This past week I was traveling and as I sat on the airplane for the 4 hours each way I had plenty of things available to occupy my time. As always, I try to take advantage of being locked in a tube in the sky free of distractions to accomplish some things that otherwise I seem to procrastinate on or just don’t have the time to do during a typical work week. So I had a book that I really wanted dig into, The One Thing by Gary Keller, and a handful of podcasts that I wanted to catch up on. The podcast was very much inline with the book, which was unintentional on my part but it really made me start to think about how to focus on the most important thing in my life, the one thing that right now will give me the biggest return to reach my goals.
It’s safe to say that most of us have at one point in your life had said something similar to “I’ll start that exercise program tomorrow but tonight I’m going to really enjoy this piece of cake”, or “I really wish I could do something with my career that I’m passionate about instead of going to this job everyday.” How many of us lie to ourselves about our life, our dreams, and our happiness?
This post is not a review of the book or podcast but something that can assist my readers focus on what’s important to them and create clarity on how to get there.
“What is the one thing you can do such by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary”
This is the main theme of Gary’s book. I had to read this line over a few times to really understand what the meaning was. Let’s break this down.
- What is the one thing I can do…This is a focusing question used to show action not intention. This isn’t what “should”, or “could”, or “would” I do but this is what will I do and implies action.
- …such that by doing it…This is beginning to get you focused on something specific that you will be taking action upon.
- …everything else will be easier or unnecessary. This part of the focusing question is all about LEVERAGE. I consistently preach about leverage in my real estate business, leverage in using cash as velocity (business mindset) instead of a currency (employee mindset), and leveraging other people’s time and expertise. This is saying that by completing this one thing that everything else you could do to reach your goal will be easier or unnecessary.
I highly recommend reading The One Thing to help you get focused on what is that one thing in the current moment you need to focus on.
Find a System and become Committed
Once you have a focus, it’s not nearly enough to know the direction you should go. Becoming committed is essential. Staying committed is a whole different story.
Find a system that you can use which will keep you focused and also committed. There are some incredible businesses that have already built out systems that have already been proven to be successful in their field. If your focus is to lose 12 pounds, find yourself a system that will help you get there. Hire a personal trainer that not only will give you a step by step process to follow every day but they will also hold you accountable which keeps you committed. We’ve all been to the gym and see people that use it as a social playground and sit on the machines while talking about last night’s episode of dancing with the stars. These are the people that will wake up one morning and look in the mirror and say, “this workout stuff doesn’t work for me so I’m done with it.”
You’ll also see people in the gym that are drenched in sweat and have somebody in their ear telling them to grind out that last pullup, or get that last minute on the treadmill. These people are the ones who will succeed and meet their goal.
Same goes for business. We speak to dozens and dozens of people who know that they need to do something different in their life. Most people realize that becoming a business owner is one of the best ways to create the freedom they are looking for in life as well as the financial security that they’re missing today. Is it in the best interest for those people to open a business and go at it as a lone wolf and learn from their mistakes or would it be best to surround yourself with people who have already started a business that can mentor them. Would hiring a business coach keep you focused on the path you need to stay on?
Success leaves clues. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Be coachable and obey the system and implement it!
My One Thing Right Now
The one thing in my life right now that if can do such by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary is to lower my debt and increase cash flow. I’ve never been an out of control spender so I’m not referring to credit card debt and of course, who wouldn’t want to increase their cashflow. By lowering my debt my other visions and personal missions will also start to become more of a reality than a dream. Follow along, you’ll understand shortly.
Most of us have a mortgage and for most of us that is also the biggest debt you will ever have in your life. Every month I spend thousands of dollars on a mortgage payment which otherwise could be going somewhere else if the mortgage was paid off. I’ve learned through some of my education and mentoring with real estate professionals that the biggest mistake that most americans make is to refinance their current mortgage at a lower APR which will in fact lower their monthly payment, which seems like that would accomplish my goal. The problem with this is that when you refinance that mortgage the amortization schedule restarts meaning that the majority of the mortgage payments go back to being interest instead of paying down principle. Even though my monthly payment is less, I’ve actually extended my debt and dug myself an even greater hole to get out of and also increased the total cost of my home.
Through the education that we are affiliated with, I dug into a class called Mortgage Acceleration. I followed the system step by step and never once tried to deviate from the plan. I am now looking to pay off a 30 year mortgage in a little less than 8 years without making any additional payments to the mortgage or changing my lifestyle. Since I was able to understand how amortized mortgages worked I was also able to save over $200,000 in interest just by changing the tool I was using to finance the house.
Once the house is paid off (22 years early), many things start to happen automatically that are aligned to my larger goals. I can spend more time with my family as I don’t need to work as hard to meet my monthly expenses. I can take the money associated with the old mortgage payment which was once an expense but is now an increase in cashflow and buy another rental property. When I put that mortgage acceleration strategy in place on the rental properties, those properties will be paid off much sooner which then means all of the rental revenue is actually positive cash flow. Can I take that additional cash flow and do it all over again with another property? Absolutely. Just by taking action on one thing (lowering one debt) I will make everything else easier or unnecessary.
My final advice
This can all be very intimidating and confusing especially if you’ve never really sat down and examined your life, what your main purpose on earth is, what you would do if your biggest worries were not worries any longer. Find your purpose. Read books on the topic if you need inspiration. Once you know your purpose in life, find a group, a coach, a mentor, to lead you. Don’t be afraid to start small. If your goal is to lose weight, the one thing you can do could be as simple as making sure you are out of your house in your workout clothes at an exact time of the day. Once you get that accomplished the next thing you know you’re at the gym getting in your workout or on the walk around the block. Choose one simple thing you can do every day that will get you to that first near term goal and then it’s time to come up with the next One Thing you need to do in that moment for the next goal. Keep it simple, don’t try to see to far into the future, and surround yourself with people who have already accomplished what you’re trying to do.