Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Power of Choice – Success is a Choice by MJ

The Power of Choice – Success is a Choice

The Power of Choice is the most fundamental power we have as individuals to achieve our goals. The power of choice encompasses our entire life – regrettably, most of us never realize it before its too late. This great power holds the key to unlocking not just financial independence, but your happiness as a human being.

Choice is an amazing thing. Embrace it and use it to your advantage.

When we reflect back into our lives, we have the capability of analyzing the forks in the road – and where those forks have taken us. The forks are simple choices, both large and small – but each share the common thread of having the magnificent power to take us somewhere different.

You see, your life as it exists now, is the cumulative result of your choices – millions of choices which you’ve made. If you’re dissatisfied in your life, your choices take 100% full responsibility.

Blame them

Yes, life is about choice. The choice to be positive. The choice to be negative. The choice to watch TV or read a book. The choice to eat donuts or eat fruit. The choice to sleep until noon, or rise at dawn. Choice surrounds us and our great country affords us that luxury.

Every day, you make hundreds of choices. You’ve chosen to read this. Not only does choice exist in our external actions, they exist in our internal mind.

The Power of Choice comes in two forms.

The Choice of Perception and the Choice of Action.

First, the Choice of Perception:

You choose to interpret events in your particular frame of reference. Your mind labels and categorizes events that surround you. When someone says “dog” some people see a poodle. Others see a Pit Bull. This is the Choice of Perception.

If you lose your job you can choose it to be a negative, or positive. When you’re pulled over for speeding, you can be angry or thankful. The Choice of Perception and its choices start right between your ears.

The other day while pumping gas in my car (the Lamborghini) I had a teenager ask me if he could snap some pictures of the car. “Sure, go right ahead!” I replied. After a few minutes of pictures and various rants and raves about the car, he exclaimed, “I gotta get as many pictures as possible cuz Ill never be able to afford one of those”.

Choice. He made a choice to believe he will never own one. Small choice? Or big choice? His Choice of Perception was poor. This poor choice of perception will forever lead him to average results. Unfortunately, he doesn't even know it.

Going back 11 years to my teen years, the difference between he and I was this: When I was 14, I saw my first Lamborghini sitting outside an ice cream store. As a gazed in wonderment, I thought to myself, “Some day I’m gonna own one of those”. My Choice of Perception was strong.

If you maintain strong choices of perception, your focus ultimately becomes your reality.

I moved to Phoenix in 1997 poor and broke. I mailed out dozens of resumes hoping to get a “safe secure job” – weeks passed and I received no phone calls. Instead of framing this event as a failure, I chose to be positive. I took further action and increased the work efforts of my small business. If I didn’t, I would have been homeless on the street as rent was fast coming due. I made choices; both in perception AND action.

The Choice of Action is the second choice power we have.

Not only are the choices you make in your internal mindset important, but the choices you make in your external activities.
To move ahead in life, you must understand that the smallest of choices impact your life. Most of us believe only the big choices impact our life; Should I take that new job? Should I marry Jennifer? Should I start a business? Should I buy that car? Do I get that MBA? This is false.

The smallest of choices, in your daily life, are the ones that can make the biggest impact.

Back in 1997 I made a choice to visit a chat room to “see what was going on” – at the moment, it was a very simple choice. It was nothing big as I was just wasting time on the Internet. However, in that chat room, I would meet my best friend whom forever would impact my life and my business. Had I not met my best friend, my life as it is today, would be 100% different. Where would I be had I not made that choice to enter that chat room?

What seemingly simple choices have you made that made the biggest impact on your life?

Watch out with the Choice of Action!

Its power can take you places and throw your life into bliss or chaos. Be mindful with the Choice of Action.

In 2004 I bought a new Viper. One month into ownership I decided to street race someone while having to much to drink. Unfortunately, not being that familiar with the car and having liquor in my system, I was unable to control the car – the car started to spin and crossed over into traffic careening into palm tree.

