Anyone who has ever achieved success will tell you there’s no real secret! It finally comes down to who is willing to work the hardest.
I have learned that there are 3 areas in which you must focus your hard work:
1) The Basic Skills associated with your choice of vehicle to advance yourself. ie: if you choose to be a hair dresser, become THE BEST! Which means you must find a way, over time, to study with the best. Learn EVERYTHING you can about every hair style possible, and master every cut from every generation!
2) Personal Growth is absolutely necessary! This area of development focuses on things like Advanced Mindset, Emotional Maturity, Leadership, Higher Level Management Skills, Thinking Patterns, and more. There’s only one way to advance yourself: ADVANCE YOURSELF!
3) People Skills will be the Final Test to see how bad you really want to succeed, and will determine whether you go ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, or fall short of your total potential. Learn to Master the Art of Understanding People, Learning to Speak the Language of their Need, and Helping them to get what THEY want. In turn, you will get what YOU want!
Self Mastery is THE Door that either opens or closes you to the success you desire. Work harder on YOU than you do anything or anyone else…and success will be yours.
“Your vibe attracts your tribe!” -Nate
I had 2 instances this week with clients I coach who said, “I can’t get anyone to say yes to my product (or service). I don’t think people like it. It’s not working.” Then I began to remind them of all the other people having success with the exact same product or service.
Here’s what I know: In order to be successful in anything in life it requires you to step up your game and change something (perhaps many things) about yourself.
Some things you may need to improve:
3) People Skills
4) Emotional Maturity
These are just a few. And under these Groups are numerous sub-groups we could explore.
I was told by a mentor one time, “Nate, work harder on yourself than you do anyone or anything else, and THEN you will become uncommonly successful.” I took that challenge, and it has lead me to develop a Multi Million Dollar Empire comprising 3 businesses, a non-profit, several pieces of real estate, and total lifestyle & time freedom.
When I first began developing my empire, my vibe said, “I think I’m amazing and you should work with me.” My ego score was far too high.
Now my vibe says, “My name’s Nate. Tell me about you? What’s your dream? How may I add value to your life?” I place high value on others and seek to add value to their lives.
The law of attraction isn’t mystical or metaphysical. It simply means that people are either attracted to the person you’ve become or not. And based on the level of attraction or lack thereof, they will decide whether a business relationship with you holds value for them or not.
If you are deciding to build a great business of any kind, your success will largely depend on how far you are willing to grow yourself in all facets of your being.
Your level of growth will be your “Vibe”! Happy Growing!!
5 D’s to Your Life Design is a 5 Part Audio Series.
Part 1 is entitled “Discover”. Nate will lead you through a series of thought provoking questions that will challenge you to dig deep into your life on a journey of Discovery. This is Step 1 in the process of Designing a Successful Life.
Enjoy Part 1 of the 5 D’s to Your Life design: Discover
I have learned that most people don’t want to be confronted with the truest success principles in life.
The reason? It requires us to change.
The idea of “Responsibility” is one that has been ringing in my heart and head recently. Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter:
PASS THE BUCK vs THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Are you the gal or guy whose problems in life are always something or someone else’s fault? Or are you the REAL Man or Woman who takes responsibility for exactly where you are in life at this moment.
One of my favorite quotes is: “We arrive as the people that we are by the choices that we make.” It is a true statement.
We don’t like to think that we are the reason for our poor economic state, our marital issues, how we ended up so fat, or why our kids turn out the way they do. And while there may extenuating circumstances, more often than not there’s a bit of a “blame game” that’s being played.
Take a giant leap in your personal development: own your status. Look deeply into your life-situation and ask questions: “What could I have done differenctly?” “Was there a different or better choice I could have made from the start?” “Did I take time to get 100% of the information before I made critical decisions?” Taking the time to ask these types of questions will help you to more honestly ascertain the “You” you’ve become, AND help you to make better choices in the future.
THE WORST THING ABOUT SUCCESS IS A LITTLE
We’ve all heard it said: “The worst thing about success is a little bit of it.”
