Here are some of the things which you should be working on should you want to grow and be successful. Everyone wants to be rich, but you have got to be willing to put in the work to make it happen.
- Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning
YOU HAVE a virtually unlimited capacity to learn and improve in your chosen field. You have more brains, ability, and intelligence than you could ever use if you were to work on developing yourself for the rest of your life. You are smarter than you can even imagine. There is no obstacle that you cannot overcome, no problem you cannot solve, and no goal you cannot achieve by applying the power of your mind to your situation. But your mind is like a muscle. It develops only with use. Just as you have to strain your physical muscles to build them, you have to work your mental muscles to build your mind as well. The good news is that the more you learn, the more you can learn. Just like the more you play a sport, the better you get at the sport. The more you dedicate yourself to lifelong learning, the easier it is for you to learn even more. Leaders are learners. Continuous learning is the key to the 21st century. Lifelong learning is the minimum requirement for success in your field or in any field. Make a decision today that you are going to become a student of your craft and that you are going to continue learning and becoming better for the rest of your life. There are three keys to lifelong learning. The first key is to read in your field for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day. Reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body. Reading for an hour each day will translate into about one book per week. One book per week will translate into 50 books per year. Fifty books per year will translate into 500 books over the next 10 years. Since the average adult reads less than one book per year, when you begin reading one hour per day, one book per week, this alone will give you an incredible edge in your field. You will become one of the smartest, most competent, and highest paid people in your profession by simply reading one hour each day. The second key to lifelong learning is to listen to audio programs in your car as you drive from place to place. The average person sits behind the wheel in his or her car 500 to 1,000 hours per year. This is the equivalent of 12 to 24 forty-hour weeks, or as much as three to six months of working time that you spend in your car. This is the equivalent of one to two full-time semesters at a university. Turn your car into a learning machine, into a university on wheels. Never let your car motor be running without an educational audio program playing. Many people have become millionaires through the miracle of audio learning. This is why audio learning is often called the greatest breakthrough in education since the invention of the printing press. A third key to lifelong learning is to attend every course and seminar you can possibly find that can help you to be better in your field.* The combination of books, audio programs, and seminars will enable you to save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars, and many years of hard work, in achieving the level of financial success that you desire. Make a decision today to become a lifelong learner. You will be amazed at the effect that it has in your career. Lifelong learning can be a major factor in your becoming a self-made millionaire.
- Work longer and harder
ALL SELF-MADE millionaires work hard, hard, hard. They start earlier, they work harder, and they stay later. They develop a reputation for being amongst the hardest working people in their fields. And everybody knows it. Practice the “40 Plus” formula. This formula says that you work 40 hours per week for survival; everything over 40 hours is for success. If you work only 40 hours (and the average workweek today is closer to 35 hours), all you will ever do is survive. You will never get ahead. You will never be a big financial success. You will never be highly respected and esteemed by your colleagues. You will always be mediocre working the basic 40-hour week.
But every hour over 40 hours is an investment in your future. In fact, you can tell with tremendous accuracy where you are going to be in five years by looking at how many hours over 40 you put in every week. There is just no substitute for long days and hard work. Self-made millionaires in America work an average of 59 hours per week. Many of them work 70 or 80 hours, especially at the start of their careers. They work an average of six days per week, rather than five, and work longer days as well. If you want to call a self-made millionaire, phone the office before normal working hours and after normal working hours. The self-made millionaire is there when the staff, the “nine-to-fivers,” arrives and is still there when they leave. And here’s the key: Work all the time you work. When you work, don’t waste time. When you get in early, put your head down and get started immediately. When people want to talk to you, excuse yourself and say, “I have to get back to work!” Do not drop off your dry cleaning, phone your friends, socialize with your coworkers, or read the newspaper. Work all the time you work. Resolve today to develop the reputation for being the hardest working person in your company. This will bring you to the attention of people who can help you faster than almost anything else you can do.
- See yourself as self-employed
FROM NOW ON, accept complete, 100 percent responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be. Refuse to make excuses or to blame other people for your problems or shortcomings. Stop complaining about things in your life that you are not happy about. Refuse to criticize other people for anything. You are responsible. If there is something in your life that you don’t like, it is up to you to change it. You are in charge. The top 3 percent of Americans see themselves as self-employed, no matter who signs their paychecks. The biggest mistake you can ever make is to think that you work for anyone other than yourself. You are always self-employed. You are always the president of your own personal service corporation, no matter where you might be working at the moment. When you see yourself as self-employed, you develop an entrepreneur mentality, the mentality of highly independent, self-responsible, self-starting individuals. Instead of waiting for things to happen, you make things happen. You see yourself as the boss of your own life. You see yourself as completely in charge of your physical health, your financial well being, your career, your relationships, your lifestyle, your home, your car, and every other element of your existence. This is the mind-set of the self-made millionaire. Self-responsible people are intensely result oriented. They always take high levels of initiative. They volunteer for assignments and are always asking for more responsibility. As a result, they become the most valuable and respected people in their organizations. They continually prepare themselves for positions of higher authority and responsibility in the future. You should do the same. Here’s a question: If you were president of your company for a day or were completely responsible for results where you work, what one change would you enact immediately? Whatever it is, write it down, make a plan, and begin implementing it today. This action alone could change your life.
