Early in November, Jeff and I attended and participated in a Fast Track Weekend event in Victoria, put on by The Fast Track Group. They are committed to educating people on financial literacy and I felt very honored to be one of the speakers at this free event.
My topic was “Negotiation 101 – Win~Win Strategies for Everyday Living”. I had a great time, and feedback on my presentation was very positive and uplifting.
Bob Molle was also a guest speaker (www.BobMolle.com) who spoke on “Logic Fails” and related his topic to the show “The Biggest Loser”. He is also author of a great little book called “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”.
This was the 2nd time I heard his presentation, and at the first event, I made a decision to begin my quest to get healthier. I am a short woman, who weighs FAR to much for my height. Months ago, I had previously lost 68 pounds, on my own by using the simple formula of “eat less, do more”. Unfortunately, I fell back towards some poor habits and had gained back 30 of those unwanted pounds.
After the Victoria event, Bob and I were talking. We both want to offer products on our website that will allow us to reach a wider audience with our messages, and to impact more people in a postive way. I offered what little knowledge I have to Bob. He wanted to know what he could do for me.
With great bravery and a few tears (what I was about to say terrified me), I asked him if he would be a part of my team to get healthy again. He agreed.
I was both honored and more than a bit freaked out.
You see, I was totally outside MY Comfort Zone, as I knew that Bob would hold me to my own commitments and push me to succeed. There would be no reasons (which are simply excuses), only results. I also knew it would be hard work, but rewarding.
Off and on, throughout the rest of the evening Bob and I chatted. Many times I was brought to tears, as I began to face the journey ahead and began to realize my own potential.
What Bob did NOT ask me to do, yet, was to really take a hard look at myself, and to acknowledge where I am. Basically – release the truth. On the TV program, The Biggest Loser, this is done by getting on a scale, in front of the audience and seeing your start weight while dressed in very revealing athletic wear.
I am NOT going to follow the exact format – but I am going to reveal my starting weight, and my goal. This in itself, is WAY outside my Comfort Zone, but something that I think is important to my own success.
My Starting Weight was 250.4 pounds (yep, I am definitely fat) and my goal weight is 150 lbs. It is my intention to reach this goal by next year at this time. You see, November 22nd was my birthday – and my gift to myself is the Gift of Health. Next year I turn 55 and intend to look and feel fabulous!
I hope that this blog may motivate YOU to look at where you are in your life, and begin to make change that makes you a little uncomfortable too. For quite frankly, if we want things to change in our life, we need to CHANGE things in our life.
So far, I have lost 10.1 pounds.
I look forward to your comments, thoughts and suggestions!
We looked at all of the indicators of a great place to live and invest such as employment rate, housing availability, price, transportation, infrastructure etc and in particular ~ where was it on the Real Estate Curve?
On a scale of 0 - 4, with 0 being an area that is flat-lined, or in a period of virtually no growth and 4 being at the top end of the market, the indicators for Moose Jaw - in 2008 - when we started to invest were at a .5 not quite a 1 but moving in the right direction.
We love 1 as a starting place - no place to go but up … and with a 1 start, growth is already starting to occur. No one can really predict HOW fast a property or area will rise, but the economic indicators were quite strong, and although it was at a .5 instead of a 1, we had faith based on the factors we looked at and plain old instinct.
Our first few properties were bought between $ 26,000 and $100,000. Today they have pretty much doubled in price and moving nicely up the Real Estate Curve. We will continue to invest in the right properties, until a level of 3 is reached. That means there is still more growth to come and a great place for us to ride the wave of increasing values. On this scale rents are good and vacancy rates are low.
Are we happy? Oh Yeah… Are our Investors Happy? Hell Yeah… are they all CashFlowing … of course! We never buy without that as a “Blue Chip” requirement. We also rarely raise our tenants rents if they are good tenants, and always raise the rents in between tenants to current market rates. As a result, all of our properties have performed beautifully
Has been buying outside our “Comfort” Zone presented a few challenges? Of course! All properties present a few challenges. However we learned from each challenge we faced and as we grew, we grew our team. Very quickly the challenges become fewer and the solutions easier and easier.
Recently Jeff came across this great little video from the website www.DiscoverMooseJaw.com which talks about the City and what is happening today and expected to happen in the future. What really struck me is how far the City has come in just 4 short years, but more important how much more it is expected to yet grow AND most importantly how the people who once thought we were crazy, are now starting to believe in the city where they live, work and play.
