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I’m going to be blunt. This is important, as it will make you self-aware and change your approach in life. But essentially, how you got here…won’t get you there.

What that means is that everything you have done in the past and decisions made to get to this point in your life….will not help you get to where you want to go.

So if you are not satisfied with your finances, your weight, your relationships, career or any aspect of your life – you have to review the approach you have taken so far. You have to review your daily attitude. You have to review your strategies, tactics and plans – if there are any at all, in order to set about changing things. Here are the key shifts required:

Set goals and know your why

When you set a goal, you are acknowledging to your conscious and sub-conscious that where you are, is not where you want to be. As a result, you feel dissatisfied. That’s when you have real power and motivation to achieve the goals, because pressure and tension drive human behavior.

Set goals explicitly, and also be clear why you want them. How will they make you feel? This is important because the purpose of the goal is much stronger than the outcome. The purpose of goals is what they will make of you as a person. Because at the end of your life, what’s important is who you are as a person.

So enjoy the process, and don’t get too hung up on the outcome…it’s more sustainable that way.

Also ask yourself how would you feel and what would it cost you if you didn’t achieve the goals? Tony Robbins suggests setting goals twice a year, review the goals monthly and review your top goals daily.

Mentors

To get to where you want to be, you need to surround yourself with people who have been through a similar path and have been there and done it. Having a mentor is so important as you need role models and someone to pick you up if you stray. Surround yourself with books, attend courses, and listen to podcasts that are aligned with your goals.

In fact, it has been proven that listening to someone speak through audio, i.e. a recording or podcast, has the same effect as if that person was sitting next to you. You want to immerse yourself into powerful podcasts! Ex-monk Jay Shetty and life-coaches Satori Prime have awesome, inspiring podcasts I highly recommend.

Momentum

Daily tasks and routine leads to consistency, which leads to momentum.


“When you experience positive momentum, you’ll never want it to stop.” — Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach

You will notice that successful people keep progressing and conquering goal after goal. They’ve worked hard to develop their momentum and know what it feels like to not have momentum. Being without momentum is rough. It’s how most people live their lives. And without momentum, results are minimal, even with lots of effort.

This is why consistency is key to developing momentum. By putting intentional effort toward a singular goal or vision, and eventually, the compound effect takes over, and you find that your reward is beyond what you expected.

So the key shift you need to make is setting aside time daily to work towards your goal. This time needs to be pre-scheduled and allows for your full focus and determination. Continuous work and practice at anything will eventually allow you to master whatever it is. Author Malcolm Gladwell’s research based on review of successful people, states that 10,000 hours of repetitive effort is required to become an expert at anything.

Think bigger!

This is an important shift, because we don’t always allow ourselves to dream. Remember there is no boundary to what is possible. Instead of seeking to earn £100k a year, why not aim for £1m a year. There’s no rule out there or judgement of you that says you’re not allowed to achieve that target. The universe can deliver whatever you want. Instead of setting a time horizon of 2 years, why not achieving it in 6 months?

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By thinking big, your brain automatically starts to think about the steps and tactics to take so you are positioned to achieve those big goals. And a huge part of this, is to reconfigure your reticular activating system (RAS) using visualization.

In any case, by setting larger goals you will find that you will surpass your initial, smaller goal at a much swifter pace. Consider that….

When I started my online venture, I realized that I had to make some shifts in my daily habit, take action and and changes my mindset. Some examples include;

  • Scheduling time in the morning, afternoon and late evening to work and acquire skills
  • Visualization and meditation
  • Getting a new laptop
  • Buying a camera tripod
  • Going beyond my comfort zone
  • Using downtime to mastermind and research
  • Ensure my fitness goals weren’t being sacrificed.
man sitting on cliff feeling free

Remember, where you are in your life at this moment is down to the decisions and choices you made. All it takes is a mindset shift and your path can easily change to one of freedom, choice and fulfillment.

Click here to learn about an Entrepreneurial mindset and valuable online marketing skills to start your own profitable digital business.

Best wishes

There are a whole host of investments out there, each with unique risk, liquidity and feasibility characteristics. I firmly believe in diversifying your portfolio, but for this post I want to share why I’m a fan of property investment and think that it’s something everyone should and can invest in. Not forgetting its an actual physical asset you can touch and feel – here are my 6 reasons;

Steady income with tax deductible expenses

The rental income you get on property investment provides a source of steady, passive income. This is unlike equity investments where not all companies pay out a dividend. In addition, you have control over the property (i.e choice of tenants, renovation, structure) whereas with equities – you have a negligible, if any influence over the strategic, operational or financial decisions of the company!

Owning a rental property is like owning a business, in that pretty much all expenses related to running the property are deductible from the rental income – which lowers your tax bill. Of course, there is no escaping property taxes but you can be smart and optimize your tax deductible expenses….legally.

Tenant pays down your mortgage

Most people take out a loan secured on their rental property, i.e. a mortgage – in order to purchase the property. As part of the loan, there will be monthly payments – which will include a mixture of loan repayment and interest. To service these payments, you rent out the property to earn rental income, and essentially this income covers the monthly mortgage payment and (hopefully) leaves a surplus/profit every month.

