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Month February 2014

Kissing the chicken

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There was an interview some years back on Enough Rope. And it was the kind of interview that just stays with you. Andrew Denton interviewing a former leader of the Klu Klux Klan. And he tells the story of how one old black preacher man defeated them all.

The Klan were out to get him, but he never missed a beat. When they set fire to a cross, he asked them if they’d like marshmallows. When they turned up in white robes outside his house, he just laughed and told them Halloween was still months away.

But the piece de resistance… the old preacher in a restaurant about to eat a plate of chicken when he was surrounded by 30 Klan members. Threatening to do him whatever he did next to the chicken.

And so he took a moment to think… before picking up the chicken and kissing it.

As MasterCard would say…. priceless.

The Klan leader didn’t know what to do as the rest of the members fell about laughing. And they never harassed him again.

One old preacher man who used his mind – and his heart – to defeat the KKK.

Such power to be found when you just stop, look around and think…

Where can you kiss the chicken?

 

Programmed Poverty

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They get their claws in early. Programming our kids for a life of debt. Online games that get kids younger than 10 already in the mindset of shopping for stuff they don’t need, and on credit. The crime is it’s legal. And while the legal age for a real credit card is 18, they hand out virtual credit cards from the age a kid is old enough to read and work a mouse. And that’s the perfect age to programme them.

How about this game…

This young stylista feels like going shopping today, but there isn’t enough money in her wallet! She will have to work first, so how about giving her a helping hand? Play the “Gain Money For Shopping” skills and dress up game and help this cutie gain enough money to buy all those designer clothes and stylish accessories catching lovely flowers and yummy fruities falling from the sky. Good luck and have fun!

Bet you’re rushing to sign up. Tragedy is the kids are. And there’s another one that’s caused a stir in the office. This one hands out credit cards to kids with budgets of almost $1000 to blow on.. yes wait for it… more designer clothes! Not a down payment on an investment property. That would be too smart. One of the mums in our office freaked when she saw what her kids were playing. And the filters don’t stop this online threat from reaching our kids. In fact they allow it. And while the games don’t even resemble real life for most people, they easily succeed in brainwashing a young mind into a lifetime of debt and misery.

And because most parents are similarly programmed, they hardly even notice what their kids are playing. Or what they’re learning.

What if instead we taught our kids about the importance of business skills? Of investing. Of growing passive income.  And we made it fun. If you don’t have a family business, you could create one, even if it’s just on paper. Spending a bit more quality time with them playing the game of money. Perhaps that is the type of homework our kids should be doing. So much more relevant to the real world ahead of them than some of the homework they get now. True survival skills.

I often wonder how many lives could be made happier with a good financial education? How much happier we would all be with a sense of financial control. Understanding how to make money work for us instead of selling our soul for money just to survive. But if we are to teach our kids something different it starts with us. In order to teach our children, we need to learn something different for ourselves.

How much do you know about getting money to work for you?

What about your business skills?

How will you develop your own financial intelligence to create a better future for your kids?

Have a go!

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I wonder if you’ve ever realised the average adult has around 12,000 thoughts per day? That’s over 4 million thoughts per year.

Imagine that! Four million different ideas in just one year!

It doesn’t take Einstein to realise the power in this.

Moving one thought at a time in a particular direction. It’s only a matter of time before you get there. Makes you think about what you’re thinking, doesn’t it. What direction you’re headed.

But one of the things I’ve discovered is how often we fail to act on these thoughts. The good ones that is.

Incredible as it may be, one of our greatest human fears is to look like an idiot. And we do everything we can to avoid feeling stupid. To avoid being laughed at. Heckled. Jeered. Ducking those rotten tomatoes. And because it’s a fear bigger than Ben Hur, we so often do nothing about those great ideas. Sweet FA. Despite the possibility of success.

And where does that get us? Keeps us right where we are, doesn’t it.

But let’s say in all those millions of thoughts, 90% of them are duds. Could you be okay with that? Take just one million of them and 90% are duds. So what! You’ve still got a lot of good ideas in there. More than 100, 000 to be precise. Do you reckon there’s some gold in there?

So what have you really got to lose? What could you gain?

Go on, have a go!

 

The Power of How

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And no it’s not a misprint. I’m not referring  to Eckhart Tolle’s book on spiritual enlightenment. I’m talking about the word ‘how’.

I wonder if you’ve ever realised it’s one of the most important words in the English language.

Want to know why?

Because it opens the mind.

Let’s say you want to go on an overseas holiday.  Teased by those tv adverts, or posters in travel agent windows that scream ‘book me now’ you want it so bad you can almost feel it. The sand, the mountains, the castles, the cocktails, the cruise. Whatever takes your fancy.