When we first started to invest outside our “Comfort Zone” many experienced investors questioned our sanity…. truth be told, those that called us crazy, now call us brilliant. Even the local residents, of whom we were buying from expressed doubt about our vision. Many were anxious to sell to us, as they thought they were selling at the TOP of the market.
Your own ”inner voice” or lack of “context” will hold you back in life. Check out this video to see, what is happening in our investment world, simply because we chose to get educated about real estate and push on past our own Comfort Zone so we could move ahead financially.
PS - We have recently started to invest in another town near Moose Jaw, that is also a 1 on the scale of 0 - 4 … and feel very confident that it will grow expontially as fast as Moose Jaw has. If you have questions about what we do, or want to get involved, feel free to comment below. My passion is helping others grow so that they can become financially free and live a life they love too!
I am sure you have heard the expression ”two heads are better than one” and it’s certainly true for many people. What is critical is that the “two heads” need to be thinking on the same wave length, have similar context and be focused on the same goal.
Joint Venture Partnerships (JV’s) can be tricky.
Soon I will be releasing my first book, which is designed to help you Negotiate Win~Win Outcomes in Every Day Life. One of the first steps in creating Win~Win Outcomes is building & maintaining good relationships.
Whether you are negotiating with an experienced negotiator, a client, a good friend or even a two year old – really listening – to what the other person has to say is critically important. Here are 5 Easy Steps to Listening with the Intention to Learning, versus Listening with the Intention of Responding.
Step 1: Stop Talking.
Most people listen with the intent to respond, rather than the intent to learn. Stop talking and simply listen to what the other person is saying.
Step 2: Maintain eye contact.
This means ignore all distractions. This means you may need to re-position yourself. Stand up if the person is standing, sit down if they are sitting, or even in the case of a small child, get down on your knee to their level. Make eye contact and ignore everything else. Give the other person your full, undivided attention.
Step 3: Be and show interest in the other person.
Your body language is important. Lean in to the conversation, nod your head when you agree with what they are saying. Be empathtic.
Step 4: Be patient and NEVER Interrupt.
You may not agree or perhaps you may even strongly disagree with what they are saying but resist the temptation to interupt. Let the other person finish and allow that person his or her own point of view. Acknowledge that you heard their point of view or understand their point of view…. but keep listening, sometimes it is not what they say, but what they don’t say that is the information you need.
Step 5: Ask Questions.
Ask lots of question to make sure you understand. Clarification and asking for more detail on a given point is an example. Questions ensure you do undertand and are a postive way to let the person know you are actually listening, and thinking, about what they are saying to you.
These simple five steps are easy to do and will lead to better relationships, which always leads to better communication. Important in negotiation and in building relationships.
I would love to hear your thoughts & your experiences of both when you feel you have been listened to and understood and when you feel like you have talked and not been heard. Do you have any tips to share?
I thought I would start off today with a quick apology .. summer was wonderful and crazy busy. I am almost finished my first book on Win~Win Negotiation and in the process I have neglected my blog posts …
I also took time for both personal time and education time. So it made me ask, what is your belief on the subject of Education? Is it an expense or an investment?
When I speak of Education, I am NOT referring to the formalized process of school, college and university, but Personal Education. Self empowering education. Education on any topic of Interest.
Education comes in many forms such as day/evening courses, weekend events or weeklong camps…they can even be listening in to webinars or teleclasses.
One of my ”learning events” was a teleclass that was brought to my attention through my connection to Canada’s Rich Dad, Darren Weeks. Darren has developed a relationship with the Author of ”Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, who will soon be coming to Canada.
If you would like an example of what I consider to be education, listen in while Robert Kiyosaki shared his Insights Into the World Economy..
CLICK HERE to Listen to his Words of Wisdom:
This weekend, Jeff and I will be heading to Edmonton to another Educational Opportunity … Fast Track to Cash Flow’s Super Conference, where Robert will be speaking. I can hardly wait….
Reflecting back over the years, my personal investment in Education has given me the highest returns on both my time and money. No matter what event I went to, no matter if it was an afternoon or week long camp, my time spent on learning, about real estate and myself, have all paid off in spades. By far, it has been the best investment of my life.
One of my most memorable education ventures happened in April of 2008. Fast Track to Cash Flow, offered the opportunity to join Darren and a few other Entrepreneurs on a trip to Phoenix to attend a weekend event with Robert Kiyosaki.
