Dream or Reality?


We tend to dismiss fresh, wild ideas simply because they seem hard to realize or attain.

What appears impossible today, may very well become possible tomorrow. Technology is but one domain where this observation is quite valid. How about our own lives? We can all remember a time when we looked at a situation, a goal, an aspiration, and said: “Boy, that would be great, but it’s out of my reach, it’s impossible.” Then, a few years, days, or dreams later, we see someone else be, have, or do it.

Stretching applies to the soul as it does to the body. A worthy vision deserves our best, doesn’t it? And we all agree that our best is not where we are at this point. It lies in the open, unknown range before our eyes, our real sight.

I came across this quote by Hellen Keller while reading On Fire by John O’Realy: “The most pathetic person in this world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.” However, a vision that stays locked down in a notebook, or hung on a wall is only worth the page or the wall it’s written on.

How can we translate a dream into reality? This question is as old as time. Yet, the answer is ever new and unique to each and every one of us. What if we dare to ask: “What if?” Would new possibilities open up in our hearts and minds? That, my friend, is the first, and most crucial step in fulfilling a dream!

Now that we’ve established the belief that our dream is “possible,” it’s time to stretch into new parts of possibility. Unkown territories of thought and action. Regions we’ve never dared to step into so far. A lofty dream calls for a daring mission, uncomfortable undertakings. One is answering the question: “What is it that I really want?” We need to get down to some details, but not too much at this point.

When it comes to manifestation, one must be clear, and positive. Surprisingly enough, we manifest what we want as much as what we do not want! The dynamics are the same. The only difference is the ‘not’ factor:)

Clarity goes a long way to affect the quality of the results we get. That’s why it’s important to write down that which we really want. Chances are if you don’t write it, you won’t get it. How can we achieve something we never admit we want. It’s the inner chamber of thoughts and feelings that matters here, not the ‘world’ view of what we aim to manifest.

When we write something down, new brain pathways start to emerge, especially if we use a pen/pencil and paper. Our mids are sensitive to action as well as thoughts and emotions. The wording is very important, too. “I don’t want to fail” leads to different results than “I intend to succeed.” Here we start to see the effect of negative statements. An even better goal would look like: “I intend to get an A in math this semester.” While the first intention is positive, it’s rather vague for the mind to start working on. The second, however, points clearly to the target.

We will delve into the ‘how’ in the next post. In the meantime, see if you can write down one or two of your dreams following these guidelines. Would be awesome if you’d share what you’ve written so we’d work together on turning a goal into a realistic action plan. Please use the comment section if you feel comfortable sharing.

Stay tuned.

The Wealth Maker

Image Credit: Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

Have you tried?


We all have dreams. Some visual and crisp. Some vague.

Why dream? It’s in our nature. It’s part of being human.

Dreams have the power to manifest, only if we allow them to.

Let’s say a pressing need compels you to take some action. Once the dust settles, you catch your breath and think: How can I use this experience? How can I improve the situation so I wouldn’t have to take those actions, but something else?

Needs are powerful influencers. They demand responses, right now.

We can not change a situation that has reached that stage. However, we do have the choice to alter the course of life experiences before they get out of hand.

Here is an example.

It’s mid-July and the AC decides to take a vacation. Now that everyone around the house is in agony, you rush to the phone and ask for immediate help from a professional. Most of us have been there.

At that stage of the situation, we can’t sit back and say: Guys, let’s take it easy. How about some deep breathing?

That does not work.

Nonetheless, had we maintained the AC regularly, the instant of break down would not have occurred (yes, there is still a chance, but not as probable).

When we dream, whether consciously or unconsciously, we are in a realm beyond pressing needs. Rather, it is the realm of possibility. You see the difference? Attending to an emergency is usually driven by an immediate need. Dreaming, on the other hand, is seeing the fulfillment of inherent, but not urgent, needs that define who we are.

Most dreams die before they grasp a glimpse of light. Why? We discount them as simply ‘impossible,’ without a second thought. We deny ourselves the possibility of a new adventure. The prospect of navigating uncharted parts of our inner and outer universes.

Have you tried? What if contemplating a wild gut feeling hides behind its apparent uncertainty the potential of reaching unthought of levels of fulfillment? How would we know unless we give it the benefit of the doubt?

We will continue exploring this topic in the coming posts. It’s one of the most essential pillars of living a full life. Why? Without dreams, we drift from one emergency to another. We waste our most precious resources aimlessly. That’s absolutely not what we are here for.

