Imagine you’re retired now and you are sitting in your rocking chair looking back over the best years of your life, wondering what your life could have been like and how your retirement could be different now had you made different choices and taken different decisions.
You’ve worked hard all of your life. You are a good person. You never took a day of work. You were loyal to your employer and did your job well.
You sacrificed your children’s birthdays, school sports days and a large part of their young lives because you had to work because that is what was expected of you.
You gave the best years of your life to your company in the hope that the company pension you were paying into would look after you in your retirement.
But sadly the company started facing financial difficulties and, as you were nearing retirement they laid you off, so you never got the full benefit of your company pension.
The good news is that you have made it to retirement, but you are living on a meagre state pension and your savings (if you are lucky enough to have any left) are just enough to allow you to budget for the odd luxury treat one a week.
You love your children and grandchildren, and you only want the best for them, but as prices have increased in line with inflation, you just don’t have the spare cash available to help them as much as you would like to.
In your younger years, you loved your hobby and your mind wanders back to a time when you were thinking about turning your hobby into a business.
You recall thinking about how much freedom you would have working for yourself and the joy of being in control of your own destiny, choosing where you wanted to live to give your children the best environment to grow up in.
A smile emerges on your face as you recall those times, but it soon diminishes as the reality of your current circumstances re-appear all around you.
Your dreams never materialised because you decided to listen to your close friends and family.
They were worried about you failing and, with (hopefully) your best intentions in mind, they talked you out of following your dream and fulfilling your passion.
After all, working for someone else in a job is much more secure than going it alone.
Well, that’s the lie you were told.
And now, as you near the end of your life, you look back and wonder. You wonder how different your life and the lives of those around you could be now had you made a different decision and different choices.
What if you hadn’t have listened to your friends and family and had sought the advice of others who had done what you wanted to do and succeeded?
This blog post is all about that.
It’s about hopefully inspiring you to think about what you are capable of.
The fact is you only have one life. This isn’t a dress rehearsal.
So why choose to settle for less than you know you deserve?
The Compound Effect
In a book called ‘The Compound Effect’ it states that If a person at age 23 started putting $250 a month into a pension plan and continued doing so up to age 40 they would never have to invest another penny but would be able to retire at 67 with a pension fund of over $1 million if their fund grew at an average of 8% per year.
In comparison, let’s say you don’t start saving until you are 40 years old, but you start putting $250 a month in for the next 27 years.
You would retire at age 67 with a pension fund of possibly less than $300,000 and you would have invested $27,000 more than the person who started investing at age 23.
The key is that the 23-year-old’s investment kept growing due to the compounded interest after they were 40, even though they never invested another penny.
In a more recent article written by Jeffrey Steels on the 15 May 2018 and published here in the UK, Jeffrey Steels cites an example from professional financial planner Gregory De Jong, an adviser with Savant Capital Management.
It states “Assume Joe earns average annual returns of 10 percent in stock mutual funds. Starting at age 30, he would need to invest only £263 a month to have £1 million by age 65. “That’s less than £9 a day,” De Jong says.
But if Joe starts saving five years earlier, at age 25 instead of 30, he’d need to bank just £158 a month, or about £5.25 a day.”
The compound effect is the principle of reaping huge reward from a series of small smart choices and in the examples above it shows how the power of compound interest can work in a financial sense.
And what’s most interesting about this process is that even though the results are massive, the steps in the movement don’t feel significant.
The Magic Penny
In the book ‘The Compound Effect’, Darren Hardy also tells the story of the magic penny which goes something like this.
Let’s say that you are given the choice between taking £3 million pounds in cash this very instant, and a single penny that doubled in value every day thirty-one days which would you choose?
Let’s say you take £3 million and your friend takes the magic penny. On day five your friend has £0.16, you, however, have £3 million.
Day 10 you still have £3 million, your friend now has £5.12.
Day 20 you still have £3 million, your friend now has £5,243.
Day 31, You still have £3 million, your friend has £10,737,418.24, more than three times your £3 million.
50 Folds of Paper
Let’s take a normal sized piece of paper and fold it in half. Then fold it in half again, and keep on doing so.
Now I, of course, need some of you to suspend your disbelief here and go with the concept as I know that many of you will be saying that you can’t fold a piece of paper more than seven times. But bear with me and all will become clear.
At 7 folds it would have the thickness of a regular notebook.
At 10 times, it would be as thick as the width of your hand.
At seventeen folds it would be taller than your average house.
At 20 folds that sheet of paper is a quarter way up the Sears tower.
