To prepare for the most success in the next 12 months:
1. Decide – what you want to accomplish. Then break it down into manageable steps. For example, in our business we speak with 20 sellers to set up 8 appointments to buy 1 house. If we want to buy 12 houses next year, we need to speak with 240 sellers. So we need to determine how can we best make that happen. If we want to buy 1 house per month, we need a plan to find 20 sellers each month to speak with.
2. Set financial goals – and hold yourself accountable. Your net worth won’t grow unless you plan for it. How much more money do you “plan” to have saved at the end of the next 12 months? Break that down – how much will you put aside monthly? Warren Buffet famously said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
3. Focus on net worth, forget about income – like the wealthy do. Is “annual income” important? Depends. If you make $225,000 per year but you spend $250,000, your income sucks. The wealthy focus not on annual salary, but on how much they have left at the end of every year – their net worth. Do you know your net worth? Focus there.
4. Pay attention to what you’re making hourly. Seems like a contradiction to item # 3? It’s not. A millionaire makes $500 per hour. If you want to be a millionaire, start thinking and acting like one. If you can hire a job out at less than $500 per hour, do it so you have time to do the $500 per hour stuff. Which leads me to my next point:
5. Figure out the $500 per hour stuff. See item #4. What in your life and your business creates the highest financial rewards? I’m in the real estate investing business. I make the most money buying and selling houses which means I should spend the most time talking to sellers and buyers. I do not make money painting walls or mowing yards, so I don’t. I focus on finding and speaking with the people who create success for my business.
6. Think long term. What can you give up today for financial security in the future? When your goals are exciting enough and you have manageable steps to get there, sacrifices today become easier and more worthwhile because you’re focused on the eventual pay off. Think long term and give yourself enough lead time for the payoff you desire.
7. Live below your means – which sort of goes with #6. If you live better every time you earn more, that won’t leave money for saving and growing your net worth. Don’t increase your lifestyle every time you get a raise.
8. Schedule – whatever you need to make your plans happen. Do you need to set up marketing? Do you need to schedule interviews with banks and hard money lenders to establish funding options? Get out a calendar and schedule the things you need to do to make your goals happen.
9. Focus – I use this word a lot. Your actions can get sidelined not only by distractions like TV and FaceBook, but by what’s happening in your daily life. So much of our life is not planned, but don’t get taken off track for longer than necessary. Identify one goal and work hard to achieve it. Don’t get distracted – don’t make excuses – don’t waste time.
10. Hang out with the right people – in order to accomplish more. Peers greatly influence your behavior so find people successfully doing what you want to do and hang around them. It’s been said that we’re the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, so changing friends as your lifestyle changes (or even before) will happen. It’s a fact, most people hang out with others who make within 10 percent of what they make annually – higher or lower. As your income increases, your friends will change and that’s OK.
11. Keep going. Be OK with failures and set backs. To accomplish a lot you have to do a lot. When you do a lot you will make mistakes. The most successful people have made the most mistakes, they just refused to get stopped by them. Don’t get stopped.
I’ve written many posts about goals including Goals and Goal Setting – Why You Need to and How. Those are great resources for more reasons why and how to create your goals.
Have you done your New Year’s goals? It’s time.