This is another mindset that can prohibit greater personal success… when we achieve success in one area of life, our momentarily inflated egos like to assume complete success in life. This simply isn’t true!
I have seen fat rich guys.
I have seen dumb fit guys.
I have seen pretty girls who could use some schooling, and some brilliant ladies who need to stay away from the buffet.
I’ve seen spiritual men who could not find financial success if it set in their lap, and rich men who will gain the whole world only to lose their soul!
I have sold myself short far too many times, thinking more highly of myself than I should have been thinking, when I should have pressed onward toward bigger and better things. I have learned that one victory is just that: one victory! There are more battles yet to be won against ourselves.
So, if you have found success in one area of life, Congratulations!
If you haven’t found success in every area of life, Keep Going! Keep changing! Keep Learning!
Most of all, take personal responsibility for where you are in life. Because you can’t grow forward until you do.
I see some of you bowing to Fear and calling it Faith!
“What do you mean, Nate?”
Here’s what I mean:
I see so many people starting out on a Journey toward their dreams, and as soon as it becomes difficult…or interferes with the family schedule…they QUIT!
And here’s the worse part of all: they then decide that their current life is dreamy enough!
STOP LYING TO YOURSELF!
*Your life wasn’t too dreamy on the front end of the journey, what you believed anything was possible! Is it more comfortable to believe that the dream isn’t possible? KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THAT ONE! lol
*Your life wasn’t too dreamy when you decided you didn’t want to work long hours, and maybe even Saturdays any more. Oh…do the extra hours suddenly feel great?
*Your life wasn’t too dreamy when you envisioned your wife not having to work (and now the 2 of you have convinced yourselves it’s not so bad) What happened? Is it awesome for both of you to be exhausted all the time?
*Your life wasn’t too dreamy when you were ANGRY at debt! What happened? Did you and debt fall back into dreamy love?
*Your life wasn’t too dreamy when YOU finally WOKE UP and realized that YOU were NOT in CONTROL! Does it all the sudden feel great to be SLAVE to the Masters of DEBT, J.O.B., Time Constraint, and Limited Choice?
If your Old Life was the Dream in the First Place, YOU WOULD’VE NEVER STARTED THE JOURNEY!
So you can try to lie to YOU…you can try to lie to your SPOUSE…you can try to lie to your KIDS…and you can try to lie to ME!
But in the end…it’s just a lie. And you know it. We all know it.
I love you & I believe in you! Maybe more than you do yourself. Selah: pause and think about that.
In a recent conversation, I had someone tell me, “I’ve decided to stop setting goals. I either set goals that are much too ambitious, or I under set goals that I know I can easily attain. I’m just not a good goal setter!”
Sound familiar? I think we’ve all been there!
Many of us have been through the phase of setting goals we set that we have a high percent chance of accomplishing! We set these types of goals often because we have “done it before”, and there is a high likely hood of success. For instance, running another Half Marathon when you know it’s time to step up and push yourself to do a Full marathon!
And then there are those goals we set that are so far out of reach that there is a very low percent chance that we will hit them. These are the goals set for things that we’ve never done before, but “it would be awesome if…”
Now I use that term “slacker” in jest, but often times we look back on goals we felt sure we would hit, and think “I didn’t really push myself.” And yet there remains some value to such goals. For the record, I’d rather you set simple, easy to achieve goals, rather than not setting any goals at all. Goal setting is a skill to be developed, and if you don’t practice the skill you will never become a High Level Goal Setter!
So go ahead and run that next Half Marathon! It sure beats sitting on the couch with bonbons and the remote. Lol
“Go For It” Goals
I want to spend some time focusing on those not-so-easy-to-achieve Goals. Not the ones that I mentioned before; the ones that are almost impossible to achieve. I want to talk about those goals that are possible for you, and yet will push you to your limits and make you work hard!
As I mentioned before, Goal Setting is a skill that must be developed. The process can be fun and very rewarding. Here are some things to consider that next time you have a Goal Setting Session with yourself. (Which I hope will be soon) If you implement them, I believe you can accomplish anything to which you set your mind.