So basically, your tenants are paying off your mortgage. As a result, your outstanding loan reduces and the interest on that loan becomes lower (due to a lower loan balance). In time, you may increase the rent due to either a buoyant rental market or through your additional work/renovations you carried on the property.

Through this combination of lower monthly loan repayments and higher rent, your profits and cashflow increases. Eventually you want to get to a position where your rent pays off the entire mortgage, and you no longer owe the bank. This takes time, but it can be sped up with lump sum down payments where possible. T

The aim should be to get the property free of debt – making it a low risk, high return strategy in the long-run.

Inflation hedge

Property prices like most markets are subject to economic cycles and the micro-economics of supply and demand. However if you are prepared to stay invested in property for the long haul, you will find that the real returns of property are positive, i.e. after adjusted for inflation effects – the rental and capital appreciation of a property exceed the inflation rate.

This is not the case for all equities or fixed income investments. For the last 40 years both the US and UK residential property market returns have exceeded the rate of inflation. This particularly is due to the progressive increase in property prices rather than rental yields. Of course, the returns vary within regions, and that’s where location becomes a huge factor in your property investment strategy.

Sail through those economic cycles

Consider these economic scenarios that illustrate that if held over the long term, your property investment is a safe bet:

  1. Low interest rate environment => Cheaper to borrow/refinance mortgage => more house purchases => house prices increase. GOOD FOR LANDLORDS
  2. Higher interest rate environment => More expensive to borrow => fewer house purchases => mortgage payments higher => people more inclined to rent. GOOD FOR LANDLORDS
  3. Supply of housing exceeds demand => House prices stagnate/reduce => more purchases due to lower prices => eventually pushes up house prices. GOOD FOR LANDLORDS.
  4. Demand for housing exceeding supply => Can be good for house prices, rent or both. GREAT FOR LANDLORDS!

Of course, the above is just a basic implication model, and there are other factors that can contribute to the housing market, i.e. regional housing micro-structure, global credit event (i.e. Credit Crunch of 2008-2010), rental ceilings, property taxes etc.

Ariel view of properties

Leverage!

A key feature of property investing is the ability to benefit from ‘leverage’.

For example, to buy a £200,000 property would cost you just £62,000 (assuming 25% mortgage, £5k refurb, and £2k legal costs) rather than the full £207,000.

If the property price then increased over two years to £250,000, upon selling the property you’d receive £100,000 (£250,000 – £150,000 outstanding mortgage), a phenomenal 61.2% return on cash invested, while also receiving rental income.

While this is true, the reverse also holds. If the property value declines from £200,000 the investor experiences negative equity and his/her loss on investment is also amplified due to leveraging (borrowing).

Of course, the recent stamp duty changes and tax laws introduced by the UK Government on buy-to-let property has significantly reduced cashflow for landlords. As a result, investors have become less incentivized to acquire further properties fulfilling the Government’s intentions. Despite this, there are still many property investment strategies available to investors, including;

  • ‘Flipping’ (developing and selling the property in the short term)
  • House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
  • Short-term lets including Air-BnB
  • REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
  • Crowdfunding (see below)

On a budget…try Crowdfunding

Owning properties is great, but with the higher deposit requirement for buy-to-lets or rental properties, it means you can have a lot of capital tied into one property…not forgetting the taxes and any refurbishment costs.

Real estate crowdfunding allows you to invest in real estate along with other investors, usually through a platform that will propose real estate deals and take care of all the work, like listing deals, doing all the legal work, and then managing the property. This allows you to invest as little as £1,000 into a residential or commercial real estate project for potentially 8 – 13% annual returns based off historical data.

This beats the return from £1000 in your savings account! With real estate crowdfunding investing, there’s also physical asset that’s backing your investment – similar to direct investing.

In addition, crowdfunding is great for people who want the hassle of tenants or renovations and essentially want a ‘hands off’ approach once the investment is made.

Essentially, it allows an investor to invest in a variety of property deals (residential, commercial, industrial) with a much lower capital injection. Click here for a list of recommended crowdfunding platforms.

What about the recession?

The last recession in 2008 onwards was driven by irresponsible lending to house buyers, complex credit products and greed. On top of that, the banks and lenders had rubbish capital buffers and so suffered wild losses – and had to be bailed out, severely affecting the markets, economy and consumer confidence. This time around there is more regulatory scrutiny over financial products, lending and bank capital adequacy. In other words, we are unlikely to see large corrections in house prices – although that’s not to say they won’t be affected.

Consumer confidence is hit in a recession and people are less likely to spend and invest, which reduces house prices. And the property investor needs to be prepared to ride these out – especially if s/he doesn’t have a need to sell. Note that a recessionary environment also provides opportunity to purchase assets at a discount!

I would always recommend investing in property for the above reasons. Refer to Global Property Guide for a useful source on property trends, statistics and news across the world. As mentioned at the top of this article, rental properties should form part of a diversified portfolio thus aiming to spread risk. Of course, all investments should be entered with a thorough due diligence.

Property investment is a great way to generate a passive income. Another way is through a profitable, online business. If you are keen to learn about setting up an online presence, developing unique digital marketing skills and generating an impressive income online, click here to get started!

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