The Secret to Success –
Continuous Self Improvement
Baby Steps – You keep taking them and over time the steps add up and compound. One day you turn around and realize you are at the pinnacle of your mountain and the view is amazing. What are these baby steps that lead you to the life you desire? That’s what we are going to talk about today.
We have heard many stories from millionaires on this show. Most had humble beginnings and didn’t learn a lot about money as kids, but they achieved success. They all shared some basic behaviors that allowed them to become successful.
One of these behaviors is constantly learning and there are multiple ways to achieve this. I spent over $20,000 this year continuously improving myself. I am going to share what that looks like and how you can improve yourself. We are going to explore different ways to learn and examine how they differ while evaluating the costs and the time involved. The decision comes down to time versus money and other times it’s acquiring the best knowledge. In today’s ever changing world if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards. Continuous learning is one way to keep moving forward. I always schedule time in my calendar to learn and improve.
I just read The Robots are Coming by John Pugliano. The reality is technology is destroying many jobs. In spite of this, there are not enough qualified people to fill newly created tech jobs. In today’s day and age, it is easier to create our own business and share our own expertise. The world is moving faster than ever and what you learned in school is becoming obsolete. You need to keep learning to stay ahead of everyone else, that’s the why.
This book talks about what leading traits for the future –
- Digital Thinking – Today, everything is being run by computers. Digital Thinking is knowing how to program artificial intelligence and create virtual worlds.
- Mechanical Attributes – Knowing how to build and maintain robots.
- Electrical Knowledge – Robots are controlled by electrical boards and connections. Electrical Knowledge is understanding the principles behind this.
- Biological Expertise – We are advancing in our understanding of the human genome and biochemistry. Understanding this specialized field and exploring new discoveries will enable massive change.
He also talks about supporting traits that you must develop:
- Communication Skills
- Artistic Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Visionary Skills to see the future
- Courage to lead the way
Change is coming, are you preparing for it? Change means that anyone can be the next leader in any new field.
The easiest and cheapest way to learn is books. While it takes time to read, for under $20, you can learn the wisdom of a lifetime from someone else. My goal for this year is to read 24 books. There are many different types of books to learn from so pick what is right for you.
If you don’t understand a subject, reading books from the experts can help you get a fast start at the cost of your time. Along with books are plenty of websites, blog posts and, articles to learn from. The bigger problem is figuring out who is best to learn from. With the abundance of information, this is going to be a constant issue with all learning decisions. What ideas and methods work for one person may not work for another person. Another possibility is that knowledge being written about was useful yesterday, but today it’s irrelevant. This is especially true with technology. This is also true for Warren Buffet’s story as the investments he made to achieve success would not be profitable today. Of course, he would probably figure out a new way to do it. Reading books about Warren Buffet and who he learned from can help you learn the decision making process that he uses which is the most important knowledge.
Another way to choose books is to look at those that were written a long time ago that people still want to read today. If a book can survive over 100 years it’s got to have some sort of timeless knowledge. We also need to make sure that the person we are listening to is an expert in the field he is writing about. Too often celebrity status causes us to think people are experts at everything when in reality they are only an expert in one area. You can also adjust the amount of time you spend reading the book. Look through the chapter titles and focus on what you want to learn. Publishers force authors to add extra pages to make it look like there is an abundance of information. You can just skip around and get what you need, no reason to read cover to cover. It’s not really hard to get the value from a book if you can learn one big take away that you implement. Audio books are great if you spend a lot of time on the go. You can also read book summaries but you have to find someone who does a good job of getting the main point out. Here are two links to book reviews:
Be intentional, what is it that you want to learn? Who is the best person that you connect with, you trust, and will get you to take action. These criteria are going to be the same regardless of the type of resource you use. The downfall to books is that there are so many choices and the time that is required to go through them all. I have a large stack of unread books to still work through.
