(Journey’s note: The content of this post is taken mainly from Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich. I post it here out of deep appreciation and gratitude. Hope you will enjoy and benefit from it too. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comment section!)
Many years ago, Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, was involved in a libel trial with a Chicago newspaper that had accused him of being ‘ignorant’.
In an attempt to prove their case, the lawyers for the newspaper put Mr Ford on the stand and asked him a series of questions designed to ‘prove’ their assertion that he was ignorant.
The ‘Master mind’ Principle
After putting up with round after round of difficult questions, Ford was tired of the game. He leaned forward and said to the lawyer:
‘If I should really want to answer any of the foolish questions you have just been asking me, I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk. By pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid people who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts.
Now, will you kindly tell me why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have people around me who can supply any knowledge I require?’
Needless to say, Ford won the case, and in so doing demonstrated the power of what bestselling wealth author Napoleon Hill calls ‘the master mind principle‘ – the ‘coordination of knowledge and effort … between two or more people’ that creates a powerful group mind that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
The surprising secret of rich thinkers
When people first create their visions, there is sometimes a sense of impossibility – even though they can see the result they are wanting to create, they can’t imagine a path to getting there that doesn’t involve struggle, sacrifice and pain.
The first thing I did after creating my first rich vision back in my early twenties was put it away in a desk drawer and pretend it never happened. It seemed ridiculous to me that an average kid from Enfield was going to be able to go out and succeed in the world when so many before had tried and seemingly failed. But that’s because I didn’t yet know about the secret weapon of rich thinkers. As my friend the success coach Michael Neill says:
Every worthwhile accomplishment is the result of a team effort!
Every rich thinker I worked with in assembling this system told me some variation of this same idea – the master key to riches is knowing how to harness the collective efforts of a truly great team. I can’t tell you what a relief it was for me to discover that I didn’t have to do it all myself. I didn’t have to know everything. What I needed to do was to get really good at choosing and motivating really good people. In my life, I have not met one successful person who has done it all on their own. In fact, many of the people I have studied are proud of their ability to choose good people and manage the relationship with them.
It is a prerequisite of success that you surround yourself with people who can help you to add value and manage your money. Now when I say team, I don’t mean you have to suddenly go and hire lots of people as your employees. I’m not even suggesting that everyone who supports a successful person thinks of themselves as part of that person’s wealth team. Many of the people who have helped me most in my life have never met me, be the authors, speakers or role models I have learned from.
You can’t do it all yourself. Don’t be afraid to rely
on others to help you accomplish your goals. –Oprah Winfrey
While I believe everyone of us has every reason to be proud of whatever level of achievement we have currently attained, how far could we have got without the efforts of those who built the businesses that support us, created the products we use or earned the money that eventually finds its way into our bank accounts.
Imagine how slow the pace of business would be if we had to make our own computer chips from silicon we harvested using simple tools made from wood and flint we found lying around the cave!
When you recognize that there’s no such thing as DIY success, you can begin actively cultivating the ideal relationships to support you as you move forward towards creating your rich vision.
DRAFTING YOUR DREAM TEAM FOR WEALTH
1. Write down the description of the rich vision you created for yourself in Chapter 6 – the goal in life, tangible or intangible, that for you would be the epitome of success and fulfillment.
If you are having any trouble with this step, who do you know could help you in uncovering what matters to you most?
2. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your big dream- those things you do extremely well and those things you do not, which interfere with your success. If you’re not sure about your strengths and weaknesses, ask the people closest to you. You may be surprised at what you discover!
3. Next to each weakness, write down the characteristics of the ideal person to support you in this area.
- I’m terrible at bookkeeping – I want someone scrupulously honest, detail oriented and great at maths.
- I can’t sell myself – I want someone who is naturally extroverted and a big believer in what I do.
- I’m disorganized – I want someone who likes structure and loves making lists and charts and diagrams.
4. Now, make a list of the people who are already part of your wealth team. This can include friends, family, neighbors and colleagues, but it can also include authors and role models who inspire and educate you, be it in person or through their books, tapes, videos, etc. Remember, your wealth team is made up of those people who support you in the pursuit of your dream, regardless of whether they think of themselves this way!
5. Next, make a list of all the roles you would like fulfilled if you were building your own wealth support team from scratch. Example: Coach, Mentor, Motivator, Teacher, Trainer, Financial Adviser, Lawyer, Accountant, etc.
- Answer each of the following questions:
- How many of these roles are or could be filled by members of your current ‘team’?
- If you were going to create your ‘ideal wealth team’, who would you most want to fill these roles?
- Who on your current wealth team could help you find the ‘missing’ players on your ideal wealth team?
