Are You Making Good Decisions?
“Every conscious moment you have is an opportunity to be richer or poorer” –Michael Masterson
Are you making good decisions? Are you making decisions in your life that build your wealth or take away from it? Are you making choices that:
- Make you smarter
- Improve your skills
- Develop your connections?
Are you investing your money or are you spending it?
I think most of us know the difference between investing and spending but we will find a way to convince ourselves that something we want is an investment.
These were some of the questions Michael Masterson asked the attendees at this year’s Early to Rise Information Marketing Bootcamp as he discussed his thoughts around creating a rich mind versus a poor mind.
The rich mind makes enriching decisions. The rich mind is adept at analyzing long term value and has the internal capacity to act.
The poor mind sees the world as unfair, believes in luck and feels powerless over his own life.
It was a fantastic presentation … one that went on to discuss the 8 steps to develop a rich mind and some tricks for getting yourself into motion. And I took pages and pages of notes.
But the best lessons I learned from Michael Masterson came to me over the next few evenings as I spent a bit of time with him. I’m going to share 3 of them with you right now.
Lesson 1: Learn to ask good questions
One of the networking tricks we were taught by Larry Benet, also known as the “Connector of Billionaires and Millionaires” is to find out what the other person is passionate about and then figure out how you can help them achieve what they want to achieve in their life. The realy message from Larry was to put the interests of other people ahead of yours in every meeting and every conversation.
Sitting with Michael Masterson at dinner I was thinking about the questions Larry had suggested we use to find out what someone is passionate about and thought I probably didn’t need to ask Michael Masterson anything because anything he wanted in the public domain had likely been covered in his writing… and I’ve read six of his books and at least half of the newsletter articles he’s published in Early to Rise in the last 4 or 5 years.
So, really I already knew all the answers he was going to give me!
So, I took a sideways attempt at Larry Benet’s suggestions and asked “What’s most important to you right now?”
He laughed and said “Well I am not going to tell you that, but it’s a better question to ask me than the one someone else used on me today which was ‘how can I help you?'”
He went on to explain that somebody in his position, and in the position of most of the speakers at this event would just feel uncomfortable by that question because there probably isn’t anything you could do to help them at this point but they wouldn’t want to say that.
So what should someone ask him or someone else who has achieved massive success in business and in their life?
Well, according to Michael Masterson, he’d rather you ask him for his advice. Personally I think even asking someone like him about “What’s something you’re really looking forward to?” or “What’s been the best part of this conference for you?” would be just fine too. Just think about what you’re asking before you open your mouth! You’ll find you build a better connection with the person and you’ll keep the conversation flowing!
Lesson 2: Sometimes You Should Do As They Say Not As They Do
As a long time reader and student of Michael Masterson I’ve severely limited the time I spend watching television. He spent countless Early to Rise newsletters and even a section in at least one of his books talking about the negative impact television has on your success and your health and your life.
I have never bought a television set in my life. The three t.v.’s I’ve had were all either on loan or by hand me down gifts.
And if it weren’t for Dave’s need to watch the hockey games on t.v., we probably wouldn’t have had any of them hooked to cable. And these days it’s so much easier to just rent a show on DVD or watch it online that we still don’t sit in front of the t.v. to watch anything but sports.
But the decision not to watch t.v. early on was mostly based on the fact that my budget didn’t allow for luxuries like cable. I wanted to save my money for travel! Later on in life I stayed away from television because Michael Masterson said I’d be more successful if I avoided it. And not that I did everything he said to do or not to do, but whenever I chose to follow his advice I was better off for it.
So imagine my surprise when the dinner conversation turned to television programs and his colleagues from the UK that we were dining with started talking about a few different shows and Michael Masterson not only knew of the programs but had seen every single episode. He went into detail about the differences between the American version of The Office versus the British version. He even made a comment about Vampire Diaries and a few other shows. This was clearly a man that was watching a lot of television!
I had very little to contribute to the conversation because not only had I not seen most of the programs they were talking about, but I hadn’t even heard of one of them. At one point he looked at me and said “you haven’t heard of that show?”. I couldn’t help myself … I said “No, because you advised me and the other Early to Rise readers not to watch television so I have kept my t.v. watching to a minimum.”
