I started with nothing and have been blessed with enough focus, commitment, follow through and the ability to not make excuses that I have done extremely well in my life.
I recently did a show on GrantCardoneTV.com on How to Make Your First Million, which was streamed on Periscope and Meerkat and viewed live by over 10,000 people.
Here are the takeaways from the show:
It’s never been easier
It has never been easier, so don’t make it so difficult. There is so much money in the world today and so many ways to get yourself known. The first thing you have to know is that it’s out there and it’s not that hard. In fact, everyone will be a millionaire in their lifetime: $50,000 per year times 20 years equals $1 million.
Saving won’t do
The old ideas of saving every penny is not the way today. You can’t simply save your way to the first million without becoming old, at which point the money probably won’t matter to you.
Live below your means
Live below the money you are making. Not because you are depriving yourself, but because you are seeking to bank millions.
No one has ever done business with me because of the suit I wear, the watch I have on my wrist or the car I drove. Live below your means until you don’t have to anymore.
Push every tax angle you can.
Learn the tax code and use it to your advantage. Quit bitching about taxes and learn how it can benefit you. The code was put together to give preference to earners.
I have joined multiple multi-level marketing companies while still being an employee so I could take advantage of write-offs like the home and car.
These were, and are, legitimate ways for me to reduce my tax bill and possibly make some more money – plus I have a chance to surround myself with great people.
Mature from income to investor
The way to get rich is to make investments, but you can’t do that if your income doesn’t allow for you to set aside money to invest.
The only reason to make and save money is so that you can invest it. Only invest money in projects you know will score and never give up your income.
Quit acting poor and quit acting like you are a spectator. Boss up in everything. When the bill comes for dinner, boss up.
When you have to invest money to get information, buy a list, grow your brand or learn to sell you need to write the check like a boss, not like a little whiner.
Automate a pay-yourself-first programme
Set-up with your employer to pay yourself to a savings account so that you have money deposited each month before you get a check to pay your bills and live your life.
This is one thing I started doing when I was 26 years old that kept me “broke” without money to lose or waste and forced me to continue to hustle. This is the step that will make number five possible.
Be in a hurry
Be the hare, the turtle and the millionaire! The only thing that comes to those that are patient are the crumbs left behind by those in a hurry.
Do the millionaire math
Do the math on what it takes to hit a million. If you make $50,000 a year and can figure out how to put away 40 percent of it (that is my saving target) it will take you 50 years times $20,000 per year to get there.
If you don’t do your math you won’t get there because you won’t have the right mindset. Math is a universal language.
Do not diversify
I know the diversification concept is popular, but it’s wrong. If you are going to bank a million before you are old and tired you need to pick something you believe in and know it’s going to work and go all in.
Seek multiple flows
If you don’t get multiple flows happening you will never create financial freedom. Don’t confuse number 10 with multiple flows.
These are not conflicts – have parallel flows going. Don’t make your first flow disconnected, make it similar so that it takes less energy and less resources.
Avoid spending money or tying up your money in homes, IRAs or colleges
I know it’s not popular, but these are traps. Show me someone that became a millionaire from buying homes, other than me. Flipping homes, by the way, is not buying homes – that is a real estate play. Wall Street has convinced you to do these things to trap and immobilise you.
You deserve financial freedom. You should have your financial targets to be a millionaire up until the point that you become one. Then your target should be to hit 100 million!
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Leon Meyer GM At Westin Cape Town Shares 4 Experience-Driven Tips On How To Keep Your Team Productive
Productivity is a fundamental requirement for an organisation – it’s the seed that builds a business and contributes to higher profit margins.
Productivity is a fundamental requirement for an organisation – it’s the seed that builds a business and contributes to higher profit margins. But what’s the best way to ensure employees remain productive, and happy in their day job?
The answer is simple and highly effective and I choose to sum it up with three short phrases – respect, trust and teamwork.
In partnership with my management team, which consists of about eight staffers across various disciplines, we strive to tick these boxes.
In total we’re ultimately responsible for managing roughly 500 employees.
Five hundred employees across several departments is a mighty job. But with teamwork, good listening skills and the right attitude from the top to filter down, any business can run like a well-oiled machine.
I’d like share with you the essentials for building and maintaining a productive workforce, and these apply to all industries, not just the hospitality sector:
1. What’s your definition of a productive team and how do you achieve that?
We need to keep in mind that productivity is a result, one that CEOs and managing directors strive for with their teams. But what happens beforehand in order to achieve that result determines whether it will be achieved at all, and is equally important. I suggest the following to ensure a productive team:
Define roles and responsibilities: Direction is incredibly important; everyone needs to know exactly where they’re going and how they need to get there, so KPIs are essential.
Often when roles and responsibilities are unclear, things go pear-shaped. I am an advocate for setting clear KPIs, it’s a good way to steer us in the right direction, and in turn helps to grow the business and the individual in his/her role.
Be flexible: Rigid environments are the worst kind, allow your employees some flexibility and the opportunity to be themselves in the workplace. We spend so much of our time at work, we need to be ourselves there.
Celebrate the team: When there are achievements, celebrate them, single out individuals who are excelling and living the company values. This builds morale and is indicative of appreciation, which is fundamental when running and building a business.
2. What has and continues to be your philosophy since managing a large team?
Know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your team’s and leverage off that. Be prepared to learn from others, no one can operate in isolation, regardless of the level on which you operate. Accept criticism and don’t bulldoze someone’s ideas, that’s how you build trust.
