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Setting & Achieving Goals

20 Habits Holding Me Back From Being A Millionaire

Getting rich quick is difficult but getting rich eventually is just a matter of thrift, work and patience.

John Rampton

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How would you like to become a millionaire?

We all do. But, most of us, including yours truly, have bad habits that get in the way of accomplishing this feat. If you’re able to ditch these bad habits, you should realise that obtaining a millionaire status isn’t as elusive as you may have thought.

For me personally, here are the 20 habits that were holding back me and so many other people from becoming a millionaire.

1Sleeping-in

I completely understand that not everyone is a morning person because I struggled with that for years. I still do on those cool, rainy mornings. Here’s the thing.  If you’re not getting-up until noon expect to hustle and work 12 or more hours per day to make up for your late start.

Successful people are known for waking-up early, usually before everyone else in their house, so that they can start cranking out work, catch-up on the news, respond to the emails and exercise without sacrificing to much time with family.

Related: 15 Wise Money Quotes From Millionaires And Billionaires

2Neglecting your health

“Poor health habits create detrimental luck,” writes Thomas Corley in Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: Strategies that Transformed 177 Average People into Self-Made Millionaires.”

When you’re unhealthy, you’re tired, less productive, more stressed and far more prone to getting sick. How can you focus on building your health when you’re battling those factors everyday?

3Not reading

reading-habit

The rich invest the time and effort necessary to expand their knowledge, keep up with news and trends in their industry, learn from inspirational biographies and remaining relevant.

As Will Lipovsky wrote, reading brings in different perspectives, allows various points of view to broaden your own, pushes you to dream bigger and motivates you to never give up.

4Relying on one source of income

The wealthy have several streams of income. For those of us aspiring to wealth, that means side hustling to pay-off debt, set aside for your retirement and invest.

This doesn’t mean that you have to get a second job waiting tables (but it’s not a bad idea until you have a better option). It could be something that you’re passionate about, such as writing about technology. You could eventually gain a following for your blog and start earning a passive income through affiliate marketing.

Related: The 6 Attributes Shared By Young Millionaires

5Not setting a budget

Everyone needs to create a budget and stick to it but, unfortunately, there are plenty of people who don’t. Since they can’t accurately see if they’re spending more than they’re earning, that often leads them to financial trouble. If you notice that that’s the case, then you need to start cutting unnecessary expenses and speak to an advisor to get you back on-track.

This is actually another habit shared by the wealthy as authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko discovered after studying millionaires for their book The Millionaire Next Door.

6Spending carelessly

“Ninety-five percent of the poor in my study did not save and most accumulated debt to subsidise their standard of living,” Tom Corley wrote in Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. “Consequently, they have no money for retirement, for their kids’ college, or for pursuing opportunities that present themselves.”

As Corley bluntly puts it. “Not saving and spending more than you make create long-term poverty, with no hope of escape.”

7Not paying attention to the small costs

coffee-small-costs

You may not think that spending $4 a day on a cup of coffee has an effect on your wealth. The same with that $500 yearly gym membership that you rarely use. Even though in the scheme of things these are small costs, they add-up quickly.

I recently pulled random credit card payments data from my company. I found that 35 percent of people that purchase coffee or visit a coffee shop on a daily basis (at least 4x a week) only pay the minimum on their credit card each month.

Again, that’s why a budget is so useful. It helps you pick-up on these small costs so that you can adjust accordingly and stick with the essentials. Instead of going to Starbucks daily, make it a weekly reward after you’ve had a productive week and only keep the subscriptions that you’re actually using.

Related: 5 Truths That Made Me A Millionaire At 22

8Hanging out with the wrong crowd

“You are only going to succeed in life if you surround yourself with the right type of people,” says Corley. Replace those toxic and negative people in your life with those who optimistic, driven, and supportive.

9Procrastination

It’s one thing to say that you want to become a millionaire. It’s another to actually start doing it. If you want to get out of financial stagnation then you need to start taking action as soon as possible. Even if that’s just sitting down with a financial professional to go over your budget. It’s a great place start so that you can stop talking and start doing.

10Drinking and gambling

“There is no such thing as getting rich quick,” Corley writes. “Financial success takes time, takes initiative, and requires relentless effort. Those who gamble are deluded into thinking there is a shortcut to success.”

Instead, millionaires “make a habit of pursuing their dreams and their goals.”

Furthermore, excessively drinking alcohol prevents you from achieving that millionaire status since it harms your memory, ability to think clearly and your health. That’s not to say that you can’t have the occasional glass of wine or beer. It means that this should never become a daily habit.

