Invest In Yourself Now—or Pay Later

We all know that we have to invest in our retirement in order to have money to live on when we’re no longer working. And yet, as important as that is, 36% of Americans aren’t saving anything for retirement (according to BankRate.com). And a majority of those reaching retirement age—even the ones doing some saving—do not have enough to live on.

I hope you’re consistently saving and investing (enough) for your retirement years—and you probably are. But there’s another kind of investment that’s just as important—if not more so—than your retirement. And that’s an investment in yourself.

Here’s the thing . . .

Unless you invest the time, energy, and money in creating a life you truly want, you’re going to be spending a lot of time and effort supporting a life you DON’T want.

Your best life doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t automatically unfold, and it’s not given to you. You have to design and create your best life yourself. Because if you don’t, other people and outside circumstances will do it for you. And guess what other people and outside circumstances have planned for you—not much.

An investment in yourself will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It won’t depreciate; it will appreciate. It will never be devalued or stolen. Clearly, your inner portfolio is the best investment you can make.

As you become better, as you upgrade your attitude, skills and knowledge, you will always be able to form the alliances, make the connections, create the opportunities and generate the income you need. You will breathe the rarified air of true mastery. You will live a life of no regrets and feel the joy and satisfaction of living your BEST life. You will, as Thoreau said, “live with a license of a higher order of beings.”

I urge you to plan your investments in yourself as carefully and as consistently as your retirement portfolio. Dedicate yourself to CANI—Constant And Never-ending Improvement. And you will never be bored, because growth is stimulating and often fun. There are no limits.

Get Your Personal Dashboard to Your Ideal Life
Every once in awhile, something comes along that you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. (I bet you never knew you needed an iPhone before Apple invented it.) But after you begin using it, you never want to be without it.

The Best Life Navigator™ is one of those things. We all need good tools and systems. And The Navigator™ is both.

Over the past 35 years, I’ve created scores of products, dozens of training programs, and written and published several books. But THIS product is the one I’m the most proud of creating—because I know what a difference it can make in creating your BEST LIFE.

Find Out All About Your Personal Dashboard . . .
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Top Ten Reasons Good People Don’t Always Win (Number 10 in a 10-part Series)

systems#10: Not Having Good Systems, Tools & Technology

Reason Number 10 why good people don’t always win is inadequate or non-existing systems.

I believe that most people are well-intended and want to do the right thing. Where I think they fail is they have systems that don’t support them or no real systems at all.

When I consult with business owners, we focus on where they want to go, how to get there and the things that need fixing in order to succeed. Often they blame their people for the shortcomings. But it’s usually the systems that are the problem rather than the people.

System Defined: any formulated, regular or special method, plan or procedure.

The First System I Remember
I was raised on a farm, and when I was about 4 years old, I remember seeing my father in our dairy barn with his hat turned backward. I know now that many young people wear their caps with brims facing rearward, but at that time it looked strange.

So I asked my Dad why he had his hat on funny. And that’s when he explained his “system”. You see, we had a bullpen with a watering tank for the bull. It had to be filled with a hose and it took a while to fill it. Rather than wait for the tank to be topped off, my Dad would go about other chores while it was filling. But it’s easy to forget to turn the water off, and I’m guessing he had done so before. But now, when the tank was full, he would turn the water off and turn his hat frontward again. If he forgot, when he got back to the house, he would naturally reach for the brim of his hat and if it wasn’t there, he’d realize he must go back to the barn and turn it off to prevent a small flood.

That was my early introduction to systems. And I’ve developed many of my own since then.

A system can be as simple as a . . .

  • checklist
  • place for your keys
  • mnemonic
  • PIM (Personal Information Manager)
  • formula

Or it can be as complicated as a project management program to build a nuclear power plant. But we all need systems to create and live our best life and grow our businesses with efficiency and effectiveness.

Years ago, I created an acronym for SYSTEMS . . .

Save
Yourself
Substantial
Time
Energy
Money and
Stress

Systems allow you to focus on what’s really important because systems handle the details. Systems make your life easier, make it easier to delegate and outsource, and make your business simpler to run—and SELL.

So what keeps someone from having good systems? Well, many people think systems aren’t important and/or they think they’re too small to employ a system. But that’s simply not true.

We can all regularly make improvements by remembering my SODA acronym . . .

Systematize
Organize
Delegate
Automate

One of the best systems or tools I’ve ever encountered for keeping track of information is Microsoft’s OneNote. Think of it has a system with an unlimited number of notebooks, an unlimited number of sections (and groups), an unlimited number of pages, and an unlimited size to all the pages.