At the time, Jeff and I were doing OK financially, but were not yet out of the rat race. We owned 2 rental properties and had just begun to understand the link between mindset and money.
I remember that the cost seemed EXHORBITANT as airfare, hotel and conference fees were well over $5000.00 and only one of us could afford to attend. I drew the lucky straw and Jeff stayed home.
What I learned cannot be written in a short blog, but a few highlights below:
Robert Kiyosaki is the real deal. He is forthright, honest and scared the snot out of me with his bigger than life personality and openess.
He was there to make sure that people learned what he wanted to share. He genuinely cared about the outcome of the event, and took no prisoners with his style of teaching. If you wanted to learn, get in the game. If you wanted to waste time = get out. Take Action and get over your fears.
The lessons above were shared with my husband and pretty much with anyone else willing to listen. These lessons alone helped us to grow forward; to take calcuated risk, to get MORE education, to build a team and to grow.
Some simple things he shared have been priceless:
- open your mind to opportunity
- take notes in colored pens
- think creatively
- read, read, read and read some more
- build a team
But what I really learned was priceless. I learned that Money starts in your head… Your beliefs around money and your willingness to challenge those beliefs can help your grow, or they can stop you in your tracks.
My question to you is this - Is Education an Expense or is it an Investment? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
The key to good, no GREAT, Real Estate Joint Venture (JV) Partnerships is good record keeping and good communication.
I found this audio recording with George Dube and Russell Westcott and wanted to share it with you … it is approx 45 minutes long, but FILLED with good information for both seasoned and newbie investors.
In this audio they talk about the importance of proper financial reporting to both your investors, and the CRA, as well as on Raising Capital to grow your own investment portfolio.
Making sure that you are properly handling the accounting and tax issues that arise when dealing in joint ventures is critical to your success in both attracting and keeping good partners.
We attribute our own success with navigating the paper trail to having strong team members, including Lisa who owns Balanced Beans Bookkeeping; and from always continuing to grow our knowledge base by listening to people who are already successful in the areas we want to be in.
We provide quarterly reports and pay our Joint Venture Partners on a quarterly basis, and provide full access to our books for any partner that would like to visit our office. Timely book keeping, clear records and an easy to use filing system have helped us to not only grow our business, but to keep stress at a minimum.
I strongly encourage you to Click below to connect through to George Dube’s blog and then listen in as Russell Westcott, of the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), interviews George Dube of Dube & Cuttini Accountants, and then to take an Action that will get you on the right track to raising capital and keeping your Investors for the long term.
I love to hear your comments on this audio or with any questions that you have. Additionally, if you are interested in partnering in with Jeff and I, please let us know. We are your “no pressure” source of information on partnering..
We love to help others become Financially Educated and to make good choices that make sense for your circumstance.
To Your Financial Freedom!
If you think you don’t need to negotiate – think again!
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, a business owner or employee; a Parent raising kids or in a Relationship of any kind, you are daily negotiating a Who? What? Where, When, Why, or a How conversation.
I would love to empower you with the same life lessons, skills and tools. By learning and using Win~Win Negotiation strategies, you will pay less $ when more buying, get better $ when selling and will create strong healthy relationships built on trust, integrity and a sense of fairness. This will be true in both your business and personal relationships.
Negotiation is simply a communication process, when utilized with a Win~Win mindset will bring more value into all areas of your life.
In Business, employees who are good negotiators usually earn better salaries, great perks such as longer vacations, company covered expenses, nicer office space and sometimes even acquire company equity.
Your desirability and value to employers is also increased when you learn how to negotiate. Skilled negotiators are usually viewed as good leaders, strong motivators, and problem solvers. These skills are highly sought after by those in a position to hire, or promote.
In life, people who conduct themselves using Win~Win principles are generally happier, healthier, have good relationships and are fun to be with. It is rare than anyone around them would feel remorse or regret after an encounter where there is a Who, What, Where, When, Why or How conversation.
So stay tuned, I will be releasing bits and pieces of each chapter as I go along, with tips YOU can use to incorporate into your life!
I found the following article in an email sent to me by Success Resources and I wanted to share it with you. Jeff and I use the same principles in our own life, and in our Real Estate Investing. Take a read and then let me know what you think! Norma
Properly applied leverage can multiply the results you get from your efforts, whether you are moving boulders or building your finances. Unless you have liquid assets from your family or other resources; if you’re working in some sort of regular job, then you need some leverage to lift you up over those first daunting barriers that you encounter.
