Utilize Intangible Assets

Posted February 5, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Business Success, Self-Improvement Success

This is by far one of the most important factors that any person must take advantage of. Although intangible assets have no physical value to them, they carry enormous weight. Intangible assets are the reason why people are successful. It is what makes a person come from rags into riches. Yet because we do not see any real assets such as money in our hands from these benefits, we tend to overlook their real potential in making our lives better.

Time

Many things can be associated with time, but for now let us take this example. Imagine that you’d like to invest some money into a mutual fund of your choice that you know might perform well. You still know that there is risk involved, time for research, and the paperwork of opening an account. You dream of doing all this, but you are stuck with your 9-5 job making $40,000.00 a year with two boys at home and you can barely pay the mortgage. You know you want a better life, but you put it off to the point where you think that it probably isn’t a good idea anymore. You think that you should just put it into a CD, Bond, or something easy to set up.

So what do you do instead of putting in work? You go to the beach, eat, sit around and watch t.v., and take long naps. Does this sound like you? It’s hard to do all the things involved with doing a certain task and no guarantee of a return. What if that person just did exactly what he thought of doing? It frightens people sometimes because they don’t have a boss who is paying them to research stocks, and it’s taking time out of their weekend. If they are paid $20/hr and they research the market for 5 hours each weekend, that’s $100.00 of their time that they aren’t getting paid for. This is what I call an opportunity cost. One must outweigh these small sacrifices in the way in order to obtain better results.

Some of you may have heard this before, but imagine that we are given $86,400.00 each day. At the end of the day the unused portion goes to zero and the following day we start with another $86,400.00. What would we do with all that money? We’d spend it all especially since we get $86,400.00 again the next day right? Well, we really are given 86,400. 86,400 seconds each day. 86,400 seconds each day to put our ideas and knowledge to good use. Any excess time spend lying around doing nothing is a loss in our journey to become great.

Don’t value $100 bills more than time. Money is what happens when you sacrifice. Money is what happens when you use what you know. Money is what happens when you put time to use. Don’t forget that.

Application of Knowledge

“Knowledge is power.” Is it really? Depends if you are using it to the best of your ability or just letting it rot away in your head. What happens when you apply knowledge? Wonders. Teachers, professors, mentors, tutors, trainers, instructors, and coaches are paid because they share their knowledge. People invest in them to obtain a better return on life.

That’s not all. You know who applied knowledge well? Millionaires. Billionaires. They knew something no one else knew. Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. What if Google’s founders kept their secret to themselves or never took the initiative to create their empire? What if they just slacked off and watched t.v. all day? They wouldn’t enjoy their $16.6B networth right now i’ll tell you that. Not only that, they wouldn’t have been able to help all those who use their site daily.

Mistakes

This is one of the most overlooked intangible assets we are given everyday. The gift of mistakes. We must understand and accept that mistakes are used as evaluation tool in determining where we stand. Imagine if mistakes did not exist. People would be ignorant in every aspect of their lives. They would think that every action they did was correct, and there would be complete chaos. What makes mistakes so valuable is the fact that we learn from them. Instead of making a costly mistake twice, we avoid that second mistake by learning from the first one.

Want to obtain the benefit of mistakes by not making any of your own? Learn from others’ mistakes. This is a technique used by the successful. If you aren’t sure if you should go into a certain endeavor, learn from the people who have been there already. Ask what not to do and what to avoid. It will save you time, money, and frustration.

Use these assets each day; they will certainly contribute to your accelerated growth and success.

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Know WHY You Are Saving!

Posted February 1, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Financial Success

This is probably why a large portion of people who attempt to “save” money fail time and again. They don’t see the purpose. They get distracted by the small material goods in the way of the bigger picture. I bet we could all listen to some inspiring audio CDs about saving money and get that temporary motivational high. What’s going to happen after it goes away? All those “wants” flood your mind and you are back to square one with bad habits. So how do we deal with this?