- Pay yourself first
RESOLVE TODAY THAT you are going to save and invest at least 10 percent of your income throughout your working life. Take 10 percent of your income off the top of your paycheck each time you receive one and put it into a special account for financial accumulation. The fact is that if you save just $100 per month throughout your working lifetime and you invest that money in an average mutual fund that grows at 10 percent per year, you will be worth more than one million dollars by the time you retire. This means that anyone, even a person earning minimum wage, if he or she starts early enough and saves long enough, can become a millionaire over the course of his or her working lifetime. Developing the lifelong habit of saving and investing your money is not easy. It requires tremendous determination and willpower. You have to set it as a goal, write it down, make a plan, and work on it all the time. But once this practice locks in and becomes automatic, your financial success is virtually assured. Practice frugality, frugality, frugality in all things. Be very careful with every penny. Question every expenditure. Delay or defer every important buying decision for at least a week, if not a month. The longer you put off making a buying decision, the better your decision will be and the better price you will get at that time. A major reason that people retire poor is because of impulse buying. They see something they like and they buy it with very little thought. They become victims of what is called “Parkinson’s Law,” which says that “expenses rise to meet income.” This means that no matter how much you earn, you tend to spend that much and a little bit more besides. You never get ahead and you never get out of debt. But you don’t have to be a victim of Parkinson’s Law. If you cannot save 10 percent of your income, start today by saving 1 percent of your income in a special savings and investment account. Put it away at the beginning of each month, even before you begin paying down your debts. Live on the other 99 percent of your income. As you become comfortable living on 99 percent, raise your savings level to 2 percent of your income, then 3 percent and 4 percent, and so on. Within one year, you will be saving 10 percent and maybe even 15 percent or 20 percent of your income and living comfortably on the balance. At the same time, your savings and investment account will start to grow. You will become more careful about your expenditures, and your debts will begin to be paid off. Within a year or two, your entire financial life will be under your control and you will be on your way to becoming a self-made millionaire. This process has worked for everyone who has ever tried it. Try it and see for yourself
- Learn every detail of your business
THE MARKET PAYS excellent rewards for excellent performance. It pays average rewards for average performance and below-average rewards, failure, and frustration for below-average performance. Your goal should be to become an expert in your chosen field by learning every single detail about how to do your work better and better. Read all the magazines in your field. Read and study the latest books. Attend courses and seminars given by experts in your field. Join your industry or trade association, attend every meeting, and get involved with the other top people in your field. The Law of Integrative Complexity says that the individual who can integrate and use the greatest amount of information in any field soon rises to the top of that field. If you are in sales, become an aggressive, lifelong student of the selling process. The top 20 percent of salespeople earn, on average, 16 times the amount earned by the bottom 80 percent of salespeople. The top 10 percent of salespeople earn even more. If you are in management, resolve to become an outstanding professional manager. If you are starting and building your own business, study entrepreneurial strategies and tactics and try out new ideas every single day. Set a goal for your-self to become the very best in your business or profession. One small detail, insight, or idea can be the turning point in your career. Never stop looking for it.
- Be honest with yourself and other
PERHAPS THE MOST valued and respected quality you can develop is a reputation for absolute integrity. Be perfectly honest in everything you do and in every transaction and activity. Never compromise your integrity. Remember that your word is your bond and your honor is everything when it comes to business. All successful business is based on trust. Your success in becoming a self-made millionaire will be determined solely by the number of people who trust you and who are willing to work for you, give you credit, lend you money, buy your products and services, and help you during difficult times. Your character is the most important asset that you develop in your entire life, and your character is based on the amount of integrity that you practice. The first key to integrity is to be true to yourself, in all things. Be true to the very best that is in you. Being true to yourself means doing what you do in an excellent fashion. Integrity is demonstrated internally by personal honesty and externally by quality work. The second key to integrity is to be true to the other people in your life. Live in truth with everyone. Never do or say anything that you do not believe to be right and good and honest. Refuse to compromise your integrity for anything. Always live up to the very highest standard that you know. Here is a question for you to ask and answer on a regular basis: What kind of a world would my world be if everyone in it was just like me? This question forces you to set high standards for yourself and keep raising the bar. Act as though your every word and action were to become a universal law. Carry yourself as though everyone were watching you and patterning his or her behavior after yours. And when in doubt, always do the right thing, whatever it is and whatever it costs.
Let me repeat the most important message of this entire book. It is this: “Success is predictable.” Success is not a matter of luck or accident or being in the right place at the right time. Success is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. By practicing the principles that you have just learned, you will move to the front of the line in life. You will have an incredible advantage over people who do not know or who do not practice these techniques and strategies. You will have an advantage that will give you the winning edge for the rest of your life and career. If you consistently and persistently do the things that other successful people do, nothing in the world can stop you from becoming a big success yourself. You are the architect of your own destiny. You are the master of your own fate. You are behind the steering wheel of your own life. There are no limitations to what you can do, have, or be except the limitations you place on yourself by your own thinking. Remember, you are as good as or better than anyone you will ever meet. You are an outstanding human being. You have talents and abilities far greater than anything you have ever realized or used up to now. You have within you the potential to accomplish wonderful things with your life. Your greatest responsibilities are to dream big dreams, decide exactly what you want, make a plan to achieve it, practice the strategies taught in this book, take action every single day in the direction of your dreams and goals, and resolve to never, never, never give up. When you take these actions, you put yourself on the side of the angels. You become unstoppable and your success becomes inevitable.