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Become an Expert: Develop a Feel for Your Profession

Career Growth

For the adept poker player, no two hands are ever played the same way. A talented player may be dealt pocket aces early in the evening and a few hours later may play the same hand in a radically different manner. One time the player may get the hand early in the betting stage while another time they may be last to act. Early in the evening the other betters might be conservative with their chips, while later the same poker player may find himself with aggressive players who love to re-raise and make large pots. For tournament players, the amount of chips a player has can dictate the appropriate action. There are so many variables in play for a poker player that no book or Internet article can truly teach someone to become an expert. This expertise is developed by sitting at the table and developing a true feel for the game.

The fact that you cannot develop true expertise from a book does not stop the printing of hundreds of books on the subject of poker. It also does not mean that these books lack true value to the reader. In fact, when a novice poker player reads a properly written book on how to play poker, they can go from a bad to an average poker player very quickly. When the player properly applies what they have learned they can go from losing money to breaking even, perhaps even becoming a slightly profitable player. So while the reader may not become an expert overnight, they have expedited the process of becoming a winning player by taking the time to read what experts have written on the subject. They have learned the mechanics, some basic strategy, what hands to play and what hands to avoid, and even a few tips on how to read other players. This provides a foundation which the player can build on as they sit at the table and gain invaluable real-life experience.

Poker is not dissimilar from many entrepreneurial activities. If a person does not acquire any outside knowledge, and simply attempts to teach themselves how to play, then some rough waters await. There will be many proverbial losing nights and many hard lessons learned along the way. Eventually, if frustration does not cause them to quit, they might become profitable in their venture, but they took an unnecessarily long road to get there. The acquisition of the proper knowledge could enhance the chances of them staying in the game long enough to develop the expertise necessary to succeed.

Developing That Feel

Those that become experts in their chosen profession develop a true feel for what they are doing. Drawing from the poker analogy again, it is akin to a professional poker player’s sense of what cards their opponents have at all times. Through an opponent’s betting patterns, behavior, and demeanor, an expert poker player gets a true sense of whether an opponent’s hand is strong or weak. This ability truly cannot be taught and is only developed through careful observation and experience. The expert develops a feel for the game in general, and more specifically, for the particular game they are playing. When this occurs, the player can go from a slightly profitable player to a tremendously profitable player.

It is the same for those who choose to enter into real estate, the financial markets, or other entrepreneurial activities. Proper training can provide you the foundation you need in order to become successful. It can provide the knowledge necessary to kick-start you down a road of success that allows you to achieve all of your dreams. However, there are many nuances that await you in your particular market or the market conditions you find yourself in. To reach that next level of expertise, you need to develop a true feel for your profession, and more specifically, you need to develop a sense of how to succeed in your specific location under the circumstances you find yourself in.

Examples from Real Estate and the Financial Markets

While there are larger macro trends that can help you develop a sense of where real estate prices may be heading, those that understand their local markets have a tremendous advantage in the real estate game. When one knows where properties are selling and what prices they are selling for, how long properties stay on the market, the local job market, rates of population growth and decline, crime rates, and other factors in regards to their local market, they have gathered a tremendous amount of information. With this information, and the proper training, an individual can start to get a true sense or feel for how to succeed in their local market.

When an individual starts to apply this to potential deals, they will further gain a sense of what strategies are more likely to succeed in their market and how to successfully negotiate those deals. Negotiating in itself is an art form where a person can get a sense of when to ask for more for their property and when to ask for less in purchasing. In dealing with people, you need to develop a feel for understanding their needs and presenting deals that can work for both parties. None of this will develop overnight, but if you take the time to understand your local market and start applying your training, then you will start to develop this magical feel.

Those who want to succeed in the financial markets will benefit a tremendous amount from technical training on how to successfully trade. This training will require prospective traders to look at numerous charts for potential trade setups. In the beginning, traders often have to methodically go through a checklist to ensure that each potential trade setup meets the criteria for a high-probable trade. This can be a time-consuming process that limits the amount of charts a trader can look at in a given day. In time, an expert trader gets a feel for trading and the stocks they are following and develops a true sense of whether a trade setup is excellent or not. When a trader hits this point, they can simply look at a chart and in a few seconds make an accurate determination of whether a trade should be placed or not.

Developing this sense in your local real estate market, in negotiation, or in understanding stock charts does not come overnight. Similar to the poker player who has to put in thousands of hands of cards to develop a true feel for their craft, you must put work into your chosen profession in order to start gaining a true feel for what you are doing. Once you develop this feel, then the results you will obtain will truly be impressive.

