How To Avoid The Biggest Mistake
You Always Make


There are plenty of ways to sabotage your personal goals, dreams and desires.  Procrastination, however, is the number one killer.  Procrastinators self-destruct.  They hinder their own potential by placing colossal road-blocks along the path to success.  In other words, they subconsciously choose to fail.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
– William James

#1)  Beware of Perfectionism

“It’s almost perfect… but not quite there yet.  Just a few more tweaks next week.”

Sound familiar?  Perfectionism stirs procrastination.  It’s one of the easiest ways to blindly justify the act of putting things off.  When you’re knee deep in preparation, it can be difficult to decide when to stop “preparing” and start the process of actually “doing”. 

Remember, the state of perfection is an opinion.  Trying to verify that everything is subjectively perfect will paralyze you 100% of the time.

#2)  Start Right Now

The best way to know if you’re ready is to start right now.   Then, if something isn’t working properly, change it.  That’s the beauty of progress.

When I started my first side venture a few years ago I wasted a great deal of time waiting for the ideal moment, to get things just right, instead of spending more time on actionable steps to move my ideas forward.

Are you waiting for success to magically blossom like I was?  Hoping that the stars will align and present you with the perfect moment to act?  Guess what?  No moment is better than this moment, so start now!

The only way it will happen is if you make it happen.  So setup your goals, map out the necessary steps and start knocking them off one at a time.  You’ll be amazed by the power of momentum.  Once you start, it’s hard to stop.

#3)  Complete 3 Simple Steps Everyday

At first glance, some tasks may seem mind-numbingly overwhelming, thus discouraging you from taking action.  The solution is to break down complex tasks into simple, logical steps.  I’ve said it before, take one bite of the elephant at a time.

The key to success is the sum of 3 steps a day.  Dedicate yourself to completing 3 simple steps everyday that bring you closer to your goal.  That’s it.  It may only be 3 steps today, but you’ll complete 21 steps by this time next week and 84 steps by this time next month.  The more you get done, the faster you’ll go, the easier it will get, and the closer you will be to your desired end result.

Bottom Line

Your life is short!  Don’t waste it in a state of procrastination!

Photo by: emdot

18 Means for Living Below Your Means

Live Below Your Means

Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Always live well below your means.

A penny saved is a penny earned.
– Benjamin Franklin

  1. Redefine your definition of “rich”. – “I remember sitting in a cubicle at my first professional job staring at a picture of an SUV I wanted to buy (and eventually did).  Now, I sit in my office and look at the pictures of my kids, and just outside my window I can see the beater I drive sitting in the company parking lot.  What a difference a decade makes!  To sum things up, my definition of being rich is having enough money to meet my family’s basic needs, a few of our wants, and to be able to give some away to others.” – via Frugal Dad
  2. Borrow and share.  Everyone wins! – “We borrowed a DVD from a friend instead of renting or buying and had a little snack from our own fridge!  Way cheaper than using gas to drive to the theater/rental place, paying for a movie, and paying for a snack.” – via My Dollar Plan
  3. Avoid the mall. – “Going to the mall is not entertainment!  We used to go when we were bored.  Of course, we usually ended up spending money while we were there.  If you need clothes, then shop sales or go to stores that offer name-brands at a discount.  You can save a ton on these items if you are a smart shopper.  Dave Ramsey says, “Never pay retail!”  We probably save $15 to $30 per month by staying away from the mall.” – via My Super-Charged Life
  4. Limit your intake of advertisements. – “Advertising sucks.  That’s the cold, hard truth.  It’s engineered to make you feel like you’re incomplete, that you have an unfulfilled need, that you’re not good enough.” – via On Simplicity
  5. Buy with cash. – “You can’t spend money you don’t have.  Many bank accounts provide overdraft protection, so even with a debit card, it’s easier to go over your account balance than you think.” – via Simple Mom
  6. Find a better deal and actually SAVE the difference. – “Regardless of what they sell, if you’ve switched companies for price reasons, save the difference.  Think of phone companies, internet access, cell phones, credit cards, and others.” – via The Wisdom Journal
  7. Adhere to a long-term investment strategy. – “I’m a long-term investor.  The stock portion of my portfolio is spread over several mutual funds, a few ETFs and a few individual stocks.  Each and every one of these holdings was carefully chosen, after thorough research.  I believe in these stocks and funds.  I consider them as my best bet in growing my money – LONG TERM.” – via MomGrind
  8. Curb your consumerism! – “Have you ever watched how a child can play with a cardboard box for hours, and leave the toy that came in it by the wayside?  How is it that children can enjoy themselves without a lot of “stuff”, but we as adults feel the need to reward ourselves by buying more stuff?” – via Billionaire Woman
  9. Stay Healthy!  Medical problems drain bank accounts. – “James M. Rippe, M.D is a best-selling author, world-renowned cardiologist, and founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute.   He explains that if you look at all the risk factors for dying, the one that is most predictive is fitness level.  In addition, an older person with high cardiovascular fitness is healthier than a younger person who is physically inactive.  By increasing your fitness level, you can actually roll back your biological clock.” – via Abundance Blog
  10. Stay in and relax. – “So, think about it the next time you go out.  Are you going for with a purpose?  Maybe the solution is to not go out at all.  Stay home and save!  Save up for something you really want or need.” – via The Jungle of Life
  11. Gradually prepare yourself for a rainy day. – “Even when things are going great, and you feel on top of the world, you must always be prepared for a change.  If you take the time and patience to set yourself up properly, then when things to take a turn for the worse, you will be prepared to handle it.  If you live above your means, then when the slightest change occurs, you will not be prepared to adapt.  Financial flexibility is more important then keeping up with the Jones’.” – via Yin vs. Yang
  12. Stop competing.  Forget about the Jones’ altogether. – “If getting rich makes us happy, then why don’t countries as a whole get happier as they grow wealthier?  They discovered that as a country gets wealthier there’s no overall increase in happiness.  Why?  We continually compare our wealth against that of others.  We are competitive and envious. Add to that the fact that Western countries encourage people to strive for more and more, and you have a formula that spins many into depression.” – via Color Your Life Happy
  13. Get out of the “easy street” mentality. – “I think there is too much emphasis on the quick fix or the easy option in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of the “hard option” – exercising and eating well…. money is sometimes being used as a substitute for hard work.  Do you think there is an increasing expectation that you can get want you want by throwing money around instead of working hard and “earning” it? – via Forever Change
  14. Avoid impulse buying.  Buy things you truly need. – “Don’t you just love the excitement you feel after coming home with a new TV?  Driving home in a new car?  Opening the box on a new pair of shoes?  I sure do.  But, from watching the behavior of myself and my friends I’ve found that the new quickly becomes just another item.  The excitement of novelty passes quickly.” – via Think Simple Now
  15. Time is money.  Properly manage your time. – “The fewer tasks you have, the less you have to do to organize them.  Focus only on those tasks that give you the absolute most return on your time investment, and you will become more productive and have less to do.  You will need only the simplest tools and system, and you will be much less stressed.  I think that’s a winning combination.  Focus always on simplifying, reducing, eliminating. And keep your focus on what’s important. Everything else is easy.” – via LifeDev
  16. Find ways to give without spending. – “Want a quick, easy and (almost) free way to be guaranteed that you’ll make someone’s day special?  Send them a letter.  Why not set aside some time this weekend to sit down and write to a few people?  If you don’t enjoy writing, try buying some nice postcards of your home town.  If you’ve got an artistic streak, why not design your own note cards?  You don’t have to write a long letter for it to be effective.  It’s the thought that counts and the personal touch that makes it special.” –via Dumb Little Man
  17. Don’t let greed and deceit get the best of you. – “According to Stephen R. Covey, if you reach an admirable end through the wrong means it will ultimately turn to dust in your hands.  This is due to unintended consequences that are not seen or evident at first.  The example he gives in The 8th Habit is:  The parent who yells at their kids to clean their rooms will accomplish the end of having a clean room.  But this very means has the potential to negatively affect relationships, and it is unlikely the room will stay clean when the parent leaves town for a few days.  Now, to return to the topic of wealth, I think it is possible to see much of the world’s current financial problems as stemming from people who wrongly believe the ends justify the means.  My advice?  It is fine to aspire to wealth, but don’t lose sight of the means to accomplishing it.” – via The Change Blog
  18. Never ever pay retail. – “You can easily save hundreds of dollars a year on clothing purchases by waiting for sales or shopping at discount retailers like Marshalls.  Better yet, avoid name brand clothing all together.” – via Marc and Angel Hack Life  😉

