for the turkey, of course.)  But, like so many of our national holidays, I doubt that many people take the time to reflect on the true purpose of this special day.

When the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621, it was to give thanks for the bountiful harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony following a severe winter.  In modern-day terms, they saw their glass not as half empty, but half full.

In this regard, on Thanksgiving day I also find myself thinking about Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939.  If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably seen footage of that historic speech.

The words that most of us remember are when Gehrig said, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”  What an amazing statement from a person who knew that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  This insidious terminal illness is now commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

With Lou Gehrig’s words in mind, I’d like to share with you something personal that has become a centerpiece in my life.  For many years, I have made it a habit to think of every day as a day of thanksgiving by beginning each morning consciously thinking about my blessings.  Like the Pilgrims, everyone’s glass is both half empty as well as half full, so I could just as easily choose to think about my misfortunes.

Since every negative has an offsetting positive built into it, and vice versa, you always have a choice as to whether to focus on the abundance or the scarcity in your life.  And my firsthand experience has convinced me beyond all doubt that if you want more negatives in your life, all you need to do is concentrate on the negatives that already exist.

Likewise, if you want more positives in your life, focusing on the positives you already have is a great catalyst for making that happen.  You’ll be amazed at the number of new positives that will almost magically make their appearance into your life as a result of a healthy mindset.

Let me make it clear that there that is nothing magical about this phenomenon.  On the contrary, it’s quite scientific.  What makes it possible is the fact that (1) all atoms are connected and (2) atoms vibrate at tremendous rates of speed.

That’s why, when your thoughts are positive, science works its wonders and causes those vibrating atoms in your brain to draw positive people, things, and circumstances into your life.  Because you are connected to the Conscious Universal Power Source, you always have infinite power at your disposal.  Even if you’re an atheist, you will find that focusing on your blessings is a cathartic way to start each day.  Again, it’s a matter of science.

Whenever something “bad” happens, I try to quickly discard the negative aspects of the situation.  Then I say to myself, “But, here are the offsetting positives” … and I describe those positives to myself in a very specific way.

If I were to make up a list of all the blessings I’ve had during my life — minor, medium, and major ones — such a list would be in the thousands.  I don’t know you personally, but I strongly suspect that your list would be just about as big as mine.

I realize that it’s not easy to focus on your blessings when faced with a genuine crisis such as a serious medical problem, financial upheaval, or a deteriorating marriage.  Nevertheless, it’s wise to remember that the more you focus on the adversities in your life, the more adversities you are likely to get.

I don’t have a double-blind study to prove it, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that being thankful for what you have every day of your life is a powerful tonic for the mind.  I’m not talking about just speaking the words.  I’m talking about thinking the thoughts.

Start each day by celebrating your own version of year-round thanksgiving, in solitude, and it will change the way you look at life.  And, as they say in quantum physics, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

 

The Most Important Moment

The Most Important Moment

By Alex Green

A marriage, a friendship, a close family relationship… All of our important relationships are built on countless moments, innumerable interactions that either build qualities of trust, joy, and respect — or undermine those qualities.

Today I want to show you what is arguably the most important moment for building a trusting, satisfying, loving relationship. We often tend to think that what makes a difference in a romantic relationship, or our relationship with our kids, or other friends and relatives, are the big things; the romantic getaway for the weekend, or the great gift that we buy.

But there is a moment that packs more leverage, more meaning, and more potential for doing good — or harm — than almost any other: The moment when someone we care about asks for our attention.

Changing how we respond in that moment can enliven the entire atmosphere of our relationships. To understand why, we must first look at what happens to us when we’re ignored.

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“One of the most severe punishments for a prisoner is solitary confinement; one of the most hurtful things kids do on a playground is to ditch another kid; one of the most frustrating and hurtful things that friends can do to each other is to give “the silent treatment.” These are all experiences of social isolation; and social isolation is the strongest psychological risk factor for disease. More than stress, more than anything else.

