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Simply Living Simply

simple_houseBigg success is life on your own terms. Today we’ll focus on money, one of the five elements of bigg success. There’s a tendency to define bigg success as having more money.

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But is it possible to have too much money?

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georgeI remember Donald Trump being asked about the difference between $70 million and $700 million. He said, “A bigger boat.”

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marylynn
Some people don’t need a bigger boat. Other people don’t need a boat at all!

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georgeThat reminds me of something one of my mentors once said, “There are two good days in the life of a boat owner. The day you buy it and the day you sell it!”

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marylynnToys are the fun side of money. It’s the side we usually think about. But more money also means more responsibilities – more legal issues, more accounting hassles, more management headaches even if it’s just managing your portfolio.

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A lot of people think you can just hire someone to do those things for you, but you have to be careful how much you delegate. No one will look out for your money like you will.

A simple choice

While our society often seems to equate bigg success with bigg money, it’s important to determine what you want. Bigg success is life on your own terms. Live the life that makes you the happiest.

For some people, there is such a thing as too much money. They choose a different path to bigg success.

We can reduce this to a simple choice:

  • adjust your lifestyle to your wealth or …
  • … accumulate enough wealth to support your lifestyle.

Now don’t think it’s a rags or riches mentality. You don’t have to live like a pauper if you choose to adjust your lifestyle.

Many people are perfectly content simply living simply, but comfortably. They have a nice house, drive nice cars, and take nice vacations. Of course, you get to define nice.
 

Simply pick your number

Let’s look at the difference between these two choices. First, let’s say you can live life on your own terms with an income of $100,000 a year. Financial planners tell us we can draw down our portfolio at the rate of 4% a year when we retire. So that means you would need $2.5 million of assets to support your lifestyle.

Now, what would it take if you wanted to live large? We hear a $250,000 a year income is now considered “rich” here in the States. So let’s use that as the magic number.

Then you would need a portfolio of $6.25 million.

Quite a difference, huh? You don’t have to stress about accumulating such a large portfolio if you adjust your lifestyle to your wealth.

Some people enjoy a higher quality of life by choosing to simply live simply yet comfortably.

They worry about money less because they have less money.

It’s life on your own terms. You pick the path that makes you the happiest. That’s bigg success!

What about you? Are you happy living simply or do you want to accumulate wealth?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for simply spending your time with us today!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we’ll talk about the one-minute layoff. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00436-071409.mp3

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Live Like a King on Less

ocean-viewMost people’s portfolios have been hit hard. They’ve come back some but we’re still down. People who are close to retiring are the most worried. However, we all have to think about having enough money for retirement.

We have three options – invest more, risk more, or plan to live on less when we do retire. None of those sound particularly attractive, do they?

Unless you can live like a king or queen on less!

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That’s why a recent article in Business Week caught our attention. It says that Panama is becoming a popular destination for retirees. It’s been going on for a few years now but really seems to be gaining momentum.

We hasten to say that, even if you’re not thinking about retiring soon or you wouldn’t even consider retiring outside your country, you still might consider putting Panama on your list of vacation destinations.

In addition to the Business Week article, we referred to PanamaInfo.com as a source for the information we’ll discuss today.

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georgeFrom everything I saw as we prepared for this show, I’d say a trip to Panama is in our future! I want to check it out.

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marylynnI’m on board, George. When are we leaving? Actually, let me rephrase that … I’m good with our weather this time of the year. I want to go there in the winter when it’s freezing cold here and 80 degrees there!

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Climate

It’s tropical and humid during the day most of the year in the highlands, which includes the capital of the country, Panama City. Temperatures range between eighty and ninety degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

The main tourist season corresponds with their dry season which runs from mid-December through May. In the rainy season, though, it rains for an hour or two about every day. That’s also when the hotels offer special rates.

Topography

Panama is an isthmus that connects Central America with South America. Hence the Panama Canal!

It has about 1,000 miles of coastline and 1,500 islands nearby. A mountain slices through the middle of the country. Panama also has five million acres of parks and more species of birds than the U.S. and Canada combined.

Cost of living

The main reason retirees are flocking to Panama is its low cost of living. The government encourages retirees to spend their golden years there. Seniors get discounts on just about everything.

For example, they save 50% on tickets to concerts, the theater and movies. A movie ticket normally costs $4 (dollars are the currency in Panama). Seniors pay $2.

They also get 25% off at restaurants, a 30% discount on most travel, except flights on which they save 25%. You name it and seniors likely get a discount, even on things like dentist and doctor visits.

Not that the price is high, relatively speaking, in the first place. The Business Week article points out that Panama has first-class health care at Third World prices.