- Dream with Purpose
Dreams only become a reality when there is purpose associated with them. You must know “WHY” your goal is important. Otherwise, you simply talk yourself out of the hard work that is required to stretch toward that goal and achieve it. So start with WHY! That “why” will keep you focused when you feel like quitting.
- Achieve Daily – Not in a Day
You will not get out of debt in a day! I know I didn’t. It required daily diligence in my spending habits and my savings habits. I had to redirect my money daily away from what Robert Kiyosaki calls “doodads”, and toward my goal of debt reduction. You will not lose all that weight in a day! I know I didn’t. It required daily diligence in my eating and exercise habits. I had to make better choices with what I was putting into my body, and better choices with my time to allow room for exercise, in order to lose that 80 lbs. I didn’t achieve my BIG goals in a day. But I did achieve a goal every day, every time I successfully accomplished better daily habits.
- Fine Tune as You Go
If you find that something you’ve been trying isn’t working for you, then make a change! If you read a great tip from a blog or a good book, implement it for a while and see if it helps. It’s ok to fine tune your plan. It may be the very thing that keeps you from throwing in the towel.
- Enlist Support
We’ve all heard of the proverbial “support team.” And trust me: a good support team is work their weight in gold! If your goal involves health, get a work out partner. If you are working on you personal finance at home, get your spouse excited about moving forward with you. Whatever it is you’re shooting for, having a good team mate to cheer you on and offer you good advice is a must.
- Reward Yourself for Good Behavior.
Cheat meals are the reward for almost everyone I’ve ever known who has a weight loss or fitness goal. For some reason, health goals make us feel deprived, and that piece of cake on the desert tray that waiter brings around just makes us salivate. So set mini-goals within the greater goal, and then reward yourself when attained. I lost 80 lbs! But often times after a new 10 lbs was gone, I would enjoy a desert. It enunciated the win, and reminded me that I hadn’t put myself in dietary jail! When I was about $50,000 in credit card debt, I didn’t deserve a shopping spree. But to celebrate paying off another credit card, perhaps you could reward yourself with a small gift. (Paying cash of course!)
I’ve achieved some important goals for myself. I lost 80 lbs, from 240 down to 160. I became debt free from credit cards, personal loans, car payments, and medical bills. In 2012 I went from couch to Marathon in 4 months! None of these goals were easy; they all required diligence and hard work. And that hard work and focus paid off!
I believe the old adage, “Whatever the mind can conceive, we can achieve.” One writer said, “According to your faith, so be it unto you.” Henry Ford taught us, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t…you’re right.”
So believe in yourself! Set those lofty goals, and GO FOR IT!
In his book, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” T. Harv Eker introduces the concept that each of us has been groomed into our individual belief systems concerning money by external sources of reference. Our friends, family members, talking heads from the media, etc., all have their place in the landscape of our individually tailored “financial blueprint.”
But here’s the problem: most of us have either incomplete or misinformed ideas concerning money BECAUSE our paradigms have been informed by the “friends & family” around us, who have misconceived paradigms of their own.
Eker identifies seventeen components of the Financial Paradigm of the Rich, and sets them in juxtaposition with the Paradigms of the Middle Class and the Poor. Read through each couplet carefully, and prepare to rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 to see whether YOUR Financial Paradigm is more closely associated with the Wealthy or Poor.
- Rich people believe: “I create my life.” Poor people believe: “Life happens to me.”
- Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.
- Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.
- Rich people think big. Poor people think small.
- Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.
- Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.
- Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.
- Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.
- Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.
- Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.
- Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.
- Rich people think “both”. Poor people think “either/or”.
- Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
- Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.
- Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.
- Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.
- Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.
Now that you’ve read through the differences between the wealthy and the poor, and their thinking patterns, rate yourself on each of the 17 on a scale between 1-5. Score a “1” if you think like the Poor, and a “5” if you think like the Rich on each of the 17 items. Then tally your overall score, and see how you rate below!
85+ Checks are already flowing in from passive income! Congrats!!
