T. Harv Eker taught me that if you are not doing as well as you want, it means there is still something you don’t know. We all know people who are struggling to make ends meet. I have mentored individuals who fall into this category. Without exception, I have found three commonalities among them. Each has their own unique circumstances and were employed in very different industries. But as I drilled down into what the real problems were, I found similarities.
- A sense of entitlement
- They are done with school and done with learning
- Letting their ego get in the way of getting ahead
Let me expand on this.
I found that all three had an entitlement mentality. For example, they only buy new cars, even when they could not actually afford them. They would not even consider a used car that can be had for thousands of dollars less. Each financed the entire purchase with borrowed money. It did not matter that they did not have the funds to purchase a new car; they wanted it and put it on credit. Each had multiple credit cards with large balances. They would pay the minimum monthly balance and make additional purchases monthly. They all felt they were entitled to treat themselves well. They ate out frequently, enjoyed excursions to bars, and drank expensive brands of vodka. They were an impressive group. By all outward appearances, they were doing well.
The late Tom Stanley would describe their economic situation as “big hats and skinny cattle.” You see, they had no equity anywhere. They were all in hock up to their ears. They had no investments, no retirement accounts and no reserve cash for emergencies. Each lived for the weekly payday. Looking back, they made very little progress with their lives.
Not one of them had read a single book in over two years. School was done and there was no need to acquire new knowledge or skills. They did not seek to improve themselves or move upward in their respective careers. It was as if they were stuck in neutral. They watched over 20 hours of sports each week. They did not sign up for a single workshop, conference, or course. They did not spend any money to improve their situation. Self-improvement was not important to them.
They looked down on people who worked on themselves, who tried to improve their situations. The late Jim Rohn said, “You have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” The best thing I was able to accomplish over my time with them was to convince them to put their ego aside and improve themselves. I shared with them something Brian Tracy said, “If life is like school, what classes are you taking? If you answered none, you are in trouble.”
You are responsible for your life – not your spouse, your boss, or the government. The quality of your decision-making, how you spend your time, and what you choose to focus on will determine the quality of your life and the success you will enjoy.
Copyright 2015 by Rodger A. Friedman
Forging Bonds of Steel, LLC