Napolean: "Nobody's going to go out with me!"
Pedro: "Have you asked anybody yet?"
Napolean: "No! But who would? I don't even have any good skills."
Pedro: "What do you mean?"
Napolean: "You know, like... nunchuck skills... bow hunting skills... computer hacking skills. Girls only want boy friends who have great skills!"
~ Napolean Dynamite, circa 2004
I had the honor and opportunity this past weekend to speak to a crowd of about 1000 incredible people at CAD Austin, TX - most of which were small business owners.
One of the things I talked about was the fact that it takes a completely different set of skills to make money then it does to keep money and then yet an entirely different set of skills to make it grow. This is a challenging and daunting task but its something we can all achieve.
In this article, I’m going to share with you some financial power skills. And yes, if you learn them you'll become super friken human.
So... here we go.
Here’s the new article title: How To Become... Super Human
My first wealth mentor taught me a simple truth. He said the #1 Key to wealth is to get your money working for you instead of you working for your money.
Sounds really simple doesn’t it?
But actually if you were raised in a classic middle class home or worse, grew up in poverty like I did, then its actually more of a riddle or an evil rubix cube you spend your entire life trying to solve.
Think about it…
- How do we get the money?
- How do we keep the money?
- How do we get it working for us?
Or another way of putting it, how do we model what the wealthy do and convert our earned income into unearned or passive income?
I've spent a good part of my life trying to solve this riddle, learning an aweful lot from others but mostly from my own mistakes, expriences and successes. True Wealth Formula (TWF) is the strategy thats been developed, through that trial and error, to create, protect and multiply wealth.
Let's review some of the key skills it takes to achieve these 3 goals and become super human in the process.
How To Make Money: The market place pays for value and we increase our value to the market place by increasing our skill. Whether you're an employee, self-employed consultant or contractor, small business owner or serial entreprenuer, there are several skills we need to learn to be successful.
Learning and mastering any one of the below skills will increase your market place value and therefore your income:
- People Skills: At a very basic level and at risk of over simplifying this, we're talking about learning how not to be an idiot and an a-hole. Sorry there’s just no other way to put it. I’ve been there and so have you. Call it social skills, call it people skills, call it whatever you want, we have to have them. This can be as simple as having decent manners, looking at people in the eye when speaking to them (or being spoken to), paying attention and smiling. Being cordial and polit (yes/no sir/mam). Honoring other people (the golden rule of treat others how you want to be treated) with your words and body language. At a higher level its the ability to solve other people's problems, to put their needs ahead of yours and make them feel special and important. At the highest level its the charisma and charm of (dare I say) a politician or TV evangelist (eewh!!!) which some people have naturally, but most have to develop over time.
- Communication Skills: This is similar to above but gets more into persusasion, understanding of human nature, conflict resolution and negotiation, etc.
- Sales & Marketing Skills: Can be as simple as understanding concepts like asking questions and the art of the upsell ("Would you like fries with your burger?"). Learning how to make a sales presentation, how to followup and close. Mastering the art of prospecting and lead generation, advertising, structuring an offer, sales letter copyrighting, testing different leads (headline + opening story), hooks and price points, risk reversal, applying urgency, excitement, scarcity and deadlines, using different media to engage and spread a message, branding and positioning and penetrating social networks overtly or covertly.
- Presentation Skills: How to structure a presentation, how to build trust with others, get them involved, present a problem and solution and close with an inspiring call to action. Who are you? Why should I listen to you? Whats in it for me?
- Speaking & Leadership Skills: Anytime we’re dealing with others we’re either leading, following or should be getting the hell out of the way. Leading includes persuading and often but not always, the best leaders inspire through good speaking skills which can be 1 to 1 or 1 to many in small groups or large crowds. Learning how to move, inspire and educate a crowd can pay big dividends. This is a super skill and something worth learning even though it can be a terrifying and nerve racking experience (most people fear public speaking more than death).
- Administrative or Management Skills: Some are gifted in this area naturally. It could be managing others or managing processes or systems. Optimizing existing processes by identifying bottlenecks, streamlining inefficiencies, simplifying existing systems, etc.