11Watching too much television

television

Zig Ziglar once said, “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching Netflix every now and then. But, as Corley has found, the rich would rather read, exercise or educate themselves rather than waste time watching TV.

“Making productive use of time is a hallmark of self-made millionaires,” Corley says. “Wasting time is a hallmark of poor people.”

Related: These 3 Simple Strategies Will Better Your Odds Of Becoming A Self-Made Millionaire

12Not finding a mentor

I’m confident that if I had found a mentor years ago I would have struck it rich back then. Why do I feel that way? I could have learned from the successes and mistakes of someone who has proven themselves in the field. Their advice could have helped me skip the constant trial and error that I’ve experienced and get right into making a profit.

While you can go out and hire a mentor, mentors are all around you. It could be the advice from a college professor, your parents or even from Elon Musk by following him on social media or reading his biography.

13Staying in your comfort zone

I get it. Taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone is unsettling. But it’s not until you take that leap that you’ll find financial success. It’s a habit that has worked well for Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Larry Ellison and Warren Buffet.

“The pursuit of wealth requires that you take risks. Most don’t, and that’s why most are not wealthy,” says Corley.

14Not asking questions

Put aside your ego for a moment. You don’t know everything. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s a fact and it will hold you back from becoming wealthy until you face it.

I learned the hard way that guessing your way through leads to failure and poor decisions. If you’re uncertain about an investment or business idea, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback and advice.

15Being consumed by failure

Entrepreneurs wear failure like a badge of honour. That still doesn’t mean that enjoy or want to fail. Closing a business and losing almost everything sucks but those setbacks are necessary to become as strong as you can be.

Make no mistake about. Failing is pretty awful. But, don’t let that hold you down. Take those risks. And, if you fail, learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Related: 5 Millionaire Traits That Will Help You Get To The Top

16Not setting daily goals

One of the best habits I’ve picked-up over the last couple of years is writing down my daily goals first thing in the morning. It inspires and guides me to push myself each and every day to achieve those goals.

I’ve found that when setting your daily goals, it helps to prioritise them by most important to least important Prioritisation is first doing what matters most. For example, instead of me chasing several $100 past due invoices, I focus on the one or two $1,500 invoices.

17Thinking negatively

“Long-term success is only possible when you have a positive mental outlook,” Corley writes.

Here are some of the most common negative thoughts that we have and most overcome;

  • Doubting yourself. Training, education and a mentor can change this.
  • Not believing your goals can be achieved. Focusing on achieving those daily goals and work your way up.
  • Having poor grades. No. Grades and learning disabilities don’t determine your success. Just ask Richard Branson who overcame dyslexia.
  • The competition is too tough.You never know until you try. Worst case scenario? You have to pivot.
  • No focus. A healthy lifestyle and setting daily goals can keep you focused.

18Not collecting assets

“A job will never make you rich. Neither will saving all your cash in a coffee can. So how can you build that wealth?,” asks Brandon Turner, VP of Growth at BiggerPockets.com.

So, what will? Assets, like a profitable business, a growing stock portfolio or investing in the right piece of real estate.

Remember, your car and shiny toys are “liabilities that are robbing you of future wealth.” Focus on “collecting things that will make you money in the long term.”

19Making excuses

Making excuses was one of the tallest hurdles between me and wealth. Making excuses is easy when are trying to understand why we’re buried in debt and don’t have a six-figure income. Saying we want to “live in the moment” is a poor excuse for not working today to make a more prosperous future. Stop making excuses and start taking action.

For example, don’t worry about saving when you’re drowning in debt. Pay that debt off first, then you can start saving and investing. If you don’t make enough money, then find another source of income like selling stuff online or delivering pizzas. That won’t solve all of you problems, but it’s a start in getting rid of those excuses.

Related: 13 Female Entrepreneurs Rising To The Top

20Not following the 70/30 Rule

Jim Rohn, one of the county’s leading authority figures in business, has a simple formula for accumulating wealth.

“After you pay your fair share of taxes, learn to live on 70 percent of your after-tax income. These are the necessities and luxuries you spend money on.” Rohn says after that, “it’s important to look at how you allocate your remaining 30 percent.”

He suggests giving a third to charity, a third toward capital investments and the final third should be put in savings. You won’t notice anything at first, but “let five years lapse and the differences become pronounced. At the end of 10 years, the differences are dramatic.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and has been one of the Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past three years. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

You’ve Already Abandoned Your New Year’s Resolution. Here’s A Better Path To Reach Your Goals

Instead of self-flagellation and getting stuck in the quagmire of negative thoughts, dust off those good intentions and give yourself another shot at making your resolutions stick.

