Building Better Habits
Here’s a really fun topic about building better habits. Doesn’t sound like fun, but trust me you grind through it for three weeks and it becomes easy, and the results will be profound. So here’s a quick blog that’s not meant to be about me (it’s for you) to learn from what I have done wrong, and to learn for what has worked for me. I always ask my clients “to do as I do” unlike the majority in this industry that asks their clients to do what they say. I share these stories because it’s worked for me and if you’re reading my blogs, will probably work for you too.
Real wealth, financial freedom, it all begins with how you think and what you DO.
In The Engineer of Finance Podcast Episodes 22 & 23, I discussed the importance of goals and even more importantly, systems and your daily activities (habits). You might not hit your goals, but you better create them (write it down), and then you need to break it down to daily habits. How are you going to get there? What can you do now to hit that goal? And what can you do to make it fun too?
I will share a story about me – and again, it’s not about me, it’s just what I have personally done and how you can duplicate (or act like you’re in a grocery store: buy what you like and leave what you don’t like) for what you want to accomplish.
Several years ago I wanted to be invited to compete at the USTA NorCal Grand Prix event in Northern California. It’s a really fun event. You have to be one of the top eight players in your USTA rating level, and it’s very competitive tennis tournament where you get a chair empire and free swag at a nice tennis club. I just thought it would be a fun experience to be invited to the Grand Prix event. And what I enjoy about tennis is you learn a lot about someone’s character and your own by watching how they and you behave while competing.
So my goal was to be invited. I learned the rules, figured out how many tournaments I had to compete in and how high I needed to place. The more matches you win, or the higher you place in each tournament, the more points you earn. Plus, I had to create a budget to accommodate for the travel expenses and entry fees which add up. So I decided to set a goal to play in the minimum required amount of tournaments, and win or at least make it to the finals in each tournament. I then focused on my daily/weekly/monthly habits which involved the following:
- Blocked the dates in my calendar for all the tournaments for the year that I wanted to compete in.
- Set the registration deadlines in my calendar.
- Set in my calendar the recurring days I was going to practice each week and how much time I would commit. Then I DID what was on my calendar.
- Asked a friend and good tennis player to mentor me and practice with me.
- I learned to focus and practice on my strengths: forehand and serve.
- Practiced and competed to manipulate my matches so the tennis ball would most likely come back to my strength: my forehand
Creating the goal was the 1st step, but then it was all about daily/weekly/monthly habits. I did not know if I would hit the goal, but I knew what my habits had to be. Then I didn’t think about the goal that often just focused on my daily habits. Did I do what I was supposed to do that day? Did I do what I was supposed to do for the week?
By focusing on my habits, I placed fifth and achieved my goal. I was invited to the NorCal Grand Prix tournament! I was so elated! And by focusing on my habits – not the goal, I did it. Quick tangent: A goal can be defined as a dream with a deadline. What are your dreams with deadlines?
Back to my story, I was so elated that I was invited. I was bragging to my wife and then realized, “Oh, now I need to set a new goal, I want to win the whole thing!”
So I fine-tuned what my new daily habits had to be to prepare for the tournament to beat my nemesis who prevented me from a couple of tournament wins. I continued to focus on my strength, but then also knew I had to improve my game at the net. I was very uncomfortable there, and I had to make it very comfortable to win. Another quick tangent: imagine what you can accomplish if you keep pushing yourself and making yourself uncomfortable.
By resetting the goal and then just focusing on my habits and DOING IT, for the first time in my life, I actually surpassed my original goal and won the whole thing.
It’s a fun story. I’m proud of it. And it’s a great example of how you can apply goals, systems, and habits to your life, including your financial world. So let me help you create some goals for 2019 and then focus on the habits (your daily/weekly/monthly activities), so you will have a much greater chance of hitting or surpassing your goals for next year.
Step 1: Write it down on a piece of paper. What do you want to accomplish? Why? Is there a burning desire to do something different? How can you make it fun as well?
- Are you tired of all the interest you’re paying to banks that don’t care about you?