Simple. Know your purpose. Know why you continue to save. As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Why do kids just spend on the ice cream man, movie tickets, or new shoes? And don’t even get me started with TEENAGERS! They think they own the world with mommy and daddy’s allowance money. I know that I am guilty of splurging here and there during my teenage years, but I quickly got on the right foot after I discovered WHY.

The REASON of doing things is so powerful sometimes. Imagine your parents telling you as a child to “save for the rainy days”. My question was always…WHY? Why do we need to save? What’s in it for me? Now we all heard the same things. We should save so we have enough money for college. We save because we need enough money when we are married. We save money so we have enough for retirement. Do you think a 10-year old really gives a damn about retirement? Show me a kid like that and i’ll treat you out to Lawry’s Prime Rib in LA. I recently went on a shopping spree a bought a Gucci wallet, Burberry shirt, and new golf clubs. I returned them all. Why? I forgot that I needed to save for business projects I promised myself I’d look into. Why? Because it would make me money. Why? Because i’d be helping people.

You (as well as the person you are trying to convince) must know purpose behind action. You know what you’re doing, and now you need to figure out a GOOD reason why. Whatever the reason may be, it must be very effective to the point where no material thing will get in your way. Once you have a true purpose, things get ten times easier. Save money, not for the weak excuse of “just saving”, but for some bigger and better thing that you won’t take your eyes off of. Once you figure out the Why’s, the obstacles will diminish.

Coinstar Machine vs. Coin Sorter: Which one is better?

Posted January 25, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Financial Success

You all know the green Coinstar machine at your nearest Albertson’s, Ralphs, or Vons supermarket. It’s really easy to use and it gives you the option of giving it to charity or cashing out. The problem is, Coinstar charges 8.9% for every dollar that’s sorted by the machine. If you feed the machine $10.00, then it takes 89 cents. Doesn’t seem like a big deal does it? Well if your going to give the machine that huge Arrowhead jug of coins you’ve been saving since you were 4 years old, you’re gonna feel the pinch.

The solution to this is to just simply use a coin sorter right? It’s not that easy. Those coin sorters may be at cheap prices, but you need to figure out how long you will use it for and how reliable the product is. Also, you still need to refill it with the paper wrappers that hold your dimes, nickels, pennies, and quarters. You can go on www.ebay.com, www.amazon.com, www.gadgetbargain.com, and there should be other sites as well. They range from $16.00 to $200.00, so if you do this often you probably want to go with a better quality model to ensure that your machine will be good for years to come.

Well, let’s ask this question: How long will it take me to break even if I purchase a Coin Sorter?

Let’s do the math shall we? I know you hate me because i’m working your minds, but let’s say a decent machine is $50.00. This is very reasonable. (Dollar amount it takes to break even) * (8.9%) = $50.00. If you do all the algebra and crap it amounts to $561.80. So in order for that machine to be worth buying you need to at least feed the Coinstar machine $561.80 in coins. Do you use it that often? If you know you don’t and use Coinstar sparingly, then don’t bother. For those who throw change in a jar everyday, then investing in a Coin Sorter should be put into consideration. After all, after the $561.80 point, the coin sorter will pay for itself and you’ll never have to worry about that ugly fee ever again. Make sense? I hope this articles is of assistance to you, so good luck to you and put that money to good use!

P.S. If you want to change some numbers around in the formula because the figures vary depending on where you live, here you go:

Break-Even Amount = Price of Coin Sorter / Percent Charged for Using Coinstar Machine

Gain Confidence and Talk to That Crush of Yours!

Posted January 23, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Relationships

I know you’ve had a secret crush on someone at one point in time. You just want to talk with them, laugh with them, and enjoy their company. I bet you’ve even pictured yourself and that person holding hands, going out on a date, and being able call them yours. Then after you came down from La La Land you actually go up to them, you choke up and mess up your first impression. Now your kicking yourself in the ass because you screwed up. You tell yourself that you should have written something down on paper and memorized it so you wouldnt’ve looked so dumb. Stop your wishful thinking. Get real.

I have a simple method for you to use so that you don’t act all retarded again when the time comes. Want to know what it is? I bet you dooooooo!…ok well enough pulling your foot. Here it is.