Harrison Monarth

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It’s only mid-January, but chances are pretty good that all those lofty resolutions you made before the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 have fallen by the wayside. You’re not alone.

A small, but oft-cited, longitudinal study of New Year’s resolutions by John Norcross, a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton, revealed that nearly a quarter of people abandoned their goal after one week. That number swelled to 46 percent at a month and 64 percent after six months. Less than a fifth, 19 percent, were able to hang on for two years.

So instead of self-flagellation and getting stuck in the quagmire of negative thoughts, dust off those good intentions and give yourself another shot at making your resolutions stick.

Don’t make a backup plan (just yet)

You’ve likely heard that having a Plan B (or C or D) can be very helpful when dealing with unexpected contingencies. Being prepared for any bump in the road will make arriving at the destination unscathed and on time a sure thing, right?

Not so, according to new research from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jihae Shin, assistant professor of management and human resources at the school, together with Katherine L. Milkman of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a series of experiments that challenged the conventional wisdom that holds backup plans in high regard.

Instead, their experiments revealed that when participants spent time plotting out a contingency plan, they failed to meet their goals. Of course, it’s important to note that these goals didn’t have anything to do with luck or innate skill, they required participants to do simple tasks including unscramble sentences. The same could be said for standard issue resolutions to get fit or save more money. They don’t rely on luck, only stick-to-itiveness.

The researchers do say that backup plans do have their place. The caveat: “You might want to wait until you have done everything you can to achieve your primary goal first,” Shin said.

Related: The 7-Step Formula For Goal-Setting

Trick yourself into changing

Yet more counterintuitive research led by marketing professors from INSEAD, IE Business School, and Pamplin College of Business, finds that we humans actually want to change rather than keep the status quo.

Their study revealed that the brain is weighing how hard reaching the goal will be, and if it finds that it’s easy to reach, then it starts looking for reasons that getting there won’t happen. This ties into thousands of years of conditioning to be more sensitive to bad news versus good, a.k.a. the negativity bias.

The researchers also found that while participants scored a goal for potential challenges, they tended to score goals that took a modest effort as easier to reach than maintaining the status quo.

To trick your brain into achieving a goal, make sure what you want to achieve is manageable, or can be done through smaller, more consistent efforts. Instead of saying you want to be vice president of your division, for instance, make a plan to work on projects that will add to your professional standing and contribute to your organisation’s bottom line.

What to do if you hit an “action crisis”

“Setbacks present real challenges in pursuing our goals,” said Richard Vann, assistant professor of marketing at Penn State Behrend. “When goals are blocked by obstacles, we often feel bad about ourselves and sometimes stop pursuing these goals.”

When it comes to resolutions, there can be setbacks aplenty. However, there’s a technique you can employ to counteract the negative effects of roadblocks and challenges you may encounter on the path to keep your resolution.

It’s called “Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intention” and it comes to us courtesy of Gabriele Oettingen and Peter Gollwitzer, psychologists at NYU.

Basically, that’s a fancy way of saying that you need to think through what it would take to reach your goal and make yourself aware of the potential obstacles you’ll hit along the way. In this way, you’ll have a strategy in place to deal with potential setbacks in advance, rather than be blindsided and subsequently switch into evaluation mode (for example: Asking yourself, “Is this goal even worth it?”) which doesn’t help you get anywhere.

Just focus on one thing

We humans tend to get ambitious when thinking about the possibility of a fresh start. Unfortunately, the “new year, new me” is just too big to be achievable. We can’t realistically get fit, stop smoking and save money while simultaneously sign up for more significant projects at work, get a mentor (or three) and build out a professional network.

That’s because we tend to make tradeoffs between goals when we have more than one or two.

Researchers from the University of Toronto found that having a single goal greased the wheels of progress for people by putting them into implementation mode. That happens even if the goal is deceptively simple, like saving money. Some participants in one of the study’s experiments were told to save money for their children’s education. For others, that goal was expanded to include saving for healthcare and for retirement. Those with the single focus were more successful than individuals who were trying to meet three separate objectives.

Related: The One Leadership Concept That Can Help You Achieve Your Biggest Goals

The researchers noted that while these experiments focused on financial matters, they believe the evidence suggests that setting a goal in any area (health, professional development, etc.) should be easier to achieve than if you’re scattering your energy on trying to make multiple resolutions come to fruition.

So if you find yourself among those who’ve abandoned their best intentions to become a better version of themselves in 2019, take heart. These strategies should get you back on track in no time.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

Unless You Track Your Progress, Setting Goals Is A Waste Of Effort

The single most common reason people don’t reach their goals is they forgot they set them in the first place.