Our latest product, The Best Life Navigator™, is built on OneNote. It’s a repository for all the information in your life. Here are just a few of the sections it contains:

  • CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement)
  • Finances
  • Goals
  • Inspiration
  • Journals
  • Network
  • Planning/Tracking
  • Projects . . . . and much more

Here are some examples of areas to consider developing or improving systems:

  • Filing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • Mailing & Shipping
  • Events
  • Product Development
  • Storage
  • Hiring

What systems do you have? Have you ever listed the systems you have in place to help you achieve your goals?

Think. And then document what you do. Who? What? When? Where? Why? And how?

Shane Fielder, The Innovative Samurai says, “Never start something without a template”. Don’t re-invent wheels. And don’t start from scratch. Use templates. MS Office has tons of templates. Search for them online. Try them out. Save yourself time and effort. The Best Life Navigator is a template—a very thorough and advanced template for creating your ideal life.

Tools & Technology
It’s the same with tools. It’s all about leverage. A farmer with a tractor and a large plow is, of course, going to be able to accomplish much more than a man with a mule and a single-share plow.

So make sure you have the tools you need to get things done with more ease, accuracy and speed.

We must constantly be on the lookout to create and improve our systems and upgrade and replace outdated tools and technology.

Resources
The Best Life Navigator™ allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.

Take Action

1. Get and start using OneNote and master it with www.SuccessNetRecommends.com/uim
2. Order The Best Life Navigator™ with Goal Planner
3. Create at least one new system this week

Please Tell Us What You Think
We’ve published this article and previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire
2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
5. Inadequate Support
6. Fear
7. Poor Tracking
8. Poor Disciplines, Bad Habits
9. Insufficient Planning

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Insufficient Planning (Number 9 in a 10-Part Series)

Goal PlannerA big reason why many people don’t reach their full and unique potential is they simply don’t plan well and leave too much up to chance.

Many people think you don’t need to figure out how you will achieve a goal. All you have to do is write it down and “attract” it.

I think that works some of the time. I’ve written things down that I wanted, put no effort into accomplishing them and sometimes never even thought about them again—until they happened.

So yes, I think there is some power in just being clear on what you want and expecting it.

But for important goals, I think your confidence and your expectation of achieving them go up dramatically when you’ve done the proper planning.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”.

He understood that especially in the heat of battle, no plan is perfect. But planning does focus you on the process and can avoid many of the pitfalls and obstacles that can get in the way.

How do you set and plan your goals?

Do you decide on what you want and then hope it will happen? Do you write them down? Do you formulate a plan of action? Do you know the critical elements of that plan?

My experience has shown me that less than 3 percent of people have a written plan. And I’ve seen studies where only about 3 percent of people ever achieve any significant success.

Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Does a clear, specific and well-thought-out plan guarantee success? No, it doesn’t. But I’d bet on the plan over the no-plan every time.

So if planning is so important, why don’t people do more of it? Here’s a few things that people let get in the way:

  • They’re not sold on the value
  • They aren’t sure how to do it
  • They’re too busy doing instead of thinking and planning
  • They think it’s too hard
  • They believe it’s dull and uninteresting

But none of these excuses match up to the many benefits of good planning.

One of the simplest and most powerful means of planning is to begin with the end in mind and work backwards. What will it take to create the outcome you envision? What has to happen to create the intended results?

Breaking the overall plan down into strategies and tactics creates more confidence. Having more confidence that your goal is achievable increases the likelihood you’ll take consistent action. Good planning allows you to determine and allocate resources and delegate certain components to move the project along faster.

A good plan enables you to be proactive, rather than reactive. It stimulates forward thinking, builds teamwork and expertise and helps establish and manage priorities.

Planning Resources:

What we came up with is a goal planning system. We then beta-tested it with our entire Diamond Club team and made further revisions. The result is The SuccessNet Goal Planner. And it’s a good one—a VERY good one.

We borrowed the best of the best, innovated, kept it simple and made it easy to use.

Here’s just some of what you’ll get from this system:

  • clarity on what you really want out of life
  • raise your belief as to what’s possible
  • more balance in your life
  • feel more confident and have more passion
  • prioritize your goals and work on what’s truly worthwhile
  • checklists to keep you on track, focused and consistent
  • access to other valuable resources
  • and much, much more . . .

You can learn more about the Goal Planner and get yours on this page . . .

However, for a limited time, The Goal Planner is included as a no-cost bonus when you order
The Best Life Navigator.

As I’ve often said, “Ideas are worthless. Intentions have no power. Plans are nothing . . . unless they are followed with action. Do it Now!”

Take Action

  1. Order The Best Life Navigator with Goal Planner
  2. Map out a plan for one of your top 3 goals
  3. Have someone you trust review it for clarity and effectiveness

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire
2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
5. Inadequate Support
6. Fear
7. Poor Tracking
8. Poor Disciplines, Bad Habits

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