But there’s a problem… no money in the account.

So often the default pattern is to simply give up and say “I can’t afford it”.

But that only serves to reinforce the poverty mindset. Feels pretty ordinary when you think like that, doesn’t it.

So here’s a flash…

What happens if instead you ask the question “How can I afford it?”

Most people don’t realise the use of the word HOW in front of any thing opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

“I can’t” closes things down.

“How can I” opens things up.

HOW can I afford it?

HOW can I make it happen?

HOW can I achieve my goal?

This little word ‘how’ is a bit of magic. Because it enables that brilliant creative subconscious mind of yours to get to work to make it happen. It creates an opportunity.

So how will you put this to work?

Seeing the future

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Visualisation. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. And the athletes have known this for years. Visualising just a few minutes a day to perfect a routine. Or to build body strength. How incredible is it that just visualising an exercise is almost as good at building strength as if you were actually doing the exercise? In a Canadian study a few years back researchers discovered football jocks who worked out could increase the strength of their hip flexors by about 28%. That’s a great result. But the athletes that only thought about working out increased their muscle strength by a massive 24%. Almost as big an improvement simply by training mentally instead of physically. Now that has huge potential, doesn’t it. That something we do in the mind translates to physical changes in the body. And they did it in just two weeks. That’s the strength of our mind-body connection for you.

But how does visualisation work when we are visualising things outside of ourselves? Visualising the future we want to create for instance. Well the reason it’s so important to feed our minds the images of what we want is because of how powerful our minds really are. Because day in, day out, our subconscious minds are processing thousands of bits of information. Both internally and externally. What temperature it is outside, how low our blood sugar is, how fast that car is going as we’re moving into traffic, the conversation across the room. And it only draws our attention to the information that is important for us to be aware of. Ever noticed how you can be in a room paying no attention to what’s being said on the other side until someone mentions your name? And then you’re right on it, aren’t you. And that’s because our subconscious is out there scanning for the stuff that is meaningful and important to us. Allowing only a certain amount of information up consciously. Otherwise we’d go mad… too much to handle.

So here’s the thing. Your subconscious is selective in what it makes you consciously aware of.  So if you feed your mind images of what you want, it gets the idea and will include any useful bits of information in what it sends up to your consciousness. Opening up opportunities that will get you to where you want to be. Opportunities you might have otherwise missed even if they were right under your nose.

Best not to dwell then on the stuff you don’t want, isn’t it.

Luckily you don’t have to be a jock to benefit. How different would your life be if you spent just 15 minutes a day visualising your perfect future?

Praying for Rain

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Living in the country it’s hard not to notice the impact the drought is having. What were green paddocks only months ago, are now brown and dusty wastelands. Little to no feed. And they’ve already begun trucking water in.

We received an email in the office the other day. From one of our coaches experiencing the same drought conditions, only in another state. It’s so widespread, isn’t it. Killing livestock, taking people down with it, the drought shows no mercy. His only request ‘Send some good vibes to Queensland’.

It was his trust in a greater power that stopped me.  His response to the desperation… employing that old Indian belief of feeling the rain had already happened and giving thanks.

A prayer for rain.

And rain has fallen when people gather together to do that.

But the wisdom of this belief can be applied to any aspect of our lives. Feeling the feeling that what we desire has already happened… and giving thanks. Sometimes patience is required. But looking back, I am blown away by how often this simple trust delivers even the greatest of things.

So, feel the feeling. And give thanks for what it is you want.

And take a moment to feel the rain and give thanks for it too…

A modern tragedy

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The Kodak story reads like a modern tragedy. An icon, forced to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection all because they forgot the art of business.

Whatever you do, don’t get done by a committee.

George Eastman would be turning in his grave.

Because more than one hundred years ago old George created a company that would go on to command 90% of the market in its heyday. Cameras, film and other consumables. It had it cornered and its nearest rivals couldn’t touch it.

Enter the committee. And a few incredibly stupid and short-sighted decisions.

Determined to protect the incredible fortune that had been made through film, they turned their back on the world of digital, despite the fact that it was Kodak who had invented digital in the first place. And those who come first always own the market, don’t they. But few people realize that when you’re in protection you can’t be in growth. Physical impossibility. Because when you’re battening down the hatches, there’s few resources left to use for growth.

And of course the rest is history.

All because these important key decisions were given into the hands of a committee. A committee who were slow to adapt to changes in consumer interest and underestimated their rivals. It has cost this company dearly.

In the development of any business, it’s essential to plan for the future. Because business is ruthless and you need to keep watch.

How will you keep control over the key decisions in your business?

What does your future hold?