He smiled and said something like “If it weren’t for hypocrisy I’d have no good ideas.” He went on to explain why they now have 10 television sets … and how they didn’t have any when the kids were at home but now that they’ve moved out they have t.v.’s everywhere and he stays up late watching … he wants to get rid of the t.v.’s because he is so addicted but his wife likes watching a few programs.
Anyway, I am not about to judge him for his new t.v. addiction. I’ve made great use of the time I would have wasted in front of the television, and I don’t feel I’ve missed much even if I couldn’t really contribute to the hour long conversation we had about the different television shows that are on these days!
My point is that sometimes the advice an expert or a mentor gives us is something they are no longer doing… but let’s face it, when one of your company’s made $375+ Million last year and you’ve started plenty of other successful businesses, several of which made it to over $10 Million in annual income, then I think you’ve earned the right to go easy on yourself and spend your evenings pondering which is better, the British or the American version of The Office or Little Britain.
I haven’t reached that point in my life yet so I think I’ll still follow his advice … when I have multiple companies grossing hundreds of millions of dollars each year then I will re-evaluate things. 🙂
Lesson 3: Invest your money
As I said at the start of this article … you know the difference between investing your money and spending it. Most of us just find a way to make our spending feel like an investment.
But as a Rev N You reader we know that you’ve taken a good look at your finances and we hope you’ve taken measures to invest more money than you used to. And we also hope that you’ve been learning how you can invest it into real estate. But, just in case you still haven’t started buying real estate I wanted to share what Michael Masterson asked me when I was sitting with him and some other folks from Early to Rise one evening after the conference was over.
We’d all been chatting about plenty of different things … from the excellent words of Clayton Makepeace that were shared at the event, to the interesting people we’d all met at the conference, to the cigars Mary Ellen Tribby presented to Michael Masterson as a gift in celebration of Early to Rise’s 10th anniversary.
It was a fairly light and friendly conversation when Michael Masterson turned his total attention to me. He’d mentioned the previous day that he’d like to see me a bit more involved with Early to Rise … writing a few more articles for his publication and maybe work on a few other things with the group … but we hadn’t talked about anything related to that in this conversation when he turned to me with a serious face and said “I need to know some things. I have some questions for you.”
The other people at the table naturally turned their attention to me too. “Oh boy – I’m on the hot seat! Everyone’s listening” I thought.
His first question: “Are you buying real estate right now?”
Phew…easy to answer … “Yes”.
What specifically am I buying he asked. “Residential… mostly single family homes or duplexes”.
No reaction on his face… my mind is racing thinking about what he’s been writing about lately. Has he been talking about real estate in his newsletters I wondered? Am I about to fall into a trap because I haven’t been reading the newsletter as much as I used to?
He asked where I was buying: “On the west coast of Canada and in the interior of B.C.” I replied.
We talked about this for a minute more or so, and then he nodded. He seemed satisfied.
Even though I felt like I’d given him answers that he was happy with, I wanted to know what he was doing.
He said he was buying single family homes right now. The time is right to be buying properties to hold for the long term.
We agree …
Of course, there are definitely some markets in North America that haven’t seen the worst of it yet. In fact, even in many parts of Canada where the media is headlining the “housing market recovery” we believe caution is still required because there are probably still some tough days ahead of us, but with buy and hold investing you don’t have to buy at the absolute bottom of the market to make a bundle!
We’ve said it a dozen times …you’ll make money through the positive cash flow and the pay down of the mortgage by your tenants even if the value of your property doesn’t go up. Plus, you’ll enjoy some significant tax benefits along the way. And if you buy right, and hold onto the property for the years to come, unless history doesn’t repeat itself for the first time in housing history you can rest assured that your property value will virtually double in the next 10 – 15 years.
So maybe Michael Masterson no longer follows his own advice about watching television … but if he’s buying single family homes and thinks now is a good time to learn about buy and hold investing then I believe you should be paying attention.
And you definitely should be listening to his message about making good decisions. In every moment you have the chance to make choices that make you richer or make you poorer. You can choose to ask people good questions that enrich the conversation and add to your connection. You can choose to turn off the television and work on improving your skills or plan your investments. And you can choose to invest your money instead of spending it. You can choose to buy at least one piece of property this year to start growing your wealth now!
Published on December 4th, 2009