Action Step: Always keep a book nearby and set up a time in the day to read. You can also read multiple books at the same time so don’t limit yourself. Keep different books in different handy places to remind you to read.
There are so many free courses today by experts. I encourage you to check out the following web sites:
Each of these sites has a different flavor. Depending on what you want to learn and the style of learning one may be better than the other for your needs. edX offers courses from MIT and Harvard, which means you have access to expert information for $0.
Once you have the basics down, you can move up to a higher level. Courses allow you to learn more information than you can from a book, directly from an expert and delivered in an easy to access format. This year I bought a course on marketing from Seth Godin, a SEO course to learn about search engine optimization, a wealth plan course and also one on copy writing. All together I spent over $1,000 on courses this year. This amount is less than what I spent last year! You actually have to do the work and go through the course. The best thing about taking courses is that if you do the work and you show success, it may open the doors to the people who created the course. That opportunity can lead to mentors, a subject will cover soon. Most people who buy courses never do the work or quit quickly. Sometimes people quit because they hit a point in the course and they get stuck. This is when you should have a plan b to handle the problem. When you already know what you are going to do when you get stuck it takes the frustration out of the situation. There is a difference between not finishing a course because it’s bad or not what you thought it was and being lazy.
These days you don’t need to take courses in person as the internet delivers materials to you on demand. The excuse of not being able to attend classes is no longer valid.
Some courses are scams! Content providers use Google to find out what people want to learn and then create a course based on the top searched results. The course is built by studying other material and then putting together a course that is sold with a lot of slick advertising. You have to make sure that the person actually has success in the subject matter. I want to make sure my wealth plan course comes from someone who is wealthy, my marketing course from a proven marketer. Too often good copy writing (which is what they call the sales page) covers up bad products. Spend a few extra minutes to research what you are buying and the quality of the instructor.
Live training seminars and immersion experiences are another option. Tony Robbins was a great immersion experience. You can hear more about my experience here: http://richersoul.com/ep-0038-time-tony-robbins-unleash-power-within/ Programs like Landmark Training http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/, Strategic Coach https://www.strategiccoach.com/ and others are great ways to jump start massive action and see quick results. At the other end of the spectrum are those real estate seminars that keep requiring you to buy the next level to get the really good information. You spend $30,000 on the seminars and you still haven’t bought a house or had success. After spending all the time and money on the seminar you may not have enough money left to buy the house. I ask myself “am I buying this program because it’s part of my intentional plan or did some piece of advertising suck me into thinking I need it?” The education business is very lucrative and many programs are not good. Please do the due diligence on the people you are buying from.
There are also highly targeted conferences that can help you learn and connect with similar minded people. I just went to Fincon https://finconexpo.com/ which is one for bloggers and podcasters in the financial space. I learn a lot from the people teaching and also from making connections with other people doing the same type of work I am. The side conversations outside the classroom are just as important as the learning inside the room. I also went to Forefront http://forefrontevent.com/ which is a self-development conference run by Ramit Sethi about living a richer life. I will also be attending a conference next year called podcast movement to help me improve the podcast. These events are great ways to learn, up your game and improve your skills in a very short period of time. Travel and hotel costs on top of event tickets can make these events very expensive. There are ways to cut costs and you may want to attend those that are close to home. Many of these conferences have significantly lower fees if you buy well in advance and other times you can buy tickets later as people can’t make an event and will sell their discounted tickets. Volunteering at the event can also get you a free ticket. I will spend over $4,000 this year with travel and event ticket prices.
The next levels are more personalized and you should have the basics down before spending the money.