First off, you can’t just go up to someone and expect yourself to act all “Rico Suave” in front of them. You’ve never been put in that situation before. So what now? You must practice. You must prep for the “test” by doing some sort of practice. How? Talk to ugly friends.

An example of an Ugly Friend

Wait, did I just say ugly friends? Hell yea I did, now listen up. You only have one shot at making a great impression as the cool cat you always wanted to be portrayed as by that certain someone. So you must practice. Go up to Big Bertha and start talking to her. It’ll be easy because you’ll relax, be yourself, and may even get a few laughs. Practice until you know that you are truly ready. Don’t try and “think” that your ready because if you screw up (again), that’s your bad. Also, don’t talk to a person who might have a crush on you. Don’t be a butthole and lead someone on. That’s just messed up. Talk to someone, then the next day another person, then another, until you’ve got your communication skills down. After that, you should be ready. Simple as that. If it takes you weeks or months, then so be it. That could be your future life companion, so make sure you are good to go when that day comes.

If you are really that shallow, then fine, talk to someone who isn’t so bad looking, or anyone of the opposite sex that you don’t have something for. After reading this I think it would be good to read my article titled Perfect Practice Makes Perfect under Self-Improvement. With all this being said, good luck to you and may you catch that special someone real soon!

Little Things add up to Big Things

Posted January 22, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Financial Success

There’s got to be something you buy everyday. I know food is a great example, but that is more of a necessity. Let’s take coffee each morning. Every morning Suan goes to Starbucks and orders a tall, non-fat gingerbread latte (I think that’s what it is). She pays $3.65 each morning. In this day and age, $3.65 is like 50 cents lying around. But think of $3.65 added up each day for 1 year. Let’s say she works Monday-Saturday each week, and she works for 40 weeks each year. If she buys coffee before work each day for a year, how much is that? $3.65 x 6 days a week x 40 weeks = 876.00/year! And after 10 years that’s $8,760.00! Have you ever thought of it that way? I’m pretty sure you have, but disregarded it because you pay in almost microscopic installments.

Let’s approach this at a different angle. What if I were to tell Suan that if she pays me $800.00 on January 1st, 2009, I will give her one cup of her non-fat gingerbread latte each morning before work? She would probably say “Hell No, Sir. Hell no.” Now why would she say that? I’m giving her a $76.00 discount aren’t I?

Don’t be an ignorant person. You can’t just view something from one point of view. If you only check if the front door is locked before you go to sleep, you might get robbed from the back. Does that make sense?

Not only does this cup of coffee add up, but it’s expensive! If you would never pay $876.00 a year for coffee, consider not buying a cup of coffee so frequently because that’s how much you’re really paying. Try and skip a day without coffee, or just make your own at home. I mentioned food in the very first sentence. If you buy a Super-Sized extra value meal from McDonald’s, order a medium or a small sized meal (and it won’t kill you as quickly, i guess). Brown-bagging-it is not such a bad idea either. Imagine if that $3.65 was the cost of lunch each day and not coffee. You save $876.00 each year by bringing food from home, and $3.65 isn’t even close to the true cost of dining out for lunch each day. Don’t disregard the few dollars that you take out of your wallet each time and just forget about it. It adds up big, REAL big.

Don’t Forget the Hidden Costs!

Posted January 22, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Financial Success

Have you ever bought something that you saved up so long for, and found that you couldn’t afford having it months later? It sucks. My friend recently bought a 6-month old, full bred male golden retreiver…if you know anything about full bred puppies, they cost an arm and a leg. He saved up for 7 months and got his $1,400.00 to buy it. Little did he know he was in for a surprise. He loved the puppy, but guess what happened? Yes, he ran out of money. He never really thought of the costs of food, pee pads, a collar and leash, brush, obedience school, license, time taken from other activities, and a whole lot more. He soon became broke after a few short months. Luckily, he was saved by his parents who received the liability of paying for all that (poor guys), and if it wasn’t for them I don’t know what would’ve happen.

