One of the things I learned from listening to Jim Rohn’s audio programs such as The Weekend Seminar and The Art of Exceptional Living was to take time to “run the tapes.” Rohn was referring to the concept of taking time at the end of each week, month and year to go over what we did right, and how we can improve.
I have found it to be invaluable which is why I have my clients do it as well. Ironically, most people spend weeks planning their two-week vacation from the hotel they’ll stay at, the attractions they’ll visit and when and never sit down to design their future.
The second decade of the 21st century was a big one for me. I saw my son grow up from a tiny little tyke into one of the top young swimmers in a city of five million. I failed big; trusting the wrong people. I also reinvented myself. So, I figured why not share with you the three biggest lessons from the last ten years in hopes that it helps you prepare for the decade ahead.
Lesson 1: The importance of multiple streams of incomes
The bestselling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad has changed the lives of many thousands, if not millions, of people. Personally, it made me realize that I was making a big mistake – I was working for money. I realized in order to be truly successful and never worry about money again, we need to have our money work for us.
Essentially there is only one way to do that – investing. When most people hear that word they think of stocks, but to me, it’s more about investing in yourself. You don’t want to pin your hopes on a company that could become irrelevant tomorrow. Instead, you want to invest in yourself and create multiple streams of income of which stocks could be one. Real estate is another powerful tool to get out of the rat race. Intellectual property and informational products are another great source of money. YouTube, Instagram, and podcasting are new avenues that could pay off big.
Warren Buffet famously said, “Diversification is protection against ignorance.” However, the last ten years has taught me that even “experts” make mistakes. Take it from someone who’s lost a small fortune in the early 2010s, it’s critical that we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.
Lesson 2: A.B.L.
Last year, I was lucky enough to sit down and interview one of my marketing mentors, James Malinchak. One of the things Malinchak tells his audience is “A.B.M.” which stands for Always Be Marketing. It’s great advice, but I think we should all adopt another acronym, A.B.L. or Always Be Learning. The 20th century was marked with lifetime employment, but the digital age has made that pretty much obsolete with most people changing their jobs many times over the course of their lives. My wife who chose a career path has changed her company three times the past four years. One due to her company being taken over, the second due to her actively pursuing it and the last sort of fell into her lap. Her story is not unique as many of my friends have changed companies and professions over the past ten years. That’s why it’s critical that we continually learn. By doing so we not only better position ourselves for possible promotions but also entirely new careers.
Lesson 3: Kids are amazing
Tony Robbins talks about there being six basic human needs: certainty, variety, significance, love, growth, and contribution. Personally, I found the last one to resonate with me the most. I love being able to influence people and corporations through my writing and lectures, but what excites me even more is seeing my own son achieve so much at such a young age. At age eleven, he has a black belt in Karate, a brown belt in Aikido and took home the bronze medal in Junior Olympics for swimming.
There are those parents who think children are delicate flowers unable to handle the rigors of life which is why they need to be protected. In my humble opinion, those people are dead wrong. My experience as both a parent and teacher has shown me that children can handle pretty much anything. Children are resilient. Children are strong. Children are, for lack of a better word, amazing. They don’t need protection, they need guidance. Invest in good teachers. Challenge their minds and their bodies. Push them to be the best they can be. There will be days they’ll want to quit, but in time, they’ll thank you.
As we enter the third decade of this century, I am reminded of what Bill Gates once said. “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Translation: Don’t quit too soon and given time, we can accomplish incredible things.
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