When you get nearer to your goal, you will find more obstacles but your progress on the road to success will give you the ability to get support from others; banks, partners or joint-venturers. Together, you will be able to build greater, more powerful levers.
There are three parts to a lever.
You have to have something that you need to lift. That is the objective that you don’t have the strength, right now, to lift by yourself. Some investors will seek any available advantage, without any regard for the effect on other people that are involved. But, for our peace of mind and fullest satisfaction, there’s no choice but to maintain high ethical standards and give due regard to how other might be affected by our actions.
Next is the solid support on which the lever pivots and from which it draws its strength. That’s your vital role, giving the necessary height and strength for the lever to work to its greatest effect.
Of course, the other part is the lever. That must be as long and strong as possible. A short, strong lever will work but be much less effective than a similar longer one. A weak lever is as bad as no lever at all. The longer the lever, the greater the lift and the quicker the results.
That works the same with investments
If you work at a regular job, then your payment is ruled by the amount of time you put into the job. Put in more hours, at the cost of family and other social commitments (even your health), and you will get a little more money.
But, it is always a struggle for someone in that position to get more money for the same amount of work. They may do a great job but, unless they have hard to find skills, they cannot exert much leverage. There are probably many other people who are readily available and willing to do the job in their place and for even less money! You are probably not physically able to increase the amount of time that you put into your job by very much and you probably already gave your best efforts, whatever the rate of pay that you get.
The only way you can raise your standard of living is to increase the return that you get for the amount of effort and time that you already supply.
When a painter produces a painting, they get one payment from one person and that’s all. However, a best-selling author has leverage because their publisher sells thousands, or even millions, of copies of the book. The author can claim a tiny percentage of the profit from each sale.
That is just the start for them!
The book can spawn other products and opportunities (not all apply to all types of books);
- Sequels, translated versions, audio version and even movies in rare cases.
- Appearances on television, radio and magazines that may lead to offers of more work in those areas.
- Lectures. – Consultation work.
- Licensed products based on characters in the book.
Bearing that in mind, this principle is actively used by people involved in almost every type of productive activity.
For example, with the widespread acceptance of the Internet, many authors are finding a ready market for their books without having to battle their way to the top of the traditional publisher’s slush pile.
They’re submitting the book to publishers whose whole business is online. The book is sold through a website and buyers pay for it by credit card and then download a copy to their computer immediately!
Some authors, even those who have just written their first book, are setting up their own website and publishing their own book themselves entirely online. They deal directly with the buyers (their readers) and they get to keep almost the entire selling price of every copy they sell.
That requires a bit more work on their part but the returns can make it worthwhile.
They have leverage because they are in full control of the promotion and distribution of their book. They can also do it from their own home while wearing their pyjamas, if they want to. There are even people who published their books online, and were then approached by a traditional publisher who was interested in paying them for the rights to publish a printed version!
Leverage magnifies the effect of whatever amount of effort that you apply to a task.
Other People’s Money
Similarly, you’ve probably heard of “Other People’s Money” where you harness the power of other people’s greater financial assets to help you get started on projects that are bigger than you could undertake with your own current resources.
Many people have used this and, by being very selective about the ventures that they take on being within their capacity and not just their dreams, while also focusing strongly on the task, have built their own assets through this method much faster than they expected.
Other People’s Experiences
It’s also important to use “Other People’s Experiences” because you can’t afford the time or expense to make all the mistakes yourself!”
The ideal situation would be to work for an already successful person in the area that you are interested. You might think, “I don’t know anybody like that and I don’t have those sort of contacts.” But, work hard and keep your eyes open – these people are often looking for people with the right attitude (that’s not finishing work at 5pm every day!) and you might stumble over that opportunity at the moment you least expect. Norma’s Note: I also suggest volunteering to work for them, even occassionaly for FREE!
You also need to find a competent accountant. As you start to climb toward your goals, your heavy workload will increase rapidly. If you plan to do your own accounts and you don’t have a first-class system in place, then you’ll have to devote time that you need for the central parts of your venture – or both the venture and your accounts will suffer. An accountant can almost certainly do your books much more quickly and with fewer errors than you. They also are able to keep current with Tax and other regulations which you probably haven’t studied much – ignorance is no defence. So, get the accountant now even if you think you can probably handle your accounts by yourself for a while yet – it’s an investment for your future.