- Credit cards, student loans, car loans, mortgages, …
- There’s a joke I heard years ago asking, “Why do banks have a drive-thru?” The answer was to see how their car looked every month. Funny, not so funny. Kind of like the new Monopoly game that just came out for millennials.
- Is the stock market scaring the hell out of you? Do you want more certainty for your financial future?
- Are you tired of most of your money being locked up forever in these potential money traps known as 401(k)s and IRAs?
- Do you want to be financially free? Do you want to live the life you deserve? Trust me; it’s a simple switch of replacing one bad habit with a new good habit.
Step 2: What do you have to do each day, week, month to get there. Break it down. Make a list, check it twice. It doesn’t have to be complicated, keep it simple.
Step 3: Who can help you? Who can you trust to be on your team to keep you accountable? Your spouse? A new financial advisor, maybe me, that can help keep you on the path? It’s amazing how we miss the weaknesses and strengths in ourselves, but we ask someone from the outside looking in, and they can immediately spot it. That’s why I asked my friend for help competing in the USTA NorCal Grand Prix. He immediately saw my strengths and weaknesses and helped create a game plan that was simple and easy. A test is easy once you know the answers.
Step 4: Now DO IT! Take action! The hardest and simplest thing could be picking up the phone, calling my office, and asking for a little help. The first day is the hardest, and you must focus on the ‘why.’ What’s your burning desire to improve your situation? A month later, it’s routine. It’s effortless. Six months later you will be so proud of what you accomplished.
Step 5: Track your progress. Write down your emotions. What’s working what’s not working. Troubleshoot. Make a few changes and DO IT.
I hope this blog has a huge impact for you next year! It starts this December 2018 for next year’s goals for health and wealth! If you’d like a little help or a nudge, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
How To Change Your Budget Mindset From Scarcity Mode to Abundance Mode
I have realized that for an analytical thinker, I have been writing a lot about conceptual topics. Very interesting. And here comes another blog where I talk about more conceptual ideas; but hang with me, because if you get this right and adopt an abundant mindset and purge a scarce mindset, your probability of never having to worry about your finances will increase exponentially.
In this industry and all other industries, I cannot tell you how important it is to think with abundance versus scarcity. I have no tolerance for “can’t”, especially when I ask collaborators, financial firms, or vendors how to solve a problem and they tell me it’s impossible. Odds are it isn’t impossible, they just think it is because they are perceiving the problem through a scarcity mindset. When you approach problems with abundance, solutions will follow.
And Now, A Word From Disney
A few nights ago I watched the Disney animated movie, “Meet the Robinsons” with my kids. If you haven’t seen it, please watch it — it’s fun. And I don’t think this is a spoiler, but there are some scenes and a theme to the movie that emphasizes an abundant mindset. One of Walt Disney’s famous quotes was, “Keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Look at the empire Walt Disney created with this type of mindset. He didn’t have a scarce mindset of how it could not be done as the banks kept informing him. Working with his brother and others on his team he found a way to keep moving forward and to get it done.
Quick tangent, he got the funding for Disneyland from his BankosaurusTM because the banks would not give him the money. I mention it all the time on my podcasts and I’m sure in these blogs: banking is necessary, banks are not.
Thank you, Walt Disney! I cannot tell you how many great memories I have going to Disney World and Disneyland with my friends and family.
Stop talking about why you can’t, Start exploring how you can.
Always remember, your number one investment is you and your earned income. Typically, your residual and passive income streams are secondary for quite some time. So always focus on abundance. Don’t think about how you can’t get something done, think about how you can. Who can help you? Who do you need on your team? What can you do to become the best employee or entrepreneur possible? What are all the different ways you can solve this problem?
Look at the abundance of information on Google. Amazing! There is so much around us with all the information out there, with all the specialists in each industry, that can help you create and do amazing things.
Contribute to the Growth of Others
Focus on how you can help and educate your employees, peers, and your boss. When I was an engineering intern I was so grateful for the managers and engineers that would share their knowledge and educate me on management and design. I didn’t understand why some in the telecommunications and civil engineering industry would keep it to themselves. Now I understand, they had a scarce mindset — they were afraid the new employees and interns would replace them or outperform them in time.