That’s a great (yet sad) example of how not allocating hidden costs will ruin you financially, and this is only on a small scale! Think of those people who buy things everyday yet do not allocate for how much it will not benefit them in the future. Let’s take a look at another example.

I have a 21 year old friend who recently bought a BMW 5-Series (530 to be exact). He currently works at a karaoke joint making 15/hr. The car costed him $50,000, he put 10% down, and he currently pays 500/month. He’s been paying this for 3 months. He then bought 20-inch Beyern rims which he now pays for at 100/month. Add this all up. $5,000 Down payment + $6000/year in installments + $1200/year for rims = $12,200 in payments for the first year, and $7,200/year after that…for the car ALONE. Guess what he forgot about? Maintenance. Tires, Oil Changes, Wheel alignment and wheel balance, brakes, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, gasoline, possibility of an accident, and sooo much more. He basically bought a $100,000 car that he’s slowly paying for. His little $18,000/year job doesn’t help much does it? He can barely eat! What if he wasn’t living in his parents house?

Remeber, if you are going to purchase any tangible good, please don’t forget all the factors mentioned. When I buy something, I always double the cost of the good in my head to allocate for all these costs. If a cell phone was going to cost me $100.00 I would think $200.00 because of games, internet, going over minutes or text, etc., and that doesn’t even include the plan.

If you are a young guy like me, don’t go out a buy the finer things in life. Stop it with that champagne taste you have when you only have a beer budget. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it to show off. Pretty soon people will forget about it, the item will depreciate, and you’ll be stuck paying for a good you don’t even want anymore. Spend your money wisely, and don’t forget to consider these expenses.

Dreamer vs. Doer

Posted January 21, 2008 by oproldan
Categories: Self-Improvement Success

I firmly believe that knowledge is power. Knowledge has no price tag on it. It can make a homeless, uneducated man into a wealthy scholar. But what is knowledge if it isn’t put to use? Value everything that is taught to you by family, friends, and past experiences, but weep if they rot away in your mind, only to be digested and not acted upon.

Do you know what the number one difference between a dreamer and a doer is? The intention of achieving greatness. A dreamer can visualize a successful business, and coming home to a big house after a long day of work. On Friday, the dreamer tells their spouse to pack up because they are going on a carribean cruise. When they come back from the ship, they drive home from the port to their big house in Beverly Hills, CA in their Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG. The dreamer feels so confident that their great business idea will work. After they have their 5 minute day dream of what could be, they go back to their old habits and wait another day until they get another inspirational idea.

The doer, on the other hand, already had a thought out plan. Of course, they thought of acquiring a house on the hills with nice cars and enjoying life, but they actually know their idea will work. They write out a business plan, determine how much time must be put in to make it work, and they set a time frame by estimating when the project should be finished. They actually go out and make calls, file for the business license, negotiate prices with wholesalers, etc. Pretty soon, by tweaking the business plan here and there, they are on their way to financial freedom.

If you really have the entrepreneurial spirit like you say you do, you are going to find a way no matter how many road blocks come in between you and your desires. Don’t just think about it, DO IT! I know what’s going to happen. After reading this post you are going to feel so good because you filled yourself with inspiration and motivation. Then you are going to go to sleep and wake up forgetting the feeling you had the day before. You will go back to your old habits, stay at your 9-5 job, and claim that “you don’t have time for it.”

Are you sure you aren’t just going to be a couch potato? Let me tell you something, the reason why people don’t succeed is because they put things off and give excuses, and if work gets too hard they whine like a baby. Are you one of those people? Don’t be. After sitting down and actually attempting to try it out, don’t get all overwhelmed by what must happen in order to become great.

The nation’s affluent accepted way ahead of time that there was going to be hard work, sacrifice, and critiques about their undertaking. With all that, they remained stubborn as bulls and plowed right through everything. Start that idea already. What are you waiting for? If you’re scared of the risk factor because no one ever tried what you are about to attempt, and success is not guaranteed, at least you can say you tried to throw yourself out there. It will haunt you for the rest of your life if you just sit there and wonder what could have been if you just decided to take that opportunity.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Corporate Management