Of course the moments I’m talking about are not as severe as total social isolation, but they are threads of the same cloth. Research shows how even mild experiences can have a huge effect:

Pedestrians who walked past a stranger without getting any acknowledgment from that stranger reported a substantially lower sense of connection to other people — just from that one moment.

People riding an elevator who were completely ignored by the stranger next to them moved from feelings of happiness toward feelings of hurt.

In a computer simulation of a game of catch, when people were not thrown the ball for just five minutes, they felt more sadness, despair and hostility, and less self-esteem, sense of belonging, sense of control, and meaning in life… in five minutes. With a stranger. Even with a stranger they were told they would not like.

Imagine how much more intense it is for us to be ignored by somebody we know and care about.

And yet most of us are unaware of how often we do this.

It is so easy to get caught up in whatever it is that we’re doing, and miss these moments of contact — the moments when the people we care about ask for our attention. We usually think that it will be just fine to respond a little later when we’re done with our task. We do this not because we’re rotten people, or because we don’t care about our mate or our children or our friends, but because these moments can be easy to miss, and we don’t realize the power that’s contained in them.

Sometimes when I tell my clients about this, they say something to the effect of: “But if I respond, won’t I have to do what the other person is asking? What if I’m busy? What if I don’t want to do what they’re asking? Do I have to always drop everything whenever someone wants my attention?”

Let me clarify something that will make doing this much easier, and much more attractive. When somebody — our mate, our child, a friend — asks for our attention, all we have to do to make a better relationship is within that moment when we turn toward them and acknowledge their request. We don’t have to do what they’re asking us to do. Sure, it’s nice if we can, and we want to follow through and be more involved as often as possible; but that’s not the most important thing. What’s most important is the initial immediate response.

Say for example your wife asks if you could help her to do a chore, but you have work to finish, and you can’t reasonably take the time right now to help her.

Just physically turn toward her, and say something like, “I’d like to help, but I have to finish what I’m doing. I’ll be done in about an hour, and I’d be happy to help you then.” Or, “I’m sorry honey; I’ve got my hands full, and I really can’t help you now.”

Or what if your son wants to tell you about an idea he has, but you’re really busy? Turn toward him and take a moment to say something like, “I really want to hear about your idea, but I have some things I need to take care of right now that I can’t put off, could you tell me about it when I’m finished?”

Now, they may be disappointed, but they won’t feel ignored.

The moment that matters most is the initial response, when we physically turn toward the other person and respond to their request for our attention. In that moment we are communicating volumes. We’re saying that we care about them, that we hear them, we see them, and that they matter to us.

On the other hand, when we don’t respond, we’re saying something more like, “I don’t see you, I don’t hear you, I don’t care about you, and you don’t matter to me.” All in a moment.

One of the most important and gratifying experiences that we give one another in a relationship is visibility. The experience of being seen is a deep human need, and our closest relationships are where we meet that need. The more we share these moments, the more resilient our relationships become.

When we have the kind of base that is built by countless friendly, kind, and playful interactions, then when the inevitable hard conflicts or misunderstandings come, they are much less daunting – because they are exceptions to the overall spirit that we’ve created over time. These smaller habits are also what build the foundation that can make the bigger positive events much more fun and satisfying.

There is more to building a great relationship of course. But establishing this simple habit of immediately responding to a request for attention can act as a powerful positive catalyst. It binds with and enhances every other positive thing we do; it can significantly improve your relationships — and it only takes a moment.

What every small business owner needs to know about Buyer Personas

What every small business owner needs to know about Buyer Personas

by Joe DeMicco @demicco

Successful small businesses (well all businesses I guess) know that happy customers are key to their growth and future. The best way to keep customers happy is to know them as well as possible and serve them in ways that are meaningful to them specifically. Whether you market B2B or B2C, your target audience groups consist of real people, with real lives, wants, pains, goals, responsibilities, challenges, and jobs, with bosses they have to answer to. The goal is to get to know them on a personal level so that you can start to deliver useful business content and messaging that will resonate with them and get them to take action.