Seniors even get a 50% discount on home closing costs. Once you buy your property, you have all the ownership rights any Panamanian would have.

And you don’t have to pay any property taxes for 20 years or pay any tax on your foreign income.

To give you some perspective on how inexpensive homes are there, the Business Week article mentions a couple who bought a 3,000 square foot oceanfront penthouse in 2007 for $250,000. At that time, it would have cost $3,000,000 to buy that same property in Miami.

Of course, it’s a lot cheaper in Miami now, but it’s still not close to $250,000. Speaking of Miami, Panama is only about a 2½ hour flight from Miami.

There’s a local joke that Panama is just like Miami. Except that it is safer. More people speak English. There are no hurricanes. And Americans are more popular!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we ask, “Can you have too much money?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00435-071309.mp3

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4 Types of Free Agents

freedomThis is the final installment of our five-part series on freedom. In the first three parts, we discussed the 3 levels of freedom – freedom of, freedom from, and freedom to. Last time we talked about financial freedom.

Now we want to talk about the freedom to spend your time however you want. If you can do that, we think you’re a free agent. We’ll identify four types of free agents today:

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The Aggressive Passive

Aggressive Passives let their money work for them so they don’t have to work. They make enough money from their investments to pay for their desired standard of living. So they are free to spend their time however they want.

The amount of money you need to be an Aggressive Passive is a lot less if you’re perfectly content not living lavishly than if you want to live large. But it’s life on your own terms, go for what you want.

In our last post, we discussed paths to financial freedom. If you want to be an Aggressive Passive – and you want it sooner rather than later – you’re going to focus on the wealth building path. Maximize income, minimize costs and build Assets – most likely your own business or real estate.

The Passion Player

Passion Players love what they do so much that they don’t feel like they’re working. In many cases, their hobby is their craft and their craft is their hobby.

We have a friend who had built up an incredible business and sold it off. Now he’s back in the same type of business only this time he’s doing it with no employees. He chooses his clients very carefully. He takes plenty of time off, yet he’s still doing very well money-wise. He’s thrilled!

You may choose to work inside a corporation and be a Passion Player. Just keep in mind that, in addition to your work, you must love working for and with the people around you. Since you only have one client – your employer – that may be difficult at times.

Inside or outside of a company, your focus as a Passion Player is building up your personal brand. It may make sense to do this while you have the security of a full-time job. But there’s also some real security – as well as freedom – in moving from an employer (which is like having only one client) to multiple clients.

The Automatic Pilot

Automatic Pilots don’t just sell a product or a service. They don’t just create a brand. These free agents build a business.

In that business, they develop systems and controls. The systems insure a consistent standard of the product or service they offer. The controls allow these free agents to step away from their business without fear of it falling apart.

While they develop their systems and controls, they also train a protégé who can run the business in their absence. Once the protégé is fully trained, the entrepreneur is a free agent!

The Synergizer Bunny

These free agents sit at the hub of a network. They tap that network to bring the best people to the table.

Synergizer bunnies don’t just do projects with others. Bigg success comes to them by creating entire businesses through strategic alliances. Everyone involved is well compensated and the customers receive a great value. It’s a win all the way around.

That’s the key to becoming a free agent of any type: Help others find ways to improve their lives and you’ll be a bigg success.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for checking in on us today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss one of the best assets to have today. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00430-070609.mp3

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How the Rich Make Money

golden_eggs.jpgThe Federal Reserve recently published some new wealth data [PDF]. They looked at levels of net worth and the income associated with each. They defined net worth as total assets (including a primary residence) minus any money owed.

You need a net worth of over $8 million to make the top 1%, $2 million gets you in the top 5% and it takes about $900,000 to place yourself in the top 10%.

So those are your targets if life on your own terms means being in the top 10% or above.

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Making more doesn’t mean having more

This report also looked at share of total wealth. As it turns out, the richest of the rich – the top 1% – didn’t get richer. They still held approximately one-third of the country’s total wealth in 2007, the same as 1995.

However, their share of income was up significantly – from 17% in 1997 to 22% in 2007.

The wealthiest people in our country saw a bigg increase in share of income, but their share of net worth didn’t go up. Does that mean rich people got caught up in the “spend, spend, spend” economy? Possibly.

We often think, “If I could just make a little more money.” This study offers further proof that making more doesn’t necessarily translate into having more – even for the richest among us!

Make do, then make more

The crucial thing – the starting point – is to figure out how to make do with what we already have. Then when we make more, we’ll have more because we manage it all better.

We can enjoy some of it now and invest the rest for our future – for the life we dream of living.