Stay tuned.

The Wealth Maker

Image credit: Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Patience, Persistence and Faith


Life is a journey worth taking, even though none of us has been given the choice to take it or not. Now that we are here, in it, let’s explore together some aspects that would make this inevitable journey enjoyable, as well as rewarding.

Remember learning to ride your first bike, competing with your classmates, working hard to get your first paycheck? None of those, and million other things, you’ve achieved or endured, would have seen the light without the jewel of all virtues: Patience!

Yet, patience alone is not enough, especially if it was serving the wrong dream; something that would lead to agony instead of joy, to disappointment not satisfaction. But do we always pick and choose what to bear and what not? A sudden illness, the death of a loved one, natural disasters, the list is long, very long.

Here comes another weapon in the face of the unfortunate: Persistence. One could be patient, but that patience is short-lived, fleeting as soon as the squeeze of the situation gets firmer. I’m not talking hypothetically, but rather factually.

Persistence is staying the course, no matter what it takes. Tough? You bet! Nevertheless, and most of the time, behind that mountain of toughness there would be a meadow of peace.

Now you might ask: Where do I get the momentum, the positive energy to be patient and persistent? You need a purpose you believe in. And that is the third element: Faith.

Without unwavering faith in what you do, and where you’re going, it’s almost impossible to endure patience, let alone persistence. Faith gives you the capacity to ‘see’ what’s beyond that which seems ugly and impossible. It gives a feeling of assurance and an enriching sense of possibility, of reaching that which you’ve been striving to reach.

In the next story we will talk about tips that would enhance our ability to attain and maintain these three vital life endowments: Patience, Persistence and Faith.

Stay tuned!

TWM

 

P.S. This post has also been published on Medium.com under Yaman Saleh, Owner of TWM

View at Medium.com

Risk and Reward- The Vital Two R’s of Business


We are risk takers by nature, all of us, in varying degrees. But marching into the unknown is a human instinct that manifests itself in obvious, as well as mysterious ways. Every hour of every day we take risks. You may allow your mind to explore this idea and find examples. Traveling to a new country, hiking an unmarked trail, buying a gift for a loved one, tasting a weird- smelling food, going to war, getting married, asking for forgiveness, climbing the Himalayas, camping, skiing, driving, falling in love, leaving home, and doing nothing is also a form of taking risk, yet indirectly.

For the sake of our topic, let’s narrow down that endless list to just one: Starting your own business and deciding to become an entrepreneur.

Why do people leave the comfort and security of a guaranteed pay-check, and go on their own? For starters, that comfort has become unattainable lately. Downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, financial crisis, to name a few, have made job security a thing of the past.

But that is not the main reason entrepreneurs go out and face the world alone. It is something within each and every one, a calling if you will. I bet you’ve heard this before and you might be thinking: “OK, a calling, but what is the percentage of success of that calling? Show me the money!”

True, no matter how strong a calling was, and how enthusiastic the person would be, a business venture must yield financial results. In other words: Money 🙂

That’s why, before delving in the ocean of entrepreneurship, one must evaluate few traits that are vital to making that journey a pleasant and fruitful one.

So what are those traits? The first that comes to mind is risk tolerance. I’ve talked about this, giving it an acronym of RT in several posts about investing, and it still applies here, probably more so. A low RT isn’t going to help here. A very high one would result in taking too much risk, and again that is dangerously dangerous 🙂

We are looking for a healthy RT, which on one hand drives the entrepreneur to explore new, uncharted frontiers, most of the time alone and with little knowledge and tools, and on the other, keeps him/her aware of the potential challenges, and do enough research and preparation ahead of, during and after taking the risk. What is that called in plain English? Wisdom combined with courage. And in eloquent English: Courageously wise or wisely courageous 🙂

The heart of our discussion here is the following:

‘Risk and Reward are proportional: The more risk one takes, the higher the probability of reward. The opposite seems to be true, most of the time.’

Let’s start with a simple example: If you decided not to teach your four-year old child how to ride a bike, fearing the risk of injury, you denied him/her the rewards that come with riding a bike. One of them is innocent joy!

To get any reward, we must do something, right? And any doing involves taking a risk, no matter how small. That’s why they are related proportionally.

Raise the level of one, the other gets a boost. The challenge is to find that threshold where raising too much would result in unwanted results rather than rewards. And that threshold differs depending on the situation.