 For most of us, getting to know each one of our potential and existing customers is an impossible task. Luckily, many of them have shared traits and commonalities. By gathering these shared traits and commonalities into a single persona profile, we can create a prototype of our ideal customer. We call this a Buyer Persona.

You likely have more than one Buyer Persona type that you sell to. The idea is focus on your ideal Buyer Personas – those who represent the strongest, most rewarding business opportunities. Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may end up with a minimum of two and potentially three to five for each business division you have. It is best to keep them to a minimum, remember, you are considering those who are your ideal customers because of what you are going to do next.

The next step is to use what you know about each one of your Buyer Personas in all future business considerations, including: developing content such as website copy, case studies, white papers, technical documentation, videos, social media posts, advertising copy, promotional materials, and pre- and post-sale communications; developing new products, services, events, training, and customer support channels; and even expanding your physical presence to new geographic areas.

Whether its delivering a specific type of content – at a certain time – to the right person via the right channel, or opening a new store in a new city, Buyer Personas give you much of the valuable insight you need to do the right things at the right time. Buyer Personas are the key that unlocks the opportunities to attract new business, make sales, and develop customer loyalty that not only sustains your business but helps it to continue to grow.

Break the Shackles of Debt

Break the Shackles of Debt (Pt 2 of 2)
By Darren Hardy
Yesterday, I discussed the harsh reality that you are not free until you are debt-free.

To continue our theme on financial freedom, I want to give you my 3 key steps to finally breaking the financial shackles that might be restraining your freedom.

I was taught early on that if you can’t afford it in cash, you can’t have it, period.

I use a credit card primarily for tracking and mileage reward incentives, but it is completely paid for each cycle.

I never revolve credit. That’s a fool’s game.

With my personal finances (beyond real estate), I don’t believe in carrying any debt (as in zero) whatsoever. I never have.

If you are not there, get there quickly.
Make that your first and most urgent priority in life.

Eliminate every possible expense beyond your absolute BASIC survival needs until you have zero debt.

It’s amazing to me when I know people who have thousands of dollars of credit card debt and I see them going out to dinner, going on vacation, or going shopping for new clothes.

“Really?!” you gasp.

Am I saying if you have credit card debt, you can’t go out to eat, treat yourself or have any fun?

Yep! That’s exactly what I’m saying.

If it costs MONEY (that you don’t have), then no, you cannot afford to go/buy.

Hey, have all the fun you want… if it’s FREE.

What I am saying is you cannot afford treats or fun that costs money.

Look, you already danced, so no more dancing until the fiddler is fully paid up.

So here’s a quick plan to break your debt shackles:

1) Cut to the bone

Go through every single expenditure you have and eliminate or slash everything as deep as possible. Get your monthly expense overhead as low as it can be short of you having to live under a bridge and eat Top Ramen for three meals a day.

2) Make investments

While you don’t spend money on expenses, you do make investments. The kind of investments that can help you dig your way out of a financial rabbit hole.

You heard this before, but it’s a discipline you have to adopt no matter your current financial state — no, particularly if you have a financial situation that is grave.
And it’s this:

Carve out 10% of every dollar you earn and invest it back in yourself.

To get out of debt you have to grow out of debt.

Hey, the person that got you into debt isn’t going to be the person to get you out of it.

You have to become the kind of person that builds wealth, not debt.

That requires a new and improved version of you. You 2.0.

Thus, you have to invest in some product development.

To make sure this tip is executed, I have found it is best to automate it — divert it before you even see it.

What I do is I have my account set up to take 10% of my monthly deposits and auto-transfer 10% into my personal development account. I don’t have to think about it, make a choice to or not to do it, and I never see that money in my regular banking accounts.

I suggest setting up such a system for yourself. Money can burn a hole in your pockets (and your bank account), so be sure to pay yourself first. The best way to do that is to do it without thinking about it.

3) Make more money

Sounds obvious, but wait for it… without increasing your lifestyle in equal proportion.

This is why many people who even make a significant income still do not become wealthy. No matter how much money they make, their lifestyle (meaning expenditures) grows in equal proportion (sometimes even more) to their increased income.

