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12 Dichotomous Daily Practices of Millionaires

12 Dichotomous Daily Practices of Millionaires

Through our coaching work at Southwestern Consulting we get a rare chance to spend a lot of time around millionaires.

While many of them have made their money doing all sorts of different types of businesses, my observation is that almost all of them seem to share certain habits and attitudes.

There are certain principles that almost all of them follow but to some it could also seem confusing because they often times have what might on the surface seem to be competing philosophies, opposing principles, and conflicting beliefs.

Here is a short listing of some of them accompanied by an explanation and distinction of what might otherwise seem to be dichotomous habits.

Millionaires practice both:

Speed and Patience – They typically are highly efficient and have an extraordinary sense of urgency where they are intentional about every single second that they spend and how it is used.

Yet at the same time, at a more macro level, they are patient and know that accomplishing great things often takes a long time. So they work fast but they don’t get discouraged if big visions show up slow.

Generosity and Frugality – Contrary to what people often think, millionaires are usually very generous people where they give large amounts of money and time to help other people without expecting anything in return.

Yet they also seem to be very financially disciplined and prudent in the monetary spending and practices of their core business where they tightly manage expenses and scrutinize over budgets. They typically are not wasteful.

Exercise and Rest – You might think that what makes people rich is that all they do is work all the time and they have no time for anything else. But actually, very often wealthy people are also very healthy people. And frequently a crucial part of their daily practice includes physical exercise. Many of them believe that their physical prowess and mental prowess are connected.

But in addition to making time for physical activity almost all of them also are very deliberate and intentional about quiet time and solitude. I don’t think there is a single millionaire that I have ever met that doesn’t have some sort of regular routine that involves either prayer, meditation, reading, reviewing affirmations or all of the above.

Gratitude and Ambition – If I had to identify the number one most commonly shared habit, attribute, or daily practice of millionaires that I’ve personally observed it is that virtually almost all of them that talk about starting their day with some deliberate practice of gratitude. They set aside time to specifically say “thank you” for all that they have been given in their life. In their gratitude is a profound sense of peace and satisfaction.

Yet also almost all of them also have an insatiable hunger for growing, improving, and achieving the next level of success and contribution.

Control and Faith – Millionaires do the hard work it takes to be successful. They are relentless about focusing on the things they can control. They focus intensely on building strong work ethic, good work habits, taking action and being brilliant at the basics.

Yet at the same time they seem to be able to release themselves of the pressure, fear, and worry that comes with having to always know what the outcomes are going to be. They instead have a strong sense of faith that empowers them to act meanwhile not having to know the specifics of what will result.

Principled and Adaptability – I don’t think I’ve ever met a millionaire who wasn’t strong willed and personally convicted. These individuals typically are very confident and passionate about the philosophies that they have come to know as true and they are definitely principled people.

But they somehow still remain adaptable and humble to the idea that while principles don’t frequently change, practices often do. They know that technology and competition and evolution require themselves to be continually learning growing and improving.

While these various practices may appear to be conflicting and opposing on the surface, they are actually very complementary and clearly defined in the distinctive value that they provide to successful people.

So, if your goal is to one day be a millionaire, don’t just watch for the ways in which they are absolute but also in the ways in which they are nuanced.

Avoiding Professional Extinction

extinction

It used to be: “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. ”

Now it’s: “If you do what you’ve always done then tomorrow you may be out of business.”

Don’t believe me?

Ask Blockbuster video.

In 2004 at its peak, it had 60,000 employees, 9000 stores and nearly $6 billion in annual revenues. It had 2 chances to buy Netflix (which was started by an angry customer of theirs who was charged $40 for a late fee) but declined both times.

Blockbuster didn’t want to look at a new business model because approximately 16% of their revenues came from late fees. But if anyone had the chance to capitalize on the market shift and had the resources to squash the competition, it was Blockbuster.

But they didn’t shift.

By 2010 Blockbuster had declared bankruptcy and by 2013 they basically completely vanished from the earth.

You don’t want to be the next Blockbuster video.

Kodak would be another good example. Borders bookstores would fall into this category. Blackberry phones and Taxi cabs may be next.

These are not companies that did anything “wrong” really. They just didn’t adapt. They didn’t evolve. At least not at the speed of consumer demand.

Therein lies the lesson for all of us.

We have to realize that today we live in a world of massive and rapid change.

And that means that for us to stay relevant and useful in the marketplace we have to stay sharp. We have to continually be learning.

We have to continually be growing.

And we have to continually be looking for creative ways to best serve our clients needs.

Which is one more reason why you should consider getting a professional coach.

Because growth, development and innovation are no longer a strategy for success; they are a mandate for survival.

If you aren’t growing and learning and paying close attention to how the world is changing around you right now then you risk going being put out of business.