How the rich make money

As might be expected, the average person gets most of their income from salaries and wages. As we move to the top 5%, we see that a larger share of income comes from business ownership and investment real estate.

It really kicks in for the top 1%. Plus they have built up enough assets to get a significant boost from selling those assets for a profit. It’s Economics 101 – buy low and sell high.

But it’s no panacea

We’ve recently seen people losing money in business and real estate. Like most things, it’s no panacea. It’s risky. But if you aren’t trying to get rich quick, you can greatly improve your odds.

The best advice

We also found it revealing that this study showed that the bottom 50% lost money holding assets and from the ownership of businesses and real estate.

The rich made a lot. The bottom half lost money. What do the rich know?

Before you jump into investing in a business or real estate, educate yourself. Get advice from someone who’s actually succeeded at it. If they’ll mentor you, that’s great. If they charge you for it, it will be worth every penny.

You’ll get where you want to be faster by learning from people who have done it rather than trying to learn it on your own.

So if life on your own terms means building wealth, get started creating multiple streams of income today – even if it’s just part-time!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we ask, “Are you talking to the right person?”

Thanks for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00381-042709.mp3

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Money Tips if You Do Not Have a Steady Income

life on your own termsBigg success is life on your own terms. We talked all about that last week in a series of five posts where we painted the bigg picture.

Now we want to get into the nitty-gritty. What keeps us from living our lives on our own terms?

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The challenge of irregular inflows

One of those things is not having enough money – one of the five elements of bigg success – when we need it. It’s one thing if you have a regular salary. However, a lot of people don’t have a steady income. It fluctuates from month-to-month.

What if you’re a salesperson working on straight commission?

What if you own your own business and don’t draw a regular paycheck? You may be a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur. You may be in business and have employees. You not only feel responsible for putting food on your table, you also have a group of people to whom you feel responsible.

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georgeI certainly can relate to this subject, having been a business owner for pretty much all of my adult life. Come to think of it, before I went into business for myself, I worked on commission as a sales person so I’ve seen both sides of it.

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marylynn
Of course, with George, I now am a business owner too.

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george
Welcome to the club, Mary-Lynn!

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marylynnWe have a couple of businesses in their early stages. I left a job in the corporate world with a regular paycheck, but I sure understand now what it’s like not to have that. I know I’m not alone. A number of people in our community have mentioned this as a major challenge to living their lives on their own terms.

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So what can you do if your income fluctuates from month-to-month?

Understand your cycles

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georgeOne thing that I found is that I had to understand my cycles. I’ve struggled with this one. When I wasn’t busy, I’d spend time and money promoting and prospecting. Then I would get too busy – I don’t have time to promote and prospect. So I stopped doing it. The thing I knew, I wasn’t busy again and the cycle would start over!

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If you can be consistent with your most important activities – those things that generate the most income for you – you may be able to smooth out your inflows.

You might even find that you can hire an assistant to perform some of these activities for you. You spend a little money now to save you time and make you money a little later.

What if you can’t afford to hire someone to help you? Then you’ll have to invest the time yourself. When you find yourself in your next “up” cycle – you’re too busy to spend time on crucial prospecting and promotional activities – take a look at it again to see if it makes sense.

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marylynnAnother thing I’ve found is that I can be more consistent if I carve up my activities into smaller chunks. For example, I may send out five e-mails every day of the week instead of thinking that I need to send out 25 e-mails. If you don’t have the time to do that, start with three e-mails a day.

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Stabilize your outflows

Risk is often measured by volatility. So by definition, if we have irregular inflows, we are taking more risk. Because of that, we should strive for less risk in our outflows.

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marylynnWe do this by keeping our standard of living relatively low. Our businesses are in their early stages. So we watch what we spend and live very frugally. For example, we watch how much we shop and go out to eat less than we did when our incomes were more regular.

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One of our newsletter subscribers, Randy, says “rowing his own boat” by working for himself are his terms for his life. He’s been on his own for about 25 years now. He’s put his two sons through college while remaining debt free. He says he did it by having a plan when his boys were just babies. That plan paid off. He just turned 50 and plans on living the way he wants from here on out.

Congratulations Randy and thanks for sharing your story with us!

Randy’s story also helps us understand a second part of stabilizing our inflows:

Be very, very careful with debt.

We have to resist the urge to pile onto our outflows by adding principal and interest payments. It puts even more pressure on our inflows and more stress on us because we have to earn even more.

What do you suggest?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for checking in on us today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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One of our listeners just accepted a new management job. Join us next time when we help him with bigg challenge.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00361-033009.mp3

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