As I mentioned earlier, the people with the most debt tend to be the ones with the larger incomes, as crazy as that sounds. I call it the spiral effect.

You buy a new house, now you also need to upgrade all your furnishings. Now you host or go to get-togethers in your new uppity neighborhood so you have to upgrade your wardrobe. You can’t park that old jalopy in the driveway, you need a car (or better one) than your neighbors. You talk about where your kids go to school and where you are going on vacation and what restaurants you have and haven’t tried or golf courses you’ve played and what driver and putter you use, and all of a sudden you are tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, just to keep up.

Sound familiar? Even in the smallest way?

Be careful of every decision you make. The one decision by itself doesn’t seem very expensive, but the spiral effect it triggers can be the beginning of a tailspin that ends up in the heavy chains of debt that could enslave you for the rest of your life.

So getting back to it, make more money — without spending any more. Of course, I suggest starting your own business or getting into sales. Something that rewards performance. If you produce more, you’ll earn more.

Thus, when you do #2 (invest in your personal growth), it will help you do #3 (make more money) while maintaining #1 (keeping your expenses Spartan) and accelerate your financial freedom plan.

There it is.
It can’t be put to you any more plainly than that.
There’s no magic wand or genie in a lantern.
It’s simple math.

1) Reduce expenses.
2) Improve yourself (the one who created the “situation”).
3) Make more money (and don’t spend it).

Execute on those three and you will no doubt earn your freedom — your financial freedom!

As William Wallace said (kind of), “Tell our enemies that they may send us their credit credit card offers, but they will never take OOOOUURR FREEEEEEEDOOOM!”

The Truth About Money

by Craig Ballantyne, editor

Deep inside the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas lies a cavernous, and carnivorous, restaurant called Bazaar. Helmed by the celebrity chef, Jose Andres, you can order the finest charcuterie, rib eye steaks 2.5 inches thick, and if you call a day in advance, a whole suckling pig delivered to your table (recommended for groups of 6 or more). It’s not cheap, but it’s worth the visit. Last month, my friend and business partner Bedros Keuilian and I went to Bazaar and brought along our friend Andy. Young Andy was in awe of the restaurant, and the prices. He’s just getting started in his career and hasn’t yet built a proper money mindset. The right money mindset doesn’t mean throwing money around to show off, or wasting it on frivolous purchases. The right money mindset means that you know how to attract opportunity and properly allocate your capital. Bedros and I are good stewards of our money. Bedros has built several multi-million dollar businesses, and as a result, he lives the good life. Sure, he has treated himself to a couple of toys, a Nissan GTR and a few nice watches, but other than that, he wisely reinvests his profits back into his rapidly growing business, invests in rental real estate, and supports his family of four. More importantly, the good life also allows him to be a servant to others. He’s donated over $200,000 to Shriners Hospital, and he’s coached thousands of personal trainers to grow their businesses and, in turn, help tens of thousands of men and women transform their bodies and their lives.

Bedros has also built a franchise, Fit Body Boot Camp, where each week over 49,000 clients visit a location for a workout. Think about that for a moment. Bedros is directly responsible for helping almost 50,000 people lose weight, look great, and get healthy — all because he has the right money mindset and was willing to take action on his big ideas. Having the right money mindset has also led to our Mastermind Group. Bedros and I know that we need to celebrate our success by giving back and coaching others. We help people build businesses similar to ours. This month, we’ll have our annual Information Marketing Workshop in California with over 100 attendees, including several ETR readers, where we’ll teach people to make money — and how to have the right money mindset. The right money mindset starts a virtuous cycle. When you have it, you make more money, invest more money, and have more money. And doing all of that brings more opportunity back to you so that you can make more money. That was the big lesson we wanted to teach our young friend Andy in Vegas. “When you serve others,” I told him, “You attract the opportunity to make a lot of money.” “And if you have the right money mindset,” Bedros said, “You’ll deliver value and receive value in return. You’ll grow wealthy and be able to help more people, and that is a good thing, despite what you hear in the news and despite the negative talk you hear from other people, or worse, in your own mind.” “Plus, having the right money mindset allows you to make the right decisions with your money once you’ve earned it,” I said to Andy, who was getting excited at the prospect of getting rich. “Basically, the right money mindset guarantees that you will continue to grow your wealth, rather than losing your fortune, as has happened to so many others.”