Masterminds groups come in both paid and free versions. The difference is a paid one is curated and hopefully balanced with the right people to match your needs. A free version is something you will have to build yourself or be invited in to. The biggest issues I have with masterminds is the quality of the people in the group and if they can help me. Many times, the group may be mismatched or the people are not committed to the group. These groups need to meet on an established basis and attendance is mandatory. Every time someone else may be in the hot seat and they need to accept the advice that is being offered, this is a key point. Masterminds are a place to share knowledge and advice, to brainstorm and to be called out. These groups can get very intimate. I will admit I have not had as much success with this method as I had hoped for. Too often the other people were either in a different space than I was or they were not committed to showing up and doing the work. I will keep working to find that perfect group for me. A solid mastermind can really propel you to the top. I know some very successful people and when you hear who is in their masterminds its clear why they are successful. They are surrounding themselves with other successful people. The key here is to keep trying until you get it right. Don’t ever give up – success comes from constantly showing up, learning, and making mistakes.
Coaches and Consultants
There is a difference between coaches and consultants and I think of consultants more as people who bring expert advice, may do more of the work or oversee the work being done. Coaches to me are much more focused on listening to you and what your needs are and helping you to achieve your goals. The first thing you should check out is whose page is the coach on, his or yours? This is not an easy process and you may need to interview multiple coaches to find the right one for you.
The fees a coach charges are not necessarily an indicator of a good or bad coach. Many coaching training programs teach coaches to ask for very high package prices and some do because they want to see how committed you are to your success. You need to weigh the cost of coaching versus the benefit. You should be able to receive multiple times return of the money spent in a short period of time. Just because a coach is good in one area of expertise doesn’t mean they are good in another. Paying for a coaching creates a mindset and accountability to push you forward to your goals. You also have to be careful of branded coaches. The person whose name is on the program may not be the person coaching you. They hire other people to do the coaching. That person may not have the expertise as the head person did and may not be best for you. Finding a coach is like dating, you need to find the right fit for you. Do they have the experience and skills you want? Are they providing you the value you want? Do you trust the person and do they show up? A coach’s weakness is going to show up in their ability to coach you as well.
Coaching is not something you should do until you have thought through what you want to achieve and have the time to do the work. You have to trust your coach and make sure the two of you both are on the same page. I recommend an introductory session to see if the coach can help you achieve the goals you have. Watch out for sales pressure to sign up or coaches who make you feel bad for not taking action. Some coaches are very good sales people but not very good coaches.
Ask yourself, what life experiences have they had? What mistakes have they made that they can help prevent you from making? You should have a goal you want help to achieve and the coach can help you do it faster, with less problems. This is not a therapy or complaint session. One needs to be prepared to hustle and get the work done. No excuses, however you can work through barriers. A good coach should know the little stuff that makes massive differences over time. You must have great chemistry and trust the coach and the process. Can they teach? Do they know how to convey the secret sauce that makes them great? Not all great people can teach others how to do what they did.
“It’s not a mentor’s responsibility to mentor, it’s the responsibility of the mentee to seek mentorship and appropriate it.”
Mentors are usually unpaid people who want to see you succeed. Mentors usually have had considerable success in their field and want to share that knowledge and open doors for you to succeed. You can’t ask someone to be your mentor without building a relationship and helping the person first. It’s actually not that hard to have some great mentors help you if you put the effort in to showing them you are worth their time. Since they generally don’t charge they do this for other personal reasons. Busy people don’t have time for people who don’t follow up and get results. When working with mentors you need to ask better questions. Asking questions that you can answer with Google is wasting people’s time and they won’t want to help you. Mentors are the kinds of people who can make one phone call and open a door for you, however they won’t walk through the door with you. That’s your job and its why most successful people use a variety of different methods and people to help them achieve the success they want.
With all of these choices one needs to figure out which one will help you accomplish the next step. A coach or book is not going to take you from 1 to 100. They can however help you get there over time. I have noticed the masters in their field have figured out a system and most things fall into that system. If they can teach you how that system works then it’s well worth it. We have had guests on the show who have shared their systems. The biggest problem is that people just don’t follow the system!
