This post is was originally published on Financial Mentor
It Costs Nothing And Nobody Can Sell It To You, Yet It Will Determine Your Failure or Success
- Discover how commitment can make or break your chances for building wealth.
- How to determine if you’re a professional or amateur wealth builder, and why you should care.
- Reveals the biggest challenge you must overcome on your path to building wealth.
What separates people who actually retire early and wealthy from the people who just dream about it?
The answer may surprise you: commitment.
Imagine that. The “secret to wealth” and the Rosetta Stone of financial security has nothing to do with finance and everything to do with what’s inside of you.
Hard to believe, but true.
Commitment is the reason postal employees and blue collar laborers can retire early and wealthy while doctors and lawyers can end up in bankruptcy.
It’s the separating factor that causes some people who attend “how-to” seminars to succeed fabulously, while others get nowhere using the same knowledge.
It’s the toll gate on the road to financial freedom that everyone must pass through. It’s the great equalizer that makes the wealth building game fair and balanced for all participants.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”– Peter Drucker
A deep and passionate commitment to building wealth is what will make it happen.
Investment techniques, financial planning skills, and all the “how-to’s” that supposedly lead to financial freedom are just tactics and strategies – second rate knowledge in comparison.
Commitment is the on/off switch that determines whether those tactics and strategies will actually produce meaningful results, or be a waste of time.
But what do I mean by commitment? Why is commitment the critical factor to your financial success, and how does it work?
More importantly, how can you make sure your commitment is strong enough to ensure that you retire early and wealthy?
That’s what I’ll explain below…
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Are You A Professional At Building Wealth, Or Just An Amateur?
To develop a deeper understanding of what I mean by commitment, let’s use a sports analogy.
There are two types of people at a professional sporting event. The first type is the professional athlete on the field getting his hands dirty, taking risks, making mistakes, and receiving his lumps and bruises as he actively plays the game.
The second type is the amateur who sits on the sidelines watching the game because he’s interested and entertained. The amateur takes no risk and never plays the game. He might be a weekend warrior, a critic, or someone who just loves to watch. But he’s not a player.
The professional athlete is committed while the amateur fan is just interested.
The question that’s important for you to consider is which role you play in the wealth building game.
If you aren’t clear on this distinction between amateur interest and professional commitment, then consider the following two analogies:
- When it comes to breakfast, the pig is committed and the chicken is just interested
- When it comes to childbirth, the woman is committed and the man is just interested
So when it comes to building wealth and retiring early, are you committed, or just interested? Are you all in, or not?
The following criteria will help you gain clarity.
Test Your Commitment To Building Wealth
Let’s take a little test and see how your commitment to building wealth measures up.
Below are 10 examples that contrast the daily practices and attitudes of professional wealth builders with amateurs to show who’s committed and who’s just interested.
Your job is to decide which description in each example best fits your actions and tally the results at the end.
- Professionals play to win because that’s how they get paid. Amateurs play for fun because it interests them and results are a secondary consideration. Amateur symptoms include lots of talk, analysis, study, and preparation, but little action. Talk and analysis don’t create results without action. Professionals do the exact opposite by talking little but taking massive action. Action is what gets results, and results are all that matters when it comes to building wealth. How much action are you taking every day?
- Professionals overcome all setbacks that inevitably occur in the pursuit of financial freedom because their commitment drives them to persist. Nothing less than success is acceptable; there’s no viable alternative. Amateurs give up too early and get sidelined from building wealth as other opportunities look more appealing and fun.
- Professionals prioritize building wealth; amateurs play the game as an afterthought to the rest of their lives. You won’t succeed at the wealth game if it’s merely a tag line to the rest of your life because something will always get in your way. Professionals live according to a carefully designed, srategic plan that dedicates a portion of every day to building their wealth. You must proactively organize your life to make room for building wealth by creating daily habits that support a wealthy outcome. That only happens as a result of a properly designed wealth plan that prioritizes and strategically focuses your daily activities to produce the desired end result. Does you have a plan that does that?
