Your Most Precious Asset

by Dennis Perry on January 26, 2012

As I write this on January 26, 2012 I am on the eve of my 59th birthday.  With all due respect to my elders, no matter how you look at things, it is hard not to consider the age of 60 as being “old” by most any definition.  I am closing in on this landmark birthday rather quickly.

I know, you can make the argument that you are only as old as you feel and that is true.  I like to think that, especially in the last few years, I have worked to keep myself healthy.  I also like to think that I have many years left to leave my footprint on the sands of life but we never really know.

The average life expectancy for a person living in the United States is 78.3 years according to wiki.answers.com.  That is 28,598 days when you account for leap years.  I am on day 21,548.  In percentage terms, I am at about the ¾ point of my life.

That made me start to think of what I have accomplished and what I still feel I need to do.  This, in turn, made me start thinking of my assets.

When we are asked about our assets we often start rattling off our bank account balances, our home, our investments and any other material thing we can think of.

There are two assets that rarely, if ever, get mentioned.  The second most valuable asset we have is the people in our lives.  I will write about this in great detail in future articles.

Your Most Precious Asset

I believe the most important asset we possess is time!      

I do not believe in pre-destiny.  That is, I don’t believe that we are born with everything already programmed or that we are going to be what we were pre-destined to be and there is nothing we can do about it.

Quite the contrary, I believe that we have nearly total control on what we become and we have the power to change it if we don’t like the path we initially set for ourselves.

With that being said, though, let’s assume for a minute that at the moment of conception, we are given a bank with a set number of seconds, minutes, hours, and days.  We cannot add to that bank.  Every day that passes uses up one of those precious, irreplaceable assets.

Whether we are preset with a certain number of days or not, one fact is undeniable.  We cannot save time.

When I teach money management, the first thing I have people do is take a portion of their money and put it aside in a wealth accumulation account.  This money will be used to purchase other types of assets that will then create an income stream of their own.

Once this is set up and comfortable, we begin to segregate other funds into specific accounts all to be used in the future.

We cannot do this with time.  At 12:00 midnight we are given 86,400 seconds for the day.  We cannot bank any of them.  We cannot save any of them for a rainy day or any other kind of day.  When they pass, they are gone forever.

It is up to each of us to decide how we fill those 86,400 seconds.

We are each different and we have different needs, desires, and goals.  We are all on different paths so the way I spend my precious time will not be how you spend yours.  And in no way will I be judgmental about what you decide.

The question I would ask you, though, is this.  Is the way you are spending your precious time moving you forward toward your goals or are they being wasted?

I know we cannot expect to work 24 hours a day with no fun and no sleep.  In fact, time for pleasurable pursuits is built into every one of my days.  I find recreation or play to be a critical component of a truly rich life and should be included.  One of the accounts that I recommend in my money management system is a Play account to make sure that we take time for recreation

But we also need to make sure that we are using the time we have been given at the start of each day to make steady progress toward the goals we have set for ourselves.

 Biggest Regrets

I have heard others say this and I am sure you have heard it but I have to repeat it here.  As I get older and realize that my time left here on this planet is limited, I don’t regret any of the things I have done.  I haven’t always made the best choices, far from it actually.  But I made a decision and I moved on.

What I do regret are the things I did not do.  I regret the times I didn’t stop to take in a beautiful sunset or to listen to songs of the birds around me.  There have been opportunities to tell someone how much I cared for them that I let pass by.  Many of these people are gone now and there will be no more opportunities to tell them.

There are many more examples but the purpose of this article is not to depress you.  The purpose is to inspire you to keep moving.

If you haven’t yet painted a picture of your ideal life, your Rich Life, or created a plan to get there, I urge you to do it today.

Decide how you want to live your life and begin to move in that direction.  Decide what you want to be, do, and have.  Be specific and don’t limit yourself by thinking that your dream is too big.  Let your creative juices flow.

If there is someone you need to apologize to, then do it today.  If you have been meaning to call an old friend then put it on your calendar and make the call.  Do the things that will energize you and move you forward.

Don’t sleep your life away.  Yes, we need sleep.  Many of us require about 8 hours sleep per night.  I can get by with less and usually do but don’t cheat yourself of needed rest.

By the same token, don’t sleep too much.  I know so many people who sleep 10 or more hours per day.  We don’t need that much sleep in most situations.  Set a schedule for the amount of sleep you need and then get up and be productive.

Get up an hour earlier every day.  Use this time over a cup of coffee or your favorite tea to plan you day or develop your goals.  Use this time to take the next step on your most important goal.

I’ll end this article with one of my favorite quotes.  I have been unable to find the true original source for this quote but it has been attributed to Erma Bombeck in the past.

“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, 
chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
“WOO HOO what a ride!”

Get the most you can out of this day and put the most you can into it.  Live this day fully.  Make it a great one and make your life truly rich in every way.