Alexander Maasik

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I’ve always carried a notebook with me at work and on business trips. I usually jot down notes from meetings or random thoughts I have on how to improve our company. Recently, I found some of my old notebooks and I started flipping through the pages.

Despite the awful handwriting, their were actually some interesting ideas written down. I found some great goals and objectives for the past years, that I had never gotten around to implementing. I could have done most of these things and probably be more successful than I am now.

What went wrong?

Do you know what your team is doing?

Boardview writes that “two thirds of senior managers can’t name their firms’ top priorities” and “more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals.”

So the problem is that while companies probably have some sort of goals (even if they are just “making money.”), the progress towards those goals is not measured. I have seen this behaviour at many companies I’ve worked with. Starry-eyed managers excitedly pitch a goal in an attempt to motivate their employees to get on board. This great initiative is then almost instantly forgotten, and three months later no one will even remember it at all. This is part of a wider problem of companies not prioritising goal setting.

The easiest way to make sure you have serious goals that you can follow is inform everyone in your company (starting with the senior management) of those goals. Then you’ll need a goal tracking system that makes sure you measure your progress regularly.

Related: The 7-Step Formula For Goal-Setting

Own your goals

Once you’ve written down a company or a team goal, two questions arise. Who is responsible for the goal (accountability), and how do you review the results (performance review)?

As for accountability, at my work we set impactful, quarterly objectives for each of our teams. We make sure each team goal is assigned to specific person who is responsible for achieving it.

These goals are not usually met 100 percent as they are designed not to. They are designed to force me and my employees to try new things, experiment and break old habits. It’s reaching for the moon and landing among the stars.

Step two: Tracking goals with meetings

You must track your progress towards said goal week by week. This is called continuous performance review. I review our team’s Key Results or KPIs every week. At our weekly status meeting, we start by discussing each Key Result and the progress towards our end goal.

Weekly status meetings are used in most companies. But you have to be careful with them as they can become pointless very easily if you haven’t set clear goals first.

If your company is not focused on goals, you are wasting time and money. You should never just chat about your work without knowing how that work aligns with your company’s goals and vision.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Concrete Goals Are Essential To Entrepreneurial Success

Having an impact every day

Christina Wodtke, author of “Radical Focus”, has said that success is not checking a box. It’s having an impact. Working towards your goals is something you need to do every day and every hour. Only then can you make an impact. Instead of weekly meetings, you can take in one step further with status reporting.

I like the Plans, Progress, Problems (PPP) approach. With it, you set 3 – 5 impactful plans for yourself every week that you focus on. What makes this great is that you can link each of those to one of your goals to make sure every big task you work on, actually moves you towards your goals. And the reports you get out of it, can be the basis of your weekly status meetings, making it easier to keep yourself and others focused.

A weekly review of your progress is vital for the long term success of goal setting. Many people can relate to a situation where you set goals and decide on a deadline that seems so far away. Then, a week before the time is up, you finally remember your goal and panic sets in. This is not the way to do it.

Great ideas should not be left to rot in a notebook. They should be written down, discussed with your team, improved and executed every day. Doing so will ensure that your best ideas are never forgotten and lost. Instead, they bring you satisfaction and success.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

Finish The Year Strong To Carry Momentum Into 2019

Survey your accomplishments now, and reassess your goals, to conclude this year in kinetic alignment with where you want to go next.

Raul Villacis

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At the end of every season I like to take some time to reassess my yearly outcomes. I also do this with all my coaching clients because it helps them see the progress they’ve made and how they can adjust their expectations.

This year, I decided to bring all my clients together for a two-day event to do their assessments in a group setting. This is going to be the main theme at this year’s Next Level Leadership Summit: “How to Finish Strong.”

I’ve been privileged to coach, consult and interview some of the most productive entrepreneurs I know, and I have learned as much from them as they have from me. The principles they have shared with me are timeless and easy to follow. I have used them time and time again to reset my goals to make sure I set myself up for a great closing to the year instead of being disappointed by what I didn’t accomplish.

Don’t let attachment to the outcome rob you of victory

Most entrepreneurs are very competitive. We have a vision and goals, and we want things to look a certain way. The truth is that things don’t happen the way we want them to most of the time. To keep the momentum, sometimes you have to adjust your vision.

Currently, I’m working with a real estate developer who is working on several projects. At the beginning of the year, he set a goal to close a deal that would net him $20 million. He found one and started working it. It looked like he was on his way to achieving his goal, but he later received news from his architect that he had miscalculated some numbers and that they would be making $5 million less than originally projected. Upset, he called me to tell me the news.