Refining Your Dream Team
I have noticed that many people take advice from others who are unqualified to give it. Your uncle Frank may be the nicest man in the world, but unless he is rich, why would you listen to what he says about money?
One of the most fascinating experiences I had when taking myself through the above exercise was making a list of the people who were already on my team simply by virtue of the fact that I sought advice from them.
Firstly, I was surprised how many people were on the list. When I started to think about how they contributed. Some of the people I sought advice from had lots to say, although if I was honest they hadn’t achieved much themselves. A couple of them had been successful at making money, but were even better at losing it once they had made it. A few of the most qualified people on my list were the ones I spoke to least often!
So I began to change the make-up of my team, using the process below. Take a moment now to do this for yourself…
1. Make a list of everybody you currently talk to about business or money, either professionally or casually.
2. Who on this list has given you advice in the past that has made you money, or has supported you in reaching your goals?
3. Now prioritize the list by asking who has given you the advice that has made you the most money. Whose counsel has assisted you most in times of need?
4. Consider replacing or eliminating as many people from the bottom part of the list as you can.
5. Make sure the people on the top of your list feel valued. You can use any of the strategies from the section on ‘Putting Your Team to Work’ or create some of your own.
Expanding your wealth team
Assuming that you have by now identified some gaps in your current wealth team, the next step is to fill those gaps with the best people available to you.
In one of my favorite success books, Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams, author Steven Scott offers the following advice for recruiting mentors, which I have loosely adapted for recruiting members of your wealth team:
1. Your ‘Dream Team’
Make a list of the people you would like to be on your wealth team. List the names in order of preference, starting with the potential members of your ‘dream team’.
For each person on your list, write down everything you know about them – likes, dislikes, interests and passions. Don’t be afraid to ask around and do additional research – the better prepared you are, the better your meeting will go. Also, the more you know about their track record, the better choices you will make about who is on your team. Nearly all the rich thinkers I modeled felt that track record was the number-one key to choosing an effective team member.
3. Prepare your approach
Use what you know and what you’ve learned from your research to decide whether to make your approach formal or informal, general or specific, overt or covert. While ‘Hey – fancy being on my wealth team?’ may work for some of the people on your list, it’s liable to get you kicked out of as many rooms as it gets you into.
At the very least, you should be able to say exactly what it is you would like them to help you with, and why, in less than a minute.
Example: Ryan, I’m always amazed at how much smarter I am when I’m talking with you than the rest of the time. Would you be willing to let me bounce my business ideas off you before I approach the banks?
4. Make contact
The old rule about asking for help was: In person is best, on the phone is second best, and a letter is a distant third. These days, however, you may find e-mail gives you access to people you would never have been able to speak to in the past. Whatever your means of communication, try to be brief – most people worth getting help from value their time!
Putting Your Team to Work
Now that you’re in the process of building your wealth team, how do you get the most out of it? Here’s a short list of some of the most useful ways to get maximum value out of the people on your team.
1. Keep in touch
I like to keep a separate list in my address book and contact management software for members of my wealth team. I make a point of contacting everyone on my team regularly whether I ‘need’ to or not. Acknowledging my appreciation of their presence in my life is important, especially when work commitments may mean I’m not particularly present in their lives from time to time.
Because I’ve kept in touch with everyone on my team, when I do need a bit of advice or a helping hand, a quick flick through my wealth team roster will remind me of just the right person to call or e-mail to help me get back on track.
2. Don’t be afraid to pay them
I hired somebody a few months ago on a good salary even though there wasn’t a job vacancy at the time and there certainly wasn’t a big budget to employ this person. So what did he say that made me decide to back him?
He knew me and about my business and approached me to explain how he could develop an area of my business whose potential I had overlooked. The story he told me was that he would generate enough money to pay for himself many times over.
I ran the figures several times, checked with my advisers and his story held up, although what finally made me hire him was what he said: ‘I will be a wealth generator for you, every day I will wake up and ask myself how I can make you money.’
This is an excellent example of perceived value. Rather than just asking for a job, he told me how much money he was going to create and based his salary request on that.
Those people who get paid the most have their wealth thermostat set high and their belief in and passion about what they offer the world is strong.
It’s true that some relationships work best when information and favors are exchanged on the basis of friendship and mutual support. But as money becomes less and less of an issue for you, don’t be afraid to pay for it when friendship alone is not enough, or when you don’t want to be obligated to return the favor one day. Even when money is tight, getting the right piece of assistance from the right person is nearly always worth the price.
3. Stay on top of things without smothering them
Delegate the task, not the responsibility. When it comes to living the life of your dreams, one of the least effective pieces of time-management wisdom is the notion of ‘delegation’. In theory, delegation is a sound idea: we should be constantly looking for activities that we can delegate to our assistants, colleagues, spouses, and children, freeing up our time for ‘more important things’.
