January 14th, 2020 –
1 – Realize there is no such thing as a safe investment. All investments have a degree of risk. That risk must be understood before investing and then monitored once the investment is made.
2 – Never think that things cannot get worse. Things can always get worse. Meaning pay extra attention especially when things are going against you.
3 – Learn from bad investments. We will all occasionally have losers.
4 – Forget being pompous or arrogant. In both life and in the investment world friends and allies are important.
5 – Avoid vindictive people at all times. Vindictive defined means a person who has a strong or unreasonable desire for revenge. The problem with trying to harm someone who you “think” hurt you is that often it is misplaced blame and untrue. Successful people are those who accept ownership for failures. To forgive and forget and move on to new pastures is the trait of successful people. No matter how attractive the proposition seems, a vindictive person will be the cause of your eventual failure.
6 – Even the world’s greatest investor will occasionally suffer losses. Throughout history often the biggest winner, later becomes the biggest loser. Never make any investment if you are not prepared to lose money. The objective is to earn money but sometimes even the best investment will be a loser. There are examples of companies having billion – dollar market valuations and suddenly worth nothing. By being prepared to take a loss it will remove much emotion and you will make better decisions. In addition, by following this advice you will be more keen on the importance of due diligence before you invest and the ongoing mitigation of risk once you have invested.
7 – Learn about industries by researching the net worth of the 25 richest people in the industry. If there is a sharp falloff in net worth as you go down the list, this means it is hard to get rich in that industry. When you identify and industry were the top 100 leaders are mega wealthy, you should look closer. This is a good indicator that possibly you have identified an industry where great wealth can be earned.
8 – Follow trends but realize trends can quickly turn so always have an exit strategy in mind.
9 – Learn how to reinvent an old formula that is no longer working.
10 – Know human nature, it is a great indicator of your next move.
11 – Learn body language. What is not said with words can be an important signal.
12 – If you are raising money in addition to your presentation and offering documents prepare a FAQ (frequently asked questions). This should be between 10 and 25 challenging questions, each with compelling detailed responses as why to invest.
13 – KTS – “Keep Things Simple” when you think things through. Be thorough but at the same time do not complicate things too much, if you do people will miss the point you are making.
14 – Glance to the future for planning but stay in the present to know big success. It is only by being in the present that you will reach future goals.
15 – Keep a winning attitude even when things are not going the way you had hoped. Your attitude will drive your actions. Additionally, your attitude will impact the attitude of those around you.
16 – Be prepared by thinking about different scenarios. A problem becomes less of an issue if you already have a well – thought – out solution in mind.
17 – Dress for success. Meaning the way, you look will impact the way others view your company, product or service. Appearance is very important in reaching ongoing success.
18 – Do not be scared to spend money to reach success. At the same time be careful before spending by thinking it through. If such spending has a metric attached and will bring you returns, it is good. If you are spending money to show off, it is a poor choice as it will produce the opposite result and make you appear as a fool.
19 – There will always be people who do not support your ideas. Surprisingly often it is people you trust and who are close to you, who are the most negative. This is why it is most important to have passion for your idea. If you do not have passion you may begin to doubt yourself and will fail. To have passion creates an unstoppable force and success will soon be realized.
20 – Respect yourself, meaning take the time to eat right and exercise. Take care of yourself, it will make a big difference in your success.
21 – To make mistakes is normal and you must accept that this is part of human nature. Therefore, when you make a mistake accept the responsibility quickly and move forward with confidence.
22 – Never overreact to a situation, as in most cases it is not as big as you think. Take a few moments and think it through before you do anything. To pause before acting is a learned behavior, so practice it consciously and reap the rewards.
23 – Learn to be a good public speaker. In all fields this will help with your success. You can join groups that teach public speaking. I find the most efficient way to become a great speaker is with regular practice. Write out a presentation and record yourself by using the video camera on your phone. Later review your voice inflictions, your body language and before long you will be confident and giving winning presentations.
