Building up

 
This is what I want:

home48

And this is what I have:

NewBoat

And this is where I started:

Jetski 750SX

You don’t start at the top and work your way down. You don’t start with a yacht and end up with a Jestski. You start at the bottom – but the bottom for me is different than the bottom for you.

Richard Branson grew up wealthy so for him starting at the bottom was founding a magazine. John Paul DeJoria, founder of Paul Mitchell hair care and Patron tequila (love the coffee Patron), once lived in a car, bottom for him was really low.

It is incremental steps that build success and wealth, but like starting at the bottom the increments are larger or smaller depending on the person.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, grew that business incrementally. Begun in 1971 Schultz bought the company in 1987 and expanded outside the Seattle area for the first time that same year. The company didn’t go public until 1992 when it had just 140 locations compared to over 16,000 today. The incremental growth was slow in the beginning and picked up speed as time went on. Incremental growth speeds up with momentum. None of the successful people you know have coasted to the heights they’ve achieved. Success is an uphill climb and coasting doesn’t work up hill.

But what do the boats have to do with growing a business? Nothing really, but they are the end result of that success. I mean really, why work if it can’t buy fun? The boats represent how growing your business is tied to growing your own success. We grow our businesses, our savings, our net worth so that we can enjoy it. When I got my first job out of college I bought that Jetski and thought I had hit the big time. Over the years I upgraded and bought a boat and then another Jetski. I traded up for a bigger boat and now I’ve traded up once again for the boat you see in the middle.

I’ve taken small steps over the years which is how I’ve been able to grow in other areas such as net worth and investment portfolio. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the yacht in the first picture but I know I won’t get it by obsessing over it. I’ll get that boat by continuing to work hard, by growing my various What Next businesses, and by keeping focused on success. It’s the people who focus on the results of success rather than the work of success who end up with less than they started.


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How Big is Your Yacht

I wanted to get to the boat show in Atlantic City as early as possible on Sunday to avoid the crowds I knew would gather at the largest yachts there. Everyone wants to see what it’s like on these yachts, to imagine what it would be like to own a million dollar yacht.

Standing at the helm

I’m standing on the top deck of a 48ft. yacht.

Shortly after the show opened there was a long line of people waiting to get on board two yachts. The line continued to grow throughout the day.

How many people in line could actually afford the 1 million dollar plus price tag? Not many, I’m sure. If they could afford it, if they were serious about making a purchase, they wouldn’t be waiting in line. I’m sure of that.

So why bother, why stand in line just to look at something that is so far out of reach that it is an impossibility? Because we all dream! It’s why people buy lottery tickets.

The yacht I’m standing on in motion. No I’m not on it in this picture.

In What Next I start a chapter called “Inspiration, Motivation, and Drive” with one possibility for why people who can’t afford a yacht go and look at it anyway. Seeing what could be if we were rich inspires us to work toward that goal, motivates us to work harder, and, maybe, provides the drive to keep going no matter what. At least that’s the theory.

In practice what I hear (and have often said) is, “It must be nice.”

Yes it must be, but that statement is defeatist. Why not say “This will be nice.” Why not, rather than lament that you’ll never have the yacht, devise a plan that will lead to a future with the yacht?

Not everyone is going to be as shallow as I’m sounding right now. It’s not always about the money. I’m using a yacht as a metaphor for anything you want, anything you desire. Rather than say “it would be nice” work for it. Figure out a way to get there and start moving.

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t say, “It sure would be nice if someone started a website where people could share updates throughout the day, post pictures, and connect with friends old and new.” He created Facebook.

What are you going to do to reach your goal and not just talk about the what ifs in life? What is your first step toward your future? How big will your yacht be?


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