At our last Member Event, a guest asked me why I personally sold the vast majority of my RRSPs.
Her accountant was telling her "load up" on them for tax purposes and this was the first time she had heard of anyone doing the opposite and was confused because "all the best advice" says you should use RRSPs to their full advantage.
She just couldn't accept that it was something that anyone would even consider doing.
Yesterday at a meeting someone else shared how they have a client who invests in GICs in their RRSP for 2.5% return.
Not 25%, 2 point 5 percent.
His father had done well with "safe" investing and so he's following that strategy.
We've been guilty ourselves of locking down our own thinking into tunnel vision ... and it's usually cost us to miss opportunities.
Over the last few years, our lives have changed and they're getting much closer to what we consider our ideal life.
Our life on our terms.
I walk my kids to school every morning - I absolutely love that.
Our "work hours" are completely flexible.
We probably work more than we did our corporate lives .... or at least are always thinking of work in one way or another ... but we can book a vacation or take a day off without asking anyone.
Two or three years ago I hit a personal goal of having six weeks of vacation in one year.
Both Nick and I own a condo on the Adriatic Coast in Croatia.
One of our companies operates with a name of "Adriatic Properties" with the goal that one day all the work we're doing, the properties we're buying, the content we're creating will allow us to buy a place on the coast and cruise the sea ... one day.
Last year we hired a boat and a captain to cruise our families around the islands of the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia. It was like a dream.
This year we're both going to Croatia again for a month ... we're visiting Spain and Italy while we're there as side trips.
All of this happened because we weren't locked into one way of thinking.
As others were loading up on tech stocks in the late 1990's and early 2000's we were buying real estate (thank you Robert Allen - and thanks for selling me that box of motivational/instructional tapes for $5,000 when I could barely afford it - seriously, thank you!).
After school I got a corporate job, so did Nick...
...and after reading about the tax advantages of going on your own (thank you Rich Dad, Poor Dad) and learning marketing (thank you Dan Kennedy) we quit those corporate gigs.
I was likely on the verge of being promoted and due some serious stock options before the company I was at went IPO.
When we started our own brokerage we had very VERY close advisors tell us that calling it Rock Star Real Estate was a bad idea because investing in real estate is serious business (which it is).
Earlier this year we had one of them reach out to us about starting a Rock Star franchise close to them.
We're not trying to brag here, we haven't accomplished anything yet ... here's why we're sharing this.
If you boil down all the decisions we've made over the years there's one common trait.
All of our choices were made because we unintentionally exposed ourselves to lots of ideas.
Lots of information.
Lots of people.
Lots of opinions.
We studied them, observed them, discussed them.
Heck, I went through a 12 year period from 1998 to 2010 without listening to the radio ... just listening to audio books and interviews.
All that information helped us zig and zag our way to this future.
If we had not exposed ourselves to all that we would have never bought our first properties.
Nick wouldn't have flipped his first house at 21.
I would not have walked out on a six-figure salary with two kids and my wife (Hi Carol!) at home ... my second was less than a year old when I gave notice - with a mortgage on my family home.
We would have never thought it possible to start a brokerage to help investors.
We would have never bought a vacation property overseas.
We would have never done the type of marketing we do today.
And we DEFINITELY would not have invested in real estate: rentals, student rentals, rent-to-owns, flips etc.
We wouldn't have gotten our real estate licenses - we were software guys.
I would have never sold my RRSPs.
We would never have had the long-term investing vision that we have today.
We would have never gone against "the masses" in our decision making so regularly ... and be so grateful that we did.
So today, if you're feeling a bit stuck and not sure what to do next with your life, we'd suggest you begin exposing yourself to as much new information from as many different sources as you can.
Read of 30min each morning.
Or listen to a few Podcasts on the way to work.
Subscribe to a few newsletters.
Read some biographies.
Find a list of Canadian billionaires and research how they made their money.
In order to make "new" ideas for your life, you need to expose yourself to lots of stuff so that you can make a creative new decision for yourself.
Without new lots of new input, you cannot make creative new output for yourself.
Stand back and take an objective view of your life.
Process a lot of new information, make it a daily habit.
And begin zigzagging your way to Your Life on Your Terms!!