Once I was able to transition from less of a trainee to more of a trainer, I was eager to help new interns. I wanted to pass that knowledge on that I learned. And as I stepped into the role of mentor, we both improved at our craft. It became abundantly clear to me that as everyone gets better and better, I was pushed to keep improving and imagined what we could accomplish as a top team.
Scarcity breeds complacency, and there’s no room for complacency in finance or anywhere really. Kill the scarce mindset if it ever creeps in and focus on abundance.
Ready For A Jedi Mind Trick?
Budget sounds like scarcity. Investments sounds like abundant mindset. The truth is, budgets create abundance.
When I talk about investments with people who are eager to grow their wealth the right way, the immediate response is excitement. They want to learn more about how they can make more money with their money so they can do more things, have more time, and as a result, more choices. The abundance mindset immediately kicks in with most people.
When I bring up budget, I typically don’t get the same response. A couple years ago I was buying a new cell phone and the young salesman noticed I was a financial advisor and started asking me a lot of questions about money and investments. He wanted a sports car. He wanted more toys. And some of his friends made a killing (at that time) in cryptocurrency and directional trades in the stock market. He asked me what’s the number one thing he should focus on to become rich. I told him it all starts with savings and a budget. I went from a hero to zero in his eyes within a second. Needless to say, he did not become a client. Which is okay, I was just there to buy a smartphone.
Consistently when I first meet prospective clients and I bring up the evil word “budget”, I can see the scarcity mindset kick in. So I created a new term: Cash Flow Optimizer (CFO). Full disclosure, I realize it’s corny. But the point isn’t to win the award for most creative new financial term, the point is to find a new way to think about growing your wealth through savings. (Also, it’s infinitely better than budget).
The word budget has baggage. When I ask prospective clients who are sick of living paycheck to paycheck what they think of a budget, I hear this:
- I don’t want to be told what I can’t do
- that means I can’t spend as much
- I don’t get to do everything I want to do
- that sounds like a lot of work to track
- I know I should save money, but I struggle with it
- what if I want to remodel my home and it’s not in the budget?
When I ask the same question to prospective clients who already have a budget and strong savings plan ahd who want to maximize their economic potential (my forte) below are their answers:
- Find lost money and put it to good use
- Find errors from the banks (I’ve yet to see one that is not in the banks favor)
- More opportunities: the ability to invest and make more money on their money, which becomes this perpetual “money making machine.” I stole this name from a new client. She’s a very sharp and motivated registered nurse and loving mom. I was showing her how to create a savings/checking account that is specifically allocated for savings and investments. She nicknamed it the “money making machine” account. Awesome! That’s an abundant mindset.
This is my last blog (for a while) where I try to cleverly tackle the word: budget. I want to emphasize to those reading this blog that are struggling with this word, embrace the word: CFO. Switch the thought process from scarcity to abundance. If you’d like a nudge or a little help, don’t hesitate to talk with me. I will make it easy and — gasp — fun! Games are fun when you’re winning. I am sure I will have plenty of future blogs talking about abundance. We all deserve a life filled with abundance, start with rewiring how you think, feel and talk about saving.
I decided to write a blog revisiting a concept I discussed on one of my podcasts, Episode 11: Why We Don’t Make Financial Decisions called “the raft phenomenon.” For years I have joked about the raft phenomenon when I’d invite friends, family, and clients out on our boat in Lake Tahoe. I would talk about the hesitation to go into the water because it’s capital-C Cold. But once you do, it feels so good.
For those who have not visited Lake Tahoe, I’ll give you a quick summary of the lake. It’s beautiful. It’s over 1,600 feet deep. I believe it’s the second deepest Alpine lake in the United States. It’s crystal clear, and stays cold (typically mid-60’s) through the summer.
My whole concept or idea about the raft phenomenon came to me when I used to lifeguard at Incline Beach in Incline Village, Nevada. It was my summer job for three years while I was earning my Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering at the University of Nevada. I loved that job. I was getting paid to be on the beach, help/save people in the water, teach kids how to swim, and play and train in Lake Tahoe. What a cool job!