- Project Management Skills: New economy power skill due to technology enabling tele computing and global economy where work is outsourced. Both local and remote teams have to be managed using both soft (people) and hard (technical) skill sets. Tracking people, time, tasks and money expenditures, deadlines and deliverables.
- Web Development Skills: Design, programming and other IT related skill sets can become super powers in the new economy. Learning the basics of registering a domain name, updating DNS records, getting a website and landing page up online isn’t that hard and its something everyone should know. We cover it in detail in our eMarketing Formula course.
- Product Development Skills: Another power skill. If you’re creative, inventive type or are able to take other people’s words or thoughts and put into something tangible. Branding and position plays into this in a huge way. Being able to see what others can’t see. Being willing to break rules, to create and innovate. Solving problems no one else is seeing let alone solving in the market place.
- Real Man Skills: Guys that can build and fix shit are cool. Yeah I said it. Sorry if you’re offended. Even those of us guys who suck at maintenance, don’t wear tool belts and are not very “handy” have an admiration for these guys, the real marlboro man, men of old who can friken fix and do anything old school style. The thing is, according to a recent study the average age of these guys is now 62yrs old. Hopefully they are passing on some of these skills to the next generation.
- Humility: Not neccessarily a skill but a heart issue. If you can master the money making skills and not become an a-hole in the process and still treat others with honor and respect as a son/daughter of the Creator that they truly are, then you'll be even more super human.
How To Keep Money: So now you're rolling in the dough. You’re finally making some money, you think you've made it and you definitely know you're cool. You're driving nicer, eating and dressing nicer and living nicer. You've mastered at least 1 or more of the above skills, but whether you consciously realize it or not a new game has already begun, one that is absolutely essential to creating true wealth.
To keep money you have to learn and master the following skills:
- Frugality: Living below your means is tough. We work hard and want to reward ourselves for our all our hard work. After all thats the American way. Bigger is better. Faster is better. We've been programmed and told so our whole life. If we're successful, we better show it, otherwise no one will believe us. Even worse, we may not even believe it ourselves unless we see it, feel it, touch it, taste it. We've got to resit all that and literally reprogram our brain because what made us successful at earning money (maybe agressiveness, hard work ethic, anything is possible attitude, chasing every oppotunity, opening another door when one shuts, etc) isn't whats going to help us keep our money. We have to adopt a mindset of frugality. In TWF we live below our means by following the 70% rule which simply says never spend more than 70% of your income.
- Budgeting & Tracking: A new skill we must learn are the basics of budgeting and tracking expenses. In TWF we manage money the way the wealthy do, via ratios and percentages. We setup tracking systems to automate things as much as possible but we have to be diligent to review and audit our spending habits regularly and cut unnecessary fat out so we can a) keep from expanding our means (human nature) and b) take money off the table to build up our wealth account.
- Control of Emotions: We spend money when we feel like it. We say we “need” a nicer car, larger home, newer clothes or gadget or whatever but what we’re really saying is we “feel” like we need it. Again TWF handles this issue via a system of non-discretionary ratios and by prioritizing and segregating accounts for very specific purposes. Once the system is setup, we don’t worry much about it, we just follow our allocation rules no matter what.
- Staying Out of Debt: If we’ve gotten into debt (who hasn’t) we need to learn how to get out of debt fast and stay there. Most people rack it up then pay it down, then rack it back up again. We have to master this because its the #1 thing stopping us from financial freedom. Be the lender not the borrower. Debt is slavery. You were not born to be a slave! In TWF we use a compound debt elimination (CDE) formula to turn compounding interest against itself and convert our debt into a wealth building machine.
- Tax Optimization and Asset Protection: We work hard to save capital, only to have it taxed away or stolen through frivolous lawsuits, etc. We have to learn how to protect our capital and assets to minimize taxes and structure our affairs legally in ways that protect what we've worked so hard for. Attorney's and other advisors are the specialists here, but we've got to learn the basic accounting skills and understand the big picture concepts of estate, tax and entity structuring so we're not getting ourselves into trouble trusting the wrong people.