The scary part is that today we can be rendered extinct not through any lack of our own competence but through sheer force of market forces of change rendering us suddenly as obsolete.

So what are you doing to learn?

Where are you gathering new ideas and skills from?

And who is helping shape you into being the sharpest professional you can possibly be?

We would love the privilege and opportunity to be considered for that role in your life. If you ever want to do a free call to learn more about professional one on one coaching just click here.

Paid Like a Professional

So you want to be paid like a professional? You have to act like one. Here is a short video we put together sharing the 3 areas in which you need to be professional.

If you wanna be paid like a professional, you need to act like one. Wow, those words still ring clearly in my head from my early days at Southwestern Advantage. They use to say that all the time. “If you wanna be paid like a professional, you need to act like one.” Most of us sales professionals underestimate, honestly, the importance and the value of our physiology. That is, how are we feeling? What is going on inside of our skin, right, inside of our bones? And a lot of that has to do with your professionalism. There’s three specific areas that I want to just bring to your attention, of ways that if you could be professional in these areas, then it will help you feel more professional when you’re out selling.

The first one is your dress. How are you dressed? And the general rule of thumb that I like to follow, is you want to be a half-step nicer dressed then everybody else. Just a little bit of a distinction, not much, up from maybe what everybody else is wearing, right? So if you’re gonna be in a room where everybody’s in suit and tie, you know, maybe you have cuffs, or maybe you have a tie bar, or maybe you have a pocket square or something like that. If everyone else is going to be a step down, then you want to, sort of, gradually step down.

But you always wanna look clean, and together, and intentional. And if rough and ragged is your look, that’s fine but be intentional about it, right? Don’t just be crazy, be focused and put some thought behind what are you wearing, how do you look, what is your…what’s going on with your hair? And men, your facial hair and ladies, obviously your makeup. So, the more you can be dressed like a professional, the more that you will feel like a professional, thus you will act like a professional, and therefore, you will be paid like a professional.

Now, the second thing is a different area that maybe you don’t think about professionalism a lot and that is with your materials, with your selling materials and your marketing materials, it’s to be professional. Your business card makes a huge statement. When you hand someone your business card, you should be proud of that. It should be an…it’s an extension of you. So don’t be handing out raggedy business cards that are half mangled, that you’ve been keeping in your wallet for months and months and months. You want something that is firm, and tight, and sharp, and clean, so that when you hand it, it makes an impact, right?

Same thing with your presentation materials. It’s amazing how many sales professionals have awful PowerPoints. Spelling errors, you know, crazy animation, just inconsistent graphics, logos that are spread out like crazy. Those things make a huge difference. It affects the way that people look at you, and it affects the way that you look at yourself. When you put intention behind the preparation of your materials, you feel like a professional. And you act more like a professional. And therefore, you get paid like a professional. So make sure that you pay attention and you are intentional about your materials.

And finally the last thing is, you wanna be focused on creating a professional office environment. A professional office environment. It’s insane how many of the people that we coach, just have office environments that are disasters. And that can be different things. It can mean a complete mess. Now I’m not saying that you can’t be a top producer with a messy desk. A lot of top producers have messy desks. But I’m saying that the more that you can have a professional working environment, it will contribute to the way that you feel. It contributes to your physiology.

So maybe it’s neatness, right, that’s a factor. But maybe it’s also putting up things in your office that remind you of things that are important. Put up a picture of your goals, or maybe it’s plaques and trophies, or pictures of your family. But that you don’t just, kind of, casually walk into your office every day, and you don’t pay any attention to the environment. What can you do in the environment?

Here’s another common thing that we see in the office environment, is that top producers often have standing desks. They will stand up when they make sales calls so that they feel more alert, and alive, and more energetic. So what can you do in your office space, your office environment? Those are three simple places, right? What is your dress, your marketing materials, and your office environment.

But the bottom line is that in order to be paid like a professional, you need to act like a professional. And there’s a whole lot of things that you can do to make you feel that way. But if you don’t feel like a professional, if you haven’t put time and energy and preparation into how you look, or into the materials you’re handing out, or into the place that you work every day, you’re not gonna feel like a professional. And if you don’t feel like one, you’re not gonna act like one. And if you don’t act like one, you’re not gonna be paid like one.

The 10 Most Important Books to Teach You About Money

money

Not counting the Bible, which has a tremendously specific amount of information written about developing a healthy relationship with money, here are the first 10 books I think anyone who wants to learn about money should have to read, the order I’d suggest reading them in, and why…

  1. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – The first step to getting rich is to get debt-free and no one in the world knows how to do that as well as Dave Ramsey. This book has changed my life and the lives of millions of others It’s a simple plan that works, start here.