There are, however, several problems with this approach in practice. Delegation tends to lead to a sort of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to whatever has been delegated, which in turn can cost us time and energy in teaching, managing and worrying about whether or not tasks we could easily do ourselves are being adequately done by others.
A good rule of thumb is this:
Delegate the task, not the responsibility.
Something all the rich thinkers I studied agreed on was that you must be getting regular updates on where your team members are with the various tasks and projects you’ve delegated. Think of these check-ins as like having a GPS system for your goals – it can be tremendously helpful, but it only helps if you take the time to look at it and are willing to adjust your course when necessary!
4. Enroll them in your rich vision
Some members of your team will be motivated by money, some by status and power, others by challenge. Still others will only be interested in working with you if the work feels meaningful or the work environment is an enjoyable one.
Flowers flourish when they’re watered, and shrivel up when they’re not. People are no different. The best leaders are the ones who look for the best in people. – Richard Branson
When you take the time to paint an inspiring image of what you’re up to and invite people to be a part of the picture, those who choose to join you will follow you pretty much anywhere you need to go!
One final technique for expanding your team
Think about a problem you have been having to do with money. Now, if you could ask anyone in the world for advice, who would you choose? What advice do you think they would give you?
In my hypnosis seminars, I often do an exercise called Deep Trance Identification. In order to deep trance identify with someone, it is simply necessary for the participant to be very familiar with that person’s work. Ideally they will have read numerous books about them, watched them on video and/or listened to recordings of them.
I then place them in a trance, and instruct their subconscious minds to ‘become’ the person, a bit like the way a method actor fully immerses themselves into a character. They begin to move their body the way that person moves it and speak the way they speak.
The results are always amazing and often very funny. In doing what seems at first like a simple impersonation, they become more confident, optimistic, creative or intelligent. It’s as though by taking on the physiology and speech of the person, they gain access to the same quality of thoughts.
What I’ve learned over the years is that you don’t need to go into a deep trance in order to get the benefits of this exercise. You can use a very basic version of this psychological technique to gain a new perspective or insight into any area you would like to explore. It involves ‘stepping in’ to the perspective of somebody who is skilled at the area you are exploring and then looking at your present situation ‘through their eyes’.
Here is all you need to do:
STEPPING INTO WEALTH
1. Close your eyes and imagine that the person you would most like to ask for advice about whatever it is you are working on is standing in front of you.
2. In your imagination, float into their body and see and hear things the way they would see and hear them.
3. Focus on whatever it is you are working on and notice what insights you get.
4. From the perspective of your wealth adviser, ask yourself each of the following questions:
- What should I do more of?
- What should I do less of?
- What should I start doing?
- What should I stop doing?
5. Take action on your best insights as soon as you possibly can!
Don’t worry if this feels a bit strange at first – the more you do it the easier and more natural it becomes.
Frequently asked questions about ‘Assembling Your Wealth Team’:
Q. I don’t have anyone on my team. How do I get started?
Since you started reading this book and listening to the CD, you have expanded your wealth team to include me and all the people I interviewed and modeled in assembling my system. You don’t have to ring up Richard Branson, Philip Green or Anita Roddick for advice – their strategies for wealth and success are not only contained throughout this book, they are available in small doses in every interview they’ve done and every book they’ve written or contributed to.
Don’t be afraid to ‘call on us’ anytime you need to, simply by thinking of a problem you’d like to solve and then thinking about the person you’d most like to help solve it!
In addition, anyone who helps you in any area of your life is on your team if you choose to think of them that way, from the barista who makes your coffee in the morning to help jump-start your brain to the programmers at Google who are continually working to get you whatever information you need in a matter of seconds.
Once you recognize how much support you already have in your life, it will be much easier to begin putting together your ‘dream team’ as described earlier in this chapter.
Q. I’m having a hard time figuring out why anyone would want to be a part of my team – I don’t have anything to offer them!
A friend of mine dates more beautiful women than anyone I know. As he’s not particularly handsome or wealthy, I wanted to know his secret. Was it a great chat up line? Was it the way he ‘dressed to impress’? No. What set him apart was the number of women he was willing to ask.
Many high achievers get a tremendous amount of satisfaction and meaning in their lives by being of service to others. The key is to be willing to ask and not take it personally or blame them if they say no. If you are respectful of their time and genuinely enthusiastic about receiving assistance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how often people are willing to help you on your way.
(The end of chapter 8. To be continued…)
P.S. The text has been edited slightly from the original book. This website is NOT associated to Paul McKenna at the time of posting. If you like what you see here, and wish to support his marvelous work, please purchase I Can Make You Rich at Amazon. Thank you.
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