How To Grow Money: So now you've got some capital saved up, you've managed to either stay out of debt or pay it off and you’re feeling pretty super human. Now you want to get your money to grow for you and complete the original goal of "getting your money working for you instead of you working for your money".
Here’s just some skills we have to learn and master to grow our money.
- Avoiding the Scammers: These are the first people that are going to try and steal your money from you. They’ll sound smarter than you, more educated than you and will have fancy titles behind their names and will use terms and words you don’t understand. What they really are good at is sales. We have to develop the skill of knowing how and when to trust the right advisors and how to sift through, sort, aggregate and curate an infinite amount of information and advice. Make no mistake about it, these people's number one objective is to transfer assets from your balance sheet to theirs. You must protect your capital. No one is going to pay attention to your money as well as you will. We need advisors but we need to stay in control of our money.
- Financial Statements: This is hard if you don’t have a background in finance and accounting. We need to learn how to read and interpret financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows) starting with our own personal and business balance sheets. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re focused on sales and paying the bills. At some point we have to take a step back and learn some accounting skills because when we invest we’re going to need them. We don’t have to know everything but we need to know the basics.
- Diligence: We cannot believe anything we hear from anyone ever. It doesn’t necessarily mean we are being lied to, however we must do our own research and diligence and take responsibility for our own decisions. When we defer to someone else, we’re abrogating our responsibility and worse, we get to pay for someone else’s learning curve without getting the benefit of the direct education ourselves.
- Healthy Skeptism: When you're an entrepreneur, you have to dream big and take risks. You have to fight against the odds to reach your goals by brute force if neccessary sometimes. Unfortunately when it comes to growing money, the skills that made us successful as a business owner will get us killed as an investor. Being optimistic is NOT a plan for successful investing. We have to be skeptical. We accept that opportunities are infinite, but capital is very finite and it must be protected.
- Understanding Asset Characteristics: There are 4 types of assets and 4 types of debt. We need to understand what they are and what their characteristics are... like risk, liquidity, etc. We need to put the majority of our focus on cash flow positive assets not speculative assets that we have no control over. When we invest for cash flow we hedge ourselves against market volatility and our own stupidity and emotional decision making.
- Having an Exit Strategy: In business, we don’t think about quitting. We’re rewarded for never quitting. In investing, we must have an exit strategy. We cannot hold an asset forever only to capitulate and sell at the bottom. We have to be willing to let our winners run and cut our losses short and we have to have a non-discretionary system for doing so as well as a backup cash flow strategy.
- Patience: Drive, persistence and adrenaline can push us to success in business. In investing it will do the opposite… it will get us killed. Most people are traders not investors (raise your hand if you’ve been guilty.. mine is up). It wouldn’t be so bad if we learned to trade strategically using a methodical system. Instead what we’re really doing is gambling, putting our trust in some story and hoping our investment will play out because we were impatient and went for the exciting thing instead of the boring thing. Sometimes its just what we're most comfortable or familar with but that doesn't mean its safe. We have to learn patience and give ourselves time to dilligently learn if we’re going to succeed at growing our money. Patience is a mother of a power skill (actually a heart and temperament issue) and it is literally a super power!
Remember skills and attributes are like seeds. They are an investment into your greatest asset which is your mind. They need to be planted, watered and protected and they take time to grow. Once they do, they can become something greater than you ever thought possible.
What's the best way to develop one of these power skills? Spend as much time as you can with someone who has the skill you want to learn. This can be 1 on 1 or in group settings like events or seminars. The power of influence is huge and a lot can end up rubbing off on you through osmosis alone.
The short cut to tackling that huge list above?
Focus on the lowest hanging fruit skill and work from there. Keep your overheads capped low by living below your means. Put money into a wealth account NO MATTER WHAT each and every month and start investing as early as possible to reap the benefits of compounding. Visit the Wealth Builder app shop to upgrade to True Wealth Formula Implementation Program.
Go ahead… become super human. You really can do it.