On some of my breaks I paddled out into the lake on a rescue board or raft (we’ll go with raft), and float in the water. I would get so hot from the sun, but would hesitate to go into the water. I knew it would feel so good to cool down, but I would hesitate for a long time and then eventually muster up the courage to roll in. The water felt amazing after baking in the sun on that raft, so I became curious about why hesitated for 10-15 minutes to do what I was inevitably going to do anyway? No exaggeration, I would actually feel like I was reborn again (OK maybe the tiniest bit of exaggeration, but then again try for yourself and let me know!) It’s such an incredible feeling, So again, why the hesitation?
Because of the pain!
It’s very uncomfortable and even hurts a little for the first 15 to 60 seconds. Like I said, Tahoe is an Alpine lake so the water is very cold even in the summer. But once you get over the initial discomfort and adapt to the new environment, the water is perfect. You wonder why you hesitated for so long. So every time I am out in the boat and I feel hot and I know that I want to jump in the water, I no longer hesitate to dive head first. Because I know it’s going to feel so good after a short moment and it will make my day.
What’s Your Point, Ken?
I equate this raft phenomenon to making–or more accurately, hesitating to make–financial decisions. Making big decisions on what to do with your hard-earned money can be overwhelming, so much so that you procrastinate dealing with it altogether. There’s so many details to consider!
Where do you save it?
Where should you invest it?
Who do you trust to help that money grow so you have more opportunities?
There’s a valid fear of losing your money. You know you need to make a decision but you avoid it or set a grey deadline to take action. If you’ve ever said, “I’ll eventually get to it or I’ll get to it in the next five years or I’ll get to it when …” then I’m talking to you.
You may understand once you create your wish list (priorities & dreams) that working with the right financial advisor could set you up for a much better financial future. But, you still put it off.
I have become a great observer of my financial habits and others, and what I have found is most responsible people pay their auto insurance, home insurance, and taxes on time. I cannot think of anything more boring (yet important) than auto and home insurance and taxes. But most people get it done on time. My guess is because those deadlines have clear external expectations and subsequent consequences if you pay late. In simpler words: it’s financially painful if you miss the deadline! And the pain of not doing it, is greater than the pain of getting it done.
I hate paying my home, auto, toy insurance, umbrella insurance, business insurance, professional liability insurance, … (insurance rant) every year. I hate dealing with income taxes, unemployment taxes, property taxes, … (my tax rant). Yet it is all done on time because there are huge consequences if I don’t pay my taxes on time. If I don’t pay my insurance on time just like my energy bill, they turn it off, and now I have lost one of my cheapest forms of asset protection. So I pay it on time. I bet every responsible reader does the same thing.
It’s much harder to will yourself to make important decisions if there are no clear expectations or subsequent consequences. It’s the same reason why you meet a deadline at work but keep pushing off “deadlines” for personal projects at home.
The same goes with making smart financial moves, there’s this huge hesitation: the raft phenomenon. You know it’s going to feel so good having more money, and as a result, more options and more freedom than you have today. More available money opens up doors to …
- Go on more vacations
- Free up your spouse to not work as many hours
- Free you up to not work as many hours
- Retire early
- Find a different profession that you love but might not pay as well
- Give more in charity
- Help out a friend or family member
- Pay for your children’s education.
And still we hesitate!
Take the Plunge, I’ll Meet You In The Water
Making drastic changes (that after a few months you don’t even notice) to your financial environment can create a world of freedom within years or sooner … sometimes overnight (not kidding). You’ll become empowered.
You have control of your financial environment and your financial future. You will feel reborn once you make those nagging decisions. You will be in a position where opportunities seek you out. All you have to do is overcome the raft phenomenon. Focus on the reward and the feeling by taking action now. You know that it will feel incredibly good. You know you will do it eventually, so why not dive in head first now?
There will be a little pain, but that pain will go away quickly. What is the pain? Making slight changes to how you control, use, and move your money. That’s it! Quite often it can be no out of pocket expense. But once you endure the little bit of pain (change), I always like to tell myself and others, “with a little bit of discipline, comes a world of freedom!”
