Today, as I’m writing this, it is my 40th birthday.  Yay!

A lot of people cringe at each birthday but I’ve always been a celebrator!  To celebrate this birthday, being quite a milestone, I decided to have a good think about my life and the things that I’ve achieved, the things I’ve learned and the things that I’m grateful for and share those with you!  It turned into quite an article, so I’ve split it into parts.  In this part we’ll look at the first 10 lessons.

Looking back upon this list what strikes me most is that many of the lessons apply to mindset and the concept that you are the person responsible for creating the sort of life that you want and the way that you think about life, about wealth, about happiness is ultimately what will determine your experience of life.

Here we go!

1.  Health is Wealth

This was one of my nana’s favourite sayings (and she lived till she was 97!) and I think that you appreciate this one more as you get older and you watch some of the people that you love get older.  I spend a lot of my time setting goals and working hard toward them.  Many of these goals relate to business, finance and wealth creation and I see these things as important in my life.  But they aren’t the most important and I think it’s a good idea to remember that if you aren’t healthy — physically and mentally then all the money in the world won’t make you happy.  So the lesson here is twofold:

  • Be grateful for your health and for having the ability and opportunity to be able to get up each day and get out there and enjoy life.
  • Don’t spend all of your time working and stressing out, spend time looking after your health.  Sometimes it’s only when you lose your health or someone around you does that you see just how precious it is.

2.  JFDI

This is a saying that I got from doing the ‘Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation’ — which is a great health and nutrition program, by the way!  It stands for ‘Just F$#%^&g Do It!’  This is about getting rid of your excuses.  In relation to the 12 week body transformation it was about looking at the excuses that people (i.e. you) have for not exercising and for not eating healthy.  Funnily enough, these excuses are very similar to the ones that we use for not getting starting or  moving forward with property investing.  These are things like:

  • Don’t have enough money
  • Don’t have enough time
  • Don’t have enough knowledge
For some people they find it very hard to let go of these excuses.  When it all comes down to it, however, they are just excuses and what it’s all about is working out how committed you are.  When you have commitment to a goal or purpose then you find a way to JFDI.

3.  Think Way Bigger

I got this one from internet marketing specialist, James Schramko.  To me it says a couple of things:

  • Don’t limit yourself.  Often we set goals that we know we can achieve and we don’t push ourselves any further than that.  Our own limiting beliefs are what stops us from moving forward.
  • Even as you achieve your goals, push yourself by thinking of the next level you can takes things to.  Always be thinking of the next step.

4.  If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.

I think that a lot of people go through life waiting.  Waiting to earn enough to buy that great house, waiting till they’ve paid off their own home to invest, waiting till they earn a bit more before they buy an investment, waiting for something to happen in their lives to put them in a better position.  I think that you create your own circumstances.  Sure things happen in your life and some start out in a better position that others, but as long as we keep thinking that we’re stuck in some sort of situation, waiting for something to happen then we are just victims of circumstance.

The way I see things is that you need to think about what it is that you want out of life.  What does your ideal life look like?  Then you need to identify the steps to get there and make a start on that journey.  It may not end up panning out exactly as you planned but as long as you have momentum that is taking you closer then you are on the way.  If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it – Jonathon Winters.

5. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford said this one — or something very similar to it!   It’s another one about mindset and self limiting beliefs.  Sometimes it’s hard to maintain that unshakeable confidence that you can indeed achieve something great, but you have to.  Achieving your financial and investing goals is no different to other goals you have in life.

Once again, like all goals, having a belief and desire alone won’t get you there.  You need take action.  Having the belief and desire, however, is crucial and working on yourself, your mental strength, focusing on your desire, articulating goals and continually reinforcing them to yourself will dramatically increase the likelihood of you achieving them.

6. Wealth creation is a race.

Not that long ago I went to see Steve McKnight speak at an event.  Steve is a very successful property investor (check out his book here) and a great public speaker.  Very ‘down to Earth’ and entertaining.  One of the things he said at that event really stuck with me.  He talked about how money can buy you choices.  Choices about how you spend your time and what you do with your life and this was the most important thing about money.  He then went on to say that ‘wealth creation is a race’ and he asked the audience if they knew why.   A few people offered up some reasons and eventually, I can’t remember whether someone guessed it or not, but he went on to tell us why.

Because we are all going to die.

Money buys you choices with what you can do with your time and whether or not you create the wealth that buys you financial freedom in your lifetime, your time will still be the same.  So wealth creation is a race to buy back your time to do the things you want to do before you run out of time.

It’s confronting, but true.  Powerful stuff, hey?

7. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

This was another thing that Steve McKnight said at that same event.

I attend a lot of property related and wealth creation events as it’s something I’m interested in and I enjoy telling others about (like here, now in this article!).

These events are inspiring and you walk away excited about your future and with plans to do great things.  So many people, however, don’t make any changes.  They are afraid to take a risk, or comfortable enough in their lives that they don’t feel the pain that will often drive people to make a change.

I think I heard Anthony Robbins once talking about how there are really only two motivators in life, pleasure and pain, and pain is a much greater motivator.  So unless we are feeling the ‘pain’ to change, we often don’t and we sit there in our semi-comfortable state.

So what will it take for you to change?

8. Invest in yourself and your education

If you are going to educate yourself about wealth creation through property investing then you will need to spend some money.

Whether this money is spent on a course, on a mentor, on professionals who can provide you with advice, you will need to spend money.  It seems to be human nature to want to get all that we can for free and I’m a big fan of attending free events and accessing information that is available freely or very inexpensively, such as in books, magazines and on the web.

When you really want to ‘go pro’ with your investing you will need to step up and ‘cough up’ some of your ‘hard earned’ and invest in yourself and your education – and invest in professional to create your property investing team.

Of course, I still think you should be careful with where you put your money and do your research and due diligence to make calculated decisions, but putting your money down means a couple of things:

  • You are more likely to be accessing people who can really take your investing to a higher level through their education or knowledge.
  • You have skin in the game and you start to really take this ‘property investing thing’ seriously and treat it like the business that it is.

9. The person who cares most about your financial success is you.

This one may seem in parts like a bit of a contradiction to the previous lesson where I said that you should be investing in your team – but bear with me, it’s not!  As much as you should build up a team of professionals to support you it is important to remember that the person who really cares the most about your financial success is you, so it will pay your dividends to educate yourself and become interested and knowledgeable about property investing.  Well, not only property investing, about investing strategies, about finances and mortgages, about tax, about property law, about all those things that are encompassed within that term of ‘property investing’.

It will definitely help you with your investing, it will help you make better decisions and it will help you with your dealings with your team.  Remember that your team are there to provide advice to you but it is YOU who is ultimately responsible for the investing decisions that you make and it is you who will benefit from the outcomes.

10.  Create your future

Similarly to some of the earlier lessons, this one is a reminder that your financial future is up to you.  Becoming wealthy, whatever that means to you, will not (in most cases) just magically happen, so if you’re waiting for wealth to be bestowed upon you from…well…somewhere….it probably won’t be!

You can make it happen though.