I hate to tell you this, but you’re losing money right now. In fact, you may be losing a lot of money. I’m not talking about the value of your retirement account or other investments you might own; I’m talking about something you have much more control over.
You’ve heard the phrase, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” right?
Well, it can also be said that a penny NOT earned is a penny lost. And chances are, if you’re like everyone else, you’re losing a bunch of pennies. We all are.
How, you ask? You’re losing money on …
As investors and entrepreneurs, we seem to always be searching for the next big way to make money. This is a good mentality to have –this curiosity leads us to big opportunities. It certainly has for me.
However, it’s important to take time once in a while to evaluate our assets and make sure that we are maximizing everything we own or control to our advantage. If we’re don’t do this, we’re definitely leaving money on the table.
To give you an idea of what I mean, consider the following Acres of Diamonds story:
The story — a true one — is told of an African farmer who heard tales about other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines. These tales so excited the farmer that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and go prospecting for diamonds himself. He sold the farm and spent the rest of his life wandering the African continent searching unsuccessfully for the gleaming gems that brought such high prices on the markets of the world. Finally, worn out and in a fit of despondency, he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Meanwhile, the man who had bought his farm happened to be crossing the small stream on the property one day, when suddenly there was a bright flash of blue and red light from the stream bottom. He bent down and picked up a stone. It was a good-sized stone, and admiring it, he brought it home and put it on his fireplace mantel as an interesting curiosity.
Several weeks later a visitor picked up the stone, looked closely at it, hefted it in his hand, and nearly fainted. He asked the farmer if he knew what he’d found.
When the farmer said, no, that he thought it was a piece of crystal, the visitor told him he had found one of the largest diamonds ever discovered. The farmer had trouble believing that. He told the man that his creek was full of such stones, not all as large as the one on the mantel, but sprinkled generously throughout the creek bottom.
The farm the first farmer had sold, so that he might find a diamond mine, turned out to be one of the most productive diamond mines on the entire African continent. The first farmer had owned, free and clear … acres of diamonds. But he had sold them for practically nothing, in order to look for them elsewhere. The moral is clear: If the first farmer had only taken the time to study and prepare himself to learn what diamonds looked like in their rough state, and to thoroughly explore the property he had before looking elsewhere, all of his wildest dreams would have come true.
Could you be the African farmer?
More than likely, you don’t have diamonds on your property, but you do have countless unleveraged assets at your disposal.
Check out this video I recorded detailing how you can leverage your assets. If you do what I ask you to do in the video, you’ll walk away with 250 ideas on how you can make more money! This may be the most profitable thought exercise you’ll do all year. Give it a try and decide for yourself…
What is an asset? There are numerous definitions of the word asset, but let’s use the following definition:
An asset is something you own, possess, control or can influence to create income.
More than likely, you’re not paying much attention to many of your assets. Most people never actually take any time to think about their assets.
Think about it… if we were to go around asking people to list their assets, how would they answer?
1. My house!
2. My car!
3. My retirement account!
4. My savings account!
These are assets everyone can easily see. However, if you were to dig a little further we would easily find dozens of assets at each person’s disposal. We all have diamonds on our property, but we’re not even looking for them. You can find these assets in the following exercise:
Step One: List 50 Assets
Sit down and make a list of all of your assets. This will be easy at first; however, you will quickly run out of assets once you’ve listed the easiest assets to see. Don’t stop! Just sit there and continue thinking about your assets, because you have many more. You just have to give yourself some time to “see” them. You’ll be surprised as you start to see many more assets. Your most valuable assets will not be the first ones you list. They’ll come after more thought.
Do not stop this exercise until you’ve identified a minimum of 50 assets! Yes, 50.
If you really work at this, you’ll ultimately identify 100 or more.
Step Two: List 5 Ways You Can Create Income from EACH Asset
Now that you have your list of assets, we have to think of ways to turn these assets into income. So for EVERY asset you identified, list 5 ways you might be able to turn EACH asset into income. Remember, there are no “bad” ideas. Just go crazy with ideas. Don’t judge any idea. Just let them flow on to the page. We’ll assess each idea in the final step!
Step Three: Identify the Top 3 to 5 Ideas
Most of your ideas for how to create income from your assets won’t be very good, as the 80/20 principle will prevail. It always does. In this step, we’re not looking to implement every idea. We’re only looking for your best ideas. These are the ideas you want to focus on going forward.
Which ideas give you the most leverage?
Which ideas will generate the most income?
Which ideas offer the biggest opportunities for you?
Next to each idea listed in step 2, write down an estimate of how much money is available if you were to implement the idea. This will help you eliminate less profitable ideas.
Your goal is to extract and leverage your best ideas! These top ideas will bring you 80% of the possible income from all of your ideas combined.
I’m not going to list a step 4, because it should be obvious…. take action to implement your best ideas.