The majority of people want to be as successful as they can possibly be, but don’t ever take the steps to become successful. Sometimes becoming successful only takes the simple act of defining what success would mean, but most never do this. They know they want to have money and time, but never define how much money or how much time. Some people are afraid of success or what people would think of them if they became rich. Society tells us we should not want too much, spend too much or have big dreams because we might fail and feel bad.
I can tell you it feels much worse to not know if you could have succeeded than to have tried and failed. In this article I am going to tell you why you should not limit your dreams, let other people tell you how to live your life and why being successful helps society. If you can change your attitude and outlook on life, 2015 will be the best year of your life.
How a change in attitude about successful people changed my success
When I was a kid I wanted to be rich. I loved cars; I wanted Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and Lamborghini’s. I was sure I would have these cars when I grew up, even though I did not know exactly how I would get them or what job would pay me enough. After high school and then college, society convinced me that I couldn’t be rich and that it was not worth the hassle.
I started looking at people with more money or huge houses as “lucky” or they must have inherited the money. Maybe they were living above their means and it would all come crashing down soon. Maybe the rich are very unhappy because studies show that the more money you have after a certain point, the less happy you are. It never crossed my mind that they worked their butt off, took risks most people won’t take and had the guts to go after what they wanted. Maybe it did occur to me, but I didn’t want to believe it, because that meant I could do it if I tried. It meant I wasn’t living up to my full potential and for me to live up to my full potential I would have to change. It also meant I had not been using my full potential up to that point and that was a scary thought. It was much easy to think that the rich had some advantage that I did not have. That put the responsibility on someone else and not on me.
The problem is the facts tell a much different story about the rich. When looking at the facts 67 percent of high net worth individuals in the US were self-made and only 8 percent inherited their money. The numbers tell you that you don’t have to be lucky or inherit your money; you have to make it yourself. There was also a recent study that showed there is no leveling off point for happiness when you are rich. Money does actually buy happiness; it buys freedom, time and the ability to pursue whatever you love doing. The more money you make the happier you will be.
You do not have to be a genius, have rich parents or be extremely talented to be rich. You do have to have the right attitude and a plan on how to become rich.
How my attitude about success changed over the last decade
When I was in my early and mid twenties I had been tainted by society believing it was not good to be rich, I could not be rich and it was not worth the hassle. Then I started to make a few goals on accident, because I was not happy with my income as a Realtor. Those goals started a slow journey to success and a brand new attitude.
I started setting goals back around 2006 and that was when I started making decent money. I was able to make over $100,000 a year, which was a lot of money to me at that point in my life. I liked having more money and I decided to take action by researching how to be rich and how to make a lot of money. It was a simple step, but most people never do this. Most people don’t take the time to research anything unless they have to for their job or school. Hopefully if you are reading this you are willing to take that extra step to success. Research how to make your life better; it is a simple and easy step.
In my research I learned attitude has more to do with how much money people make than anything else. Ever wonder why someone who you thought you were a lot smarter than, had a lot more money than you? Every wonder why someone who you thought had no sense at all had a lot more money than you? It is not the smartest people who make the most money. It is the people who learn the process of making the most of any opportunity they get. It is the people who are positive and looking for opportunities that make the money. The people who invent some of the greatest things in the world don’t make the most money off those inventions. The people who buy those inventions, market them, or take the extra step to bring that invention to the right people make the money. The people who have the right attitude, the right plans and take action are the people who get rich.
I have learned more and more over the years, even after I thought I knew everything. I learned that thinking people who have money are not good people or lucky is one of the worst things you can do for success. You are telling yourself success and money is bad and you will never get that money or see that level of success with a poor attitude towards money. To be successful you have to embrace success and admiring those that have money.
Learn how to make money from the people who have money, set goals, take action and don’t be afraid to fail.
Why is it okay to not reach goals?
One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is not try. When I was younger I didn’t try my best on many occasions. I did not try my hardest because I was afraid to fail. I was afraid that if I tried my hardest and failed it would make me look inferior. I don’t think people fail when they give something their best and don’t reach their goals. I think people fail when they don’t try, they don’t give something their best effort or they give up when things get difficult.
