Category Archives: Finances

How to Get Lucky on Purpose

2 minutes to read

If a man be lucky, there is no foretelling the possible extent of his good fortune. Pitch him into the Euphrates and like as not he will swim out with a pearl in his hand. ∞ Babylonian Proverb

Wouldn’t it be great to win the lottery? Think about it. You get a pile of money without doing any work. It’s just unadulterated good luck. You’re set for the rest of your life. All right, so 70% of people who win the lottery spend or lose the money within five years. You have to admit. You’d love to be that lucky.

How to Get Lucky on Purpose

You Choose to Get Lucky

Where you want to get lucky makes a big difference. If you choose the lottery, you’re working long odds. Your chances of winning range from 1:13 million to 1:292 million. With blackjack and craps, which have the best odds in Las Vegas, you’re destined to loose in the end. Some professional gamblers can beat the house. But if they win consistently the casinos throws them out.

Rather, look for a venue where knowledge and hard work give you an edge over the other players. While investing has risks, you can mitigate many of them. Many people call playing the stock market gambling. Done intelligently you can make a solid return on your investment. Real estate provides ample opportunity to hedge your risk and take advantage of luck.

The best place to get lucky is in business. Develop a career in sales or another area where your salary is based on performance. All you risk is your time. Entrepreneurship presents you with the chance to invest time and a little money. The payout can be significant.

The first step to getting lucky is choosing the game with the best odds for success.

Enticing the Goddess of Good Luck

In his classic book, The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason’s eponymous character identifies three ways to get lucky:

  1. Be alert for opportunities. Take Them. How many times in the past have you kicked yourself for not taking advantage of good fortune? Were you offered a great job that required you to stretch your abilities? Did you have the chance to learn lucrative new skills but didn’t commit the resources? You won’t get lucky passing them up.
  2. Share your good fortune. Have you had the chance to make a great investment but didn’t have enough money? A profitable piece is better than nothing.
  3. Stay in the Game. No matter what your situation is today, you can make it better without money. Talk to people. Find out how you can help them. Then do so. Let them know what kind of opportunities you’re seeking. Be specific. When you’re out there every day, good luck will find you.

Lady luck seems to be a fickle, serendipitous fairy that flits from flower to flower at random. Successful people know you create good fortune through intentionally creating favorable circumstances. Forget gambling. Choose one of life’s real games with the best odds. Play it consistently. You’ll get lucky.

When have you gotten lucky? Please comment below.

The One Thing You Must Do to Get What You Want

2-½ minutes to read

Remember the last time you got a gift? Did you get what you wanted? It’s disappointing when you don’t isn’t it? But it ruins the surprise if you drop hints. My daughter loves to hear me tell of how I prayed for a girl when my wife was pregnant. In this case the hints worked. Prayer is a powerful tool for getting what you want. But you shouldn’t treat your aspirations like gifts. You’ll have to take direct action.

The One Things You Must Do to Get What You Want

Forcing People to Read Your Mind

Rejection tops many people’s lists of fears. Sales is a tough profession. For every yes, the typical salesman had heard nine to 24 no’s. A lot of people cannot take such rejection day in and day out. But the professional arena isn’t the only arena where people fear rejection. Some avoid relationships or let theirs stagnate rather than risk being told no.

Why didn’t you get the job you wanted? How come you didn’t get a date with the guy or gal that sparked your interest? Did you ask for what you wanted?

At the end of a meeting to discuss a job, if you want it you must ask for it. Jobs aren’t gifts. You have to close the deal. If you don’t, the next candidate will. The same goes for getting a date and having the relationships you desire. People have to know what you want. They can’t read your mind. You’ll have to tell them.

The Kindness of Asking for What You Want

You’ve heard it before. If you don’t ask the answer is definitely no. What have you got to lose?

In many situations the other person may fear rejection. When you take initiative they don’t have to worry about being turned down. As well, most people don’t like rejecting others either. So by giving them the chance to say yes without fear of your saying no to them you make it as easy as possible.

Ask in the way it's easiest for the person to say yes:

  1. Preface your question with a reminder of why the person should say yes: “Given our understanding of the scope of the job and how well my qualifications fit…”
  2. Be positive: “Are you prepared to give me the job?” Not negative: “You wouldn’t want to hire me would you?”
  3. Be confident: Smile and look the person in the eyes as you ask.

If the person does say no, you can still make progress toward what you want. Having turned you down, he is more likely to say yes to your next request. Ask for a referral to someone who needs an employee with your qualifications. Be specific about who you want to connect with.

By giving the person a chance to help, you relieve him of any guilt he may feel about saying no to the job.  All the above is true for sales and personal relationships. In fact, it applies to anything you want.

The best way to get over a fear of rejection is to ask a lot of people for what you want. Despite hearing no 90% or more of the time you’ll find enough who will say yes. You only need one yes to get the job you want. You’re going to marry only one special person. When you close 4% to 10% of your sales prospects you’ll have a big income.

Ask for what you want. Expect to hear yes. If you don’t, move on. Repeat.

What prevents you from asking for what you want? Please comment below.

The Best Networking Advice You’ll Ever Get

2-½ minutes to read

“In the end, the most important thing will not be the titles you have held or the money you have made but the kind of person you have become.” ∞ Judy Robinette, Author of How to Be a Power Connector

Not long ago a friend mentioned he was considering enrolling in an expensive executive MBA program. I was surprised since he already has a successful business. He said it would be good for networking. This got me thinking. At a minimum cost for an EMBA of about $50,000, is it worth it?

The Best Networking Advice You'll Ever Get

Why Does Someone Want to Know You?

There are three ways you can use an EMBA to make contacts. Get to know businesspeople teaching the classes. Attend job fairs and other arranged interactions with companies and their recruiters. Connect with the school’s alumni.