3. What in your view are the top characteristics the team look for in a leader?
- Be consistent – inconsistency screams bad leader
- Provide guidance – this is key, don’t turn a blind eye, give input and council
- Listen – always listen intently
- Be impartial – always be fair
- Give credit – it builds morale and shows you recognise good work
- Be patient – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and remember not everyone thinks the same as you do
4. What’s your view on an open door policy and how does it assist with managing a team and ensuring everyone remains productive?
I believe in an open door policy. It’s essential to build and develop trust. I’m the first to admit that it takes a while to build that trust, but once the team (on all levels in all departments) know your door is always open, and that they can trust you implicitly, half the battle has been won.
I host a GM’s roundtable every two months, just to establish how everyone is feeling and where everyone is at. It gives staff the opportunity to bring their challenges to the table, and I deal with them the best I can.
It’s 100 percent confidential and line managers are not allowed to attend. During this meeting we try reach common ground, and I commit to addressing and ultimately solving the problem(s).
Why Purpose Drives Profits
If you want to succeed, it’s time to start engaging where it matters.
Over the past two years, many clients have been extending brand positioning exercises into purpose-driven expressions.
When we look at it, it makes sense given the country’s demographics. With many of our fellow countrymen struggling to make ends meet, brands have stepped in to provide them with a picture of a future worth striving for.
Global customer-centricity study, Insights 2020, led by research firm Kantar Millward Brown, has attempted to understand how brands could drive customer-centric growth as well as the factors that really make a difference. The research surveyed 10 495 individuals in 60 countries, and there are some significant efforts worth investing in if brands want to engage where it matters most, in consumers’ hearts.
The research uncovered that for market-leading companies and brands, traditional value drivers such as quality, packaging, or distribution are necessary, but no longer provide a competitive advantage; most brands are capable of providing these drivers. What is important, are a few critical approaches.
1. Purpose-led brands
The study found that when companies or brands linked to a purpose, 80% of them outperformed the market. Only 32% of non-purpose led brands managed to perform better than the market.
Related: How To Calculate Gross Profit
2. On the ground
It’s important to engage with consumers in their space and on their terms. Through the use of memorable campaigns, experiential events and activations it is critical to engage with consumers on their turf.
3. Be truthful and authentic
Consumers can smell something inauthentic a mile away, especially when it’s coming from a brand. This forces brands to strive for authenticity in everything they do, especially when it comes to marketing. Building values and principle-based attributes into your brand as a guiding tool is essential.
4. Helping consumers commit
By allowing individuals to attach themselves to a brand with a purpose, it helps consumers personally commit to a cause that they consider important. When a consumer is personally invested, the link between the brand and product or service deepens.
5. Balancing heritage and modern relevance
There is a continuous tussle in balancing the traditional market, transitional market and the new consumers brands are trying to attract. Keeping the heritage and roots of the brand true to itself, while creating relevance for the new market, is a battle marketers are still fighting.
Need To Trim The Fat To Boost Profitability? Listen To Your Clients First
Jeff Bezos believed that once you win the client over by doing this, everything else will follow – not least profitability.
Finding the balance between offering the extras that set you apart from your competitors and keeping things ‘lean and mean’ to minimise wastage and maximise return on investment is a tricky balancing act.
I’ve noticed that many businesses try to attract or retain customers by offering what they think their customers want, rather than finding out what they really need, and then delivering that. That’s an expensive mistake to make – and it’s not going to achieve the business results you need.
I’ve also observed that now is the age of the new entrepreneur – the game changers who disrupt the status quo long set by big bureaucratic competitors who think that their customers will just accept an inflationary (or slightly larger) increase every year, just because they always have.
While Amazon has been around for a while now, there’s also an important lesson to be learned from its launch goal, which was to bring the price to the client. Jeff Bezos believed that once you win the client over by doing this, everything else will follow – not least profitability.
How have I applied these lessons in my business?
Firstly, we design our hotels backwards – we focus on the needs of our clients, very aware that what hotel guests wanted years ago is not what they want now. That’s why we don’t offer thing like a turn-down service with chocolates on the pillow. Nobody eats the chocolates, and nobody uses the toiletries – so why should we include the costs of these unwanted extras (and the cost of the staff required to implement them) in the final bill to our clients?
We do, however, offer free WiFi internet connectivity, free parking in our buildings, free laundry services and either bed-and-breakfast options or self-catering rooms.
Simply put, we’ve cut the fat that nobody wants anyway, and added the value that our guests have said they expect.
Our clients have said that they expect the whole hotel to be a workstation, and not just the business centre in a dark, unwanted corner. So, we’ve put a workstation in every room, with always-on access to the internet. Our hotels are designed with beautiful work spaces that cater for nomadic entrepreneurs and double up as comfortable meeting spaces, again – gone are days of boardroom only meetings, our spaces are primed for work and play in one integrated space.
Our clients have pointed out that they’re already paying for their room – so why should they pay for parking?
Many of our clients stay with us for days or weeks at a time, and have said it would be helpful if we did their laundry. So, we do that for them – and we don’t charge them for it.
It’s true that many of our old-school competitors offer a broader range of products and services than we do, but we’ve built a successful business on adding the value that our clients need, removing the costs and extras that annoy them, and keeping costs (theirs as well as ours) under control by cutting out unnecessary frills.
It’s an approach that’s worked for The Capital Hotels and Apartments as a disruptor in the hotel and long-stay accommodation industry, and I’m confident that its principles would apply to any other industry that’s ripe for disruption.
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