As for my coaching, I typically work with people who have already know how to generate wealth. They are successful in their jobs or they own a business. They want to live life beyond their wealth. The challenges they face are fears of what the future may bring and if they will be able to keep up with the constant change. We never know when we are going to get dealt a curve ball in life and we want to be prepared for it. I help people create a strong financial base and then use that to live life with intention knowing exactly what you want and figuring out a path to get it. I help to ensure balance in all areas of life; health, wealth, time, relationships, and spirituality.
The pareto principle states that 80% of our result come from 20% of the work. If we can figure out how to get 96% of the results from 40% of the effort that leaves us a lot of time to do what we choose. Everyone’s 40% is different and I help people to focus on their particular desires. If you know people who want more out of life I would appreciate you referring them to me and sharing the podcast.
What’s it like to work with a coach? You have to show up and be present and focused. I will usually review the success since the last time we talked and what progress is made. We celebrate the success and small steps made. We focus on the next step, remove obstacles and work out action steps to get to the next point. Usually coaches will work with people once every week or two. If you don’t meet at least every two weeks in the beginning the quality of results decline because people procrastinate. Moving forward also depends where you are starting from. For many people, my initial dream session provides them a few months of home work and then it depends on if they need weekly help in making sure they achieve the results or need help to overcome hurdles.
When you have a clear picture of what you want to achieve but are not sure how to get there, it makes sense to have a coach. Someone who has walked from where you are to where you want to go and has the ability to help you do it.
Waiting until you’re ready is an excuse. It’s hiding. It’s choosing to stay in the territory you know, in order to avoid venturing into the unknown. And because the unknown could bring failure, we are afraid. We paralyze ourselves into inaction.
And then, since we do nothing differently, nothing new happens.
Part of having a coach is accountability to get results. It’s a mindset shift. You can’t have excuses and the coach is helping to nudge you forward. They can also help prevent you from making a mistake. Sometimes preventing mistakes, especially large ones is well worth the cost of a coach.
What’s the best method? The one that works for you!
You have to figure out what your priority is. How quickly you want to move forward and how much is your time worth to you? If you can learn something in an intensive 50 hour, 4 day event versus 1 hour a week for 52 weeks, you are essentially a year ahead in life. What is the one thing you can accomplish quickly that will change your year?
What level of coach do you need? A lot of that is determined by price, 1 on 1 with Tony Robbins and other top coaches is over $1,000,000. Unless you have that kind of money and can create a massive return it doesn’t seem best to pay that much. I wish I could give you a formula however it’s much more about what you need, where you are and who can get you to the next level. Just remember, the cost they charge is not necessarily tied to the value they deliver.
Another consideration is how the coaching is delivered. Is it local one on one or do you have to travel to the coach. Is it done via phone or on-line meeting. How does that fit in with how you learn and which method fits you best?
I was surprised to learn that many people at the top are much more helpful than people at the bottom because they have nothing to lose. They already have it all. They are no longer competing against others, just themselves. They also don’t get asked for advice very often because we think they won’t answer so we never ask.
Another consideration with a coach is if they have a cookie cutter method to doing things or is the experience highly customized to you. Cookie cutter programs can be learned through books and courses and then you can just use the coach for a short session to apply the learnings to your specific need. This gets maximum results for the least cost.
At the end of the day keep moving forward and sharpening yourself. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Focus on making yourself better than you were. It’s not easy and it takes a lifetime. Using resources to help you jump ahead and learn from others is a smarter and faster way to get ahead.
When do you know a coach has accomplished your mission and it is time to end the relationship and move on to another coach?
Usually when you see that you have hit the coaches limits and they are not providing you a lot more value. This is normal and it depends on how much your coach is improving themselves and learning as well. Don’t expect one coach to get you all the way, that’s rare, you usually need to find different people to keep you moving forward. It’s also possible the coach may be weak in an area and you need help in that area to move forward.
What is the best way to structure paying for coaching service, by the hour, flat fee?