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Escape the Rat Race

Rat Race

10 Things I Am Going to Do Today to Escape the Rat Race

Written by You

Today is going to be exceptional. I have wasted too many of my days on this earth not maximizing my potential, nor pursuing my dreams to the fullest. I want to desperately escape the Rat Race but far too often I have not acted as if that was truly a priority in my life. That will not be the case today. At the end of today I am going to grant myself a moment to look in the mirror and commend myself for a job well done. This day is going to be different and here are the things I am going to do today to make it so.

Today I will treat every human being I encounter with respect, dignity, and kindness. Too often in the past I have burnt bridges and failed to develop relationships with others. Not today. Today I will approach others with a smile on my face, a cheer in my voice, and a welcoming hello. I will be an active listener and polite and courteous in all respects. I will truly treat others how I wish to be treated.

Today I will draw on the inspiration of others. I will take a moment today to find a motivational quote or spend a few brief moments reading the story of someone else’s successful life. Undoubtedly I will encounter setbacks today and I want to have a re-energizing force on hand that I can use for inspiration.

Today I will turn off the television. Not only will I turn off the television but today I will also put my other hobbies aside. Perhaps I will take some time tomorrow or this weekend to pursue these pleasures, but not today. I do know that once I escape the Rat Race I will have plenty of time to spend as I see fit. Today I am going to focus on building the foundation of my life. There will be ample opportunity in the future to harvest the fruits of my labor but today I am going to focus on planting the seeds.

Today I replace procrastination with action. There has been something on my to-do list for quite some time. I didn’t do it yesterday. I didn’t do it the day before. Unfortunately, it has been on my list of things to do for far too long. I am tired of the stress it causes me and the bad habits it has been reinforcing. Today it gets eliminated from my list. In fact, the first thing I am going to do today is to take care of this thing. Naturally I don’t want to do it today, just like I didn’t want to do it yesterday, but when I go to sleep tonight it will be done.

Today I am going to add one person to my network. Robert Kiyosaki said “The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else just looks for work.” I have long recognized the wisdom in this statement but I have not dedicated the time to building my own network. Today I will reach out and find a way to add one person to my network. Perhaps this will be an old colleague, or perhaps I will seek out a new acquaintance. The only thing I know for sure is that at the end of the day I will have added one person to my network.

Today I am going to seize opportunity. At some point today an opportunity will present itself and I will not hesitate to act when it does. I am not sure in what form it will come, nor what time of day it will manifest itself, but when it does occur I will take advantage of it. In the past I have let fear and uncertainty prevent me from taking advantage of these opportunities but that will not be the case today. Today I am feeling frisky and bold, and I will seize that opportunity when it is presented.

Today I am going to put my education to work for me. I have studied, taken classes, read books, and become educated on various entrepreneurial activities. I do not have a perfect understanding of the material yet but I will start developing my expertise though action. I am aware that I may make mistakes today but I am not afraid of mistakes. I will end today with a real life experience that I can use as a building block for future days.

Today I will develop a new habit. It may take multiple days to reinforce a new habit but today will be the beginning of that good habit. I am tired of being a creature of bad habits and will start replacing those bad habits with good ones that can allow me to maximize my day.

Today I will never stop. From the moment I wake up to that moment I look in the mirror at the end of the day, I will not stop. In the past I have been the master of spurts, hours where I would accomplish something before I took long chunks of time off. That is absolutely not going to occur today. I may not be able to dedicate every single moment today to escaping the Rat Race as I have personal and family responsibilities that take priority, but forward motion will be my mantra today.

Today I will let those important to me know how much I cherish them. I am grateful for the support and love those around me have shown in my quest to escape the Rat Race. At times it has meant sacrifice and I truly am grateful for all they do to support me. I will let them know at every opportunity of my gratitude and love for them and their importance in my life.

I have no idea what tomorrow brings and I am tired of dwelling on the successes and failures of the past. Today is my day. Today I will make a difference. At the end of today I will be one day closer to escaping the Rat Race.

Overcoming Adversity

Next Man Up Quote

Overcoming Adversity – Next Man Up

For National Football League fans across the world, the month of August is a time of excitement and anticipation. Training camps come to a close, preseason games begin, and week one of the NFL season is just around the corner. Fans of their respective teams passionately watch to see how new free agent acquisitions and drafted and undrafted rookies perform next to the tried and true veterans on their favorite teams. No matter how badly their team performed the previous year, fans dream during the month of August that their team will come together and make the playoffs. Diehard fans have already calculated what their team needs to do to win the Super Bowl and bring home the Lombardi Trophy in January.