Overcome the raft phenomenon with some focused help from someone who has done it many times. Join me for a quick 15-minute introductory call, and maybe I am the right person to help.
Psychological Resistance: What’s Keeping You From Prosperity
I love what I do. I love educating people about a different way to play the financial game. The challenge is that what I teach is unbelievably simple, which has clients thinking this method is too good to be true. A test is easy once you know the answers, and I have the answers. But before we can get to those, you need to unlearn a lifetime’s worth of standard financial practices.
The BankosaurusTM is contrary to what 99% of the financial industry promotes every day, all day long via its advisors, print, articles, and commercials on business news channels (CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, etc.).
The initial struggle with new clients is undoing all this “one and only way” brainwashing we’ve had since we were kids. I’m no different, in that sense. When I first discovered in 2011 how powerful the BankosaurusTM could be for me, my family, friends, and future clients, I knew I needed to teach this to the world. Yet, it still took me nine months of studying, questioning, and testing different designs and concepts before my first client (me) bought in (doubled down actually) on the financial strategy.
Change can be very uncomfortable. But once you embrace it and remove the financial garbage that has been dumped into our brain most of our lives, amazing things start to happen.
My new clients are always baffled when I explain this new way to play the game. “How come no one’s ever taught this to me before? That’s how banks and Wall Street make so much money!?” Together we walk through the math (which does not lie) and they see the numbers and cannot believe the amount of their wealth taken via taxes, commissions, and money management fees in a 401(k). “This can’t be real!” “Why have we been told to do a 401(k)?
Don’t believe me? Try This 5-Minute Homework Assignment: Get your 401(k) statement from the end of 2017 and your most recent statement, subtract everything you put in for this year and ask if you are happy with the rate of return. Or call me and I can do a quick calculation for you to show the number. Spoiler alert: I have prospective clients do this exercise, and I have yet to witness someone who is happy with the results, even though the market has been on a tear since 2009.
The financial industry promotes tying up your money for a very long time with a lot of market volatility, uncertainty, compounding taxes on your investments, money management fees, and giving it back to you in small doses at retirement.
I promote having control, use, enjoyment of your money today, and strategically changing the flow of YOUR money so you can have a way wealthier tomorrow. It’s simple. And fun.
Let’s Review The Matrix
Making the appropriate changes to build your own BankosaurusTM is simple, but that’s not the problem. The problem lies in our psychological resistance to change. There’s no doubt that change in and of itself can be hard. Change requires us to let go of our old reality in order to step fully into a new one.
For those who have watched The Matrix (my family loves that movie), this psychological resistance to change was how Neo responded when he learned the truth about The Matrix.
The change was hard for me initially in 2011. I knew what I was taught was wrong and faulty. I was craving a different way to play the financial game, and I found it. Everything was true to me. The math made sense. All the economic principles made sense. But it was too simple. How come no one taught this to me before? This is why it still took me nine months to pull the trigger.
I can assure you that once you punch through that mental hurdle of going against the financial norm, profound things will happen for you and your family. Do the mental push-ups. Step back, look at what the norm in this country has accomplished for retirement. The average American family between 32 to 61 have a median retirement savings of only $60,000.
Ask yourself, “Do I want to be the norm? Or do I want to embrace a unique approach? A different approach and become the top 5%?”
A very sharp and motivated new client recently asked me in our Strategy & Design Meeting, “Ken, why do you think we have never been taught about finances and how banks and Wall Street make money in elementary school, high school, or college?” We both had our theories, and I’m not going to share our answers at this time. But it’s a great question? What do you think?
Are you ready to get uncomfortable? Are you ready to punch through the huge resistance of change? Are you ready to become the top 5%? I’m here to help–to give you the answers to the test, so it can become easy. And I will coach and help you along the way.
Mentor vs Life Coach: Why It Matters
When my family and I first moved out from New Jersey to Lake Tahoe, I couldn’t wait to learn how to become a good skier. The best way for me to learn was to ski right behind all my friends and do what they did. Afterward I would ask specific questions about all the cool stuff they could do. What do you focus on in powder? How do you edge on groomed trails? What are you thinking about for your next turn when you’re skiing in the trees? Then I mirrored what they did.
