536: High Performance Individual Investors
Lifestyle: If you want to make serious money and have a sustainable lifestyle, you have to start from the fundamentals. It’s possible to be fabulously wealthy from being in business in any sector, but there are few things that really help – that might seem obvious but are worth mentioning all the same.
If you want a successful business – it’s best:
· You are obsessed by it and love it
· You have a natural affinity to it – are skilled and knowledgeable in it
· You like working hard in the area of business
· You are good at the business – helped by the above
· You stay healthy
· You are focussed, efficient and effective – good at managing
Love It: If you love it and are skilled at it, you will almost certainly be good at it – regardless of what “it” is. You’ll notice this if you meet property investors – they are normally very enthusiastic about what they do, they love properties, and making money from properties – they get a kick out of this. That’s why when you get the bug, it’s so easy to work hard and be enthusiastic – and normally the wealth follows just behind.
Discipline: It’s important of course to be very disciplined – to manage your time very effectively. If you are good at paperwork, finance and have a good eye for properties where value can easily be added, you’ll normally be a good and successful property investor. If you pride yourself in not wasting money, making high returns and providing an honest service to tenants and fellow investors, you’ll probably also do very well.
It’s critical to be and stay healthy. This sounds like motherhood and apple pie, but if you have poor health, it’s very difficult to make money – you’ll end up losing it. No health no wealth - when it comes to property investing.
Exercise: We have this theory that – if you exercise 60 mins a day – it will add 3 hours to your life for every hour spent exercising. So it creates a lot of life and value – as long as you don’t injure yourself or have an accident. Fit healthy slim people live long. If you are unfit, smoke, drink, don’t get exercise and are overweight or obese, you’ll probably live 15-20 years less long. That’s a heck of a lot of life – time and in that time you can be making serious money of course and spending it and enjoying it. If you stay healthy when you are 80 years old, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot continue to make serious money – look at Warren Buffett for example. Old age has not slowed his returns.
Dump the Car: It’s important to try and lead a healthy lifestyle. Consider this – the average person spends about 2 hours a day in the car – in a very stressful and very dangerous and polluting environment. Bombing around in a one ton car at speeds up to 70 mph – no wander people that drive a lot feel stressed out, tired and their performance suffers – work wise and financially. Best to try and dump the car as much as possible. Walk, cycle, catch the train, bus or tube, run – try and get away from the crazy car – and you might all of a sudden find you save masses of money, get very fit, save lots of time (no traffic jams, you can work or relax on the train) and your overall quality of life will improve. For some strange reason, many people choose to travel colossal distances to work – it’s almost like a daily challenge on top of everything else – it’s crazy. Everyone bombing around busy roads risking their lives and getting totally polluted and stressed out – then spending all weekend recovering (or jumping in the car to visit relatives and friends to make matters worse).
No to travel: So consider say – NO – to trips to see family and friends that involve huge car travel distances. Ask people to come and visit you instead. Try and go on holiday on the train hire some bikes, get some fresh air and enjoy life. Dump the car! It’s so much easier these days now that the internet and mobile phones allow remote communications. You can do business almost anywhere – and contact people remotely – you don’t need to bomb around in the car anymore – and try and avoid all those supposedly important face-to-face meetings. It’s probably better using your time to making phone calls and sending emails – far healthier as well.
Walk: Try and take any opportunity to walk, jog or cycle somewhere – it’s often a lot faster. As an example, if you live in West London, it normally takes ten minutes to find a car parking slot, costs huge amounts and is stressful. Better to walk to the tube get away from the road pollution.
Stay Married: Consider this – probably the single biggest wealth destroyer is divorce. The problem is, before most people have a fling then file for divorce, it never even crosses their minds. Until the divorce lawyers come out of the woodwork – if you cheat (if you are a dishonest cheat), then are caught – you will be taken to the cleaners. You’ll lose your house, then half your wealth or more on top, then have to pay maintenance – a large part of your future cash-flow. With tax, legal costs and other cost like getting another house to live in – you will almost certainly lose 65+% of your wealth overnight. It will be very difficult for you to recover from this – it’s quite possible this will tip you into bankruptcy or close to it – end up on social support or living in a bed-sit. No kidding, just do the calculations – everyone will want to take you to the cleaners – ex-partner, kids, family, government, schools, lawyers – you will be the cheat that was caught. Don’t do it! It’s not worth it! It’s stupid! On the whole, most millionaires are happily married (or single and have never been divorced). If you are a divorcee of cause it’s possible to rebound especially if you are fabulously wealthy already, but it will be so much more difficult after being shot down. It will likely lead to huge amounts of stress, time wasted, lack of focus, poorer health both physical and mental and set you back a lot. You might lose your new partner – they won’t like this losing streak. If you are happily married – best stay that way. If you are divorced, you may have got away lightly or you may recognise some or all of these risks above. You need to try and treat your life like a business – use you time effectively, be disciplined, make sure you enjoy life but don’t throw everything away by destructive elements – e.g. drink, drugs, smoking, divorce or cheating on your partner. Try and stay in control of your life. If you’re not convinced, then try and find examples of:
· an exceptionally wealthy alcoholic whose business is doing remarkably well
· a business person with fabulous wealth that has a double digit growth company a few years after a divorce
Drugs and Destruction: Okay, there are a few drug taking alcoholic rocks stars and artists around – but they don’t normally last very long, and the most successful have been clean for years (Mick Jagger, Sting, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Bono, Bob Geldof). The ones that died generally took drugs – Michael Jackson, Elvis, Keith Moon, Kurt Kobain, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Jim Morrison. If you want to halve your expected life, then drugs are a pretty good way to make it happen. It seems that trying to come off them then overdosing at age 27 is a common way for these stars to go. Very sad indeed. If you want to destroy a business, alcohol is a pretty easy way of doing it – most people can’t think straight after drinking – they have the illusion they are doing great things – when in fact, it’s normally far from the case particularly if money, relationships, negotiations and money are involved. Deluded grandeur. Drugs are even more dangerous normally – they alter your mind and not just temporarily – for good. This is why people that have taken drugs will always be fighting to stay off them and their minds are altered and challenged.
Think Positive: If you want to succeed in business, it’s critically important to have a positive frame of mind. It will reduce your stress levels, embolden you to action tricky things and give your motivation a boost. It will boost for self confidence and self esteem. Try and avoid negative people and commentary – try to gravitate towards positive people, images and thoughts. Try and not watch too much TV and news – its mostly negative – scare stories. The news is full on fear stories that are designed to keep you captured, returning to watch adverts and more fear and shock. Not good for yourself or your family/children. Best to concentrate if you do watch TV on positive programmes and films or programmes that you can learn from and that will help you in your business, lifestyle and management of these. Whenever you get worried about an issue – try and tackle it head-on – action it. Don’t leave it to fester. It will only get worse. Try and be pro-active at all times and look to manage your risks but continue to think positive and be positive to people around you. As they say, its amazing the positive outcomes that will come from giving and helping other people with a good service – and having a positive outlook. If you always sound worried and stressed out and negative – people simply won’t want to do business with you. They will go somewhere else – whether this is a tenant, supplier, customer, letting agent or building/handy-man – if you treat people badly with lack of respect or are negative to people, you’ll struggle with business.
We hope this Special Report is helpful as part of your property investing toolkit and provides some interesting perspective - has helped stimulate some positive thoughts on how to improve your business. If you have any queried, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org .