24 – When giving a presentation be prepared to answer questions. No one really cares about the presentation; they only want their questions answered. When someone ask a question, immediately stop the presentation and fully answer the question. I often see people make a mistake by saying please wait, I will answer that question later in the presentation. This is a huge mistake and at that point you lose your audience and any chance for success. I have had my greatest success by following this advice. Often, I do not even finish the presentation but by following this approach I reach my goal (get the sale).
25 – When you find a problem do not bring it up to others until you can also offer a solution. It is so easy to find problems. However, it is very difficult to find solutions. Be known as a solution – oriented person.
26 – Accept criticism without getting angry. Just listen and instead of getting upset, think it through. Maybe the person is wrong, but others may be thinking this same way. Sometimes a small modification in approach can help you in reaching success. You can be right in your thinking but possibly just a tweak here and there and success is realized.
27 – Learn crisis management skills. There will always be a crisis in every business. Learn how to deal with such situations. Write out scenarios that can happen and then have a ready solution in mind. However, in some cases such problems come from nowhere and cannot be anticipated. In such cases simply slow down and write out what is the problem. Then write out the possible solutions. By writing it out you will be slowed down just enough to better understand the real problem and create plausible solutions.
28 – We all occasionally suffer from bad days. Days where we are just off and cannot seem to do anything right. When this happens to me, I take break and go for a walk, go the gym or some other way to break the mood it has put me in. Soon my mind clears, and things get better.
29 – You should care about your current earnings. You should be proud of your past earnings. However, realize that Wall Street only cares about your future earnings. The reason for this is that the stock market is based on ever increasing growth of the company. Therefore, if you decide to list your company build a believable and achievable five – year future earnings scenario. It must be accurate as Wall Street is unkind to those who miss earnings projections. If you are wrong on your projections your stock will tumble and the PE ratio that it trades will be lower in the future.
30 – Learn and use modern technology. If you want to stay ahead in the world of investing the use of modern technology is a required skillset.
31 – Realize no matter how young or old you are that learning new things is imperative to staying ahead in the world. Attend conferences, listen to prerecorded speeches, read books and articles. You must always be learning if you are to stay on top.
32 – Keeping balance in your life should be your biggest goal. Care about your family and spend time with them. Have friends and take care of your body with proper eating and exercise. Balance will keep you in the game and help you live a longer happier life.
33 – Journals work, they should be used as they kept you accountable for your actions. For example, when I restarted an exercise program, I kept a journal. When I started a diet, I kept a journal. I use this example as in both cases as I had tried to start both without using a journal and failed. Once I started using a journal, I found success to come naturally and easily.
34 – Attend regularly conferences and seminars as they are a great networking opportunity to meet people within your industry. I have found some of my best ideas, investors and future employees by attending such events. In addition, I learn new things from the presentations.
35 – Dreams are wonderful as they are the incubator of new ideas and eventual wealth. However, to be a success action must be taken. There is a time when dreams need to take form with a solid plan. Do not ever let your dreams fade away by not acting. Start today and move those dreams to reality with a concrete plan. Before you know it that dream will be reality.
36 – Expect no’s when raising money. If you keep working at getting the funds you are seeking, they will eventually be found. I once got turn down over 100 times on a project before I got a yes. In the end the project was a big success. People tend to think “you will be sorry if you do not make this investment“. This is the wrong philosophy to think they will have regret, instead you should be thinking the person who does make this investment will be happy. Just forget about the ones that say no as you are expending negative energy. With that being said, I want a prospect to say no at least three times before I really accept that they will not make the investment. So, before you move on try more than once as often your persistence and passion will change the persons mind.
37 – Smile everyday and keep smiling. A smile gives you power and the right attitude to reach and keep success.
38 – Say “Thank you” often as the words really are magical and do make a difference. Be sincere when you say these words and you will be amazed at the good things that happen. Even when I am completely turned down, I say thank you and I mean it. I realize that a person’s time is valuable and want to show appreciation for them spending time reviewing whatever it is that I am showing them. There is no such thing as saying thank you to often.