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Build A Team

by Dennis Perry on January 22, 2012

I believe one of the biggest mistakes we make in our quest to develop a truly rich life is trying to do it all by yourself.  I have been guilty of this and even now struggle with it occasionally.

I can hear what you are saying, “No one can do it as well, or as fast, or as complete, or as (insert your own thoughts here) as I can.  I know, I have felt that way myself but in reality it is simply not true.

Developing and working with a team is one of the best and shortest paths to living a full rich life.

No one is good at everything.  We all have out strengths and our weaknesses.  When you build a team that is composed of people who are strong where you are weak, it greatly compliments your strengths and can really magnify your progress.

The specific types of skillsets you will need on your team depends on the types of activities you are involved in and what your particular strengths are.

 

Involve Your Spouse

 

Let me give you a specific example from my own experience.

For years, I thought my wife was not interested in our family finances so I took care of it.  I never really discussed it with her and she never asked about them.

Part of my personal story involves hitting a very low point when I couldn’t help out a family member in need.  When my wife asked me why I couldn’t help I had to admit that we didn’t have any money, just a mountain of debt.

She was understandably upset that she had not been made aware of our true financial picture.

As an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, I made a very healthy annual income.  The problem was I spent every penny of it and more on the “stuff” that was accumulating in our lives.

She had believed us to be in great shape when in reality we were probably one or at most 2 missed paychecks away from financial ruin.

As we faced the hard reality of our situation, we made a decision to work together to find a solution. Together we studied various systems and methods of money management.  We settled on one that made sense to us and began to implement it.

We found mentors whose philosophies we could embrace and we studied under them and learned.

Our initial method of money management has been altered a bit over the last few years and has evolved into our own system that we teach in our coaching and other programs.

Now, every financial decision is made as a team.  We spend a few minutes every Friday updating QuickBooks and paying our bills.  Once a month we spend a bit more time and look at various reports such as our Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet.

Every quarter we look at our investments and monitor their progress.

Since we have been working as a team, our financial picture is dramatically different.  We have built a reserve of funds for investing, for emergencies, and for other expenses both planned and unplanned.

Both of us are on the same page as far as financial goals are concerned and we work together to see them through.

If you have a significant other in your life and you don’t currently work together on your financial picture, I encourage you to have a deep discussion about this today.

Working together on this aspect of our lives has brought us closer together and has opened the door to new opportunities and activities that I am convinced would not have happened otherwise.

 

Other Critical Team Members

 

In addition to having your spouse on your team you will also need other professionals to help you and provide proper guidance.  Most of us could benefit from a good CPA and/or tax advisor.

The US Tax Code gets more complicated every year.  There is no way that we as individuals can keep up with the changes.  The final tax code for 2011 still has not been fully agreed on and may not be until the last possible moment.

If you own investment Real Estate, you would benefit by having access to an attorney that specializes in real estate law and perhaps another whose focus is on evictions and the associated laws that govern this unpleasant aspect of real estate investing.

If you have no skills in investing and don’t want to learn (a mistake in my opinion) look for a good financial advisor who can provide some guidance for you in this area.

If you are not quite as fit or as healthy as you wish consider working with a trainer.  Interview several to find the one most compatible with your personality and your needs.

Get spiritual guidance.  Find a teacher or coach who can teach you to meditate or help you learn Yoga or other spiritual discipline.

There are many other potential team members depending on your personal situation and your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t limit yourself to only the financial and investing aspects of your life but involve all of the key areas: spiritual, mental, physical, social, relationship as well as financial.

 

The Steps To Building A Great Team

 

I suggest that you start by spending a few moments analyzing the types of activities that you are involved in both personally and professionally.  Make a list of your strengths and, equally if not more importantly, your weaknesses.  What are your needs?  What do you want to learn more about or learn to do better?

Locate areas of exposure or areas that are not as efficient or productive as they could be and then begin looking for qualified people who have the strengths and skills you need.

Interview them.  Tell them a bit about your goals and find out what their experiences are.  How can they help you and how have they helped others with similar issues or concerns.

Be careful about hiring friends and family as consultants.  For one, they can be difficult to fire if you are not happy.  They also may not have all the skills you need.  Not every CPA is a tax expert and not every attorney is qualified to answer you estate and real estate or entity questions.  Quite far from it actually.

If the issues in this article apply to you, I urge you to begin building a team right away.  Get your spouse or significant other involved.  Don’t assume that they are not interested.  You just might be surprised.

If you want to continue this discussion, I would love to hear from you.  Enter your comments below, I read every one of them personally and will respond when appropriate.

Till next time, make this day a great one and make your life truly rich in every way.

Dr. Dennis A Perry

The Wealth Doc

 

 

 

 

 

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New Years Resolutions

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I have enjoyed a healthy amount of success in my life.  I am often asked “How can I become successful?”  My answer…it is simple.  All it takes is a great deal of hard work and dedication. I feel like I work pretty hard.  By profession, I am an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon with a very [...]

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Real Estate Investing Disadvantages

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