We’re in the midst of the worst global economic downturn in decades. Do you see a problem or an opportunity? If you had a millionaire mind, you’d say, “Neither! I see a million opportunities!”
Contrary to popular belief, there are still tons of opportunities to be found, so long as you’re looking in the right places. Business opportunities abound, but you may have to change your mindset in order to achieve success. The key to prosperity is how you choose to approach and react to the current environment.
Even for the most optimistic among us, it’s hard not to lose hope when the media tells us that we’re in a depression. Where is the motivation to succeed, much less to excel? Why, all of a sudden, does the target of becoming wealthy seem to be completely out of reach for the average person?
The truth is, it’s not. In any economy, good or bad, there are people who make money and people who lose money. This dynamic doesn’t just disappear when things get a little tough. The real question is, which economy is struggling—the general economy or your personal economy?
Think about it: You have your own views on life, your own belief systems, standards and results. You look at things differently than anyone else—why wouldn’t you have an equally unique economy? Everyone has his or her own economy.
There are three elements to be aware of to ensure that your personal economy does well, regardless of how the majority fares: mindset, cash flow and streamlined business.
Set yourself up for success by creating a mindset that focuses on opportunities instead of problems. What you focus on expands, so if you want to have more opportunities, focus on opportunities. Don’t get hung up on obstacles, barriers or all the bad news you see in the media.
Change your thinking and look at things from the other side: As stock prices decline and property values plummet, everything is on sale. If you bought stocks or real estate two or three years ago, you almost certainly paid a premium. Today, everything, from real estate to the stock market, is on sale, and these are sales you don’t want to miss.
When this current economic meltdown began, Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, said, “This is the day I’ve been waiting for the last 10 years.”
"There are three elements to be aware of to ensure that your personal economy does well, regardless of how the majority fares: mindset, cash flow and streamlined business"
The law of duality states that what goes up must come down. Eventually, what is on sale now will rise and prices will go back up, which makes today’s climate a great place to invest for the future. A lot of people are losing money right now because everything they sell is at a loss. But look at the flipside: If a seller is taking a loss, the buyer is getting a discount.
Warren Buffett has also been quoted saying that when everyone is greedy, you should be fearful, and when everyone is fearful, you should be greedy. True to his word, while so many others are frozen with fear, he’s taken $10 billion and put it into just two companies: Goldman Sachs and General Electric. I’m not telling you to rush out and do the same, but I will tell you that that’s how someone with a millionaire mind operates.
Now let’s look at cash fl ow. If you are looking at investing, you fi rst need to arm yourself with a sound understanding of investment principles and strategies. Avoid going strictly for asset appreciation, and look instead at creating positive cash flow. Interested in stocks? Find ones offering the prospect of excellent dividends. Considering real estate? Look at commercial options, such as buying part of a plaza or small retail mall with strong tenants who serve necessities.
When investing in real estate for cash fl ow, whether the value of the real estate goes up or down has little effect, because the goal isn’t to sell it, at least not in the short term. It doesn’t matter if the property appreciates $1 or $5 million or if it goes down $3 million. If the tenants pay their rent, that all-important revenue comes in every month.
We’ve looked at mindset and investments—now let’s talk streamlined business. It’s never a bad idea to start your own business—as long as you do your homework, follow your heart and commit yourself 100 percent to the challenge. Be mindful of the kind of business you’re operating. If your market includes high net worth individuals and you have an expensive product, you’ll probably be OK. Most of the people I know who have a high net worth aren’t overly affected by this downturn; in fact, they’re the ones buying what everyone else is selling.
Another relatively safe type of business is one that caters to people’s needs. Remember that your business is competing with people’s disposable income. As people have less disposable income and lose confidence, they quite naturally focus on necessities, not luxuries. For example, people still need to eat, but they might not go out to restaurants as often as they did a couple of years ago.
Take this as an opportunity to set your business up to be failproof. Be flexible—trim the fat off your business and make it run in a way that will allow you not only to survive, but to perform well even if revenue decreases.
The most important thing is to stay positive—focus on increasing your sales, and, if worse comes to worst, you will have set yourself up to survive. If, for example, your revenue decreases by 40 percent, then you will need to cut your expenses by 40 percent or more, if possible. The result is that your business will become more efficient, more viable and more sustainable in the long run.
Success is all about attitude, knowledge and the willingness to learn and grow. Set yourself up to prosper by taking an objective look at your business, your investments and your mindset, and make the changes that are necessary for you. Look for opportunities, and get involved with people who are doing well; model these people and make it a point to study their thought processes and habits. Think rich! If you change your mindset and build one that supports your success, your personal economy won’t have a choice: It will have to thrive.
T. Harv Eker is an author, success trainer, and founder and president of Peak Potentials Training. His books include the No. 1 New York Times Best-Seller Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and his international bestseller, SpeedWealth. Eker also offers the Millionaire Mind Intensive, a three-day seminar that helps people take control of their minds and nurture self-empowering thoughts.