“So how do I get the right money mindset?” Andy asked? It’s a great question. Everyone needs help with getting the right money mindset. Bedros and I have slightly different approaches, of course, because while the right money mindset is a general concept, the details are specific to each individual. The help you need for getting the right money mindset is unique to your situation. Some folks need help making money, others need help saving money, and some folks need help spending money. It’s tough to wrap up a generic money mindset lesson, but I’ll do my best. In my opinion, the best approach to a healthy Money Mindset is… To not need a lot of money… You must be able to overcome the power that money has over most people. If you can agree with the following statement, then you have the right relationship with money. If the world was to take all your earthly possessions and ask you, “What do you have left?” and you could truthfully reply, “Everything,” with a calm smile on your face, knowing that you have your family, friends, and integrity, then you, my friend, have lived the right way and won the game of life. Count your riches in relationships. Now all that being said… We’re here to make money. But if you can truly live by the statement above, then you will make the right decisions right now for your right life and your future. You won’t take short-term gains that sacrifice long term wins. To make money, you must have Big Ideas and you must add value to the world through the implementation of your ideas. You need to surround yourself with others that think big, like you, and that will support you on your quest to add value. This is why it’s so important for people to get out of their bubbles and attend events, connect outside of the industry, and hang around people that play up a level. If you only talked to your neighbor in your hometown, then you’d think that making $40,000 was good enough and getting a $1,000 tax refund every April was a big bonus. It’s not. But if you hang around Go-Givers, generous people that are wealthier than you, then you will see what is truly possible when you have a BIG IDEA that adds value to the lives of millions. That’s when the Money Game is ON. So it comes down to this. The truth about money is… “Your wealth is the average of the wealth of the five people you spend the most time with.” The No. 1 thing you can do today to improve your money mindset is to play UP a level. That might mean taking a millionaire to lunch, joining a Mastermind group, or hiring your first business coach. You need to attend seminars and be in the room with Bedros, Mark Ford, Tim Ferriss, Dan Kennedy, Oprah, Sara Blakely, Tony Robbins, and so on and so forth. Your money mindset, your habits, and your ability to generate big ideas are all greatly influenced by other people. Fixing your money mindset starts with choosing the right external factors — your friends and your environment. Go to good places. Spend time with good people and you will get the right money mindset on your side so that you’ll attract great opportunity into your life.

9 Wealth-Building Lessons From Billionaires

9 Wealth-Building Lessons From Billionaires
By Mark Ford
There is no shortage of billionaires today. In 1985, there were fewer than 20 of them. Today, there are more than 1,800. As many as 536 of them are American. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Nor is their collective net worth of around $2.5 trillion.

At the moment, the U.S. has the world’s largest and most-profitable economy. But, India and China are catching up. Their economies are growing fast. And they are not wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars.

One of the best ways you can create and maintain wealth is by following the lead of people who’ve already done so.

About 33% of the very rich got their money through inheritance. Take the Waltons (founders of Wal-Mart), for instance. The rest — two out of three — created their wealth through business. About half of those mega-entrepreneurs started with family money, and the other half started from scratch.

These are the people — like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page — who earned the wealth they have. These are the people I’d listen to if I wanted advice on how to succeed today.

I don’t know any of these billionaire entrepreneurs (BEs) personally, but I do know lots of multimillionaires —  entrepreneurs, authors, professionals, and even a few successful artists. And in my experience, they share the following traits with billionaires:

9 Wealth-Building Lessons From Billionaires
By Mark Ford
There is no shortage of billionaires today. In 1985, there were fewer than 20 of them. Today, there are more than 1,800. As many as 536 of them are American. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Nor is their collective net worth of around $2.5 trillion.

