I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast where a 28-year-old philosopher (yes, as unbelievable as that sounds, at the time of the podcast, Will MacAskill was a 28-year-old Associate Professor in Philosophy at Oxford, @willmacaskill) blurted out a gem of a line that went like this:
"Most people under invest in themselves for the long-term."
Some of the very best parts of Nick's life today and my own can be easily traced back to investing in ourselves for the long-term.
One of the most common false beliefs that we all tend to hold onto is that making small investments in ourselves "right now" will somehow benefit us long-term.
That's why we're all looking for that one website that summarizes all the real estate information that we need ... instead of doing deep research ourselves.
It's why we all want that one meditation app that will take us into deep meditation ... instead of reading, researching and then practising the art of it, for weeks, months and years, ourselves.
It's why all guys are looking for the shortcut to "six-pack abs" ... instead of studying exercise and nutrition.
It's why we all want to know the "secret" to easy-quick-and-fast online marketing to make a buck ... instead of deeply studying the lasting, universal principles of influence and persuasion.
It's not that we're all inherently lazy
Far from it.
Today, we believe, we're all doing more than ever.
Juggling more activities than ever. Juggling more information than ever. Juggling more distractions than ever. We're constantly juggling this-that-and-the-next. It's slightly crazy.
And there's really no escape from it.
But can we hack it?
Can we hack our current daily routines to automatically invest in ourselves for the long term?
We think so.
The beauty of each of us investing in ourselves for the long term is the compound effect it has on our lives.
Nick and I have gone from working in 9-5 jobs to quitting them and going out on our own ... to now having a company with an amazing team that generates millions in gross revenues.
Are we perfect? Nope.
Are our lives perfect? Nope.
Overall, are things pretty awesome? 100% yes!
But we do feel this change in our lives has been a natural evolution of some daily activities.
These daily activities were like making deposits into our future lives.
Get out a piece of paper or a beautiful notebook and write out 4-6 of your life's top goals.
Try to avoid making them just a number, like, "I want $50,000 a month in passive income."
We've found if you're goals are too big, your brain can't wrap itself around it.
Some of the very latest neuroscience confirms this as well. If the brain can't see how it would get to the goal it isn't effective. So make big goals, but not so big that you can't map out a way to get there.
For us, because we had already started buying and flipping properties when we decided to start Rock Star, a more effective way to write our goals was, "Share with new investors how to buy and manage student rental properties," or, "Provide tours to investors of good areas to invest into," or "Start a real estate related newsletter."
We had no idea how we would do any of those, but somehow today, we do all of those.
That type of goal writing has been much more effective for us than simply writing out big cash goals.
Now make this notebook something you have around every day.
Next, take 10-20 minutes each day to reflect on these big goals.
Visualize them happening. See yourself in the middle of it all.
And do this every day. Review the goals, change the goals if you need to, and visualize them happening.
You don't have to get all crazy around the visualization or freak out because this sounds a bit crazy.
Literally just close your eyes and imagine how some of your goals would come to be.
You're going to have to trust us on this, every person we've ever met who has done cool things does exactly this in one way, shape or form ... but may not admit it openly.
THE HACK FOR THIS: Write out your big, top goals on the back page of a notebook that you're already carrying around and flip to it every day before you use the book.
Every day choose to put something into your brain that is useful.
This can be reading a book on persuasion. Or reading a biography on someone interesting. Or listening to an audiobook on real estate investing. Or listening to a podcast on nutrition.
If you begin to form an understanding of what skills are really going to benefit you then zero in on that.
For example, we believe some of the best skills you can teach yourself are around: sales and marketing.
So you may be an amazing accountant, or a wonderful financial planner, or a whiz-bang guitar teacher, but without some savvy in sales and marketing, you may not be able to bend the world to your liking.
The marketplace rewards certain skills much more than others. Sales and marketing are two of them.
Every day, read something around the topic you are developing in yourself.
Or listen to an audiobook on it.
Or read a report on it.
Or practice whatever it is you are developing in yourself.
Find an old book that has been recommended a lot and finally read it.
Forget the app, or the cheat sheet, go deep.
Spend 15-30 minutes a day and finish some deep research on a topic. Get past the superficial noise until you find the universal principles of your subject.
Remember, you are your greatest asset.
It's why all the insurance community recommends you take out life insurance on yourself right?
You're a big deal.
Carve out some time each day to invest in yourself.
THE HACK FOR THIS: If you drive or commute to work, use that time every day to invest in yourself. If you work from home, simply carve out time before you begin or over your lunch break. We all have small breaks of wasted time that we can leverage to invest in ourselves - find yours.
There's this semi-famous quote from Jim Rohn,
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."
And he was right, we are.
I vividly remember when Nick and I bought our second rental property in a single year. We were so proud of ourselves.
We thought we had accomplished the impossible. Both in our 20's buying multiple properties.
Then we met someone who was working on his 4th that year.
We were shocked.
It completely changed what we thought was possible.
Find people who are doing cool stuff and put yourself in the middle of them. It's game-changing.
We took vacation time to fly to conferences just to be around the people that we saw doing cool things.
We spent money that we didn't really have to spend on that type of stuff.
We spent time away from our families and that wasn't easy ... especially when we got married and began to have families.
When we couldn't afford to go to something, we would read everything we could about the people we were interested in. Bought their paid newsletters, bought their books, attended their "coaching conference calls," read their emails ... did everything we could to get them into our lives.
Although changing who you spend time with here at home is important, it's also important to travel for this.
Once a month, or once a year, we believe it's in your very best interest to leave town and go to a conference where the people you want to be like are hanging out.
Hearing their discussions and listening to their conversations changes your perspective on what's possible.
Today, Nick and I spend a lot of time and money to continue this.
Nick was at an event in Toronto last week for this purpose.
We're both off to San Diego in February for exactly this purpose, and again in April.
It's been invaluable to us.
THE HACK FOR THIS: Simply avoid everyone in your life who spends time gossiping. Especially at the workplace, and you'll magically free up a lot of time to hang out with people accomplishing things instead of complaining about them.
And there you have it.
If you introduce these things into your lives, regularly and consistently, we feel your ideal future is destined to happen.
Call us romantics, call us naive, call us crazy, call us whatever you want ... but we're only sharing this with you because we believe in it 100%.
And we truly want the very best for you.
Until next time, Your Life! Your Terms!