30 folds and the thickness has crossed the outer limits of the atmosphere.
At 50 folds it has reached the sun from the earth.
At sixty folds it has the diameter of the solar system.
At 100 folds it has the radius of the universe.
Hard to believe, then check out this article here – https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-explain-that-if-you-could-fold-a-piece-of-paper-in-half-50-times-its-thickness-will-be-3-4-the-distance-from-the-Earth-to-the-Sun
Consider Starting a Business
In the article I mentioned above, Jeffrey Steels also mentions starting a business. He says:
“Many of the world’s richest people created their wealth by starting a business.
While you might not attain the net worth of Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, starting a business or a side job can help you pay off high-interest debt or boost your savings.”
“Anybody can start a business,” says Phillip R. Christenson, a chartered financial analyst with Phillip James Financial. “Take one of your hobbies or interests and see how you can use it to solve other people’s problems. To lower the risk, do it on the side while you continue to work a full-time job. It will take hard work, but entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to become a millionaire. And what could be better than becoming a millionaire doing something you love?”
To read the blog post click here – https://www.bankrate.com/uk/current-accounts/how-to-retire-a-millionaire/
Want to Increase Your Worth By 50 Percent? Warren Buffett Says Honing This 1 Skill Is the Easiest Way to Do It
Recently, Warren Buffett was with a young entrepreneur who asked him to share one piece of advice for 21- to 22-year-olds who just graduated. Buffett answered:
“Invest in yourself. One easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark: Nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you’ve got to be able to transmit it.”
But What Has All This Got To Do With My Self-Development or My Business?
Just think of it this way.
What if you learned and implemented something new into your self-development or business strategy every day, and doubled your effort or investment each day?
Where would you be in two months (60 days) if 50 folds of paper would reach the sun?
All successful people understand this principle.
They don’t get caught up in the stagnant process of procrastination.
They don’t get involved in whinging and whining about how bad the current situation is, blaming the economy, or blaming others for the situation they find themselves in.
The key to their success is that they are continually moving forward. They invest and re-invest in themselves and their business and by constantly doing so they learn to make better choices because their decisions making skills improve too.
I Was Lucky Enough To Learn This Principle 30 Years Ago
When I was setting up my business I decided that instead of trying to ‘set the world on fire’, we would take one step at a time and make small positive changes along the way.
I also took some advice from a guy called Warren Buffett, who is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and, as of the 1st November 2018, has a net worth of US$84.4 billion.
Buffett said this (as already mentioned above) “If you want to increase your worth invest in yourself”.
So, I decided that I would take charge of my own personal and professional development.
I started reading and listening to every self-help book and audio I could get my hands on.
I went from being someone who never read a book all the way through to being someone who would read a book a day and listen to audio books the moment I got up and before I went to bed.
Follow Your Passion
My dad gave me one piece of advice that has stayed with me all my life and helped me when I had to make some tough and life-changing decisions.
He said, do what you love to do. Follow your passion, and if you stop enjoying something, do something else that you enjoy.
Now on one level that sounds too simple. I mean, how can we live our lives just doing what we enjoy. That sounds irresponsible.
But that is actually the same advice that successful people give.
In his commencement address to the graduates of Stanford University, Steve Jobs famously said: “You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
And he’s not alone. Warren Buffett also gives the same advice as you can see from this video clip below.
So What’s The Key?
Here are my interpretation and conclusion of all of the things that I have done up to this point in my life.
1: Find out what you are passionate about and do that.
2: Invest in yourself and become the best you can be in your chosen field.
3: Be selective on who you take advice from.
4: Find real heroes to look up to. Seek out the best people in the world in your industry sector or in a related field, and ask their advice, read their books or train with them.
5: Don’t take advice from people who are not successful! Now that may sound obvious but so many people get talked out of following their goals by people who’ve never achieved anything and who (in the majority of cases) work for other people.
6: Start your day by reading or listening to something that is going to help your self-improvement.
7: Start a business, even if you are employed, start a part-time business because the tax advantages alone are worth it.
8: Make freedom by financial independence your goal and work on a strategy that will give you that.
9: Measure everything you do and do more of what works and stop doing what doesn’t. Be flexible in your approach to achieving your goal, but stick to your strategy.
10: Don’t just focus on the money. Do what you love, study, re-invest in yourself, stick to your strategy and the money will come.
I am committed to helping people achieve freedom, and if you’d like to train with us to help you move towards your goal then check out our BTEC Level 3 Restraint Trainer Award Course and/or our BTEC Level 3 Self-Defence Instructor Award Course.