I can’t imagine how long it would’ve taken me to become a proficient skier If I had just tried to teach myself.
What does skiing have to do with finance, Ken?
Hold on, I was getting there.
Over the last 10 years I’ve been approached by numerous life coaches and business coaches that claim they can make me way better at what I do. Life coaches and business coaches–let’s just call them “consultants”, for the sake of this post–sound great in theory, but in the end they’re all talk. (Of course this isn’t true for all “consultants”, some have made huge impacts for me and others).
When you’re choosing a mentor or coach, observe what they do and how they live, not necessarily what they say. If they don’t live and breathe your version of success, then why would you want their advice on how to succeed?
The huge difference between learning from a mentor and learning from someone who calls themselves a life coach or business coach is simple: mentors teach you to do as they do, too many life coaches teach you to do as they say.
Back in 2008 when I was changing careers from a full-time professional engineer (P.E.) to an insurance agent and financial advisor, there was an overwhelming amount to learn. What enabled me to succeed, in such a competitive industry was shadowing and being mentored by the best of the best. I found people that taught me to do as they did, not what they said. Everything I teach my clients and future clients is to do as I do, not what I say.
5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Mentorship
1.Summon Your Do-Whatever-It-Takes Attitude
It was very awkward transitioning from a career in engineering to a career in finance. Two clear goals kept me focused:
- I wanted to help people gain financial freedom in ways that the standard approach could not offer.
- I knew that to survive and thrive in this industry I had to reach out to the best of the best.
When I wanted to learn more about auto and home insurance and how to educate my clients, I asked one of the top agents in northern Nevada out for lunch. I wanted to learn as much as possible from him, and lunch seemed like a pretty affordable way of making that happen. But I wasn’t going to stop there.
Soon after I rented a room right next to his office so I could literally walk in his footsteps. I paid close attention to the way he communicated with his clients and potential future clients. I attended meetings with him and I soaked it all up. Shadowing this accomplished agent taught me that most leaders love helping others. I learned to do as he did.
- Personalize What Your Learn
Once I had worn in his methods enough to feel comfortable, I started to modify a few things to suit my personality. I used lessons and philosophies that resonated with me to create an an approach for educating my clients and potential future clients that I wanted to serve.
Learning from someone that was already incredibly successful for decades allowed me to excel at a rapid rate. I was not reinventing the wheel–I was learning from someone who was already accomplished, which saved me a lot of time and let me get to the fun part paster: fine-tuning my own approach.
- Keep Your Pride in Check
One of the hardest parts about shadowing and learning from a mentor is opening yourself up to new ways of thinking so you can reengineer your mindset and habits for success. That takes humility, and humility is a skill in and of itself. I have been humbled many, many times.
A good friend of mine over a decade ago was such a phenomenal athlete that whatever he did he naturally excelled at. However, he never wanted to learn from others, he just wanted to figure it out himself. I never understood that. I felt that if he latched onto some incredible mentors (coaches, former professional athletes) he would have become one of the greats. But he was not humble enough or willing to do that.
- Seek Out New Mentors For Every Stage Of Your Growth
When I first discovered how powerful a well-designed, dividend-paying whole life insurance policy (The BankosaurusTM) could be, I knew I had reached the next level of my “engineer of finance” journey … and I was going to need mentorship from the best of the best.
For the last seven to eight years I have traveled to Las Vegas, Houston, Park City, Toronto, and this week, St. Louis to shadow and learn from incredible mentors in the financial industry. Spending high quality time learning and shadowing the best of the best is helping me become one of them. I see my growth in the successes of my clients. I have helped them recapture and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions more for today and their future (typically with no out-of-pocket expense).
The best way to help my clients play the financial game differently is to be the best of the best, so they can learn from what I do, not just what I say.
