I joined a major organization recently that helps speakers grow their businesses by teaching them how to get better. When I attended a workshop put on by one of these top marketing speakers, the speaker actually said something to the effect of (I’ve paraphrased here):
“I’ve helped people make millions and millions of dollars with our marketing over the years, I’ve helped make myself a lot of money, but I don’t want you to think that I’m rich or have millions to show for it.”
I hear things like that, and it reminds me of when I first started in business 30 years ago. I was a 24 year old kid and my job was to go out and help retired people with their Medicare supplement and long-term care insurance when long term care was first beginning as an industry.
One of the first things I was shocked about as a 24 year old is that I could go to one particular home and the family would be very well off. In fact, these families would tell me they could not even spend all of their money, and this was a time when interest rates were a lot higher than they are now. (It was 1982 with 12.5% CD rates, which is another story.)
I could go to another home with a family that made a similar amount of money over their lifetime, in a similar career… and they would have nothing to show for it! They were living on a fixed income.
Some principles are the simplest and yet most life changing. I learned early on, you’re either a saver or a spender. If you’re a saver first and a spender second, you’re probably going to end up at the end of your life with plenty, at least a lot better off. If you’re a spender first and a saver second, you may never have enough and find yourself struggling for years. In today’s world, where you can borrow money to pay for almost anything, you may have less than zero because of debt.
I also learned that you’re either into constant self-improvement and growth or you’re not. Another way to look at this is your taking control of your future and making it happen instead of letting it happen. With the dramatic change that is taking place in our world today, if we’re not into constant self-improvement and personal growth, there’s just no way to keep up with this economy.
Self-improvement means we’re working harder on ourselves then we are on our jobs.
At one of my first “motivational workshops” around that time was Zig Ziglar, Cavett Robert and Charlie “Life is Tremendous” Jones. I learned a lot from of them, but what stuck with me forever on this topic was from Charlie who said, “You will only change because of the books you read and the people you meet.” Also, he said “are readers leaders or leaders readers?”
Because of globalization and technology putting incredible pressure on traditional middle class jobs in the US, this is not a world anymore where we can stand still and everything’s going to be okay. The world is changing ever so quickly.
How can we set ourselves apart? Simple fundamentals that are as true today as they have been through easier economic times. Do more than you are paid to do, be polite, keep your word, save first spend what’s left, and always be learning to improve yourself and increase your capabilities.
Investment Advice offered through Shepherd Wealth Group, a registered investment advisor doing business as Shepherd Wealth & Retirement.