Saturday, September 29, 2007

Impossible Dreams are more Feasible

As I continue to be fascinated with Tim Ferriss' book 4 Hour Work Week, here's another of his ideas I want to delve into - "Doing the Unrealistic is Easier Than Doing the Realistic".

According to Tim, everyone is competing for realistic goals. Hence, there is less competition for higher, impossible goals as everyone thinks they are "impossible". But two things should be kept in mind - people usually overestimate the effort needed to accomplish great things and people usually underestimate their capabilities.

The next reasoning of Tim is this - larger "impossible" goals and dreams give us a more intense drive, passion, and commitment to overcome obstacles involved in achieving what we want as compared to "mediocre" goals and dreams.

"If the potential payoff is mediocre or average, so is your effort."

For example, would an employee likely choose a week of overtime for extra income for a weekend in a nearby so-so beach (Mindoro perhaps). Or would it be more probable that an employee would go at length to demand a raise, more vacation leave, for a higher position, more projects if this would all permit him to spend a month in Boracay or even Hawaii.

The former scenario is not uncommon but would be often put off. But faced with the latter option a person would be really forced to rethink his career and really commit.

After consuming this idea I decided to reevaluate all that I have been doing and planning even if I have thought of myself as ambitious and a risk-taker. Maybe I am still too "realistic" and by this I probably still don't have enough drive to accomplish realistic goals.

Here are my old goals:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise everyday
  • Have enough income to cover bills an go out every weekend buy doodads
  • Go to Boracay every year
  • Succeed in an online business
Here are my new dreams:
  • Climb Mount Fuji
  • Buy a souped-up 300C Chrysler
  • Tour Europe and South Africa
  • Buy a hi-end franchise
  • Make 10 thousand dollars monthly through an online business
  • 20,00 push-ups and run in a marathon
Try this simple exercise yourself.

What are your old goals and new "unrealistic" dreams?

Read More......

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

4 Hour Work Week of Tim Ferriss

Previously, I posted about chasing a thousand rabbit holes, when I spent almost 24 hours on the Internet jumping from one interesting topic and website to another. Whatever I said about it, it was simply about information overload, a sickness best articulated and obliterated by Tim Ferriss's "low information diet", one of the many invaluable concepts from his book "4 Hour Work Week".

Tim is unbelievably successful at such a young age (30, a year older than me). He has the very profitable BrainQuicken company, he travels around the world regularly, he is a Kickboxing champion, his book is a bestseller and on and on...

To save time I'll bullet point some of his most important ideas as I understand them:

Define - what you want to achieve, your dreams and where you are right now
Eliminate - non-essentials, things that waste your time.
Automate - processes for your business and personal life. Delegate.
Liberate - yourself from your comfort zones and from physical, environmental limitations

Refuse unimportant information. Read only what you need to read and act on immediately.

Combine Pareto's 80/20 principle and Parkinson's Law:
a. limit tasks to important to shorten work time
b. shorten work time to limit tasks to the important

Multi-tasking is stupid. Do one thing at a time with full focus.

Identify and do the things you avoid, most probably they are the things you have to face and learn. For me they are talking to strangers, studying accounting and finance, etc. Act outside the box.

Goals that are seemingly "impossible" have more power to inspire you to move and act on than goals that are "achievable, feasible".

Read More......

Monday, September 3, 2007

Your Accountant, Your Best Friend

I just finished a long meeting with an accountant who has been handling the paperwork and business permits of one of my companies (a small web development firm) for some time now. Today's meeting was a special one. Basically, I have taken a concrete step regarding Kiyosaki's advice of building a team which consists first and foremost a personal accountant/bookkeeper (Choose to be Rich course). This means I have struck a deal with this accountant that she will, from hereon, keep track of all my finances and help me plan my financial future.

Yep, it's a huge step on my part and a big commitment on hers that I'm entrusting her with information not even my closest relatives and friends know about. And so I was frank with her, she is basically my number 2 now, just next to my spouse in terms of the most important people in my life.

I took this step for many reasons but mainly because my personal goal for financial freedom has been set in stone as a result of a couple of months reevaluating my life. And even before reading up on the need for a personal accountant, I saw the cold logic in it. Someone you trust and has the skills is needed to help a person like me track my finances for financial growth.

It's probably overkill for a normal employee no matter how big his salary is to do the same but for me I think it's essential.

Other reasons:

* I have multiple sources of income (which individually are really small) that need to be put in order.
* I keep educating myself on accounting but I know I would always need a real expert and I would never have time to be a professional accountant myself.
* I have big plans but many small deals.
* I don't have enough time and patience to be very detailed with my own finances.
* I can't help being emotional about my finances so I need an outsider to tell me where I really am and what my mistakes are and what to fix financially.

So I got her commitment to help me. For the fees, this was easy, for the meantime my company will shoulder the expense to start which is the normal retainers fee you would expect. But I assured her as she will be aware of my complete financial growth, she would have leverage to increase her fees. And I think this is fair, although we would still in the near future need to be more specific. I'm also thinking of eventually paying for her mobile phone.

Then, we initially set some terms and scope of her work, particularly that I would need a report twice a month.

My accountant was very willing to take on the task and we immediately started by listing down all my income sources and the minimum I get from them per month. After listing those, we listed all my expenses. And then boom! We immediately saw that I was in negative cash flow - about P4000 a month is eating up my savings. That is very valuable information that I will be working on today to find a solution.

Anyway, reasons why I chose her and maybe useful criteria for others who plan to hire their own personal accountant:

* She has worked with me for some time and I trust her.
* She has a pleasing personality which is important because we will likely talk for hours about this boring subject of accounting.
* She is skilled but willing to learn more about other industries I am in.
* She is good with taxes and can help me lower them (legally).

Read More......

The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Pinoy Money Talk - Make Money Online and Offline

Make Money Online | Make Money at Home with a 13-Year Old


Manila Freelancer

The Couch Kamote - Productivity, life, tech, entrepreneurship and things Filipino.