39 – Realize that there are always many people smarter than you. Also, there are also many people, not as intelligent or educated as you. Never sell either type of person short as both can add value. I have found that from both I have learned things that are difference makers. Many times, it is the person who is not well educated and without a high IQ that has given me that winning idea. This type of person will keep things simple and they do not overthink something that should be kept simple. At times we all get to complicated in our thinking and miss the obvious winning solution. The moral of the story is; to never underestimate anyone and to respect everybody if you want lasting success.
40 – Learning to say no is a skill that is important on your road to success. Do not waste peoples time if you are sure your answer is no, just tell them and move on. It is not being mean to say no, in fact the opposite, as it respects that person’s time.
41 – Not everyone is you and you must respect this as human nature. People think differently and you can learn much by allowing someone to be who they are. Learning new things and training are not changing a person but instead enhancing capabilities and knowledge. Forget trying to change others and instead focus on improving yourself.
42 – Learn to forgive and let things go from the past. To forgive is to free you mind and reach new heights of success. That being said it is also important to forgive yourself for past mistakes.
43 – If you suffer from anger you must learn to deal with it to know true success. Becoming angry will destroy you at every level. There are many ways to cure temper and anger issues. There are books, meditations and other ways to learn to always be calm, cool and collective. Being angry actually hurts you more than others, so learn to control you anger.
44 – Do not ignore problems. By avoiding problems, you are only making them worse. At the same time wait before reacting as often something that appears a problem is not. Take at least ten minutes to deal with any issue to avoid overreacting.
45 – Be kind to others and respect nature. You need to be in tune and harmony with your environment to be a success. Everyone is important not only you. Realize this and you will find that you enjoy a happier and more harmonious life.
46 – Make a habit of noticing something nice about everyone, even the people you do not like. Often in business we must deal with people we do not like. In such a situation if you can find something about the person that you do like, you attitude toward them will change. Maybe you will never like them, but you will be able to approach situations involving them with a different attitude, often producing a win.
47 – Investors want to see exit strategies and time frames. The reason someone invests in the first place is to make money. How long will it take for the expected return to be realized? Will there be an IPO, sell the company or some other strategy to realize the profit?
48 – Investors expect to see detailed future earnings projections. The more detail, the more believable. I suggest giving five year expected future earnings projections.
49 – It is not just about you but also you team. Make sure your team is dressed properly and always polite to others.
50 – The old saying is to treat other people like you would like to be treated. This is such a wrong approach when seeking success. Instead treat other people like they would like to be treated. What is important to someone else should be important to you.
51 – Spend time and learn everything you can about the person you are meeting.
52 – Listening is more important than speaking. Listen and know success. This strategy will get you in sync with the person you are meeting.
53 – It sounds like common sense but when at a restaurant if another person is paying the bill, order the cheaper items on the menu. Even the richest person will like you more when you save them money.
54 – Do not always let the other person pay. By paying a bill once in a while you will gain great respect from the person you are with.
55 – Do not correct people on meaningless things. People hate know it all’s.
56 – Never be late. By being late you are showing others that you do not respect their time.
57 – Never forget the importance of cash flow. It is okay to dream big and want to become a billionaire but remember you still need to pay your bills along the way.
58 – Sleep is important so get a good night’s rest every day.
59 – Do not let other people make you feel guilty. If you know that you did your best and failed, then let it go and move on.
60 – Time once gone is gone forever. Never let this make you paranoid as even mistakes along the way will make you a better person. Meaning balance is more important than being accountable for every minute of every day.
61 – Be happy for others and stop being jealous.
62 – If you offend another person you must apologize. Even when you think they are ridiculous it is best to let it go and make a friend.
63 – Stop criticizing others and take a look at yourself first. You may be very successful, but we all have areas that need improvement.
64 – Be thankful that you are who you are. Realize you are a wonderful and unique person. Look at others to learn from their success, not to wish you were them.
65 – Be a mentor and find a mentor.
