The Time is Now (How to Get Ready for the Opportunity)

Historically, fortunes have been made more so in times of great economic downturns than in times of great prosperity. We are in the midst of the worst depression in most of our lives. And there has never been a better time to make a lot of money and do some good in the world at the same time.

Most people will tell you that now is not the time to start a business. Now is not the time to take a risk. You need to hold on to that crummy J.O.B. (just over broke) because it pays and it’s hard to find a job right now. These people will tell you that you are crazy for taking a chance.

Everyone is one of “those” people at some point. Scared to take a chance. But not you. Not anymore. In fact, it is precisely because of “those” people that now is the time to start your own thing. Why? Because no one else is. Everyone is scared to think outside the box.

And that’s why you’re going to make your fortune and they are going to toil away in the “safe” jobs with all those great benefits (insurance that they pay for, loss of time and freedom, bending to the will of others, paying more taxes than the average millionaire etc..).

So what should you tell those people about why you’re starting a new business and what it’s all about? Nothing. Don’t tell anyone anything about your plans. There are two reasons for this.

1)      Statistically you are less likely to follow through with your plans if you start blabbing about them. The reason is that you subconsciously feel like you have accomplished them simply by talking about them and are less active in actually fulfilling them. How many times has someone told you their great plan to make money and then never followed through with anything? My guess is a million.

2)     People will tell you that you are crazy or dumb or both. They will come up with all kinds of reasons and excuses to try and talk you out of doing anything. Deep down no one wants their friends and co-workers to do better than them. That’s why you simply don’t say anything.

So now you know what not to tell people. Now you’re asking yourself what kind of business to start and not tell people about. Well, I could give you all kinds of ideas about businesses to start but they wouldn’t mean anything. Deep down in your heart of hearts you know what type of business you want to start. You may not be able to put your finger on it but you will, eventually.

I spent years trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I knew what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to wake up every morning,  put on clothes I didn’t want to wear, rush out the door to sit in traffic for an hour, get to a job I hated, let them tell me when I can take my break, sit in another hour of traffic to get home. All for – what is now in hindsight – a crummy, crummy paycheck.

Now I wake up when I want to, which is way earlier than I ever wanted to wake up when I hated my job. I work from my home office and I generally wear a pair of black shorts to work. I get most of my business done in the morning and do whatever else I want throughout the day. Which is mostly work related. You’ll find you work way harder when you love what you do.

Anyway, back to what type of business to start. What I used to do is visualize what I wanted to do. I didn’t know exactly what type of business it would be but I would visualize myself dressed very well and spending most of my working day driving around to various appointments.

I’m a real estate investor so most of my work is spent driving around to peoples houses to see if I want to buy them (the houses, not the people). Before I knew what I wanted to do I had a vision in my head of how I would do it.

I used to live in a tiny little one bedroom apartment. Technically it was the worst place I ever lived. It was actually the best though. That was my laboratory. I would sit around and write out lists of what I could do and what I couldn’t do. Trying to figure out where I could start a business and how. I would write notes to myself that had my goals on them and tape them all over the walls.

People who came over thought I was crazy. But those little notes worked. I suggest you do the same. The motivation from these notes is terrific. The best one I had was a note taped across my computer monitor that read “I will be in business for myself by such and such date”. And you know what? I was in business for myself by that date.

For those wanting to start their own business I would suggest leading a very Spartan lifestyle. I don’t mean by killing Persians, but I do mean getting rid of things you don’t need. There is no point in paying a $1500 mortgage if you can rent for $400. There’s no point in leasing a Jag for $700 a month if you can buy a running Toyota for $2,000.

No point in going out to eat every night if you can survive on a can of soup and a cheese sandwich. Now is not the time to be wasteful with your money. You need every dime you can get your hands on and it’s ok to live like a bum. It will pay off in the end.

Ask yourself these questions:

Will this $100 cable bill with 500 channels help me reach my goals?

If the answer is no, cancel the cable!

Will going out tonight with my friends and spending $75 on food and drinks help me reach my goal?

If the answer is no, don’t do it!

As your business you need to either pick something you love or something you are en expert at. You need to devote all of your time and energy to that endeavor. Start reading books every single week. I don’t mean the new Michael Crichton or the new Stephen King, or that new romance book you saw at Wal-Mart.

Those books don’t exist anymore. Start reading auto-biographies of successful people. Start reading books that have to do with your chosen field. Start reading business books and motivational books. Read all of those books you can get your hands on. Never stop reading those books.

Start exercising! A healthy body is a healthy mind. You will need to be in good shape to start your own business. There will be very, very stressful times ahead and it will help if you are in good physical shape.

Lay off the cigarettes and booze too. Those do nothing to help you achieve your goals. They only help to kill you faster. Even if you don’t have a business idea yet, you ARE waiting for the opportunity. Opportunity comes to those who are prepared.

In fact there is an opportunity out there waiting for you right now.

What are you going to do when opportunity presents itself?

Will you take it?

….or will you let it pass you by?