- Start Now
If you want to be the best of the best in your industry (doctor, engineer, CPA, attorney, nurse, architect, martial artist, carpenter, teacher, or trapeze artist), I recommend that you find great mentors ASAP. When you find them, ask why they do what they do. Shadow them and duplicate their techniques. Over time modify the areas that are specific to you and your personality. Here’s where I plug my company: And to become the best of the best with your personal finances, schedule 15 minutes or more with me. Learn the “why” and determine if I’m the right financial mentor for you. If I am, then do as I do.
Creating a Financial Mastermind
I recently watched the movie, “The Greatest Showman” with my family, and I loved it. I know it was inspired by a true story and I don’t know how accurate the movie reflects the reality at that time, but certain themes in the movie got me thinking. The movie was a great example of a pivotal concept: we are only limited by our imagination. This idea was instrumental in transforming my mindset around decision making. I first came across this idea when I discovered the “mastermind” about 20 years ago.
At that time I had just read the book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I was fascinated by the ideas presented throughout that book.
A mastermind group–for those of you who like concrete definitions–is a peer-based mentoring group that allows people within common interests, goals or career fields to share advice and solve problems together.
A mastermind is an indispensable tool when you desire something bigger than yourself (or simply the support to do what you keep putting off). This week I want to discuss how you can apply the mastermind concept to your financial goals.
But it’s so much more than that. The consistent support from brilliant peers often leads to groundbreaking aha! moments. It’s amazing what a group of people with similar ambitions can achieve together.
My First Mastermind
When I made the big commitment to walk away from good income working as an engineer, my mastermind consisted of just me and my wife. She knew of my strong desire to do something special for others with their finances and she knew of my potential and what I taught was unique to the industry.
My wife and I had two important things in common (and still do!): the desire to do something extraordinary with our goals and the understanding that we are only limited by our imagination. Being on the same page as my wife helped encourage me to go from decisions based upon fear to decisions based upon doing something great.
My Current Mastermind
My current mastermind as a financial advisor includes some of the top financial advisors in North America. We meet about once a week and focus on topics and ideas that will create significant value for our clients and in turn our businesses. It is a positive environment focused on a common goal:
To improve ourselves and our companies to be the best at serving our clients in finances.
This mastermind has helped me provide better insight to my clients, and as a result my clients do extraordinary things with their finances that separate them from the majority of households in this country.
Want to start a Mastermind? Here’s How.
There’s this quote that has stuck with me since I was a kid. I don’t know where I heard it and I don’t know who said it, but here it goes, “Show me who you hang with and I know who you are.” To me this means when you put yourself in a certain environment, decisions and thoughts (good and bad) can be strongly influenced by that environment.
This leads me to the first step for creating a mastermind: audit your current environment. The people within your current environment are influencing your behaviors, whether you realize it or not.
Let me be clear, I am not advising that you only hang out with people that think like you all the time–that would be a small world. I am specifically talking about the environment where you choose to work on your goals. That environment should be selective.
Let’s say you want to create a finance mastermind specific to achieving financial freedom. Start with an observational checklist:
- What circle are you going to create around you to make this happen? This is where you can be selective. Are you going to randomly seek guidance from your neighbor, your parents or friends you’ve had since college? If so, how successful have they been with their finances? Excellent? Good? Okay? Bad? If you did not answer “excellent”, why are they part of your financial decisions? Enjoy them for who they are, but don’t seek guidance on money. They should not be part of your financial freedom mastermind.
- Find several good friends and peers that have the same vision of financial freedom (financial independence) as you. It’s that simple.
- Meet with your mastermind consistently. Once a week or once a month, meet to discuss what you have done and what you are doing to put yourself in a better position financially. Some discussion topics for your mastermind include:
- What you have done for protection
- What you have implemented to create savings and liquidity in your household.
- What you are investing or considering as an investment to help achieve those goals.
My clients that have created a mastermind have made great accomplishments. As their financial advisor, I have helped with unique ideas and concepts, but they did the work and ran different ideas past each other to best implement new ideas for them and their families. They have common goals and dreams. They call me to discuss ideas they have come up with to get my thoughts. They consistently encourage each other to take the next step and celebrate in each others accomplishments.
Don’t you deserve a Mastermind?