During the month of August, events often occur that can dampen the enthusiasm of even the most passionate fan. Normally these events come in the form of injuries. Football is a very physical game and unfortunately, from time to time, takes its toll in the form of season-ending injuries to players. 2013 has been particularly brutal as players such as Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Bryan Bulaga, Dan Koppen, Danario Alexander and Jared Veldheer will miss most, if not all, of the season due to injury. There are numerous other players who have or will suffer similar fates.

In the NFL, coaches are routinely available to the media. In the hours and days that follow a serious injury to one of their starting players, reporters often ask the head coach a variety of questions regarding the severity of the injury, the significance of losing that player, and what the plans are to replace that player in their starting lineup. After going through the details of the particulars, NFL coaches will often simply utter the phrase, “Next Man Up.

Next Man Up is a powerful mantra in the NFL.  Next Man Up signifies that no matter what happens to our team, there will be no excuses. No matter what happens, our team will strive forward to win games and pursue a Super Bowl Trophy. Next Man Up means that no matter how valuable the player that got injured was, the replacing player will be expected to perform at a level of excellence. Next Man Up claims that we have a game to play this week and despite the recent adversity we are going to win that game.

There are countless examples in the National Football League where teams have accomplished great things despite facing tremendous adversity. Even with the most important position – quarterback – teams have lost their starter and have gone on to win the Super Bowl. In 1979, Vince Ferragamo took over after Pat Haden was injured and led the Rams to Victory. Jim Plunkett did the same the following year after starter Dan Pastorini broke his leg. Ten years later, Jeff Hostetler led the Giants to a Super Bowl victory after a Phil Simms injury.

Teams in the NFL have a clear goal: make the playoffs and then win the Super Bowl. Next Man Up serves as the rallying cry for each team to make sure that they stay focused on that goal whenever adversity occurs. Much like life, NFL coaches know that adversity is not just likely, but almost guaranteed to occur on some level. Next Man Up ensures that when that adversity occurs, it will not be used as an excuse by them or their players.

Next Man Up in Your Entrepreneurial Endeavors

Just like the NFL, you can count on adversity and setbacks to occur in your chosen entrepreneurial field. Do not be surprised when adversity occurs as almost everyone that ever succeeded in business has to overcome it on some level. What separates those who succeed from those that fail is often simply the ability to overcome adversity when it happens. While they may not use a mantra such as Next Man Up, they do evoke a similar mindset that allows them to persevere no matter what is thrown at them.

This mindset forces them to look for solutions to problems rather than dwell on excuses. These individuals have a goal and they know that no matter what occurs, they will succeed and reach that goal. Those with this mindset know that adversity is just the cost of doing business and a small hurdle to overcome on their way to success.

Real estate investors with a Next Man Up mindset brush off setbacks that come their way:

  • When an offer is turned down, they simply look for a new property to make another offer.
  • When they try and unsuccessfully negotiate a lease options deal, they look for a new opportunity knowing that success will occur.
  • When they overestimate the amount of repairs that might be needed for a rehab project, they look for solutions to their problem.
  • When they attend a tax liens auction and fail to purchase a lien, they find out when the next auction is taking place and plan on attending.

Stock Traders with a Next Man Up mindset push through adversity in its many forms:

  • When a trade doesn’t work out, they simply look for the next good trade setup to occur and pull the trigger.
  • When days go by and no trade setups occur, they wake up the next day eager to peruse through their charts without worrying whether it will be a “wasted” day.
  • When a particular strategy is not producing results, they examine the strategy to see if they are executing it wrong but are not afraid of using it again if their testing tells them to do so.

There are countless ways things can go wrong. However, a Next Man Up mindset will allow you to face all forms of adversity and overcome the obstacles that come your way.  If you are a NFL fan, you can panic if your starting quarterback goes down as you have no control and must sit there and watch and hope. However, in your life you have total control and the stakes are too important to not be prepared to overcome anything that life throws at you.

Rich Dad Education: Ask Questions

Ask Questions

Rich Dad Education: Ask Questions

Introductory courses in college are often filled with wide-eyed freshmen that bring with them various levels of knowledge regarding the subject matter. For example, in an Intro to Philosophy course, you might have students who read the classics in a high school honors course. On the other hand, other students might have little to no background studying similar material. Professors who teach these introductory courses are tasked with imparting their knowledge and expertise to this wide array of students. If the professor succeeds, then the students who choose to do so can build on the knowledge they acquired in the introductory class in subsequent courses. Students who are only begrudgingly taking the course to fill a general requirement can still leave with a basic understanding of the subject matter.

