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THE 10 STEPS TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS
by Craig Lock

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The ordinary (and perhaps even lazy) person's sure and
steady way to wealth and happiness.

The "secrets" to better money management and perhaps even
"riches". No, really there are no secrets. It's all simple basic common-sense.

     I have seen statistics that reveal that 95% of Americans after working all their lives retire with less than
$2500 in cash. Amazing! Don't be one of the 95% of the population, who depend on the government,
charity or family to maintain a bare minimum standard of living on retirement.

Now, how to do it...

     Find a quiet place (like the woods or a deserted beach) and let that still inner voice talk to you. 
What do you really want most out of life: Is it happiness, health, money, financial security or doing
good deeds, being a good parent, wife, husband, etc.? 

     Set goals for ALL areas of your life: family, work, leisure, sport, spiritual and so on. 

     Where do you plan to be in 1,2,3,5 years time?

     Then WRITE them down.

     Let your imagination "run riot". Think even "the impossible" it may be far closer than you think.

"Dream the impossible dream".

"Whatever the mind can conceive, can be achieved." - Goethe


     "Whatever is ardently desired, enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass."

     If it is purely having 'heaps' of money (and wealth can do many good deeds)...

     Then evaluate your savings and investments:

Where are you NOW and HOW did you get there?

Where you do want to get to, to be in the future? 

WHAT do you want to be in 1,2,5,10 years time?

Financial Success: 
     "Success has been defined as the "progressive realization of a worthy goal."

     Financial success therefore involves establishing a measurable financial goal with a specific time
frame and progressively achieving it according to a pre-determined strategy.

     95% of the population will not be financially secure, because simply they do not save enough.
They fail to PLAN their lives. Most people spend more time planning a Christmas party than they
do planning their lives.

     Realize success is within you. You can do anything if really desire it and you believe in yourself. 
The desire will eventually reveal the means of attaining it. It all depends on you and the QUALITY 
of your THOUGHTS.

Now for some practical steps on attaining wealth...

     NB: PAY YOURSELF FIRST. SAVE SOMETHING FROM EVERY PAY CHECK. TRY
TO SAVE AT LEAST 10% OF YOUR INCOME.

     Use the magic of compound interest. The doubling dollar: at 7% interest, your money will double
every 10 years.

 

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SELECT AN EFFECTIVE SAVINGS PROGRAMME

     Create your own opportunities. Seize opportunities when they are "presented"- they are everywhere.

     "A pessimist is someone who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks." -Frank Newman

     Make more money by not spending it (on luxuries, like take-always.. except for "special treats"). 
Give up smoking and excess consumption of alcohol. Then invest the savings. Live as economically as
you can, focusing on gaining greater value out of each dollar spent. But still buy occasional luxuries if 
they give you pleasure.

     Pay off your debts as quickly as possible. Excessive debt eats away capital- it is the fastest eroder 
of your money. Save up an emergency fund for contingencies (nice word that!)...but don't focus on what
might happen; because it usually doesn't it. However, an adequate emergency fund can give one a sense
of security.

     Have adequate insurance to protect all contingencies. Life, disability, income,
general (house, car, boat, etc). More peace of mind.

Manage your assets well.

     Don't speculate. "Easy gain, easy lose". There are many "get rich schemes", but so easy to go "broke" too.

As Mark Twain once said," There are times in a man's life when he should not speculate:
when he can't afford it and
when he can."

     If you must, do it in moderation and purely as entertainment with what you can afford to lose.

     Pay off all debt as soon as possible: credit cards, mortgages. Did you know that on a average mortgage
you eventually pay back over 20 or 25 years you pay back about three times the original amount borrowed!

More money management tips:

     $ Avoid excessive borrowing. 

     $ Do not borrow money to buy consumables.

     $ Borrow from the most cost-efficient source, i.e... the one with the lowest interest rate.

     $ Sell an asset if the return from it is less than the interest on the loans taken out to buy it.

     $ NB: Don't overuse credit cards.

     $ Turn to the "experts" for financial advice. Consult a "professional" with regard to money matters.

     Manage your time effectively.
Ask yourself, "what is the best possible use of my time right at this moment?"

     Time is like money, you can either spend it or invest it. Also most people have a shortage of it. 
In fact, time is even more precious than money.

"Time is the most perishable commodity of all. If you don't

use it today you cannot use it tomorrow."

     Grow as a person daily. Life (as well as success) is the journey, not the destination. So take pleasure in it.

     Read, listen and think. The person who listens to others learns something, while the talker learns nothing.
"Still waters run deep".

     Market yourself: don't sell yourself short and "hide your bright light under a bushel".

     Project a good image at all times.

     MOTIVATE YOURSELF DAILY by reading inspirational words from great writers (and ordinary
people like me!).

     SET YOURSELF A WEALTH TARGET and dedicate yourself to achieving it. You must really 
WANT to be financially free.

SUMMARY:

     * Without financial independence, you are a slave to money.

     * Achieving financial independence will take time, dedication and lots of hard work... but will be 
worth it in the end.

     * Remember, money isn't everything. It has been said that 'money is the root of all evil", but only an
obsession and love of money for it's own sake, I believe, is bad. Substantial amounts of money can be
used for charitable purposes, if that is your wish... but "charity begins at home".

     * Nearly everyone has the ability to be successful, but very few have the desire as well as the 
commitment to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve wealth.

     To recap... in a line...

THE THREE LEGS TO GROWING RICH

     Like the three legs of a stool. All are equally important in ensuring financial independence. The key:

MAKING MONEY + SAVING IT + INVESTING WISELY = FINANCIAL SUCCESS

     Have a PLAN, then put it into ACTION. "People don't plan to fail, but fail to plan."

