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The 5 Mistakes Standing Between You and Your First Million

Few entrepreneurs build million dollar businesses but many more would if they shifted how they do business.

Peter Voogd

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Creating a seven-figure business online was improbable ten or even just five years ago, but as technology improves globally, there are more seven-figure earners than ever before.

The total number of millionaire households reached 9.6 million in 2013, but has topped 10.2 million already in 2015.

With the technology, resources, mentorship, research, and information available it’s becoming easier than it has in the past. Sadly, most still won’t reach the seven figure annual mark.

Why? Learning is not the problem for most people, and lack of information surely isn’t the problem, as there is more than ever before.

It’s the lack of real awareness and consistent study of the right information, mixed with inconsistent execution and implementation, that holds back most back. You don’t just listen to something then remember it.

You must put those ideas and strategies into consistent practice and repeat those actions until they are habitual and automatic. You must summarise the key ideas, sharpen your perspective, then take more intelligent action.

There are a lot of reasons why most won’t reach seven figures, but here are the top five.

1. Most focus on perfection, not experiments

Seeking perfection has lost me more than R1 million the last couple years. By the time a millionaire has tried and tested eight different experiments without focusing on perfection, most people haven’t even gone to market yet. Maybe only two of their experiments worked and were deemed profitable. The point is they weren’t paralyzed by perfection, but were driven by testing.

Test all your crazy ideas. No matter how crazy they sound, try them out. Find out which ones work, then optimise how effective they are. Test all variations of that idea. Find out which variation works best. Ideas are nothing until executed and proven.

Related: 7 Insanely Productive Habits of Successful Young Entrepreneurs

2. Few thoroughly think things through

“The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war”

One of the biggest missed opportunities for entrepreneurs is not preparing for, or pre-determining what, they want. Truly productive people know the result they are after and maintain acute clarity on it. Armed with this awareness, they reverse engineer this big goal into a series of small and actionable steps that they then put into a one or two  page plan of execution.

Strategically thinking through your future will prevent mistakes, while increasing your ability to predict. When you’re intentional in all you do, you mitigate against risk and can make more educated decisions.

Plan your long-term strategies before you plan your tactics. Strategy shows where you plan on going, who you want to be and what types of clients you want to attract. Tactics show how to get all of your strategy accomplished.

You don’t have a real strategy if it doesn’t pass these two tests: That what you’re planning to do really matters to your existing and potential customers; and second, it differentiates you from your competition.

3. Most never learn intelligent delegation

Getting others to do something as well or better than yourself is one of the hardest aspects of leadership, but necessary if you’re going to grow the business past the six-figure mark.

Before you strategically delegate and build a team you must understand who you are, and what’s most important to you. Once you determine your most important values, put them into writing and operationalise them into company standards. Consistently systemise and internalise those values.

Your team must be value based. If somebody can do something 80% as well as you, they should be doing it.

When you delegate a task, make sure the person you’ve hired has clear and defined roles. Most entrepreneurs hire very fast, but fire very slow. It should be the opposite. Hire slow, fire fast.

Related: The Top 25 Self-Made Billionaires In the World

4. Most are making the wrong trades

Millionaires realise they will never become wealthy trading time for money. It’s OK for awhile when you start, but at some point you have to focus on scaling and leverage. You’re fighting an uphill battle if you’re trying to make seven figures trading time for money. You won’t get to seven figures only doing more of made you six figures.

Focus on the power of leverage and how to create consistent income without trading time for money. There are many possibilities – investment properties, membership sites, angel investing, building an online empire, partnerships, affiliate marketing, different types of programmes, etc.

Take some time to really analyse if you’re maximising your time. If you are trading time for money, make 100 percent sure it’s an intelligent trade. If you want to make more money, become more valuable. It’s as simple as that.

Entrepreneurs who understand the power of leveraging and scaling their businesses become millionaires by bringing more value to the marketplace than their competitors.

5. Most are ego focused instead of customer centric

“How do we decide what’s really important to work on? I like to call it the ‘toothbrush test’: do our customers use it as often as you use your toothbrush? I guess that’s twice a day. We use Gmail and YouTube much more than twice a day. Those things are amazing.” 

