Friday, 15 January 2016

The Seven Beliefs Of Success

A solid belief system can take you a long way. Success has its own belief system and when you can master such a system, there is very little that can stop the inevitable: massive achievements. Take a look at the seven beliefs that can take your success to greater heights:

Belief #1: Everything happens for a reason

I can guarantee you that all successful people believe that there is a purpose behind every event or situation. Whether it’s a lesson to be learned or a change in your life’s path for example, they believe that whatever happens was meant to happen. Thus, they make lemonade out of a lemon. Instead of beating yourself down if something does not go your way, focus on the good that can come out of it. Yes, certain events are indeed very difficult to see positive into them, but you owe it to yourself and to your success to try your absolute best to make the most out of any situation. There are many people that lost a loved one to a disease, only to become advocates for research to cure such a disease, as well as many victims of accidents that have not let their shortcomings in the aftermath get in the way of whatever they wanted to accomplish. Sometimes life does not go as planned, but knowing that everything happens for a reason can help you carve a new path towards a new life with new goals and new successes.

Belief #2: Failure does not exist
There are only learning experiences. Once you submerge yourself into a culture that does not see failure, but only experiences and results, you take away an enormous chunk of negative energy out of your life. For example, I come up with many different ideas for marketing and new courses. Sometimes, these ideas do not provide the results I expected. Instead of saying “I failed”, I tell myself “I guess I learned something. I learned that this technique does not work. I’ll try something else then”. If you want to achieve highly successful outcomes, you need to alter your view of failures into something constructive that keeps you going until you get the results you desired.

Belief #3: Take responsibility no matter what

It’s very easy to play the blame game whenever a difficult situation arises, but the true leaders are the ones that will take full responsibility, whether it’s positive or negative. You may be tempted to deflect any blame onto others but there is something empowering about accepting responsibility. If you know there is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences, then it is in your best interest to take full responsibility, since you know you will achieve your desired outcome regardless. This shows maturity, as well as a coherent belief system all the way through. It’s a symbol of personal power which is necessary to become highly successful.

Belief #4: You don’t need to understand everything perfectly
You may notice that most very successful people are well versed into many different subjects but do not have full mastery of them. They know what’s essential without getting into all the minute details of it all. For example, running this website and business, I have knowledge in areas such as marketing, design, programming, accounting, finances, etc. I am by no means an expert in these subjects, but I know enough to manage them effectively & collectively. I leave out the details to be handled by my accountant, designer, programmer, and marketing manager. Successful people aren’t the most knowledgeable people. For example, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t the most skilled programmers or computer engineers. However, they were the most effective in using the skills that they had.

Belief #5: Your biggest resource are your people

You should know that you cannot climb the ladder of success all alone. Along the way, you will need people to assist you. The ones that climb further and higher than the rest are the ones that treat their people the best. A sense of team unity and respect is totally necessary in order to create the proper mood from which you can harvest adequate success. When you have a successful team working together, success comes easily. This is why you need to nurture that team. Care for those relationships because the more positive and enlightening they are, the further along you will get.

Belief #6: Work is play

Do you know anyone that’s ever succeeded doing something they absolutely hate? Me neither! An important key to success is making a combination of what you do with what you love. We can all do our best to find work that invigorates us and makes us excited. As well, we can also bring about at work many of the aspects of what we love to do. You have to make “your vocation your vacation” as Mark Twain so eloquently said. If you view work as nothing more than a way to make money, then it will nothing more than that. Sooner or later, it will be dreadful to be doing this work many hours per day, when the only reason you are doing it is for money. It needs to be more than that. It needs to spark your creativity, make you smile, and inspire you. I highly recommend you check out the article 7 Questions To Finding Your True Passion, which takes this point in further details.

Belief #7: There is no success without commitment

To achieve great things, you need a great commitment. When JFK said we would put a human being on the Moon, it was a huge commitment. Look at the enormous success it provided though. The most successful people are usually the ones that are the most committed. The best example that comes to mind is Wayne Gretzky. He was never the biggest player. He was never the fastest skater. He didn’t have the most powerful shot. However, he was the most committed. Hockey was his passion and his life, which made him practice harder and want success more. That is why he became the greatest hockey player the sport has ever seen. Success comes with a price. The ones that do whatever it takes (of course without harming someone or cheating) are the ones that accomplish the most.


Quote for the day

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."  - Walter Bagehot

Things People Say During a Market Correction

By Ben Carlson, CFA

In my younger days I used to get my haircut at an old school barber shop. It had the candy cane red and white pole outside and all. It was the kind of place where the barbers were more worried about the multiple conversations going on and joking around than sticking to a schedule and efficiently working their way through customers.

Basically every month when I would stroll in at my allotted time for a haircut my barber would be 15-20 minutes behind schedule. And every time he would give me the same exact line as I settled in to read old issues of Sports Illustrated while I waited (remember this was pre-cell phone days). Every single time he would say, “Hey Ben, the service is down today, but the quality is up.”

I didn't mind because it was actually entertaining to listen to the back and forth discussions, but I always found it funny that I got the same line every time without fail. It was a well-rehearsed routine.

I've come to expect a similar outcome every time the stock market goes down, as well. Certain groups of investors, traders, advisors, members of the media or individuals will almost always go to their bread-and-butter lines during times of market stress. Some utilize hyperbole. Others are clueless (this is not necessarily a bad thing). Still others are eternally hopeful that the worst will soon be over.

Here are a few sayings you're likely to hear when the stock market endures a correction:

Stay the course.

Think long-term.

Remember to buy stocks with good balance sheets and high dividend yields.

Avoid emerging markets until the dust settles.

We're using this correction as a buying opportunity.

We've decided to lower our year-end market target.

Um, what's going on here?

Where is the Fed when you need them?

I knew I should have sold last week.

Here's what you need to do RIGHT NOW with your portfolio.

We're constructive on the markets long-term but see more near-term volatility.

Something's gotta give here…

Like I was saying a few weeks ago…

Don't say I didn't warn you…

Is it time to panic?

Should I go with the 1987, 1929 or 1999 analogy today?

We're seeing a lot of buying opportunities down here.

The carnage is not even close to being over.

I'll buy when…

It could be worse, at least I don't own…

I'll sell when I'm back to even…

There's still a ton of cash on the sidelines.

Don't try to catch a falling knife.

Buy when there's blood in the streets.

Cut your losses quickly.

The babies are being thrown out with the bath water. Now is the time to pounce.

Some of these statements are relatively useless, but others are actually good pieces of advice when used correctly. It's just that any investment advice is completely worthless when it's not used within the context of an actual plan or well-defined process. Trying to create a plan on the fly when markets are falling by mashing together a bunch of different tactics and sources of advice is a great way to make things even worse. And praying that stocks will rise in an uninterrupted fashion forever does not constitute a plan.

And although good advice is always important, when market volatility spikes, most advice gets thrown out the window as people start to run on pure adrenaline and emotions. 

Here's what I said this morning following the craziness of the initial huge leg down in the markets:

"Investors don't need advice on a day like today. They need a psychologist." - Ben Carlson (@awealthofcs) August 24, 2015

Every time we see a stock market correction we see a corresponding bull market in opinions about what investors should do. If you have a plan in place you should be able to almost immediately recognize which pieces of advice make sense for you and your situation. That' the whole point of setting reasonable expectations ahead of time and allowing for a wide range of market outcomes.

These periods are never easy because the further markets drop, the noisier things tend to get. The volume seems to be getting louder by the day.