One of my new staff members was excited that he was surrounded by stock market experts who often had views on well-priced stocks. He proudly admitted he took one of my tips and had made a nice amount of money.
Some weeks later, when the stock price had gone even higher, I asked him if he was happy with the stock’s continued surge higher.
And then he told me he’d sold out weeks earlier but had made a profit. This story got me thinking about one of the best pieces of guidance for success at anything that I’ve ever heard and thought about.
I’ve often said one of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve received came in the form of a question. It was delivered to me by one of the best leadership speakers and authors in the world and I think his question should be imposed on all young people and wealth-building strugglers.
Why? Well, it’s simple and the answer was encapsulated in that wonderful revelation of the comical actor Sophie Tucker, who once said: “I’ve been rich. I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”
So what’s the question?
John Maxwell who wrote the million plus best-seller The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership said as a 21-year old at university, his mentor asked him: “What is your plan for self-improvement?”
Maxwell knew he was aspirational and his mentor knew that, but he also knew that a written down plan is the best way to ensure that goals end up happening rather than ending up as pipe dreams.
The Japanese have a word that explained the economic miracle that the country lived through after it was devastated by losing World War II and enduring the ramifications of the Atom Bomb that ended hostilities.
It’s called 'kaizen' which means “change for the better” or “continuous improvement”.
Investopedia defines it as “…a Japanese business philosophy regarding the processes that continuously improve operations and involve all employees.
Kaizen sees improvement in productivity as a gradual and methodical process”.
Being methodical and systemised explains why companies such as McDonald’s has been able to grow worldwide and successfully, yet on a day-to-day basis they’re often led by people who no teacher or parent have ever learnt to control — teenagers!
Of course, most parents aren’t systemised and methodical so chaos can prevail and frustrations result. I guess it’s the love factor that saves most normal families from the lack of planning and the craziness that often shows up daily!
That said, when it comes to building a great career, business or accumulating great wealth, having a goal and a methodical plan to make it happen is unbelievably sensible.
I can’t tell you what the plan should be for you but I can give you some steps to make it happen. Here they are:
Step 1: Define your goal — say a million dollars in real terms when I retire and I want to own my home.
Step 2: Work out where you are now on the road to your goal. Do a budget to see what income you have, where it’s spent, what saving is left over and how you use it to get richer?
Step 3: Assuming you are way behind on that goal (as most people are), think about a wealth-improvement plan.
Step 4: Get some expert help from a live expert or get reading websites, like this one and books like my Join The Rich Club and others out there too.
Step 5: Make yourself an expert on investing in stocks to get the most out of the turbo-charging that shares can have for your income generation.
And if you can’t do it yourself, search for a trustworthy, smart adviser who could help your wealth improvement.
What I’ve described is a process to turn a largely chaotic money person into an organised wealth builder, whose very difference from the average Aussie when it comes to money, ultimately explains why they should end up richer, often beyond their wildest dreams.
That’s the power of self-improvement and it’s worth trying. As I always suggest: “If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing for money!”