 

  1. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker – Believe it or not, but our ability to acquire money has everything to do with what we think to be true about it. The 17 wealth files presented here are absolutely foundational. I still read my “millionaire mind” affirmations every day and it’s been almost 10 years.

 

  1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George ClasonA delightful and inspiring fable, this quick and easy read shares some of the most powerful lessons you’ll have to know to become wealthy.

 

  1. The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley Danko – We all think that it’s the people who look rich that are rich…wrong! This book shows the data on the habits and spending patterns of the world’s millionaires. It will help you realize that being frugal, rather than flamboyant, with your money is really how you get rich.

 

  1. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – Abundance is a mindset that starts with learning how to A radical flip on everything you might initially assume to be true about how you create wealth and income, this has become one of my absolute favorite books of all-time.

 

  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – Many of the books on this list talk about the power of compound interest, which is something you’ll want to become intimately familiar with. This book however, shows you the compounding power of hard work, good choices, and disciplined effort. A must read.

 

  1. How Rich People Think by Steve SieboldThis is a rapid-fire checklist of the differences between how rich people think compared to everyone else. It’s very straight forward, hard-hitting, and accurate. Perhaps the most distilled information available on how you need to change your thinking about money.

 

  1. Thou Shall Prosper by Daniel Lapin – A fascinating read about why statistically so many people of the Jewish faith are of above average wealth. Rabbi Daniel Lapin shows how the deep rooted beliefs you carry will ultimately determine how much wealth you accumulate and overflow into the lives of others.

 

  1. Why You’re Dumb Sick and Broke by Randy GagePrepare yourself for somewhat of a “slap in the face” when you read this one. But Randy Gage does it the way that only he can and he does it out of love with a sobering and honest presentation about some changes you’re going to have to make in your mental paradigm if you’re ever going to accumulate a lot of money.

 

  1. Financial Peace by Dave RamseyIn some ways, this is a bit of a repeat of Total Money Makeover but by this point you’ll want and need the refresher again anyways! This book also talks about the specifics of things like different types of insurance and why rich investors are often boring investors.

 

Admittedly, I haven’t read every book out there on money, but I have read a lot and these ones are all certified winners. Growing up in and around lower-middle income people, we had a lot of love but I had to really work to change my thinking about money. The books on this list will both inspire you and teach you the critical concepts that you will need to be able to accumulate wealth and bless the world all around you.

The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Career Planning Decision Making

the-3-most-common-mistakes-in-career-planning-decision-making

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to deciding what our next career move is going to be.

Things like:

How much money will I make?

Will my job be safe and steady?

Is there opportunity for advancement?

Over the years I’ve begun to notice a theme and difference in those who end up both happy and successful and those who only get one or neither of the two.

The surprise?

It comes down strictly to how they evaluate their initial decision.

Most people’s top priority for determining their next career move typically includes things like: job security, money, opportunity for advancement and what skills will I learn.

It’s easy to understand why most people use those as their key criteria because they are somewhat black and white, logical, objective, measurable and therefore simpler to evaluate. Unfortunately, while those criteria aren’t “bad” necessarily, they typically are insignificant contributors to our joy and satisfaction in the long term.

So how do the happy, fulfilled and extraordinarily successful people make their decision differently?

They consider and ultimately let their deciding factors be things that are more intrinsic, human, emotional and admittedly obscure.

  1. Satisfaction over Security – For example, they would be more likely to value the enjoyment of the daily work over something like job security. Ultra performers always trust themselves rather than others for their sense of stability because they know that if they’re always willing to work hard then they’ll never have a hard time finding good work. And so they will default much more to caring about how enjoyable their daily work will be and how much it aligns with their natural skill sets and long term passions rather than just considering if they’ll get to keep their job. When it comes down to it, they will choose satisfaction over security every time.

  2. Purpose over Profit – They also will consider the impact they are making in the world much more valuable than the money they will potentially make. Because they know that while there are lots of ways to make money – and that if you get good enough at virtually anything you will make a lot of money – they know that dedicating 1/3 of their breathing life to doing something that makes a difference in the world will create much more sustainable meaning in their life than will money. If forced to choose between the two, a happy person will choose making a difference over making a dollar.

  3. People over Opportunity – Finally, and most important of all, people who become ultimately successful and happy seem to make a calculation that most people overlook entirely. Ultra performers weigh who they will be working with as much more valuable than what they will be doing or how it might advance their career. They know that the people they surround themselves with has a much stronger shaping effect on the success of their life than do their career checkpoints. They are always much more concerned with who they are becoming than they are with how their resume looks. Thus, their single biggest criteria and consideration is evaluating the other team members they will be around. And not just the top level leaders they might have access to, but who are the people they will actually be working with side by side on a daily basis. While it is their #1 deciding criteria, most interviewees never even ask about or know a single person they will end up working with on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Ultra performers always choose people over opportunity.