    — Larry Page, CEO Google

People care about what your business can do for them. Most entrepreneurs try to sell their experience and expertise. They believe that people want to pay them for what they know, but people don’t. They want to buy a solution or outcome to their problems and desires. They want results. They want to solve their problem and reduce whatever suffering they are going through. They don’t care about you.

Do you really understand at a deep level what your customers want? Those at the seven-figure mark have a monomaniacal focus on this. You must realise that the likelihood of the marketplace responding because you want something is non-existant.

Related: 10 Behaviours of Unstoppable Entrepreneurs

It’s about them, not you. Your customers are marketing geniuses, so make sure you do your due diligence. Find ways to survey them, or talk to them about their needs, wants, desires, passions, concerns etc. Customers want a fun and personal journey through all points of engagement. Do you deliver?

I’ve had several opportunities to get inside the minds of the richest people on the planet. There are timeless lessons we can learn from. A simple statement, quote or perspective shift can change the game for you. Become aware of what’s holding you back from elevating your business to the next level. Adjust your thinking, actions and strategy in accordance to your new vision.

Lastly, execute flawlessly on tactics above and make sure you’re in it for the long haul. I’m confident that by doing these things you’ll soon see your prospects for a seven-figure business become clearer than they ever have.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Peter Voogd is CEO of GameChangersMovment.com and is the leading authority on Gen y leadership. He’s trained well over 4,000 young entrepreneurs, and built an 8 million dollar sales organization by age 27. His podcasts, videos, websites, and social media reaches over 100,000 people monthly.

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Personal Finance

The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life

There’s nothing worse than a rich person who’s chronically angry or unhappy. There’s really no excuse for it, yet I see it every day. It results from an extremely unbalanced life, one with too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what’s there.

Tony Robbins

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Without gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, you’ll never know true fulfilment. But how do you cultivate balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance?

For nearly four decades, I’ve had the privilege of coaching people from every walk of life, including some of the most powerful men and women on the planet. I’ve worked with presidents of the United States as well as owners of small businesses.

Across the board, I’ve found that virtually every moment people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives. If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like the majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and often financially stressed. But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.

Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on

At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.

Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

Related: 10 YouTube Channels Every Entrepreneur Should Follow

Which area do you tend to focus on more: What you have or what’s missing from your life?

I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.

Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional wellbeing and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to feel deeply grateful for your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfilment can be found.

Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.

When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision: 

Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?

Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.

Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.

When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?

If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?

Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?

Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85% to 90% of those assembled raise their hands.

How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side-effect.

But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like ‘life is not worth living,’ that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.

Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.

When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit to what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.

So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.

Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:

Related: 13 Habits Of Self-Made Millionaires You Could Adopt Today

Decision 3: What will you do?

The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.

If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.

Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.

Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.

Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behaviour on those they respect, enjoy and love.

The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.

Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by. It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad, or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.

Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.

It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.

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Personal Finance

7 Steps To Achieve Financial Freedom

Achieving financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean becoming filthy rich – not that that hurts.

Brian Tracy

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In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy explains the seven steps you need to take to achieve financial freedom. Now, financial freedom doesn’t mean becoming filthy rich – lottery winners go bankrupt all the time. Instead, financial freedom is about becoming disciplined and using your money in a way that ensures you can live the sort of life you want both now and in the future.

Related: 5 Qualities Of Successful Entrepreneurs

That’s why the first step isn’t about getting a lot of money. Instead, it’s about teaching yourself to think positively about money. That way, you’ll be in the right mindset to move forward.

Click play to learn more.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Personal Finance

4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.

Timothy Sykes

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The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.

1First focus on learning, not big gain

Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.

They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

2You can learn loads about any topic online

online-learning

I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago. Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials.

Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog. When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.

3Focus on the niche you love

These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about. This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.

You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.

4Prove your expertise by creating free content

Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.

It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.

Related: How To Become A Millionaire, Explained In 1 Minute

You can do lots with a little

The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.

Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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