In the example above, rushing the learning curve increases the risk of injury. Taking the matter way too slow may delay the reward or even prevent it from happening.

We need to be patient with the whole process. We start by taking small risks and observe our emotional and mental reactions, just like building, you start with a foundation, then keep adding to it.

Another aspect of this building process is appreciating the results, no matter how small.

When it comes to building a new business enterprise, the principle would be the same, however, the application is different.

Does that mean you start with a tiny little venture then expand gradually? That’s one way to approach it. Say open an online store with only one product line, give it your best till it starts making profit, then add a second product line, and so on.

Nevertheless, if you know that your RT is high enough to get into bigger business adventures, especially if you know you have good financial and practical backing by trusted partners, then you may want to create a vision that would lead to more aggressive plans. For example, starting an eCommerce platform, where small business owners can open their one-product-line stores.

The web is full of tools and articles on how to assess your RT level. Here’s one, which I have no affiliation with, and can’t guarantee its results, but you may want to give it a shot, or look for something else in that line of tools:

http://www.moneycontrol.com/personal-finance/tools/risk-assessment-tools.html

In conclusion, know thyself before starting a new business. The time, money and energy spent doing that is worth the clarity that result from being aware where your next step will hit the ground.

All the best,

The WEalth MAker

Multiple Streams of Income (MSOI)


msoi

 

I was first introduced to this term by Bob Proctor, a prominent Canadian author and motivational speaker on matters of financial wealth, among other fields related to human success (the definition of human “success” varies depending on the paradigm we use).

The concept is fairly simple, but not simplistic. During and after the industrial revolution (1760-1840), most workers started earning their income through employment in factories and enterprises that supported factory work (banks, press, railways, post, mining, and so forth).

By the turn of the 20th century, more than 50% of the North American workforce had shifted to employment. Excluding the Great Depression period (1929-1939), that percentage had experienced an upward trend, reaching its peak during the era after WW2. Fewer people took farm jobs or started their own ventures. Large corporations absorbed small businesses, manifesting capitalism on a wide scale.

Most of the population had retired to a sense of financial security derived from a “guaranteed” paycheck. The widespread possibility of serving the same employer for prolonged periods of time had supported that disposition. Job security had been perceived as a reality.

The Information Revolution came to shake things up. By the mid Eighties, assured continuation of employment had taken a backseat. Clinging to a job that would end with a two-week notice turned out to be questionable.

Disruptive changes are not always bad. They serve the individual(s) who is open to learning and growing, riding the wave of change, instead of getting washed out by it. Rigidity is synonym to breakdown!

Where does all of that lead us to? Flexibility, autonomy, and being in command of one’s life. Blindly following the crowd is risky, and oftentimes, intellectually and financially fatal. Relying on one source of income in today’s economy is not a wise choice, to say the least.

What are the alternatives? Take multiple jobs at different companies? Work “harder” at the same job to the extent you forget your children’s names or birthdays?! Or rely on social programs, where they exist, to bail you out when the unfortunate happens?

None of these options is viable. We can easily discount the first once we consider the conflict-of-interest provision in any employment contract, let alone the strenuous stretch and excessive stress endured by the employee.

The second is possible, and so many people have traversed that rocky path. However, the impact on personal life is undeniable. Furthermore, those who put 70- and 80-hour work weeks are not immune to reorganization storms. Management by numbers has become the rule at the end of the day!

Social programs can help, but they are not enough. They are meant to supplement other incomes, not replace them.

Now we’ve come to a point in our study where we are ready to consider better alternatives. Alternatives that lay a strong financial foundation, upon which to pursue higher intentions. The tool must remain a tool. When making money becomes the chief concern amid the struggle to “make ends meet”, life loses its meaning, its exuberance and joy. Happiness seems like a mirage dancing on a sun-broiled horizon.

Here is a mathematical representation of the solution:

T = P + (n * S)

T: Total income

P: Primary income

S: Secondary income

n: Number of secondary sources

P could be a form of employment or an established business. What about S? It can be any legitimate, ethical activity that produces money in exchange for providing real value.

Investing is one example. Online stores, part-time teaching/training/coaching, freelance writing (blogging, publishing, technical writing), creating digital products and selling them online on sites, such as Amazon™ and ClickBank™.

