Everybody has that friend. The guy who has it all figured out and buttoned up. He’s rich, he’s successful, and you wonder how exactly he got there. While you may think that it was some lucky happenstance or accident of karma, the truth is actually far less mystifying. If you are ready to make some positive changes in your life, you should know that being rich and successful is within the reach of nearly everyone. If you’re ready to take charge of your life, here are some suggestions for paving your own path to the top.
Define the Terms You Want
To some people, living in a modest, paid-off house and driving a reliable car free and clear is success. Others want a mansion and a gold-plated Bentley. Still other guys might think a happy, healthy family and a job they don’t hate is nirvana. At this stage of your planning session, you need to define precisely what it is that you want.
You will never reach the goal if you don’t know what it is, so be succinct. Get out a pen and piece of paper and list what you feel you need to be rich and successful. Go wild and list everything at this stage.
Order Your List
Once you have ascertained your goals, go through and order them. Think long and hard about what matters to you. Is your career more important to you, or would you like to meet the right lady first? Are you prepared to spend a lot of time fixing up a big house, or would you be truly happy with a small, efficient home with minimal upkeep? Think about the reasoning behind these wants.
You may be surprised to discover that some of your goals are meant to please or impress others who are unworthy of such attention. Yo may find that some goals don’t really fit into your lifestyle and are unrealistic. You may also discover that your goals are contrary to what people have told you to want. Take as much time as you need with this stage, as examining what you want out of life with such a high-powered perception can be a strange and thought-provoking exercise.
It doesn’t matter if the first item on your list is ‘marry a supermodel’, ‘climb Mount Everest’ or ‘have a bigger house than Flavor Flav’, go to the bottom of the list. That is where you should begin. If it says ‘take a karate class’ or ‘read Tolstoy’, make a plan to get it done and do it. Doing your list backwards helps you in two ways.
It teaches you to plan. You will learn how to make a plan and stick to it.
It will give you confidence that you can execute your plan and reach the desired goal. This is easier to do with your small goals.
Embellish Your Plan
Once you’ve checked off a few of your easier goals, you may quickly get muddled up in trying to accomplish everything at once. This can cause you to panic and settle back into a comfortable rut. However, for most people, life isn’t as complicated as you want to make it. Most of your goals will revolve around four topics: career, family/relationships, finances and property. For the vast majority of people, these are the only topics that truly matter.
Tackling Your Career
Of course everyone’s approach to their career is going to be different. Some men enjoy being in positions of power or responsibility, while others may enjoy working with their hands or holding detail-oriented positions. With this in mind, it is important to discover precisely what you want and go after it. There are several guidelines you can use to help you get where you want to be.
1. Trust yourself and take full responsibility for the outcome.
If you are going to take charge of your life and be an entrepreneur, excuses and backpedaling need to be eliminated from your life and thought patterns. If someone or something is creating a roadblock, find a way around. You are empowered to make changes in your life. No one can stop you!
2. Ignore toxic people.
Naysayers are the pits. They will talk down to you, try to talk you out of achieving your goals and may even mock you if you suffer a temporary setback. Don’t tolerate this from anyone. You don’t need toxic, negative people in your life. Surround yourself with supportive, helpful people. Hopefully, these will already be people you love and respect.
Look past petty annoyances and keep your eye on the prize.
Forget all about Bob the asthmatic in the next cubicle and focus on yourself. Forgive the terrible commute to a dream position. Disregard your nasty boss and his tempestuous demeanor. While you don’t have to put up with abuse, you do indeed need lemons to make lemonade. Man up and don’t sweat the details. Retain focus on what truly matters.
3. Seize every opportunity.
If you have ever slunk out of a holiday party without taking the opportunity to chat up your boss or one the vendors who has their eye on you professionally, you’ve effectively shot yourself in the foot. To meet your goals, you are probably going to be forced out of your comfort zone. Meet new people, take on a huge project or switch gears. Reach out and take what you want from your career, within ethical limits.
Family and Relationships
The potential scenarios involving goals with families and relationships could fill an entire library. Whether or not you are looking for love, already married or simply apathetic, you still need to know what you want to accomplish in this area.
If you would like to look for a partner, you can join a singles club, try online dating or finally allow Great Aunt Gertrude to introduce you to her bingo buddy’s grand-daughter. Not happy with an existing marriage? Try couples counseling, bring her flowers or schedule some time for a romantic getaway for two. You get the picture. Form a plan and bring it to fruition.
The vast majority of men are doing a balancing act with money. The demands of retirement, debt repayment, caring for daily expenses, buying a house or condo and possibly worrying about caring for aging parents can leave you feeling poor no matter what your income. Here are a few strategies you can employ to make some semblance of order out of your finances.
1. Live beneath your means.
If you tighten your belt now, you will reap the rewards in the future. If you can sock away a few hundred bucks a month, you will have the cash to back yourself if you encounter a prudent financial move such as purchasing a home for a fraction of its worth or snapping up deeply discounted stock. Living beneath your means can also be a great skill to cultivate if you ever plan to take a pay cut to launch a business, be a stay-at-home parent or switch career paths.
2. Set up automated systems as much as possible.
The average person pays a boatload in late fees and overdraft charges. You can save a boatload of money, as well as simplify your life, if you set up automatic banking. If your paycheck doesn’t fluctuate much, you can set up direct deposit and have your bills paid automatically either by your bank sending out electronic payments or your creditors debiting your account on the due dates. Decide which works best for you and take the time to set it up. Talk to an employee at your bank if you need help.
3. Invest in yourself.
If you need to finish school or earn more certifications to get where you want to be in life, don’t be afraid to make your money work for you by investing it back into yourself. This may seem counter-intuitive, but gaining more skills and more documentation of those skills is something you will have for the rest of your life. What other possession will you have that long?
4. Invest in your future.
While the present is indeed important, you need to think about the long term. Set up a small amount of your paycheck to be placed into an employer-sponsored 401(k). Siphon off ten bucks a week for a rainy day. You never know when you may need cash, and these little tricks will help you plan for life’s surprises.
While plenty of people are happy to rent a condo or apartment for their entire life, most people eventually want to own their own property. This can be a huge step in your life and it’s best if the decision is made slowly. Making a poor decision concerning a dwelling can cost you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, destroy your credit and create a tense situation in your family.
For example, many couples buy a house without an extra bedroom, only to find out they are expecting within the first few years. Alternatively, single people will buy a quaint little cottage only to meet the love of their life! Try to cover all the possibilities before you buy. When in doubt, rent for a bit longer.
Becoming rich and successful businessman is largely a matter of forming a plan and working on it until its conclusion. Don’t be afraid to change the plan or take risks, but have a clear plan concerning the major facets of your life and take action to make those dreams happen. You can’t fail if you never give up!