75+ The bank account will be filling up any day now
65+ You’ve educated yourself, you are free of debt, and wealth building vehicles are being put into place as we speak.
55+ Might be a good idea to attend a personal development seminar, or even get yourself a Life Architect!
45+ Read the books! Read ALL the books on personal growth, mindset, people skills, etc. that you can get your hands on!
35+ Don’t plan on be Rich any time soon! Or EVER if you don’t turn things around NOW!!!
25+ You need economic surgery!
25- You need full on financial CPR. Somebody grab the paddles and shock your mindset FAST!! CLEAR!!!!! (come on…come on…don’t flat line on me…)
My hope and prayer is that you get your mindset where it needs to be. If you do, the economic stuff will follow. All the best! -Nate
I was born in the late Ohio winter of 1973 to a passionate, enterprising young pastor and his lovely, eager-to-do-well bride, and was taken home from Kettering Memorial Hospital in Kettering, Ohio, to a humble church parsonage. Everything else in my story stems from these roots.
My dad was the son of a pastor, who was the son of a pastor. My mom? You guessed it: Her dad was a pastor too… and an entrepreneur. I’ve traced my family history back 20 generations, and the vast number of ministers and businessmen who populate the family tree is uncanny! That lineage of shepherding hearts and capitalizing minds runs in my blood and courses through my veins. It’s who I am!
And so I embrace two destinies:
1) To chase personal success at every level of life.
2) To help you do the same.
I must confess: I have not always lived my life to it’s fullest. I have left many stones unturned, and have too often taken the road frequently traveled by the masses, when I should have taken the road less traveled (thanks again, Mr. Frost). Procrastination, fear, uncertainty and poor choices have cost me too many days of my life… time that I can never re-collect.
Somehow, I lost myself. Nate Ridgeway went missing, and some other poor, unfortunate soul occupied his space inside a shell of a man. I was smiling and laughing on the outside, but hopeless and empty on the inside.
Before I knew it, I had ballooned from my freshman college weight of 147 pounds to 237 pounds: a weight gain of 90 pounds! My hopes and dreams for success in life gave way to a painful existence of working four jobs to support my beautiful children and struggling marriage. Our debt was spiraling out of control. I was making bad choices, and I barely recognized myself! I was on the verge of losing everything: my future, my marriage, my sanity… my LIFE!
Trust me when I say, it’s not easy to find your way back when you’re that far off the path of LIFE that you know you should be following. Many of you know exactly where I’m coming from! It is only the grace of God that saw me through.
Here’s the cool thing about God: even in our darkest times, He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That means that while I was off doing my thing, He was off doing His thing on my behalf, just waiting for the moment when I would come to my senses and choose LIFE rather than the path of destruction I was headed down.
Now,I don’t know your thoughts on God. Maybe you’ve never really thought much about Him. Maybe you don’t even believe that He’s real or that He exists. It’s ok. He’s thought a lot about you, and He totally believes in you! And should you ever choose to believe in Him, boy does He have a ride in store for you.
In the meantime, if God isn’t your thing, hang with me. I promise not to preach (too much). There’s plenty on the pages that follow that will absolutely help you to get the LIFE results that you are looking for, as we explore the Four Cornerstones of LIFE.
God has blessed me with an amazing list of influencers, including my parents, teachers and professors, business coaches and mentors, authors, and entrepreneurs. Each has made significant deposits into my life-vault from their own insight and experiences. I draw from that wealth of wisdom and knowledge as your LIFE Architect.
No longer 237 pounds, I now weigh in at a healthy and vibrant 155 pounds.
No longer working twenty hours a day at four dismal jobs, I now enjoy a multiple six-figure annual income as an entrepreneur.
No longer depressed and miserable, I count myself blessed as a happy husband and dedicated dad.
No longer lost, Nate Ridgeway has been found! And for my second chance at living life wisely and well, I am grateful.
(This is an excerpt from Life Architect Nate Ridgeway’s upcoming book entitled, LIFE: Four Cornerstones, to be released in 2014.)