Dream Income

 
No I’m not going to show you how to have a dream income, instead I’m going to rail against those who make money doing nothing but selling you a dream.

SunsetDreamI don’t respect people who sell nothing but hope and dreams. These are the people who come up with inspirational quotes, who make you believe you can do anything, that all you need is the confidence and belief in yourself. They tout mystical and mythical things like The Secret and “laws” of attraction.

I’m thinking of people like Jim Rohn and Anthony (or is it Tony) Robbins, people whose product is inspiration and motivation. I know they have fans Anthony Robbinsand supporters but they don’t impress me. Jim Rohn was an “entrepreneur” who ran a direct sales organization (Nutri-Bio, whatever that is) that went out of business. (Don’t get me wrong – I couldn’t be successful at that but then again I’m glad that I can’t sell people useless things they don’t need.)

Instead I’m impressed by people like Gary Vaynerchuk who is not short on inspiration and motivation but who doesn’t make those things his only source of income. On the contrary they are a small portion of his success. His speaking and books are his side hustle not his industry.

Similarly I wrote a book and have my own quotes like the one above and this one: “inspiration without action is just a good intention.” But I don’t want to sell you the dream of success, I want you to be motivated by the realization of my dreams as I am by the realization of Gary Vaynerchuk’s.

Gary_1Gary has great quotes but it’s his business success that I derive energy from. Whether it’s building Wine Library from a bricks and mortar liquor store to a large online retailer, or being an important part of social media with Vayner Media, Gary has built tangible success.

Too many people eat up the inspiration of these salesmen and feel great about themselves while they continue sitting on the sofa safe with their dream of success.


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The Empty Trailer

 
2013 That SuckedSeveral years ago I saw a t-shirt with the year followed by the words, well that sucked. That’s how I feel about 2013.

I’m generally an optimistic person but this past year saw me return to depths I haven’t seen in decades. Although I don’t usually put much emphasis on dreams and dream interpretation, not long ago, just after the new year, I restlessly struggled between sleep and wakefulness as I wrestled with a particularly odd dream.

I love being on the water and my father was an avid boater and fisherman. Once I became old enough and financially secure enough, I too bought a boat of my own. Several years ago I upgraded to a larger boat. In the dream I was transporting the boat, something very valuable to me,  from its summer location to home, something I don’t do but this was a dream and we do things in dreams we don’t usually do in real life.Empty Trailer

The problem in this dream was that when I got to my destination I was towing an empty trailer, the boat was gone. Where did it go? I was frantic thinking of the consequences. Did it hurt someone? Did I cause an accident? That’s how I feel about 2013.

2013 fell off the trailer for me, meaning I didn’t secure it well enough, I didn’t check the safety chains and the tiedowns. It was a bumpy ride and the boat, my life, my sense of stability, was ejected. Did I hurt someone? Did I cause problems for others?

I am returning to the old optimistic me but if I don’t secure myself better this year, I might pull into 2015 with another empty trailer.

What are some things you would suggest, for me or yourself, to secure your boat this year? How are you protecting yourself from being ejected?


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Lottery

This post has been updated on 11/25/12: When I originally wrote this it was the MegaMillions that reached such major proportions now it’s PowerBall.

Update #2 January 10, 2016 – now the PowerBall is up to 1.3 Billion which means even more people took a chance on the future instead of making a future.

Who wouldn’t want $500 million dollars? Who doesn’t dream of being set for life? Who doesn’t wish they had that kind of money?

MegaMillions

Magic LampThe idea of some gift, some magical win is a fantasy. The dream of wealth without work is just a dream. And the wish for large sums of money are just wishes. There are a lot of people who play, and play, and play but have nothing to show for it.

Why do you think the amount is so high? Because each week, in spite of over 30 million tickets being sold, nobody won. Week after week after week people spent money on a dream rather than investing it in themselves. “But a few bucks here and there doesn’t hurt,” you might be thinking but you’re wrong. It’s the feeling that a magical event will save you from the way things are – it’s defeatist.

Well I play a lottery with much better odds and I have a lot to show for it. The lottery I play is called life and it takes work. Every day, every decision is a gamble but unlike the “idiot tax” of an actual lottery, I can influence the outcome. They say all you need is a dollar and a dream, but I say all you need is a dollar and a plan!

When I bought my first rental property it was a risk but with much more potential than the same amount spent on MegaMillions tickets. When I spent money to study financial planning there was no guarantee of success but at least the odds weren’t 292,000,000 to 1! When I wrote What Next, I had no idea if I would sell a lot or a few books, but I knew it was up to me and not some random freak chance.

I put faith in myself, not a fantasy. I believe I am the only one responsible for my success, not a random series of numbers.

I know I won’t stop you from buying a ticket or ten or twenty but maybe when you wake up a lottery loser you’ll change your focus from an outward search for success to an inward search for what motivates you, what you’re passionate about, and you will turn that into success and happiness.

 


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Daydreams are not enough

I found this article on the psychology today website and it made me think of a rather strange revelation I make in my book, What Next. I write: “I talk to myself.”

This is different than what this article points out. “A common theme among self-help teachings and new age spiritual ideas, such as The Secret, is that you have the power within you to make your “dreams” come true by focusing your mental energy, your “intent” on them. Then, they will come to you. But some new research claims that doing so can actually make you less likely to achieve what you wish for.”

Focusing your mental energy, or believing something good will happen is nothing short of daydreaming if you ask me. Focus your mental and physical energy on something if you really want it. Believe you can achieve your goals but know you have to work at it too.

In What Next I go on to say that “People who ask “what next” seek out new venues and alternative ways of doing something, and they often visualize themselves in that situation. As I visualize myself in a situation, I rehearse, I talk to myself.”

That is being a whole lot more proactive than simply fantasizing. All that rehearsal does nothing for you unless you actually go out and put that practice to use.

Daydreams are a great start but it’s up to you to make them a reality.


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