You could discover more sources. The bottom line is to find something you love and have the skillset to produce, grow and maintain, without jeopardizing your personal life. Again, we’re building a foundation, not a whole structure.

I have covered investing in great detail throughout this blog. You can learn about online stores by reading this particular post: https://soaring-eagle.org/2012/07/04/making-money-online-online-stores/

Please share with us your comments and suggestions. This article is not comprehensive, as the possibilities are endless. Its aim is to open doors of exploration, to deliver the message that there is more to work-life than a single option…

 

The Wealth Maker

 

Š Image Credit: www.windowssearch-exp.com

 

How Can an Investor Read The Future?


Investing is not only an intellectual enterprise. It challenges all dimensions of an investor’s personality and character. That’s why it is an inner job, before it manifests in the outer.

Nonetheless, an investor is not a fortuneteller, a speculator, or a gambler. He or she sees the activity as a business, which is prone to loss and profit, rise and demise.

Human beings are bound by the laws of cause and effect, and governed by the flow of time. Is that so? We tend to “like” to surrender to such determinism because our minds need to find closure on everything. Without such “unconscious” obedience to these laws, without time, the mind gets lost.

Within each and every one of us is a potential greater than the mind. Tapping into that potential requires awareness and inner work. You may start by paying attention to the mind’s ceaseless thinking, and train yourself to be an observer, not a participant in the thousands of thoughts the mind conjures up everyday! You can reach a stage where you “choose” what serves you and add value to your life, while releasing that which confuses or troubles you.

The mind can’t stop working. This is a blessing. Nevertheless, it could turn into a curse when the mind starts using us to “entertain” itself, especially as it finds itself “free”. Keep it busy with something suitable to its nature, and useful to you and to the world around you. Apart from that, practice the art of “un-participation”. You are not your mind!

Here you might say: I’m confused! Are you telling me to be mindless?

Not at all. I’m asking you to be “mindful”. To be the master of your mind not its slave. There is a huge difference between the two worlds.

How is all of that related to investing? Surprisingly a lot!

When you become in command of your mind, and hence your life, all your activities start flowing effortlessly. You bypass the mind’s resistance to the new in favor of the old and familiar.

That leads to a very important fact, which sets the stage for the rest of this discussion: History does not repeat itself! Each and every moment is independent and new, and it may surprise you.

Does that make me read the future? You might ask.

Not literally. However, it advances you light years ahead in your ability to engage the moments while they unfold, which is, in my humble opinion, better than reading the future.

As you rid yourself of a troubling past, and be fully present here and now, you become “aligned” with true universal principles. Time becomes your friend. Cause and effect your servants. You are no longer asleep, spiritually. You start to “see”. You begin to “know” without thinking. You step into a new realm that has already been within you, but now you’re “awake” to its existence and brilliance.

From this new foundation, your investment decisions (and all your decisions) will change, for the better. You have on your side the best advisor ever, you! The real you…

This can only be proven through direct experience. Do not believe any of the above, but try it and practice it, honestly.

After all, whose life and whose money are we talking about? Doesn’t that deserve exploring something new? Haven’t we had enough of resigning to the old, only because it is familiar? And we all know, too well, that “familiar” does not equate to “successful”. Most of the time, it leads to the opposite.

Any breakthrough, throughout human history, has come about by challenging habitual thinking and exploring the frontiers that laid dormant behind the mind.

Gravity isn’t only physical!

The Wealth Maker

The Wealth Making Architect™


If you performed a Google™ search on the above title, you’d get something along the lines of either wealth advisors or engineering architects.

I wanted to introduce this term to reflect the necessity of building wealth from the ground up. Furthermore, to emphasize that “wealth” is not only financial. When an engineer designed a house, for example, he/she would take into consideration all the aspects which would make that house livable and ready to become a home!

Another vital step in creating that architecture is to create a blueprint. Have you ever heard of any sort of construction that didn’t have a blueprint to start with, to build upon and use as a baseline?

A Wealth Making Architect (WMA™) is going to follow the path of his/her counterparts in other disciplines. However, instead of designing a brick and mortar dwelling, they design a life-long wealth making, growing, and maintaining epic, with the client being the hero.