Also, check out these best selling books for more financial tips:

Photo by: CayUSA

How Ignorance Can Lead to Success

Ignorance Can Lead to Success

What you don’t know just might help you.  Being unaware of presently accepted, communal beliefs can put you a step ahead of the herd.  It’s like an artist building a masterpiece from a blank canvas.  Sometimes it’s better to begin from a clean slate, to create your own way without polluting your mind with external inputs.  Here are a couple examples:

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance,
it is the illusion of knowledge.
– Daniel Boorstin

The Route Less Traveled

In the late 1990’s my father got an itch to start investing.  He had a decent sum of cash sitting in a savings account and decided it was time to put his money to work.  The savings account returned about 1.5% a year, so any return above that would be a successful investment. 

At the time, the dot com boom was at its inception and everyone was pumping money into tech stocks.  My father didn’t fully understand the stock market and its inherent risks, so instead of investing in tech stocks, he purchased 15 acres of land in an upcoming neighborhood near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  He never lost a dime when the dot com bubble busted, and even after the recent downturn in the housing market, his property is currently worth 8 times what he paid for it.

She Didn’t Know Any Better

About a year ago a friend of mine wrote an eBook and put it up for sale on her blog.  I jokingly pointed out to her that all of the information in the eBook was readily available on other blogs/websites for free and indexed correctly by Google.  She was disappointed when I mentioned this, but she left her eBook up for sale anyway.  We both assumed it wouldn’t sell.  We were wrong.  The eBook has sold to the sum of nearly $4K since last summer.

The Lessons

These two stories carry two significant lessons:

  • The popular way of doing things is not always the best way.
  • Sometimes taking action based on ignorance beats taking no action at all.

Knowledge is important.  But occasionally what we know (or what we think we know) hinders our ability to take action and make sound judgments.  We become consumed with commonly accepted practices and thus fail to innovate.  We follow the herd instead of thinking for ourselves.

Doing things the same way they’ve always been done is a sure way to never get ahead.  Just because other people have done things a certain way doesn’t make it right.  Quite often you will find the exact opposite to be true.

Being ignorant of popular opinion is a good mindset to be in.  It allows you to form your own opinions based on firsthand experience.  It gives you the freedom to think and to innovate.  Oddly enough, the right kind of ignorance can give you the power to succeed.

Photo by: Xabier Martinez