The biggest irony of all of this is that when you make a career decision based on satisfaction over security, purpose over profit, and people over opportunity, is that those people end up being the ones who make all the money, build all the influence and security, and end up with the biggest opportunities for advancement!

First who.

Then why.

Then what.

And let money be last as a bi-product of the others.

Choose wisely.

Variable Time: 1 Idea That Can Cost You or Make You Millions

variable time

A key expense that we manage and consider regularly in business is “variable cost.”

That is, all of the financial costs that go up proportionately with each additional unit of production. Variable costs (often interchangeably referred to as Cost Of Goods Sold – COGS) are the ones “you can never get away from” because they always go up as your sales go up.

Business leaders work relentlessly to get COGS down – often through economies of scale at larger production quantities – because that is the best way to make addition margin in each additional sale.

What is frequently overlooked by business leaders, and is potentially becoming even more valuable than variable cost, is “Variable Time.”

Variable Time is the amount of additional time required to produce one additional unit.

Since we often pay people money in exchange for their time, any additional time that is added also has an additional cost.

Anything that costs you time, costs you money.

Anything that saves you time, saves you money.

So the question that results from considering Variable Time is: “What could we do to reduce the amount of additional time each new unit requires?”

That question typically receives much less attention, if any, from leaders because it isn’t a line item on their P&L (well it is in the form of paying people but it isn’t segmented into productive time and wasted time) and they don’t create a budget for it.

At the executive level, when you’re considering a new product line, a new service, or a new initiative it would be expected – often even required – to map out how much money you will have to invest.

But what almost never gets presented and thought through is how much time it will take people.

You scrutinize and work to control every cost, but do you equally scrutinize every use of every person’s time?

The next generation of cost savings will be more about saving time than saving money.

When you start to evaluate decisions factoring in “Variable Time” you eventually come to the place of asking: “How can we make additional money without adding ANY additional time?”

And that is a genius question to ask!

Because that is a way to create profitability for you at the highest margin of all: zero variable time!

You might think “well yes, that’d be great Rory, but what could you possibly do that would really make you more money without requiring additional Variable Time?”

Actually the answer is, “lots of things”.

Here are a few examples:

1. Raise your price – Inflation goes up. Costs of living go up and so your prices every once in awhile should go up. Same amount of time on your end but more profits.

2. Charge an activation fee – Chances are you are incurring very legitimate additional expenses of both time and money to setup new clients, so it can be very fair to charge an activation fee and can actually increase the service experience your new customers have because you have resources dedicated to staff it (It also can improve retention). It’s charging for work you’re already doing.

3. Create recurring contracts – Instead of selling it for just one use, one term, or one project, simply change your sales talk to say “this is an ongoing relationship and we work with clients for x# of cycles”. That creates predictable revenue and reduces the potential future selling time needed to create the same revenue dollar.

4. Go Digital – Depending on your industry or product, convert a physical offering that has to be mailed and shipped to instead being virtual. Or if that doesn’t work, just add an additional digital element to your physical offering and bundle them together at an increased cost.

5. Target a higher end clientele – It (theoretically) takes the same amount of time to sell to a wealthy customer as it does to a less financially able customer, but one will typically buy more and buy higher margin goods than the other.

6. Keep an existing client – It’s typically much more profitable to sell to or continue on with existing clients than with new clients. Yet, sometimes we’re so focused on new business that we don’t take care of our current business. Even if a new customer makes you the same amount of money as an existing one, it will always cost you more in variable time.

7. Monetize your waste – Many companies, like manufacturers, produce waste that often can be converted fairly easily into dollars. Someone out there is likely building something or doing something with a raw material that is an unnecessary output of your core offering.

8. Get paid for results – Again, depending on your business model, it might work to be paid for your results instead of your time. Ask for a percentage of the success you help create instead of just being paid an hourly rate. Same amount of time but potentially a lot more money if it makes sense to structure things that way.  

9. Outsource – Hire other people to do things for you that can happen at a lower hourly rate than you can earn if you focus on certain higher income producing activities. A good example of this is bringing in someone to train your team for you (like we do at Southwestern Consulting) to do things like grow revenues. Even if you’re a small company, you can do things like Arnie Malham (link to my podcast interview with him) and pay your people to read books. Books are one of the fastest, cheapest, and best ways to train your people and it costs you zero time.

All of these items are examples of ways to potentially add profitability to your company without adding much or any additional time.

It’s not these examples that really matter though. It’s the consideration of “Variable Time.”

It’s your thinking that matters.

Because when the leaders thinking advances, it advances everyone.