Here’s the rub. Getting your foot in the door is the easiest part. The person might help you merely because you both went to the same school. It depends on his strength of feeling for the school since he knows little or nothing about you.

There are other, potentially better grounds for connecting. The U.S. military is the largest fraternity in the world. Service members want and like to help each other out. And having military service in common, we know more about each other than people who attended the same school.

If you haven’t served in the military or gone to college never fear. There are other reasons someone would want to know you. Do you love dogs? Are you passionate about fishing? Do you have a particular challenge raising your child? People in all walks of life from CEOs to manual laborers have these interests in common. Unless you and the person you’ve connected with are both diehard fans of your school, a common, deep interest is more fertile ground for the hard work ahead.

Networking is About Relationships

When you don’t know someone well, are you likely to do him a favor that puts your reputation at risk? Most people won’t. It makes sense. You’ve built up credibility among your colleagues. Why squander it by going out on a limb for a stranger.

Before you ask a contact for help you need to establish a relationship. Strengthening connections takes thought and work. If all you share is having gone to the same school, reasons to touch base can be hard to come by. Conversation can lag. If you share a common passion you’ll always have something to talk about.

This is what makes social media so powerful. You can find people at a target organization who have similar interests.

There’s no bigger waste of time than networking to collect names. Unless you establish a basis for an ongoing relationship don’t bother. Do you have at least one common interest? Do you share similar values? Do you like speaking with the person? If you answered no to any of these questions you lack the foundation for a fruitful connection. Move on. As The Marvelettes sang, “There’s too many fish in the sea.”

You don’t need to spend ten of thousands of dollars creating a reason someone might want to know you. With such abundant fishing holes as LinkedIn and Facebook, you can easily find great people to connect with.

What passion do you have on which to build relationships? Please comment below.

Know the Most Powerful Word for Getting What You Want?

1-½ minutes to read

Have you gotten everything you want in life? A lot of people don’t know what they want. They grope through their lives as if in a pitch-black room. With so many choices it’s difficult to decide. Having determined the object of your desire, you’re tempted to stray after something else. Sticking with your original plan seems like settling. Of course, once you’ve committed to your goal you have to meet it.

Know the Most Powerful Word for Getting What You Want?

You’ll Need Help

Everything you want in life is owned or controlled by someone else.Roger Dawson, world-renowned teacher of negotiating

Like it or not you will have to ask people for what you want. So spend some time figuring out how to do this in a compelling way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic word you could use to get people’s help? There is.

In a study on helpfulness, researchers setup a situation where a person approached people using a copying machine. He asked to jump to the head of the line because he had to finish a project for his boss. Even when he said please most people said no. But when he prefaced his request with the question, “Will you help me,” most people said yes.

Use the word help when you want someone’s assistance.

Persistence Pays Off

In another study on helpfulness, researchers examined how people reacted to being asked for two favors. They expected people who turned down the first request to help would be more likely to turn down the second request. But their research showed the opposite. Forty-three percent of the people who at first said no agreed to do the second favor. This was more than double what the research subjects anticipated.

Having once been told no, the tendency is to reject that person for future requests for help. But the guilt at having said no often compels people to make amends by agreeing to a second request. When someone turns you down for a job or sale ask for a referral to someone else. Request that you be able to contact them again to see if their situation has changed.

In any event, confidently seek people’s help to get what you want. Remember, if you fail to ask the answer is always no.

What prevents you from asking for help? Please comment below.

Are You Prepared to Sacrifice This to Succeed?

2 minutes to read

What’s preventing you from succeeding? Do you lack education? Are you too old? Do you need more money? Are you missing the right connections? Do other people demand your attention? Are you too busy to be able to focus on what will lead to success? Is life rigged against you? I have good news for you. If you read on I’ll show you how to overcome all these hurdles.

Are You Prepared to Sacrifice This to Succeed-

Correlative vs. Causative Success Factors

All the issues I mentioned about relate to success but they don’t cause it. Let’s take them one at a time:

Education: Data showing college graduates make higher average incomes correlates to a higher drive to succeed. A degree won’t necessarily make you more money. Except for certain jobs in academia, you can succeed without a college education.

Age: According to the Kauffman Foundation, people over 55 are twice as likely to launch high growth start-ups as people 20-34 years old. You’re never too old to succeed.

Money: There are billions of dollars available for solid business ideas. The Internet has given unprecedented access to it through vehicles like crowd funding. Such sources as credit cards and SBA backing make capital accessible to almost anyone.

Connections: Have you been in the military or gone to college? You can find all the contacts you need using LinkedIn, RallyPoint, and other social media sites. They’re all free. You have unheard of access to almost anyone.

As to having too many demands or being too busy, is it doing your loved ones or yourself any good to put off doing the things necessary to succeed? Create a positive way of saying no. Make sure you’re using your time in a meaningful way.

Finally, if you think life is rigged against you you’re right. But the fact is it’s rigged against everyone else too. None of us gets out of it alive. And even the richest and most charmed have challenges. You may not know what they are. But you wouldn’t trade your for theirs.

To Succeed You’ll Have to Sacrifice

These issues have something in common. You’re belief.

If you want to succeed, you’ll have to kill off the ideas that are holding you back. Make this sacrifice. You’ll resist giving up such a comfortable part of yourself. Be ruthless. Mourn the loss if you must but destroy your old, limiting beliefs.

It’s not enough to adopt new ideas. When the crunch comes they’ll crumble in the face of an ingrained mindset. Pull out beliefs that no longer serve you by the roots.

Eliminate the mindset blocking your success. Open your mind to possibility and abundance. With this outlook, you can’t help but succeed.

What will you sacrifice to succeed? Please comment below.

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