It’s true. I really am a simple guy. I believe that everything it takes to become more successful either personally or professionally is simple. Ridiculously simple, in fact.
Want to lose weight? Eat less — exercise more. Simple.
Want more money? Earn more — spend less. Simple.
Want to sell more? Ask more people to buy. Simple.
Want to be more successful? Stop doing the things that keep you from being successful. Again, simple.
I could take that basic idea and attack every single area of your personal or business life. There is nothing complicated about success. We make it complicated. We even want it to be complicated. The reason we want it to be complicated is that believing success is complicated gives us a reason not to be successful — after all, it’s complicated! Stop believing all that complicated garbage and come over to my side, where life is much simpler. Come over to my way of thinking, where money is easy and success is simple, and where every problem you have can be solved with simple solutions.
Before you start to disagree with me about how simple life is, please notice what I am saying. I am using the word SIMPLE. Never have I used the word EASY. I do not believe there is anything EASY about being successful. Easy is much different than simple.
Is it a simple thing to eat less? Absolutely. Is it easy to do? No.
Is it a simple concept to exercise more? Sure! Is it easy to do? Not at all.
It’s HARD to eat less and exercise more. I know! I try to do it every day, and it’s HARD for me to do, and I know it’s hard for you to do too! But I also know it’s simple.
As a guy who speaks to more than a hundred thousand people per year about success, I get asked this question a lot. What is the real key to success? Rarely are the people pleased with my answer: Work. Yep, that’s it. Work. It’s not attitude or passion or loving what you do. Those things help, but they aren’t the key. It’s good old-fashioned work. How do you know you are working? When you are breaking a sweat, either mentally or physically.
Now don’t automatically think that working hard will make you successful. It won’t. I know lots of people who work very hard, much harder than I do, and don’t really find any financial success. On the other hand, I don’t know of anyone who has experienced real financial success who hasn’t worked hard to achieve it. And don’t offer me lottery winners or people who have inherited their money — they don’t count. I’m talking about regular people like you and me. For us, it takes work.
Every aspect of success requires hard work. There’s always one thing you can count on from me. It’s what I am always going to do. I promise you that I will never try to sell you an idea that you can’t make happen with some hard work. I won’t price gouge you and take advantage of anyone’s fears. I won’t lie and say it’s easy. I won’t blow smoke up your skirt and tell you that having a positive attitude will fix your problems. I will always tell you my version of the truth. My version is simple and involves lots and lots of hard work. Did I mention hard work? Again — it is always going to take hard work! Hard work is never going to sell like anything else will, but it’s the truth.
So there you go. A simple guy with simple solutions to all of life’s problems and a promise that you have to work your butt off to make it happen.
Four Money Thoughts That Can Change Your Life
1. How to make more money.
You can’t. That’s right, you can’t make more money. You can only earn more money. You aren’t the Treasury Department, and you don’t get to print it up when you need it. Money must be earned.
Some of you will immediately respond with “semantics” because you like to argue and would rather argue than think. But there is much more to this statement than mere semantics. We are at a sad place where people seem to have forgotten that wealth at every level is earned at some level.
Too many people don’t understand that their money is a payment for a service rendered. They certainly don’t like facing the idea that the reason they don’t have much money is because they don’t offer much of a service, or don’t offer a service that is worth much.
Sadly, I have discovered that people don’t really want to earn more money... they just want to have more money. I guess the Money Fairy is supposed to slip into their bank account during the night and deposit money. Even the Tooth Fairy expects you to leave a tooth behind in exchange for the money. You give up the tooth, and the Tooth Fairy gives up a little coinage. That’s how the Money Fairy works too: You give up a little work, a little effort, a little service, and the Money Fairy shows up with a little money.
So if you want to have more money, read on.
2. How to have more money.
There are only two ways to have more money: increase income and/or decrease expenses. Hopefully a combination of both. This little principle works for government, business, and individuals.
I’m not going to spend any time here explaining what you could do to increase your income, as that is up to you, your talents, and the time available. And if you want to know how to decrease expenses, just look at how you are spending your money and figure it out. It’s not hard to look at your spending to evaluate what you need, what you want, and what you can live without. It’s all about priorities.
3. Set good priorities.
Your time, your energy, and your money always go to what is important to you. When I was doing my A&E television show, Big Spender, I would spend 10 minutes walking through a family’s house, another 10 minutes looking at their checking account and then their credit card statements, and I could tell exactly what their priorities in life were. I had a couple who spent 40 percent of their income on food. You can guess their size probably, but it was more than that. Food was their obsession. It was their priority to the point that their bills and house and cars and even their appearance suffered. I had a father who spent more money on his three-pack-a-day cigarette habit than he did on making sure his kid had a roof over his head and a car to ride in and milk in the refrigerator. His personal pleasure was more important than his family, as evidenced by his spending. If you spend more money at the mall each month than you do on having a secure financial future, then looking cute is more important to you than being financially secure is.
Finances are like a good crime novel; if you want to know who is guilty, follow the money! Take a few minutes and evaluate your spending to see what your real priorities are, and if yours need some realignment, then start now!
4. Get your mind right!
Each of these points I’ve made here are as much about how you think than anything else. It’s about getting your mind right. Begin to think in terms of earning money instead of magically making money. Get your mind wrapped around the simple idea of increasing income and decreasing expenses instead of easy-way-outs and get-rich-quick ideas. And most importantly, get your mind right about what is really important to you. Is the temporary exhilaration of the moment more important than the long-term satisfaction that comes from investing your time, energy, and money in things that really matter?
Let me summarize my simple principles of success for you right now:
Your life is your own doing; take responsibility for it.
Learn what you need to do to fix it.
Take action on what you’ve learned.
Know that hard work on the right things is the key to changing your results.
Enjoy the results!
Remember: It’s called work for a reason.