Our society tells parents that they should not encourage their children to be professional athletes, because the chances are they will never make it. It is true that the vast majority of people who try to be professional athletes will not become pro athletes. That does not mean they failed! In fact, even though they never became a professional athlete, they still may have found great success and be extremely happy. Many people who try to be professional athletes find jobs in the sports business; writers, trainers, coaches, executives, marketers, agents. The list of jobs related to professional sports is huge. The NFL is a ten billion dollar industry and the athletes do not make all that money.
Being a high level athlete also teaches work ethic like nothing else. Watch a training camp for a professional sports team (baseball may be an exception) to see how hard athletes work to be in the best shape. You must push your body beyond what 99.99 percent of people will ever think of as a hard workout. You must be mentally and physically tough and many former athletes find huge success in business because they transferred that work ethic into their career after sports.
Would you rather have a child who tried to be a pro athlete, didn’t quite make it, but learned incredible lessons along the way and is a huge success in another field? Or would you rather have a child who always wonders how far they could have pursued their athletic career if they would have tried? This lesson can be applied to anything, not just sports. Starting a business, becoming an actor, becoming a musician. Would you rather always wonder if you could have succeeded at something or given it your all? The chances are if you give something everything you have and don’t reach your original goal, you will still be far ahead of where you would be without trying. You will have learned an incredible amount about what you are capable of and you may have found something even better and more rewarding to pursue.
I didn’t reach many of my goals for 2014, but I know I am much better off for trying to reach those big goals than if I would have not set any goals or set easy goals that did not push me.
How much money do you need to be rich?
I learned to be successful I had to have a positive attitude towards the wealthy and I could not be afraid to try. I then learned how important the definition of what I wanted was. When I first joined the workforce I thought making $100,000 a year was a lot of money. I did not make $100,000 a year for quite a while, but when I did was extremely excited. Then I realized it wasn’t that much money after paying my mortgage and expenses. My life did not change that much; I could not magically afford anything I wanted and I wasn’t saving as much money as I thought I would be able to. I was able to save some money and start working towards buying my first rental.
I decided making $300,000 was the figure that I needed to chase. I ended up getting to $300,000 a couple of years later and my number went up again. I remember in the movie Step Brothers with Will Ferrell, the brother said he made over $550,000 a year and I thought that was crazy money at the time. $550,000 does not seem like a crazy number anymore and one million is the number I am chasing. To be rich, which I think means I could afford almost anything I wanted and did not have to work anymore I would need 10 million in net worth, which of course would be mostly invested in rental properties.
If you want to be successful or rich, you have to define what your number is. If you say you want to be rich that could mean $50,000 to someone who is making $8 an hour or it could mean 100 million to someone who is already a millionaire. You need to write down what your number is and what you need to do to get to that number. When you reach that number, increase it and change your plan to make that bigger number.
What I learned about my attitude towards money and cars
After I thought I had released all bad notions about having a lot of money I was blindsided by an event. When I was younger I wanted a Lamborghini. When I got older I had convinced myself I would never have a car like that, because I could never make enough money. If I did make enough money I would be about 70 and not be able to enjoy the car, it was a depressing thought. As I have discussed I changed my attitude about money and I got closer to a point where I believed I could have a Lamborghini and well before I was 70. I also thought I had gotten past the notion that is was okay to have money and nice things.
I was at a conference in Dallas for REO listings. I happened to stop by Lamborghini of Dallas one day and they had a Lamborghini Diablo in stock. I had wanted a Countach, but they were more expensive, less reliable and less drivable than the newer Diablo. I talked to a great guy at the dealership and he shocked me with a few facts. The biggest shock was that you could buy an exotic car with a loan similar to a mortgage. I could buy a Lamborghini with a 12 year amortization at 5 percent interest rate, with 15 percent down. I had previously thought I would have to pay cash for the $100,000 + car. My world changed when I learned that I could finance it.
When I learned that I could finance the car I went into a bit of a shock. All the sudden it was a real possibility that I could buy the car and I wouldn’t have to wait until I was 70. The first thing I thought of was what will people think of me if I buy a Lamborghini? They will think I am some rich jerk with too much money. I knew right then my attitude still had some work to do.
Is it okay to want expensive things and live a rich life?
One thing that is driven into us from the news and television is you don’t need expensive things. You don’t need fancy cars or a big house. The way to live a great life is to save money and don’t spend too much on anything but the essentials. Eventually you will have enough to retire in 30 years if you keep living frugally.
