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How a Mind In Neutral Can Set You Back Years

How a Mind In Neutral Can Set You Back Years

Today I saw something that made me laugh and shake my head in incredulous wonder.

I had just driven my youngest daughter to her football camp and as I pulled out onto the road, I spotted these two guys cutting back the vegetation that had grown too dense alongside the cycle path. They were obviously working for the municipality, I recognized their bright orange overalls with the name of our county displayed in large black letters on their backs.

What brought a grin to my face, moments after having passed them, was the way in which they were working. You see, they had this system where one guy would cut the branches with his mini chainsaw and the other guy would collect these and then feed them into a portable shredder attached to the back of their vehicle. All fine really, except for the way the shredded wood chips would come blasting out from the top funnel, which was placed just too far away from the collection container to be in any way collecting the chips. Subsequently, they were spraying their pick up truck with sticky, resin-coated sludge from the top down to the wheel rims. The fixed, orange emergency light rack was no longer recognizable.

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The false economy of laziness

It was stupidity in motion to say the least. And they had been at it for a while, which I could also tell from not only the way the poor vehicle looked, but from the multiple imprints of a car having been parked under a torrent of wood chips in several spots further up the cycle path.

Was this consequence unknown to them? Hardly.

Did they in some way plan it this way? Possibly.

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It could be as simple as laziness. Perhaps they had calculated that it would be far easier and less work-intensive to a) brush the chips to the sides of the pathway, and b) hose down the truck afterwards. By letting 99% of the shredded material land on and around the truck, maybe they were saved from having to drive to some far away collection point for wood chips, to sign forms etc.

Or perhaps they just didn’t care. Either way, it made my morning to say the least. And more so because I knew they were wrong. That sticky resin was going to need much more than a quick hose-down to come off, something their manager would remind them of, no doubt.

The importance of goal setting

Why am I telling you this story you might wonder?

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Well, it reminded me of a major way in which we can manage to wreck our start-up businesses, which is through sheer laziness and by taking our eyes off our goals. If you let your mind stay in neutral too long, it has a way of doing something anyway. It doesn’t just remain in neutral: it drifts and does something that is quite possibly detrimental to the future of your business.

I remember specifically how my mind switched off for a couple of weeks after completing my e-book. This was due to having been working so hard on writing it for months. I nearly abandoned my plan right there as I was parked between completion and the next step — marketing it on Clickbank and Amazon. What brought me back on track was my set of goals, which were written down on my laptop.

Stick to your goals or lose your lead

I know it is near impossible to constantly stay focused and sharp on where your business is heading. There’s always going to be a time lag between when you started something and when it is up and running in the direction you want. It is this time lag that needs controlling from your behalf, and the best way to do this is by having your goals written down — everything from daily tasks to weekly, monthly and yearly goals. In a way, these are like the rails that you laid and that you are now following to reach what you have set out to achieve.

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So as such, we more often than not do ‘stupid’ things with our minds in neutral: we forget our kids’ lunch, we get locked out of our house, we step out into the road without looking, we sell stocks for emotional reasons rather than from researched reason, and we give up on promising projects out of laziness and lack of resolve.

Here’s to staying sharp and focused in the months ahead!

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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2. Become Goal-Orientated

It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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4. Never Stop Learning

The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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5. Think Big

While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

6. Enjoy the Attention

To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

More About Thinking Smart

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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