I was lying here yesterday, pretty medicated, with some random thoughts going through my head on success, wealth and an occasional pink bunny.
Just a quick background on the meds. I had a new type of procedure yesterday on my right knee. The doctor sucked stem cells out of my back, added some secret sauce, and then injected them into my knee cartilage. Kinda cool. The doctor who supervised had both his knees done and he told me he jogs again. I blew out both my ACLs playing beach volleyball and Ice Hockey. I still play but it really bothers me. So hopefully this will re-grow the cartilage and I’ll be like the bionic man. (As a side note – the nurse filmed part of the procedure and I might even post it up online. I was kidding around we should auction off some of the bloody rags on eBay. Okay maybe not a great idea – remember I’m on meds) 😉
Okay back to the point I wanted to throw out there and it’s around this question…
Do you have to want (and obtain) material things first to then turn your attention to more meaningful endeavors?
I found an interesting picture of me from 5th grade on Facebook today and it sorta started this chain of thoughts. Take a look – I’m the 2nd from the left on the bottom row.
My family is from Russia and immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. My Dad came over with $256 in his pocket for me, my Mom and my Grandmother. Just a year and half later, my Dad started his own company repairing (and then later selling) medical equipment. Even 8 years later times were still pretty lean as you can see from the knee patches and goofy shoes. Actually, I don’t think I had a pair of normal sneakers until 7th grade. (And yes, I definitely got made fun of constantly for that!)
It wasn’t until years later that my Dad’s company really started growing and blossomed into a multi-million dollar enterprise that things changed. I grew up working in the business starting with telemarketing latex gloves at age 14 and then even selling medical equipment to docs in person at age 16 when I got my license. It’s interesting how things come full circle because a doctor client of mine, Dr. Wei, gave me a Jay Abraham tape that turned on “the lights” about direct response marketing. And it was Dr. Wei who performed my knee surgery yesterday.
Like a lot of kids, I grew up fantasying about exotic cars with posters of Porsches and Ferraris on my wall. I remember for my Bar Mitzvah calling my parents up to light my final candle and I said something like, “I’d like to call up my parents who have given me everything I’ve ever wanted…except a Porsche.”
Back in 1998 I was just starting to get my entrepreneurial juices going and I attended a Brian Tracy 1-day seminar. He told everyone there to write down the 10 most important goals in our lives at the time. Mine centered mostly around things or dollar amounts. I couldn’t find the notebook but it was something like:
• Make $20,000/month in my own business
• Drive a Mercedes SLK
• Own a townhouse
• Rolex watch, etc
One-by-one I knocked those all out without looking at the list everyday or taping it to my forehead or whatever “secret” I was supposed to use. (Actually I missed one goal – the Mercedes SLK. I actually got a much better SL55 AMG model). It was mostly the things that kept increasing on my goal list. A bigger house, a nicer car, nice trips, nicer watch, etc. until there really wasn’t much left that I really wanted.
Yes, I still love my Aston Martin but I quickly realized it was ‘just’ a car.
Quick side story: Actually, that really hit home to me spending time with my friend, Corey Rudl, before his untimely death. He had a new Lamborghini and we went off to the local smoothie place in La Jolla. Corey forgot he left his smoothie on the armrest and as he accelerated out of the parking out it spilled all over the interior of his car. He just sorta laughed and didn’t freak out like I might have. Previously, I never let anyone eat in my AMG or drink anything but water – but now I really don’t mind. In fact, I’m pretty lax with the car and have let a bunch of my friends drive it. (And I’ll let you drive it too if you want too if you’re the winner of a pretty cool contest for Underground® 5 attendees with the ultimate 007 day.)
So at some point you pretty much got all the toys you really need and then what’s left? To me, it boils down to experiences and relationships. (Yes, there are still some ‘things’ I want like a beach house and maybe a private jet share – but not too much else.)
Maybe that’s why during the past few years that I’ve really gotten clear on the ‘Maverick Philosophy’ of Making more money, having more fun and giving more back! (Somebody the other day told me this is called a Venn diagram – nifty.) In fact, one of my big goal for 2020 involves getting 1,000,000 entrepreneurs to join this ‘movement’ that’s part of Maverick Business Insider.
But I’ve been thinking lately – do you need to get the material things first before you can appreciate the other parts?
I’ll admit it. I really, really wanted my Mercedes AMG roadster. It drove me to create products and services to pay for it – but after the initial thrill wore off – there wasn’t much substance. The anticipation and journey was the best part.
Do you need the Rolex on your wrist before you realize it doesn’t really tell time very well? I used to wear my Rolex as a symbol of my success and new found wealth but I haven’t touched it in years. Today I have a nicer watch but it’s not a name most people would recognize. But maybe getting the ‘reward’ proved to myself I had arrived and could move on to bigger challenges and opportunities.
Some of the material wants really drove me in the beginning – however I still understood the underlying natural laws (like delivering 10x – 100x in value) would help me get the ‘thing’ I wanted. Now I’m much more focused on the bigger picture described in the diagram above. Personally I felt like I had to go through that phase to come out the other end (but maybe not everyone has to).
The unusual way to ‘stumble’ onto success…
There’s a profound theory I heard from R. Buckminster Fuller that says your true success is found perpendicular along the path to your original perceived goal. For example, when I first started InstantSalesLetters.com back in 2000 – my end goal was to sell it for $500k to Stamps.com or someone like that. But on my way to building up that site – I had so many people ask me how I started making money so quickly that I began teaching. And that teaching became part of my success course for the last 8 years opening up one door after another. I would never have got on that track unless I was moving towards the original goal. Same thing today, my next course is with my Maverick Business Adventures® and Maverick Business Insider companies – which wouldn’t have been formed without the contacts and connections made with my Internet business.
I’ve love to hear from people who have ‘made it’ (so to speak) and those who are still striving. Can you create a ‘rich’ life without getting the material things first that many of us (me included) initially wanted? I know some people are not motivated by material things and that’s great too. But I find an issue with some of those same people that believe making money is wrong or immoral. Somehow by being poor is more honorable. Umm…Bullshit.
I bet I’ll also get responses saying the happiest and ‘richest’ people are actually the poorest dollar-wise. Or money doesn’t buy you happiness.
I’ve said it before, I think money only amplifies who you are and what resources you have available to you. If you’re a jackass before you had money – you’ll be an even bigger jackass. However, if you’re a generous and giving person – you now have more to give, etc.
I believe you can have it all…the complete package of profits, passion and purpose – but which road gets you there?