     Regularly review your progress towards achieving your various goals. Are your plans effective?
Change 'tack' if you are getting nowhere, or perhaps even change your goals. What are your goals in life? What drives you?

THE SECRETS OF SUCCESS:

     I believe some essential qualities in achieving success in life are:

# DRIVE
# PASSION
# ENERGY
# SELF BELIEF and INNER CONFIDENCE
>>> and most importantly <<<
# HAVING A LIFE PURPOSE

     HOW to do it?...Listen to that still inner voice deep within you- your soul. Nurture your inner
qualities. Focus on your strengths and build on your weaknesses (but also build up your strengths
even more).

     Develop strategic relationships where you build teams with people whose skills you lack. Build
"win-win" relationships with your complementary relationships, so you all win. To do this effectively, you 
need to share a common vision of where you are headed.

     To do this you need to be an effective communicator in communicating your goals and vision to others.

     NB: Have a positive outlook on life. ATTITUDE is the most important ingredient in whether you will be
successful. You can everything else, but without the 'big A', it will be very hard.

     Think differently to the masses and let your creative imagination work for you. The human mind has
amazing power. Let it find numerous unique business ideas for you, if you only ASK it. Then sit back and
wait for the answer to come.

     There are many lucrative undiscovered business and life opportunities out there, just waiting for you to
take action.

     Be a person of ACTION. Don't just talk your ideas away. Just be YOU. You are not in this world to
live up to anyone else's expectations but your OWN.

THE FINAL WORD:

The key steps to achieving success in whatever endeavor you choose in life:

A. ATTITUDE
B. BELIEF
C. COMMITMENT
D. A DREAM (+ DETERMINATION + DISCIPLINE)
E. ENERGY
+ PASSION
+ PURPOSE
= SUCCESS!

THE TEN STEP PLAN TO GROWING RICH:

     1. Accept that you can achieve financial success and make a commitment to yourself to attain it. It is
within your grasp  if you really want it. Really BELIEVE it - that is the most important step. Only then will
the incredible power of the human mind work out a means of achieving it. Reject the idea that work is
simply something you have to do until the age of retirement.

     2. Ask yourself this: Where do you want to be in 2,5,10 years time? Set goals that excite you. If you
could do absolutely anything with your life, what would you do. If you had unlimited money or found out
you only had a month to live, what would you do? Write them down.

     3. Establish your current financial position. What is the cash inflow and outflow. Horrors! Which areas
can be improved upon? Everything!

     4. Develop your NEW plans. Decide what action you are going to take that will move you closer to the
achievement of your goals? All goals should be specific and have a time constraint.

     5. Closely monitor the performance of your investments and your rate of savings.

     6. Try to put extra savings into investment (it could be your own business).

     7. Review and reward yourself annually if your targets are met.

     8. Pursue your personal goals and business ideas with all you've got. With real PASSION and
PURPOSE. If you really BELIEVE In them, they are far more likely to be achieved.

     9. Still try to live a BALANCED life... or as balanced as you can make it. Money doesn't buy happiness; yet I'd rather be unhappy in comfort!

     10. The highest cost of all is the cost of waiting to TAKE ACTION to change your current circumstances
in life (as 94% of the population apparently are dissatisfied with their situations. It is up to you to do things
differently. So take ACTION now- to change course. You get only one shot at life, so make the most of it.

     Always remember,

     * True prosperity is created from within. All prosperity is created in the mind. You are only as wealthy,
happy or as prosperous as WHAT YOU FEEL... and what you make up your mind to be. And money is
not everything. For me, health, family and happiness are far far more important considerations.

Aim high, dream high.
If you aim for the tree tops, you might not get off the
ground... so why not aim for the stars.

Good luck,
Craig Lock*

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     * Craig Lock has been involved in the personal finance field for over twenty-five years in South Africa,
Australia and New Zealand. He is now an author of five published books with another twelve being
published and marketed on the Internet. Craig has written extensively on money matters: articles, brochures
for financial institutions and books. He is presently living in beautiful slow New Zealand waiting for the next
adventure life has in store for him.

     This piece is a summary of my booklet THE ROAD TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE,
as well as incorporating thoughts and extracts from THE MAD MONEY BOOK
and STEPS TO SUCCESS, PROSPERITY AND HAPPINESS.

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137 Derby St
Gisborne
New Zealand 3801
Telephone/Fax +64-6-8686712
Free Phone/Fax 0800-55-77-22 (In New Zealand)

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Refer to our website for more information on how you can gain health, wealth and happiness at;


http://www.elkpublications.com/godzone.htm
Craig's personal site

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After that long read, take a breather.

Best wishes from me here in the "First City to see the Sun" each day in the slow lane that is
Godzone (as New Zealand is affectionately known).

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The secret of happiness is not doing what one likes, but in liking what one does. - J.M. Barrie

"Success is never ending, failure is never final." - Dr Robert Schuller

Some people dream of success...while others wake up and work hard at it.

If you can believe it, you can achieve it. If you can visualize it, you can realize it!

"If you've tried to do something and failed you are much better off then
if you tried to do nothing and succeeded."

Honesty, integrity, persistence and ingenuity are the keys to success.

"Success is your birthright. Loss is impossible. Do what you came here to do. Be what you are."
- Alan Cohen


Believe in yourself and in your dream,
Though impossible things may seem
Someday, somehow you'll get through
To the goal you have in view.

Mountains fall and seas divide,
Before the one who in his stride
Takes a hard road by day
Sweeping obstacles away

Believe in yourself and in your plan
Say not -I cannot -I can
The prizes of life we fail to win
Because we doubt the power within...

ANON

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