To help increase the chances of success, a professor needs to gauge whether or not students truly understand the material that is being taught. While tests and essays can be a measure to help identify those that comprehend the material, good professors often use their lectures as a tool to not only impart knowledge, but also to gauge comprehension. During lectures, professors routinely pause and ask their students if they have any questions. It does little good to lecture for 15, 20, or 30 minutes if the students do not understand what is being taught. When the professor asks intro students if there are any questions, the response is usually the same. The class becomes silent.

While there is an occasional inquisitive or passionate student who can’t wait to engage in class, the remaining students will start to fidget in their seats.  In an effort to avoid eye contact, students will start to look at their textbook, turning pages in an effort to appear to be busy. A few will look at the clock. Others will quickly put their cell phones away or start browsing on their laptop. The evasive actions will be varied and plentiful, all with the collective goal of escaping this moment of silence unscathed.

Students often fail to take advantage of a professor’s offer to answer questions for many reasons. Rarely is it because the student has a perfect understanding of the course material. Sometimes the student simply doesn’t know what questions to ask. Oftentimes it is because, despite being confused on a particular point, the student is afraid or hesitant to ask the question.  Some may be shy, others might lack confidence, while many simply don’t want to look dumb in front of their peers. Ironically, many of their peers may have the exact same question, or need clarification on a similar point.  Regardless, the professor is met with silence far too often in these situations, despite constantly uttering the phrase, “There are no dumb questions.”

Are adults learning new material differently from college freshmen?

Rich Dad Education offers online and live trainings in which adults can greatly expand their investing skill set in a wide range of specialized investing fields. In addition, Rich Dad Education offers mentoring services, a tremendous customer support system, and hotlines to assist students maximize their educational experience.  In these various educational settings, students can acquire the knowledge necessary to transform their lives, escape the Rat Race, and fulfill their potential. A student simply needs to acquire and apply the knowledge, and then success ensues. The first step in this process is the acquisition of the proper education in the chosen investing field. The first pitfall in the acquisition of this knowledge is one shared with college freshmen: the refusal or hesitancy to ask questions.

Adults entering a learning environment have several advantages compared to college freshmen. They bring wisdom and real-life experience with them. Shyness is often a thing of the past as life has bred confidence in their own ability. Rich Dad students are often very accomplished in their work and this previous success can instill confidence to accomplish their new goals and objectives. Adults have honed their interpersonal skills over the years so they can communicate in a much deeper and meaningful level in a learning environment.

Adults entering a new learning environment also have several disadvantages compared to college freshmen. Most college freshmen have been in school consecutively for the majority of their lives. Many adults who take Rich Dad Education trainings have not been in an educational environment for years, if not decades.  Successful adults also tend to be a tad more prideful than the average college freshman. Instead of asking a question when they are confused, they simply tell themselves that they will figure it out by themselves later.

When adults are asked by their mentor or instructor if they understand a point, they may simply nod their head in agreement, whether or not they actually do. Out of courtesy, adults may simply not want to slow down the pace of learning. Perhaps they still don’t want to look dumb in front of their peers. They don’t maximize their educational opportunity to the fullest by simply saying, “No, I don’t quite get that point. Can you explain it again?”

Questions are Critical

It is truly important to believe that there aren’t dumb questions. As you begin to expand your investing skill set, you will be exposed to information and knowledge that you may not have known existed. The fact that you have questions while you learn this material is nothing to be embarrassed about, it is just a natural part of the process. The quickest way to accelerate the learning process is to ask questions when you have them.

Rich Dad Education has brought together elite trainers and mentors and combined them with a world-class customer service and educational support system for one purpose: to increase the financial literacy of humanity. Through Rich Dad Education’s educational offerings you can put yourself in a position to change your life. Never let the hesitancy to ask a question slow down this process as you owe it to yourself to maximize all of the resources that Rich Dad Education has available for you.

Vince Lombardi and Game Day Moments

Vince Lombardi Success

Vince Lombardi & Success

Vince Lombardi is perhaps the most famous coach in American sports history. In 1959 he took over as coach and general manager of the lowly Green Bay Packers and in a few short years created a football dynasty. Vince Lombardi became so respected and admired that the championship trophy that is handed out to the winner of the Super Bowl is aptly named the Lombardi trophy. Recently, Lombardi was remembered on the 100th anniversary of his birth. This occasion gives us time to reflect and celebrate the life of a man, not for his wins and losses on the gridiron, but for the example he set and wisdom he passed on to future generations.