And here’s a list of the steps involved:

  1. Find out what the requirements really are: Working closely with your client, you set an objective to clearly “understand” the hopes, the dreams, the needs, and the responsibilities of that client. Once you’ve reached such understanding, you turn it into a set of specific, implementable”requirements”; one which the client accepts and feels satisfied with
  2. Now you go to the drawing board and create a solution derived from the requirements. This is easier said than done. How can you “weave” requirements into solutions? Into a blueprint that has an eye on the vision, and another on the strategy and plan. Your knowledge and expertise play a major role here, and that involves specific methods, processes, products and/or services available. Sometimes you might need to seek help from other members of your organization/team to “develop” new products or services that would meet the requirements (those must prove reusable with other clients in order to justify the cost and time of a new development)
  3. The next step is a comprehensive review of the solution with your client. Although you both had reached a set of specific requirements, the blueprint might not express what the client was hoping for. This could be the result of the client being not sufficiently informed/educated, or it could be a flaw in the design. Either way, a revision and an update version of the solution should be created. This can take more than one iteration
  4. Once you reach an agreement with the client on the blueprint of his/her financial story, you start translating that solution into long-term and short-term objectives. Each objective requires an action plan. Here comes the knowledge and skill of financial planning, or let’s say, wealth-making planning; the bits and bytes of what needs to be done on a daily basis
  5. Implementing the plans is not an open-ended endeavor. You wouldn’t hand them over to the client and “instruct” him/her to go ahead and “do” the steps! You still need to work with them regularly, and make sure they are ready to commit their time and energy to implementing what has been mutually agreed upon
  6. As with any plan, the process continues dynamically. This is the tracking/observing, feedback, review and update/correction cycle. Plans are not meant to be set in stone. They must evolve in reflection to consistent change. However, a good architect would not divert too much from the original vision and the blueprint.

The past is gone for all of us. The future is known to none of us. All we’ve got is the present moment. Planning, to a great extent, is a matter of trying to predict the future based on past experiences. It helps, but nothing is certain. That’s why it’s a good practice to keep risk planning in sight, and always have plan B within reach!

The Wealth Maker

Life Without Money – The Roles of Money


 

The last post seemed to have opened the Pandora box! Life without money!? Are you out of your mind? Nobody actually said that, but I could read it between the lines.

Yes, life without money, why not? Things, by their very nature, are replaceable. People, on the other hand, are not. The social/emotional crises that sweeps across most Western societies has something to do with this simple fact. Most businesses “cling” to things and let go of people. An employee is referred to in the “books” as a “cost center”, while a desk is an “asset”! Wow! How had we come down to this? No wonder our economies are “soft” nowadays.

Well, maybe I got a bit emotional there. I’m not suggesting that we throw money out of the window overnight, then fall into an even bigger disaster.

Changes of such magnitude take decades, if not centuries. But everything starts with a single idea. If any of you lived to see that happened, please remember yours truly!

Then how would we approach this idea? How would we explore it? I suggest we start by understanding the role of money in our lives.

It is easy to realize that money plays multiple roles, all important. Let’s start with the obvious one: An instrument to facilitate the exchange of benefits and value among people. What does that mean? A company needs the right expertise to build specific products. A group of Engineers have that expertise. There is a potential for benefit exchange and creation of value here, but what is the facilitator? Yes, money. You know the rest of the typical story: As the engineers create the desired value, they receive the benefit in the form of money.

What else? A discriminator. Imagine the price of a first class ticket from Vancouver to Auckland was the same as the price of an economy class ticket; who would travel economy? The carrier would run into a multitude of problems. Money, right now, is the only instrument to “discriminate” among passengers, forcing them to choose what fits their budgets.

And? A controller. In a business joint venture, the party that invests 51% or more has the final word in any dispute. Even in families. In some cultures, after high school, the boy or the girl has to go into the major that her or his father (or mother) chooses, simply because the latter is going to fund the expenses.

Finally, an organizer. Let’s take traffic as an example. When you exceed the speed limit, you run a chance of getting a ticket, in other words, pay money. Consequently, you adhere to traffic laws, and we end up with an organized, smooth flow of vehicles across the city, and over the highways.

We covered the role of a motivator in the previous article, despite the fact that money is not very good at that role. It performs it rather forcefully and negatively!

I guess that should be enough for now. Will carry on in the next post to see what would be an alternative that could satisfy all the above roles and more. Or maybe shift the whole paradigm, and spread the discussion to other fields such as sociology, psychology, policy, etc…This sounds complex, but let’s take it one step at a time.

In the meantime, let’s keep making and growing wealth, the usual way 🙂

The Wealth Maker