“A professional is a person who can do his best at a time when he doesn’t particularly feel like it.”– Alistair Cooke
- Professionals play seven days a week because consistency and persistence creates results. They show up every day to play whether they feel like it or not. Amateurs are weekend warriors who play occasionally and only when convenient. With that said, obviously professionals take days off, but the point is to illustrate consistency of purpose and dedication.
- Professionals are committed to a long term approach based on a realistic action plan. They build their toolbox of skills and improve their financial intelligence with daily practice because many little things done right can compound into big wealth over time. Amateurs are overambitious and have an unrealistic timetable. Amateurs want the big killing now so they can “get this wealth thing over with” and get on with their lives. Professionals seek small daily wins and continual improvement as they methodically reach their goal with confidence and certainty; whereas, amateurs are attracted to “hot tips”.
- Professionals take their lumps and bruises with every game because that’s the result of taking intelligent risks. Amateurs sit safely on the sidelines. No guts, no glory. You only get results if you’re willing to take intelligent risks.
- Professionals live by the principle of delayed gratification. They’re willing to pay the price today for the greater glory that tomorrow holds. Don’t confuse this with suffering. There’s no suffering when pursuing what you most desire. It may be hard work, but sometimes that’s necessary to realize your fullest potential. Amateurs want it now and aren’t willing to pay the price of admission. They want something for nothing and won’t follow through unless it’s fun and easy.
- Professionals don’t allow the clutter of life to keep them from playing every day. They eliminate distractions so they can focus on the goal they’re committed to. Amateurs are regularly distracted by bright-shiny-objects and lose focus.
- Professionals face their fear of failure by stepping up to the plate and swinging the bat – even if it means striking out. You can’t hit a home run or get on base if you’re not willing to strike out occasionally. Amateurs avoid their fear of failure by “getting ready to get ready,” thus avoiding the necessary action that leads to financial success.
- Professionals build wealth like a business with efficiency and focus. Growing their personal wealth is the professional’s primary business activity with all other work and financial tasks being designed to support it. Amateurs treat it like a hobby.
Judging by the actions (or lack thereof) you take in your life, how did you score? Are you a professional or an amateur wealth builder?
More importantly, why should you care? That’s what I’ll explain next…
How Professional Wealth Builders Put The Odds Of Success On Their Side
There’s a common theme that separates the professional from the amateur in the above examples. The professional persistently takes action despite the obstacles because s/he is committed to building wealth. The amateur gets distracted by life’s clutter.
When you’re committed, you take your goal seriously enough to formulate a strategic plan that organizes your daily habits in a way that automatically pulls you toward wealth. The only thing left to do is show up each day and take the action, habitually, every day.
That’s the key: your results are a product of your daily habits – relentless, methodical, growing.
The reason commitment is essential is because persistence through daily habits is necessary to build wealth through compound growth.
I know that’s a mouthful, but it’s important to make the connections: commitment equals persistence which equals daily habits designed to build wealth arranged according to a strategic plan that results in compound growth.
That’s the cause and effect cycle for financial success. If commitment isn’t at the beginning, then the necessary actions don’t occur and wealth doesn’t come out the back end.
Building wealth is simply a “rinse and repeat” process until financial success results. That’s why anyone can achieve it. It’s totally within your reach. The key is to start right so you persist long enough to succeed, and that starting point is commitment.
That’s because for all but the freak exception, wealth is built on an endless number of small, daily actions, each of which multiplies through compound growth into something substantial.
I know that isn’t glamorous, but that’s how the process works for most successful people.
That’s how people who weren’t born with trust funds, inheritances, or destined to win the lottery succeed at building wealth. It’s the “everyman’s” way to wealth.
You intuitively know this is true because when you look at any area of your life where you’re already successful, you’ll see the above formula applies.
Consider your career, health, marriage – whatever it may be. You’ll see that success is the result of persistent, regular, strategically organized action focused to achieve a specific result and implemented over a prolonged period of time. Commitment is the reason you prioritize that action so it actually occurs (rather than the millions of other actions that could distract you during your day).
Apparent instant wealth almost always stands on the foundation of many years of small, daily habits that have compounded into “sudden riches.”
