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But committing to change and changing are two different things. Unless you take action now, a year or two will pass by and you’ll find yourself thinking, “What happened to that promise I made to myself? Why didn’t I do it? How come I’m at the very same place, financially, that I was back then?”
40 AUTOMATIC WEALTH
WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO SEIZE THE DAY
Let me tell you a story . . .
At an AWAI seminar, the publisher of a natural health newsletter business asked the participants if they wanted a shot at writing a professional promotion. Eight students raised their hands.
This was their big chance. All they had to do was follow up after the conference and they’d be on their way. Their long-held dreams of becoming professional freelance writers would become reality.
Here’s what happened, according to the publisher:
“They were all very eager to get started. I expected a rush of e-mails and packages with everything they had ever written, including grocery lists and letters to their mothers . . . but . . . only one person has ever contacted me.”
Eight people had this gold-plated opportunity to realize their dreams, yet only one actually did anything about it.
It seems astounding when you think about it. Yet it happens all the time. (And, by the way, the one student who did reply is now making more than $100,000 per year as a full-time freelance writer.)
Don’t make that mistake yourself.
THE TIME TO START IS RIGHT NOW
I spend a good deal of my time mentoring people. Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty good sense of whether those I coach will succeed.
One thing I look for—probably the most important thing—is their time frame.
I know from experience that virtually everyone who puts off change fails to make it. When I hear someone say “I’m going to start after Christmas” or “next month” or “on Tuesday,” I think, “Like hell you are.”
For when it comes to change, the sure sign of failure is procrastination.
Even setting a starting date of tomorrow is a bad sign. People who really, truly want to create a real and permanent change in their lives
Step 2: Plan to Become Wealthy 41
want to start now. That’s how I feel every time I get on a new project, start a new business, or kick off a new exercise program. I know I’ve become tired with the status quo. I’ve figured out a way to make things better. That newness excites me. Why should I put it off?
When I catch myself saying that I’ll begin at some later point in time, I know I’m in trouble.
Think about your own experience. Think about how many times you’ve decided to change before. How many of those times did you put off starting until some convenient point in the future? And when you did, how many times did you fail?
So, are you ready to begin building wealth now? Right now?
GETTING YOURSELF READY BY SETTING GOALS
This book is about wealth, but we are going to broaden the scope for a while and talk about what you want out of life generally. Do you have goals for your family? Social or charitable goals? Do you have personal, nonfinancial objectives? Do you daydream about becoming an actor, athlete, or magician? Would you like to work with children in your spare time? Or help the disabled?
If you have no goals other than becoming wealthy, your chances of success will be great—but the likelihood that you’ll be dissatisfied will be great, too. There is no greater financial cliche than the poor man who builds a fortune only to discover that he lost everything that was really important to him.
I am not going to let that happen to you. You are going to become wealthy and wise and happy and healthy, too!
You begin the process by determining your core values.
Too many of us wait to do the perfect thing, with the result we do nothing... we discover that those who have gone fearlessly on before, have ... traveled a considerable distance. If you start now, you will know a lot next year that you don't know now, and that you will not know next year, if you wait.
—The William Feather Magazine
42 AUTOMATIC WEALTH
WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE WILL SAY ABOUT YOU AT YOUR FUNERAL?
In Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer, America’s two favorite juvenile delinquents disappear from their small town for a boyish adventure and then return to find a funeral going on—for them. Hidden in the church’s balcony overlooking the ceremony, Tom and Huck get to hear exactly what other people think of them. It is an eye-opening experience for the two young troublemakers—and imagining your own funeral can do the same thing for you.
So imagine being at your funeral. You are hiding up in the balcony. You can see your coffin. Standing behind the coffin are four people:
• Someone from your family or a close friend
• Someone you work with
• Someone whom you admire
• Someone who didn’t know you
What do you hope each one of them would say about you? Go ahead. Write it down. Your wish list might include statements like these:
• “He always made me feel important, even when I felt like I had nothing to give.”