At the moment, the U.S. has the world’s largest and most-profitable economy. But, India and China are catching up. Their economies are growing fast. And they are not wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars.

One of the best ways you can create and maintain wealth is by following the lead of people who’ve already done so.

About 33% of the very rich got their money through inheritance. Take the Waltons (founders of Wal-Mart), for instance. The rest — two out of three — created their wealth through business. About half of those mega-entrepreneurs started with family money, and the other half started from scratch.

These are the people — like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page — who earned the wealth they have. These are the people I’d listen to if I wanted advice on how to succeed today.

I don’t know any of these billionaire entrepreneurs (BEs) personally, but I do know lots of multimillionaires —  entrepreneurs, authors, professionals, and even a few successful artists. And in my experience, they share the following traits with billionaires:

1. Most, but not all, have college degrees.

The great majority of BEs — about 90% — have college degrees. But it’s not necessary for success. Among the world’s super-rich today, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, Fred DeLuca, David Geffen, and Andrey Melnichenko didn’t graduate from college. And David Murdock (Dole Foods) and Richard Desmond (British publishing magnate) never finished high school. That same percentage (90%) feels roughly true in terms of the most successful people I know. Those who lacked college educations were plenty smart and had the most important skills: thinking, writing, and speaking.

2. BEs work harder and longer than the people who work for them. 

Most say they work 50-55 hours per week. Canadian communication mogul Ted Rogers worked 12 hours per day. And some, like Bill Gates (when he worked at Microsoft) and Jeff Skoll (dot-com legend and eBay’s first president) took no vacations for years while their businesses were growing. These days, I probably work about 60 hours per week, but when I was in my “growth” phase, I was working 80-plus hours and not taking vacations.

Every successful person I know works long and works hard. But, I do know a few people who seem to be able to have some balance in their lives. Bill Bonner, for example, has always kept his weekends free for building stone walls or repairing roofs on his various global mansions. But he works 16 hours per day Monday through Friday.

3. BEs are constantly looking for profit opportunities. 

When they hear about an economic or business development, they don’t hear it as some bit of abstract news about someone else. Instead, they think, “How could I profit from that?”

In this respect, you’d have to say BEs are self-centered. Like all super-successful people, they are constantly relating the facts of their lives back to their personal careers. I can’t get through a magazine, any magazine — even one about architecture or science — without having these sorts of personal profit questions pop into my mind.

4. BEs don’t dwell on mistakes. 

They view problems as learning opportunities. “I don’t remember any mistakes,” late pharmaceutical billionaire James Sorenson told Forbes, “only opportunities to overcome problems.” I know some successful people who DO dwell on mistakes — mistakes made by other people. Usually, people who work for them. But, these same people are quick to forgive themselves.

I used to beat myself up over mistakes, but I eventually got over them. I realized it’s not about having a perfect batting average… it’s about how many times you get up to the plate.

5. BEs think neither completely positively nor negatively, but strategically. 

Instead of thinking, “That’s impossible,” or “I can do anything,” they think, “Is that possible?” and “If it is, how could I do it?” This is a big point. Most people, when they hear a new idea, think immediately about all the problems it might cause, or how difficult it might be to implement, or what obstacles one might have to overcome. When I see smart businesspeople doing this, I think to myself, “These people will never get beyond a certain point. They are limited by these instinctively negative mindsets.”

When someone suggests an idea to me, I try to shut down the critical part of my mind and listen to the potential of the idea. If my positive mind likes the potential, then I allow the critical part of my brain to raise questions and concerns. I then use both sides of my brain to come up with answers and solutions.

6. BEs don’t believe in luck.

In a recent Forbes poll of the 400 richest people in the world, none said they had become wealthy entirely by luck. Some said they considered luck to be a minor factor. Most, like Oprah Winfrey, consider luck an outsider’s way of describing someone who works hard and seizes opportunity. “Luck,” Winfrey says, “is preparation meeting a moment of opportunity.”