I have a different attitude. I want to live my life to the fullest and buy things that make me happy. I have always loved cars and I have no problem spending money on them. I love houses and I spend a lot of money on them as well. In order to afford nice cars and houses I have to make a lot of money, save a lot of money and invest it wisely. Once I have a solid base of passive income coming in and money saved I feel comfortable buying expensive things that make me happy. In fact, having a goal like buying a Lamborghini Diablo helped me become more successful and pushed me hard to succeed. The dream of owning that car made me more successful.
It is okay to want expensive things. it is okay to want to go on vacation to Fiji, or to have a $100,000 car or to own a $500,000 house or $1,000,000 house. It does not make you a bad person to want these things and although material objects alone rarely make people happy; the chase, the process and the victory is an awesome thing. Material things can be a great part of a happy life. I love my Lamborghini and I have already had someone offer me $25,000 more than I paid for it, but I am not selling.
Don’t tell yourself you don’t want something because it is too expensiveness, figure out how to make enough, save enough and invest enough to afford it.
When I bought a Lamborghini did I become a rich jerk?
It’s funny, I bought the Diablo in the spring of 2014. I had made it a goal in 2013 to buy the car in 2014 and I could not believe it when the car arrived on the truck sooner than my wildest dreams. I was reluctant to post anything on Facebook or even tell my friends. The news eventually got out and the reaction was 99% positive. I know most people won’t tell you what they think to your face, but I still expected some negativity. People I didn’t know came up to me all the time to talk about the car. Little kids fell over when they saw it and I realized the car was something to share, not something to be worried about.
So many people are worried about having money, because they are afraid of what others will think. Society has so many negative views about the rich, that those that aren’t rich wonder if it is worth it. My wife and I were both worried about what others thought when we bought our house, which has over 6,000 square feet and a five car garage. The reaction to our house was positive as well and it has become a positive thing. We hosted our office party at the house, have friends over all the time, have Christmas and Thanksgiving at the house. Everyone can come over with plenty of space, have fun and be comfortable. We noticed with the office party people stayed until midnight, where the previous year everyone was gone from the restaurant it was hosted at by 9. With our family get together people stay for three hours and are reluctant to leave, when previously people had excuses lined up for why they had to get home.
That is the great thing about having money and nice things. You can share things with people, you can help people who need it and you can live a wonderful life. If you use money and the things you have in a positive way it will bring you closer to your friends and family, not drive them away.
The more money I have made, the more I have been able to help other people in a number of ways. People did not look at me as a rich jerk, they wanted to get closer to me and be a part of what I have. When you hear it is not a good thing to be rich, look at where that information is coming from. Is it coming from someone who is rich? Is it coming from someone who is not rich and is too scared to do anything about it.
How can being rich help society?
Mark Cuban had a great series of quotes about being rich:
“Make a boatload of money. Pay your taxes. Lots of taxes. Hire people. Train people. Pay people. Spend money on rent, equipment, services. Pay more taxes.
When you make a ******* of money. Do something positive with it. If you are smart enough to make it, you will be smart enough to know where to put it to work.
I don’t care what anyone says. Being rich is a good thing. Not just in the obvious sense of benefiting you and your family, but in the broader sense. Profits are not a zero sum game. The more you make, the more of a financial impact you can have.”
Being rich is not a bad thing, it is an incredibly good thing. Even if you are rich and never give a dime to charity, you are helping society. I have eight people on my team that I either pay through salary or commission. The more money I make, the more money they make. When I fix and flip houses I hire contractors, pay real estate agents, pay title companies, buy supplies. I have to hire a great accountant, I pay for coaching, I buy things all the time to improve myself and that make me or my family happy. All this helps the economy and the more money I make, the more taxes I pay which helps society, even if it isn’t the most efficient means.
Being rich helps you local economy, the national economy and if you can also use your money to help charities, families or anyone you know in need. It feels pretty darn good being able to buy Christmas presents for a family that is living in a hotel room and cannot afford to buy anything for their children.
If you want to make 2015 the best year of your life it starts with your attitude. Stop making excuses for why other people are successful, but you can’t be. Stop worrying about what people will think of you and stop letting other people or society tell you what you want out of life. Create a number that you want to reach, make a plan to reach it, think of all the good you can do and how happy you will be when you reach it and make 2015 the best year of your life and then every year after that even better.
If you want a little help along the way, I respond to all emails Mark@ investfourmore .com. I also am starting a new consulting program to help people with anything I can; investing, making money, writing a blog or making a better life. Click here to get the details on the consulting.