66 – What stays in motion tends to stay in motion is a common phrase. The truth is what stays in motion will eventually stop. Spin a top and it will suddenly just stop and fall over. Meaning business does not run with a perpetual motion engine. Be aware that you must constantly pay attention to your business and investments if you want to succeed.
67 – The best team does not always win. The best service or product is not always the most successful. Even if you are the best there is always someone gaining on you and trying to take your place. The biggest and best companies over the years have failed by not taking the competition seriously. Know your competition and if you are the best kept your competitive edge by paying attention.
68 – Just because some idea did not work before does not mean it will not work now. Conversely, just because something did work before does not mean it will succeed in todays market. Points in time create different results.
69 – We must all be flexible in our thinking. Keep your mind open when reviewing ideas as just maybe you have stumbled on the next billion – dollar deal.
70 – While patents are important for protection, it is branding that is most important. A known brand will always command a much higher price than one which is unknown. Build your brand image and then protect it.
71 – Out of site and out of mind is very true. It is why you see the same commercials over and over again. How quickly they forget is a true statement. You must stay in front of the consumer if you are to maintain the edge over your competition. In todays world there are so many tools to achieve this goal, I suggest using them all. From old style advertising to digital and social media platforms.
72 – Success with employees starts with the hiring process. If you need to fire someone often it is because you were lazy and hired the wrong person to start with. Take interviews and assessments seriously when hiring.
73 – It is not fair to assume people know everything. When you hire someone, you should take the time to train the employee and this includes the basics of their job, along with how to deal with situations that may occasionally arise. Do not yell at employees when they error, instead realize it is probably your fault and lack of training as the reason the problem happened.
74 – Nothing is ever easy, especially in the world of investing. Even the simplest things can encounter problems. Especially at closings, as it is normal that at the last minute many challenges will arise. Instead of losing your cool, be patient and success can be realized.
75 – Forget being stubborn. Successful people are opened minded. They admit when they are wrong and move forward with confidence. That does not mean immediately changing your mind but be open to the idea that maybe things need to be rethought.
76 – Some people are unreasonable and cannot be dealt with easily. In such a case I advise to bring in a mediator (an independent third party). This often removes the emotion and before long the problem is solved. After all, both parties are seeking the same thing and that is success.
77 – Never argue over small things, it is never worth the energy that you will expend. Often people want to be right so badly that they get confused and expend energy on things that are not important. Let small things go and move forward to success. It is not important to your success to always be right.
78 – The sun will rise, and the sun will set every day. What this means is no matter what happens in a day let it go. Start the next day with fresh energy and a positive attitude. Do not bring problems home as your family is just as important as your investments. They deserve your love and attention.
79 – After a bee stings someone it will die. This means when you lose your cool you may kill an important relationship. The good news is that you are not a bee and can always go back and apologize. It may be painful to apologize but this is exactly what powerful investors do when they are wrong.
80 – Listen to new current music every day for at least ten minutes. You may hate the music, but this practice can make you an amazing investor. The world is always changing and staying in touch is imperative to becoming a successful investor. Music is the message of the young generation and by listening you are better in touch with what is going on in the world around you.
81 – Make a habit is staying organized. Such actions will help keep your mind clear and allow you to make sound investment decisions.
82 – Never drop a person’s name when trying to gain credibility. First, you never know what the person you are talking to thinks of the individual who’s name you are dropping. Just because you think that person is special maybe others have another opinion. Second, when you mention another person’s name if called upon will they say good things about you? Often people are surprised when the reference they have given does not fully endorse them.
83 – To struggle is just part of process on your road to achieving your dreams. It is healthy to once in a while doubt yourself as a tweak here and there can make a difference. Rethinking as long as not overthinking is a good plan. I suggest once every six months to sit down and see if any small changes should be considered. Sometimes the struggles are a blessing as they open your eyes to new improved ways to achieve a better end result. Often, in a flash of brilliance I will say to myself, “why did I not think of this before”. This is called an Ah – Ha moment.