Most coaches will either charge an hourly fee or have a package price to get you a result. The issue with hourly pay is that you feel like you are always on a clock. Having someone who is there and is dedicated to the result is more important. They will provide you a range of time commitments and you should know what this is up front.
Is there a performance benchmark by which to know a coach is worth it for one’s particular situation?
You have to look at the result and see how much is that result worth to you. How successful is the coach is at getting that result? Sometimes there is more hype than results and you should know what the out clause is from the coaching relationship. A good coach doesn’t want to continue working with someone they are not helping to get results.
How to do you know when you are ready to be coached?
You have to be willing to commit time and be willing to listen and take action. You have the ability to achieve results and the result is worth far more than the cost of the coach. You will only get out of this experience what you put into it.
On my journey to losing 50 lbs. and getting into the best shape of my life I used a variety of the different methods we talked about. I started first with a book the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferris and that got me to some success. I then found an accountability group that helped kept me keep on track and created a workout habit. This was almost a mini mastermind with the focus on working out. I next hired a nutritional coach who worked with me for 12 weeks to get my diet right and work through my issues. Could I have learned this on my own? Yes but having a coach pushed me forward faster, kept me accountable and helped me quickly troubleshoot issues that could have derailed my progress. I next hired a trainer to help me make sure my form was good and show me new exercises. It’s hard to judge yourself and having someone who understands the little nuances can help move progress along much faster. So multiple people and tspurces of advice at different points on the path. I just bought another course on fitness that focuses on flexibility, control and strenght. After doing the video course for a few months I went to a live event with the people teaching the course. I already had the basics down and was pushing it one step further. It was cool going to the event because you had people in the same room from their 20’s to their 70’s learning to work with rings and do handstands. They focus on you being where you are at today and improving a little bit every time. If you want to check out the program you can find it at https://gmb.io/ . Because of this program I see the limitations in my flexibility and then go to my doctor for active release technique therapy. http://www.activerelease.com/ This allows me to increase my range of motion. The result is that I am in the best shape of my life – I deadlift 275 lbs. and continue to get in better shape as I age. I don’t want to be 80 and unable to live life the way I want. As we live longer focusing on our body is far more important because without health everything else falls apart.
I have taken similar steps with my finances and other parts of my life. Learning from others, books, courses, and making lot’s of mistakes. Success in one areas starts to spill over to all other areas of your life. I personally work with a coach every week to help me have balance across all areas of my life and to also help me ensure I don’t have blind spots. Coaching required an investment of $12,000 for the year.
2018 – Time to Plan
- Write down goals for the year?
- What are the pain points that will hold you back?
- What do you need to learn to accomplish these goals?
- What’s the best way for you to get the information you need?
- What are you going to do when you get stuck?
- What resources are available to you and how much do they cost?
- When are you going to get them?
The outcome of doing the work is a living a life you enjoy. I wake up everyday ready to enjoy the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s Saturday or Monday. It took a lot of time to work on getting my mindset right and learning to live with gratitude. What about you – are you living the life you want? What are you going to change and do differently so you can?
As for me I typically work with people who have a strong financial base and want to learn and push forward to the next level. They don’t make excuses and they are not afraid to act. They are constantly looking for ways to remove risk. They are not only interested in wealth but what the money will allow them to do. They want to give back and make a contribution to make the world better. If I can help you achieve the life you desire please reach out. For most people a 2 hour session will get them well on their way to making progress. We have had many of those sessions recorded and released as podcast episodes I encourage you to listen to them. You do miss some of the behind the scenes that doesn’t make it on the air.
For a select few having a weekly or bi-weekly session is needed for a period of time. That’s something we can talk about after you have your basics down. Most people walk out of a 2 hour session with 3 – 6 months of homework. I did say you need to take massive action. The biggest regrets I hear from people at my age is I wish I knew this sooner.
I am attaching the link to the Richer Soul Life Evaluation Circle so you can do a quick evaluation of your life and figure out where you need to focus. Richer Soul Circle pdf
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