Few build wealth out of one or two big killings. Compounding it brick by brick over a period of time is more common. For example:
- A business is built one product, one client, one employee, and one project at a time. Each of these successes requires habitual daily actions to support the outcome.
- A real estate investor builds his portfolio one deal at a time with each deal requiring ingredients of capital, skill, and knowledge that are built through a regular series of small, daily actions.
- Paper asset investors compound wealth by saving regularly each month with a daily discipline designed to conserve capital. They’re constantly pruning and adding to the investments in their portfolio.
It’s no coincidence that business, real estate, and paper assets (as described above) are the three paths to achieve financial freedom, and success with each follows the same formula. Each requires commitment behind a strategic plan of implementation.
How come nearly everybody who desires success doesn’t get to experience it? The problem is their lives get overrun with seemingly urgent matters that distract time, money, and energy away from their goal. Their commitment isn’t strong enough to keep the priority straight.
Life is a daily battle between your most important, internally driven desires competing for scarce time and resources against all the clutter of life imposed by the external world. The winner of this epic battle is determined by your commitment.
Without commitment, your time, money, and energy get diffused and distracted.
Without commitment, the actions that lead to success never get done because something else is always getting in the way.
Without commitment, the external world wins the battle for your time, causing wealth and financial freedom to forever remain a dream.
So which one are you? Are you a committed, professional wealth builder who is destined to achieve financial freedom, or are you a casual amateur destined for financial mediocrity?
How To Get Committed To Building Wealth
How do you become a professional wealth builder? How do you raise your commitment to a level that makes financial freedom a question of “when” rather than “if”?
It takes two things: a plan based on proven principles, and the necessary actions to implement that plan.
Step 3 of my 7 Steps To 7 Figures course is how you create the plan.
Step 4 of my 7 Steps To 7 Figures course is how you gain commitment, overcome roadblocks, and take massive action. It’s how you play the game like a professional.
Anyone can become wealthy. It’s not a matter of brain power, luck, or being in the right place at the right time.
It’s about a deep commitment that results in a strategic plan of implementation resulting in sufficient actions over a long enough period that you achieve the goal. Yes, it’s common sense, but surprisingly, very few people do it right, and that’s why very few ever achieve financial freedom.
What Are You Going To Do About It?
I know, I know. I can already hear the whining and moaning.
“But Todd, I have a job, two and half kids, my Aunt is sick, the dog ate my homework, yada, yada, yada. I can’t possibly be a professional. I don’t have the time to get wealthy.”
“Every artist was first an amateur.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wrong. You’re already a professional at something, just not wealth building.
What are you committed to right now? Maybe you’re a professional in your job or career, or maybe it’s motherhood. Some people are professional victims and underachievers.
Just look at the criteria again and you’ll see that you’re a professional in at least one of the roles you play in your life because that’s the role you’re committed to.
The reason you aren’t a professional wealth builder is because you’ve never made that role a priority. It’s as simple as that.
“But Todd, you don’t understand. My life is so busy I barely have time to go to the bathroom.”
Correct … but that isn’t the point. If building wealth was your priority, then you would make it happen just like you manage to find time to go to the bathroom when it becomes a high enough priority.
I know it sounds funny, but that’s literally the way it works. I’ve seen it time and time again in my financial coaching practice. When you break through on your commitment, then everything else starts to happen. You literally mold your life around the goal.
Let’s get something straight here – wealth isn’t for the masses. Numerous studies show less than 5% of the population will retire with anything resembling financial security and abundance.
The rest are destined to financial mediocrity. Sorry, but those are the statistics.
Either you’re committed to building wealth, or you aren’t.
Either you get results or you don’t. It’s not that complicated.
All the rest of the talk is just amateur psychobabble.
Judge by results – often harsh, but always fair. Results tells what your commitment is with 100% accuracy. Again, often harsh, but always fair.
If you keep doing financially what you did for the last five years, where will you be five years from now? Ten years from now? What needs to change?
Maybe now is the time to get financially committed. Step 3 of Seven Steps To Seven Figures will show you how to design your plan, and Step 4 will show you how to take massive action on that plan to actually get the goal.
Commitment is what makes it all happen.
Are you committed enough to take action?