You also should mix with other people that are, or were, involved in your area of interest. Of course, systems change more rapidly today than before, but the veterans often have useful knowledge than can still save you time and reduce the potential problems you deal with. There’re a lot of good books on your field too along with seminars (both live and recorded). Other People’s Ideas Never stop learning!
You can get someone’s lifetime of experience in a couple of hours and at low expense using another valuable concept –
Other People’s Ideas
Many people have great ideas that they don’t have the resources or, perhaps, just the time to use. You will pick them up at seminars, in books or even just casual conversation. If you get the chance to interview or even just buy a cup of coffee for an expert in your field, don’t hesitate – that small expense could provide you with an idea you could turn into thousands.
Associating with successful people will also help you to absorb their focus and their passion. They will motivate you just by their proximity and their lifestyle will encourage you to have bigger dreams that can lead you to greater success than you ever thought of before.
Other People’s Time
The next asset which you can acquire is “Other People’s Time”. You might have to pay some people for their skills or knowledge but if that small investment gives you a high return because they can do work that you must get done better and faster, or you acquire knowledge or skills from them that you can draw on for years in the future, it’s money well spent.
Sometimes, you can team up with one or more people and each of you contribute your particular special skills or resources to a common effort. That automatically leverages your efforts.
You will also be able to access their network of contacts, opening more opportunities for valuable collaboration. These people may also bring you other potential deals that you would not have even heard of otherwise.
Other People’s Efforts
Make use, also, of other people’s efforts. Some people want the security of an assured hourly rate for their efforts. You might pay someone to do work that you need done but which would rob you of time that you can leverage to return you much more than you will have to pay the other person. Try to use all these “levers”, where appropriate, so that you get the maximum return in the least time.
Bad or Good … Whatever you FOCUS on will happen in your world.
Have you noticed that those who are focussed on being happy & healthy are usually healthy and happy? Think about those who live in a mindset of struggle,
where everyday things seem to be a big event or imposition … they hit a red light and get frustrated, an unexpected phone call throws them into a dither. They seem to struggle and have a crappy life. You really do get what you THINK About most of the time!
Earlier this year my husband and I decided to de-clutter our life, and to FOCUS on our True Wealth ~which to us is defined as Financially Free, Healthy & Happy, so that we can live our life as we choose, and not be restricted by the common everyday restrictions of having a normal J.O.B. J.O.B. stands for “Just Over Broke” and is the reality of how we grew up and how we spent the first 20 years of our marraige.
We started with getting more organized in how we think and in de-cluttering our personal space. Once we made up our minds we started to focus on the physical task. Each day we spent from 5 minutes to 2 hours in clearing away the physical clutter ~ which has led to greater mental clarity. You have heard the expression “Show me a cluttered desk and you will find a cluttered mind”. SO TRUE! Note: my desk still needs a bit more de-cluttering, and I totally notice how ineffective I am when the piles of paper start to grow…
We had a clear picture of what we wanted for each area in our home.. and we started with one of the main upstairs closets. We wanted to be able to walk in and easily find what we were looking for. Starting with the end in mind, helped us to form a plan. We started with emptying out the space, and as we brought items out, we made decisions right away to “Keep”, “Throw Away”, “Repurpose” or to “Donate”.
We then put in another shelving unit, and as things were brought back in, assigned a place for each item. Like items were grouped together ~ everything was labelled in such a way that ANYONE could find ANYTHING easily!
It took 3 days, by working in spurts … setting the timer for .5 hr at a time, or by finding 5 or 10 minutes here and there, the task went by quite quickly… when it was done, we both felt fabulous and moved on to other areas within our home and personal space. We used the KISS method (no, we did not Kiss every time we made a decision), but we did “Keep It Super Simple”.
These same principles apply to your MIND and your Mindset. The only difference is that you cannot “Donate” your thoughts and Mind set away to someone else, but you can consciously choose to acknowledge and then Change those thoughts to be more positive.
The process of getting organized also applies to your life and life decisions. We apply the same principles .. “What is the end result that we want? We then think about the actions we are about to take.. are they moving us forward? Are they a distractions?” We then choose our plan of action accordingly.
Getting organized in our home and in our mindset has resulted in a more simplified life. We have gained a greater sense of freedom and feel great about our space and our mindset.
More importantly, by clearing out the clutter, there is more room in our life for the things that are important and that we want to enjoy.
Your Mind is Very Powerful! Believe in yourself and your Abilities.
Create space and live in the positive, because whatever you focus on, will happen.