All I heard in his voice was how disappointed he was that he was not going to hit his goal. I reminded him of where he was three years ago when he joined my programme. He was burned out, had lost his purpose and didn’t have any deals to count on. And now, this is one of the many deals he has in the pipeline. Maybe he won’t get what he was aiming for, but this is still a victory.

This is what we do all the time. We beat ourselves up because we are attached to the way things should be. A high-performing entrepreneur looks at their life as a game. To finish the year strong, he must appreciate how far he has come and reset his outcomes according to his current situation.

Related: The 7-Step Formula For Goal-Setting

Focus on progress, not perfection

At the first of the year, you create a list of things you want to accomplish. You then wait and wait for the perfect timing. After nine months go by, you look at the list and you feel disappointed you didn’t get everything done.

I know a guy who is developing a productivity app. He has interviewed developers, created the overall design and is constantly asking for feedback from people on how the app should look. He has been working on this for years but he is always waiting for the perfect time to execute.

One of my other clients has just launched his first app, and he is getting rave reviews. What’s the difference between these two men? One is waiting on the perfect time and is paralysed by the illusion of perfection while the other one was focused on creating progress.

Each week I asked my client how his app was going, and he shared his progress. Was it perfect? No. Did he experience challenges to make it work? Yes. But he knew the first steps – finding the money, reviewing the design and creating the user experience – were going to be the hardest. Now he is working on improving it based on all the feedback he has gotten from users.

High performers know perfection is the lowest standard. To finish the year strong, take inventory of all the progress you’ve made and focus on making things better.

You are the product of your environment

We’ve been taught that mindset and positive thinking are the keys to success. But that’s only part of the equation. For the last decade, I’ve focused on being in an environment that supports my growth. It doesn’t matter how strong your mindset is. It doesn’t matter how positive you are. If you are around negative people or in a negative environment, you will lose.

I’ve helped one of my clients get clear on how he wanted to take his business to the next level. We created a plan and a timeline with clear outcomes. Then I asked him, What is one thing that can mess this plan up? He said if he continued to hang out with his drinking buddies and give in to his old habits, it could distract him from his plan. So I told him to change his environment for the next 100 days to see if that would make a difference.

Now, at day 110, everything – his business, life and relationship – are on fire. I not only asked him to change his environment, I also replaced it with a group of high-level performers who hold him accountable to his commitments. That group is on fire, and they are going to be recognised for their amazing shift at my Next Level Leadership event.

High performers evaluate their environment and make changes to align it with their vision. They eliminate any possible scenario that can prevent them from getting what they want.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Concrete Goals Are Essential To Entrepreneurial Success

Focus on the other R.O.I. – return on impact

As entrepreneurs, we must watch the bottom line at all times. Every move we make has to bring us a return on our investment. Lately, I’ve seen a big shift in the market. The “cut through to the bottom line” mindset can only take you so far. I’ve been able to grow my business faster by focusing on the impact rather than the income. Don’t get me wrong. I charge for my services, and I’m not running a non-profit, but income is not my main focus.

I recently helped a client create a framework in his business that gave him a sense of purpose. He was ready to sell all his assets and move to an island with his wife and kids because his idea of success was being met by his expectations in his business. I helped him see that he simply needed to focus less on the transactions and more on the transcendence his business could provide. He owns multiple businesses, so it took him some time to figure out how he could help his clients have a better experience rather than treating them as singular transactions.

When he came back to me, he had a list of things where he had made an impact. All of a sudden, his passion for running a business had returned. He had a new sense of purpose seeing how much impact he could make in he lives of others.

A high-performing entrepreneur measures his success on the amount of impact he has on people’s lives.

Reset, recharge and recommit

We all want to have more time. We are running 100 mph, and we don’t want to slow down. That’s the life of any entrepreneur who wants to succeed in this competitive market. But, if a car is running that fast every day, it will eventually crash. And that’s what happens to us. We crash and sometimes burn things down.

To avoid this, I meet with my clients several times throughout the year to reset our goals, recharge our batteries and recommit to the process. Nothing is better than iron sharpening iron. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time. We actually discover that all we need is one day per quarter, and we can compound time. When you’re busy, quality is better than quantity.

Each quarter, people travel from all over the country to our meetings so they can share their progress and see how they can help one another. The key here is to Reset your goals, recharge your mindset and recommit to your outcomes.

High performers know that proximity is power. They also know you need to recharge your batteries in order to get back into the game – especially if you want to finish strong.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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