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” ~Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi has many famous quotes attributed to him. When you read a collection of Lombardi quotes, a picture is painted of a man that was relentlessly driven, was willing to make sacrifices to obtain success, and would persevere through all hardships to achieve his goal. As a football coach, each week that goal was to obtain a victory on Sunday. However, Lombardi knew that the game was never won or lost on Sunday but was decided in the days that led up to that game. Because of this, Lombardi attacked each week with relentless vigor as he planned, prepared, and put in the work that would lead to victory on Sunday.

On Sundays, football success is measured through wins and losses on game day. As real estate investors, financial market traders, and entrepreneurs, you also have your game-day moments where you put your knowledge and skills to the test. These game-day moments might be placing a trade, negotiating a real estate deal, or making a presentation to investors. Similar to football, how you prepare for these game-day moments will have a tremendous impact on how successful you are when the moment arrives.  How Vince Lombardi prepared for his game day can provide a tremendous amount of insight and guidance on how you should approach preparation for your own game-day moment.

 Monday

 “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” ~ Vince Lombardi

On the Monday after a game, Lombardi would bring the team together and review what went right and what went wrong in the game the day before. Regardless of whether the team won or lost, he would obsess about every detail that was not performed flawlessly in the previous game. He realized that perfection was not obtainable, but that in order to become great one must relentlessly pursue perfection. By identifying the mistakes that were made, and working persistently to correct these mistakes, his team would be better prepared the next time they hit the field.

 Regardless of our chosen entrepreneurial field, we will make mistakes from time to time. One of the greatest strengths of Rich Dad Education’s elite trainings and mentoring programs is that they are taught by experienced trainers and mentors. Through their years of experience, they can help you avoid some of the common mistakes that investors make, provide guidance, and help identify your areas of weakness. This guidance leaves you better prepared to succeed in your chosen investing area.

While your game-day moments are likely to occur multiple times during a week, you should take the time to reflect on your performance. Evaluate how you performed at these key moments and attempt to identify areas in which you did not perform flawlessly. Since you are judging your performance by an incredibly high standard, you are likely to find many flaws. Realize this is an opportunity to identify areas where you can improve to be the best investor and entrepreneur that you can possibly be. If you beat yourself up too much, remember what Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

Tuesday through Friday

 “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombardi

During the week, Lombardi would implement his game plan and put his players through a practice routine that would make grown men cry. There were never moments where he let his team simply go through the motions. Time was limited and every moment had to be maximized to increase the chances of success. Plays were run over and over and over. Players were put to their physical extreme each day so they could have the best chance possible to succeed the following Sunday. Hard work was a given and the players were expected to treat every moment of every practice like it was a game-day moment.

Too many novice investors feel that they are entitled to success with even a minimal effort. They think that if they read a book, or take a class, then escaping the Rat Race should be a given. Obtaining the proper knowledge to succeed is a critical component to success – but it is not the only one. The hard work you put it, and seriousness in which you approach your chosen entrepreneurial activity, will often be the determinant of whether you succeed or not.

As Lombardi said, it is not just about putting in hard work and practice. If you truly want to “catch excellence,” then you will take your study and preparation very seriously. Each time you sit down to study or practice a technique, approach it with the goal of becoming perfect at what you are studying. If there is something you don’t quite understand, then take the time to dig deeper until you do understand. If you are practicing a stock trade, then do it time and time again until it becomes second nature to you. If you are going to make a presentation to potential investors, then take the time to make your presentation perfect. At times this may grow tedious, but it is a small price to pay for the potential rewards that await you.

 Saturday

Lombardi made his players pay the price during the week but on Saturdays, as the game was approaching, he loosened up and even joked around with his players. Lombardi knew that his team had used their time wisely in the previous days and was fully prepared for the coming game. He wanted his players to play loose and be confident that the work they had just put in would pay off. As you put in your own hard work, you will gain this same level of confidence.

One could analyze the life of Lombardi and argue that to him winning was secondary compared to the dedication, perseverance, and discipline that went into the preparation process. He even commented that he regretted saying “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” as that wasn’t a true reflection of how he felt. Lombardi knew that success and winning were simply the inevitable outcomes of this process. If you equate escaping the Rat Race with winning, then focusing on how to prepare for your game-day moments will greatly increase your chances of escape.

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