84 – Being an Investor in the stock market can drain your energy as it is emotional and time consuming. It is important to not let the stock market consume you and take you away from you core business. Most likely it is your main business that has gotten you wealthy, so do not ignore it by doing to many other things. That’s not saying do not investment in the stock market, but it is saying do not let the stock market cause you to lose focus on your real job.
85 – When making assumptions realize that often they are wrong. Conclusions are always based on the input that is used. This means be very careful with assumptions when building things like financial models. If we assume this, we will get this as output. Assumptions are just as important as the final result, so think carefully when assuming anything.
86 – It is a good idea to hold some cash. To be fully invested at certain times is prudent. However, by having cash if and when that one huge opportunity comes along you will be able to invest.
87 – Do not believe everything you read on the internet. It is often bad information and will cause you to make poor decisions. Maybe the information you are reading is old and no longer accurate, so always check the date of the posting. Maybe it was planted to influence people and it is not true. Even reports from respected analysts can come to different conclusions about the same investment. There can be many reasons but realize just because it is in writing, does not make it accurate.
88 – Even analyst reports from different firms can come to different conclusions.
89 – Raising money is very challenging. You are asking other people for money; they are not asking you. Never take offense or get your feelings hurt when investors ask difficult questions, sometimes even embarrassing questions. The answers to those questions, not your presentation will be the reason they invest. Often an investor will agree to invest, later to only change their mind. This is normal, at this point it is up to you to remain cool, overcome the objections and turn It around.
90 – If you have failed in the past do not hide this fact. Instead use your past failure as an example as why you will now be successful. Build a story and compelling reasons as why this new opportunity is such a winner. People will find out anyway of your past failures, so best you bring them up and use them to your advantage.
91 – Be a great communicator if you want success. Being a great communicator will help you in every aspect of your life. It will help with your family by building love and caring. It will help build respect with your employees. Good communication is the key ingredient in finding investors. It will help in keeping old investors happy. Being a good communicator takes time and effort. The time spend on being a good communicator is always worth the effort.
92 – Use holidays as a way to remind people that you are still alive . Holidays are an excellent excuse to reconnect with old acquaintances. At least three times a year send your entire address book a simple message such as a Happy New Year’s card. You will be amazed at how well this works.
93 – I am mixed on social media, as often people post things, they later regret. I never post anything for this reason. However, I am signed up with every social media platform and for a very good reason. I want people, who desire to do business with me, to be able find me. I have had many cases of people tracking me down by using a social media platform. In fact, on more than one occasion I have been able to find certain important people using the social media tool. It is a fact that I can tell many success stories that could not have happened without social media as a way to locate people. The moral of the story is simple, use social media wisely and you will reap great benefit.
94 – When you are with someone ask their permission for a picture together. Later edit the picture and send it to the person. A picture is powerful tool for building lasting relationships.
95 – I have heard it said and its true to not judge a book by its cover. I have observed over many years that there is a very good chance the person driving the Roll Royce is broke and the person driving the old Ford is rich.
96 – In the world of investing ongoing risk management is just as important as making the initial investment. Even before investing when in the evaluation stage you must thoroughly understand the elements of risk before placing your bet.
97 – If you are investing in growth stocks, past and current earnings mean something but not much. What matters most is the future projected five-year earnings. People invest in stocks because they are betting that they will rise in value. The only way such a stock will go higher is if the earning of the company grow as time passes.
98 – I learned two important lessons by going to the gym. One is the importance of consistency. Meaning for real results you must go regularly. The second one is no pain and no gain. This means you must push yourself past your limits to see real results. Maybe 30 minutes on the treadmill instead of 15. These two principals are just as important in the world of investing as they are with your exercise program. To be a successful investor you must be consistent with your methods. You must push yourself by reading, listening, observing, watching trends, attending conferences and other hard work (the pain) to realize the gain.
99 – Reread these 99 ideas and take them to heart. Successful people always go back to basics as a way to stay connected to reality. It is the basics, the simple things that create consistency. Success comes from adding many small things together. It the old idea of synergy where one plus one suddenly equals 10 instead of 2.