7. BEs are not driven primarily by money.

“Studies show the desire for financial success is no stronger among entrepreneurs than among those not starting a company,” says entrepreneur expert Kelly Shaver. Wharton School management professor Raphael Amit agrees: “No one is saying they don’t like their wealth. What matters more is the innovation, the intense commitment they have to an idea, and the difference it can make. Money is a byproduct.” I find this to be 100% true.

BEs are motivated primarily by challenge. They want to prove something — all kinds of things. They want to prove they are smart and their ideas are good and their critics are wrong. They want to show the world there is a place for better products and better services and things done the way they believe they should be done. These are their primary motivators.But, don’t fool yourself. The BE wants to get paid. He wants every dollar he’s entitled to. If you try to deny him that money, you will lose him.

8. BEs make friends. Business is never about money. 

Business is about people. It’s about who you know and who you trust. Billionaires work within their circles to get things done.

9. BEs know they can’t do anything alone. 

Instead, they create important partnerships, and work with these partners to collaborate on great projects. Most importantly, they remember to give credit where it’s due. If you want to survive and prosper in the 21st century, emulate the habits of the world’s richest people.

Educate yourself about money. Make conservative investments. And seize opportunities to start and/or invest in entrepreneurial businesses.

HOW TO LIVE THE GOOD LIFE

How to Live the Good Life

By Alex Green

What does it mean to live a good life? What is true happiness? How much is enough? And how should you spend the time you have remaining?

Aristotle asked these important questions more than 2,000 years ago. And he called the answer the golden mean.

Aristotle (384 B.C. — 322 B.C.) was a student of Plato and tutor to Alexander the Great. He taught logic, rhetoric, metaphysics, poetry, music and ethics. He introduced the structure of logical thought that laid the groundwork for empirical science. And his writings became the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy.

Yes, the world today doesn’t look much like ancient Greece. But people themselves haven’t changed a whit. Then, as now, the conventional view was that a “successful” life is about career advancement, power, prestige, material goods, sensual pleasure and social approval.

Aristotle rejected this line of thinking — and devoted his life to exploring the best way for human beings to live.


He insisted that genuine happiness is not about fulfilling our wants and needs. (Even animals do that.) For reasoning, morally aware beings like ourselves, happiness is the result of something that sounds old-fashioned, even quaint: virtue.

Only the virtuous life, Aristotle insisted, leads to real satisfaction.

Where can virtue be found? In the middle, he said, between the extremes of excess and deficiency. He gave plenty of examples:

In almost every area of our lives, the disproportion is the thief of real happiness. Even positive things — wealth, love, exercise — pursued immoderately, can become a source of misery. The trick is to find the right balance.

I learned years ago that this “middle road” leads to success in the investment arena, too. For example, many investors are so risk-averse they find themselves in ultra-low-yielding investments that make it impossible to reach their financial goals or beat inflation. Others roll the dice and lose their shirts in options, futures, penny stocks, and other speculative vehicles. The solution is not to fear risk — or ignore it — but rather to embrace and intelligently manage it.

Always look for that golden mean, the middle ground between too much and too little. This is what leads to real satisfaction and contentment, to what Aristotle called eudaimonia.

Recognizing these virtues is one thing, of course. Embodying them is another. “It is no easy task to find the middle,” Aristotle conceded. But if we don’t, we may regret it.

People are often drawn to Aristotle’s ideas in the second half of life. By then, most of us have set aside our youthful fantasies about money and celebrity and are focused instead on knowledge, awareness, companionship, and community. Plus, you’ve gained something you didn’t have before: perspective.

Aristotle’s natural audience is mature, thoughtful people who have a healthy dissatisfaction with their current lives. They want to feel that they are not just living but flourishing.

That requires wisdom. And the highest wisdom, in Aristotle’s view, is to care about the right sorts of things: other people, truth, freedom, justice — and virtue.

To be human is to realize your potential for growth, to develop your higher aspects.

Happiness, Aristotle declared, isn’t something you feel. It’s something you do.