I turned 60 a year ago, pretty much a year after the economic meltdown of August 2008. For my birthday, I decided it would be wise to rethink my retirement plan, which at the time was “work until I dropped.” Back then my savings account had a balance of $5, my IRA was valued at $3000, and Social Security would give me around $800 a month if I started collecting at 62½.
The first decision was how to approach putting away enough money to retire. There were two paths: go after a big score, a lump sum sufficient to retire on; or set up multiple revenue streams of $500/month here, $1200/month there, $900/month over there, etc. so that there’s enough money coming in each month to live comfortably.
Since my track record on get rich quick projects wasn’t successful (otherwise I wouldn’t be in the predicament I was in) I chose to attempt to setup multiple revenue streams. So far I’ve invested a total of one thousand dollars of my own money and have four sources of revenue streams that are online and growing. I’ve also strengthened my core entrepreneurial endeavor and have had back-to-back, my two most successful years ever.
The key to me pulling this off is not that I’m a slick salesman. I’m anything but. Last week I talked about the importance of offering customer service. I go beyond traditional customer service. I’m more than fair with my clients; I work with them on price to keep things within their budgets while delivering what they need to make sure the project is successful. It’s reverse greed, or at the least the absolute opposite of corporate greed.
It’s pretty simple: my success can only happen if my clients are successful, otherwise where does my income come from? Social Security is not yet a viable option. Therefore, whatever I can do that is of benefit to my clients is of benefit to me. Sort of like the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
This is the Living Vision — you’re detailed vision of YOUR future. For instance, “I envision myself living in a safe neighborhood, in a protected home, with myself and my valuables safe and secure.” It’s positioning yourself correctly — both strategically and ethically. The latter is important. The people of the United States are very angry right now. I submit that whether they know it or not, what they are angry at is the greed that put us in this s—storm. Corporate greed that plundered the middle class. Wall Street greed that raped and pillaged the middle class. Political greed that sold the middle class down the river. Personal greed that convinced us to buy houses we really couldn’t afford. Reverse greed; it’s why I’ve been successful.
When people are feeling they are getting screwed every time they walk out the door, you will be successful as soon as you can figure out how to dispel those feelings. Your Living Vision is your strategy for doing so. Here’s a hint. If you’re not a “me first” person, if you’re not greedy, then you can just be yourself to achieve your Living Vision, and that makes everything a whole lot easier. If you give to get you won’t see any rewards. If you give to help, you will reap enormous benefits.
One other thing. Surround yourself with positive people. Economic collapse, the Greater Depression are certainly possible, maybe even probable [maybe even underway as you read this — ed.]. Economic strain is much more likely to affect you adversely if you give into gloom and doom, surround yourself with people who are negative, and don’t create a Living Vision. Your Living Vision is your way out of “here.”
Certainly there is plenty of blame to go around for how we got into this mess. But getting angry about it, participating in the anger won’t solve anything on the grand scale and will divert your attention and energy from what’s important: your survival. You can’t help anyone, not even yourself, if you are not doing better than just surviving. The key is to disengage from Wall Street, politics, big business — the centers of greed and corruption that will suck the last drop out of you if you play their game. Disengage and play your own game with your own rules.
I hope the majority of those reading this are younger than me. You still have time. Here’s some free advice from an elder; remember, I’m not old for nothing. Start creating revenue streams today…or at least start strategizing about them. Nobody knows what the future will bring so diversity is a good thing; both in life and in business.
And that’s where “The Fall of America and the Western World” comes in. Not only does it explain how we got in this mess, and the likelihood that the best-case scenario is that things never improve — at least not for most of us — this movie also starts you thinking. So start thinking. Come up with your own Living Vision. I recommend “The Fall of America and the Western World” to get your thought processes going.