The one question that most individuals are asking themselves right now is this one. What action steps can I take to make 2012 an exciting year financially? One of my favorite authors, Anthony Robbins captures the importance of action in this manner. He says,
“The one thing that separates winners from losers is that winners take action.”
In my latest book, Dare to be a Millionaire, I share a number of ideas that have financial merit. Here are a few of them. To begin your road to financial well being, don’t put it off any longer. Take stock of your financial status right now by doing an inventory. One of the biggest keys to continued financial prosperity has a lot to do with where you’ve been, where you are and in which direction you are headed.
A quick budgetary assessment, a snapshot or a general overview will quickly pinpoint those areas where you need to do the most work. Once you’ve given yourself a financial gut check, you will recognize immediately where your financial strength lies and then shore up your weak areas to enhance your revenue base. For example, some of the new credit cards offered by various companies will have a zero interest rate for balance transfers. It’s an obvious tactic that companies will use to attract new customers. Here’s the deal. If you happen to have a card that is charging you 24% interest, just think of the money you could save by doing a quick balance transfer. Here’s the catch. That zero interest rate will not last indefinitely so get the balance owed paid off before the new card’s high interest rate has a chance to kick in.
Always read the fine print and capitalize on these opportunities when they occur. You can win at this game by getting in at the right time and out before they raise the rates on you. In the meantime, because of the 0% interest rate, you are in a position to save a ton of money. Your situation may be uniquely different from someone else’s. That’s why the budget assessment that you conduct on your own personal finances is such a powerful tool. Conducting a personal analysis on your own situation enables you to pinpoint the one thing that has been sucking the financial life right out of you over the past year. You have to be willing to confront that. If it happens to be bad investment decisions that you’ve made, you will probably have a chance to rebound as soon as you begin observing that specific area of your financial plan. Be bold enough to ask yourself some pertinent questions. Is it possible as you take inventory right now to eliminate poor decision making for the coming year? If so, my advice would be to start to work on that immediately. If that is not possible, what other variable is impacting your economic progress in a negative fashion? Can you identify another goal that will enable you to generate a bit more income?
There are tons of articles written by highly respected publications and the more I read, the more savvy I become in taking advantage of the knowledge that those who are in the know are willing to share. If we but humble ourselves, we can learn so much. All we have to do is take the time to apply the outstanding principles that are mentioned to our economic lives and reap the benefits. For example, what I have learned by reading Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s Retirement Planning Magazine, Money Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily and Donald Trump and Robert Kiyasoki’s book entitled Why We Want You to Be Rich just to mention a few has been absolutely invaluable.
I must confess. My excitement lies in the fact that these time honored and time tested principles of which these experts speak do work and in fact have done so for the past several hundred years.
There are four key ideas that I teach in my seminars. Those individuals who are able to fully grasp those principles regardless of their walk in life can use them effectively with outstanding results.
The first key has to do with earning money and helping people to understand the simple concept that a part of everything they earn is theirs to keep. In other words, it’s not how much you make; it’s what you do with what you make. Over and over again, I repeat that mantra to others until it soaks in and they get it. Getting that little piece can make a BIG financial difference in your life.
The second key lies in the development of a person’s ability to save. Saving has to become a habit that individuals develop. I simply keep on hammering that home to people. Unless individuals develop this habit, it is virtually impossible to have money. In my seminars, people learn that it takes anywhere from 21-30 days to cultivate this important and crucial habit. This habit plays a powerful role in how wealthy people use it and leverage it to become even wealthier. By the way, being wealthy is not determined by how much money you have; it’s determined by your mindset.
The third key lies in investing or allowing your money to work for you. Here’s what Robert Kiyasoki has to say about that. “Most people struggle with money because in school, they only learn to work for money. Rarely do they learn to have money work for them.” Nothing is more powerful than the power of compound interest. If we can teach that concept to our kids, economically, our nation will get to the point where it is in much better shape than it is today. Our politicians, educators, economists, social science leaders, administrators and other key decision makers have simply got to take the initiative to get this embedded into our elementary, high school, college, university and business curriculums throughout the world. It’s a travesty to think that they haven’t gotten this yet. Teachers all around the world must start teaching our youth how to handle money effectively and parents must start teaching kids in the homes. A huge part of that challenge lies in the fact that parents haven’t been taught.
The final idea lies in the fact that individuals should do everything they can to eliminate or pay down their debt. Debt is what keeps people from the economic freedom they desire. Debt is what sucks the financial life right out of you. Take the initiative to put the ideas in this article into operation. “If you can put as much effort into work as children do into play, doing so will enable you to enjoy a much more prosperous and abundant future.” Have a great, happy, prosperous and bountiful new year! I wish you the best in your quest for economic success.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Lawson is a graduate of the University of Rio Grande in Ohio, Marshall University in West Virginia and Nova Southeastern University in Florida with degrees in English and Educational Administration. He is the recipient of the University of Rio Grande’s Most Distinguished Alumnus Award as well as a recipient of the Ohio Speaker Forum’s Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Lawson has appeared on numerous television shows, radio programs and in such nationally known publications as U.S.A. Today Newspaper, Black Enterprise Magazine and has also been mentioned on the 700 Club.
Dr. Lawson’s books include Dare To Be A Millionaire, Destined for Greatness, Ageless Wisdom, The Triumph of the Spirit, The Power of Optimism and he co-authored, Oh Yes We Can: Black Achievement in America. He resides in Portsmouth, OH, with his wife, and is the proud parent of three sons.
Dare to be a Millionaire is available for purchase at Amazon.com, and other online booksellers.