I made a choice and the choice was disastrous.

This poor choice would forever impact my life. That night I was lucky – I did not kill myself or anyone else. Had I killed someone, my life would have been 100% different – no amount of money in the bank can keep you from prison. No amount of money can purge your soul of the horror of being responsible for taking someone's life so foolishly.

That night I was carted away and charged with DUI. The Viper was totaled and I later found that I would have been killed had impact been driver side vs. passenger side. My life was spared as where others.

The Choice of Action can throw your life into chaos or bliss: I decided to illegally drag race. Conversely the Choice of Perception was this: Instead of being regretful that I got caught, I was overwhelmingly thankful – thankful I did not kill anyone or destroy other people’s lives. I now choose not to race anyone on the street – I now choose not to drink and drive and have adopted a zero tolerance policy. Choices. Choices of Action and Choice of Perception.


We make good ones and we make bad ones.

All of them – impact our life and throw us into different directions. To be happy and live a life of success, make more good choices vs. bad choices.

Your choices become who you are. Your life is a reflection your choices, in action and perception.
At this very moment – whether its an trailer, apartment, house, or a mansion on a hill – YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE because you made those choices.

How do you choose to frame your surrounding events? What language do you use in your mind?
“Ill never …”
“I can’t. …”
“If I could only … “

Or do you choose better words?
“This is a challenge Ill overcome”
“I will”

The Power of Choice starts early in life -- its impacts are life lasting.

The choice to cheat on your English writing exams, or study.
The choice to have unprotected sex.
The choice to skip class, or attend class.
The choice to lie or to be honest.
The choice to watch TV, or read an educating book.
The choice to drive 105 mph in a 55 mph zone.
The choice to associate with negative people.
The choice to overindulge in food or liquor.
The choice to drive home after drinking too much.
The choice to cheat on your significant other.
The choice to steal a pack of gum from the supermarket.
The choice to go out with your friends when you really wanted to stay home

Some Choices Have Unintended Consequences


At age 16, David thought it would be cool to ignite a smoke bomb in the school bus. This day he makes a choice. At the time it would seem like a harmless prank. 14 children suffered smoke inhalation that day. Fortunately, those 14 children recovered quickly. However, it was David’s 10-day stay in juvenile detention that would forever lead David’s life down a different path.

David met Rudy in juvenile hall. Rudy would later teach David the “rules” of the perfect burglary. For years, the rules which Rudy taught David allowed him to make thievery a career. David’s luck would soon run out and would later spend 9 years in prison. Today, he is homeless and still engages in petty crimes.

Had David not met Rudy, where would he be? A fireman? Banker? Businessman? Choice, and the path of its consequences, start early.


At age 18, Alyssa leaves home to live with a 29 year old man she met at the local bar 4 months earlier. She has unprotected sex on multiple occasions and later becomes pregnant. Unfortunately, the pregnancy is unwanted and Alyssa is brutally beaten by her boyfriend when she tells him the news. Alyssa later aborts the pregnancy in a motel bathroom and leaves her boyfriend only to return home to her parents.

Had Alyssa not moved in with a man she did not know, she’d be able to conceive today. Alyssa will grow old childless. Choice, and the path of its consequences, start early.


A multimillionaire by age 28, Andre had everything: A beautiful wife, money, a healthy daughter, riches, and a thriving restaurant business. Andre is on top of the world. One Friday night after having a few drinks to celebrate his night manager’s birthday, Andre gets in his car and drives home drunk. He mentally chooses to think “I’m OK”.

On his way home he kills a family of 4 while traveling down the interstate. Andre is arrested for drunk driving and carted off to jail where after a trial, he will later spend the next 15 years of his life. His life will never be the same because of not ONE CHOICE, but multiple choices. The choice to drink. The choice to drive. The choice to think “I’m OK” – the series of choices is plentiful – his exit strategy was clear – he didn’t choose wisely.

Poor choices lead to poor results.

As you move forward in life, ask yourself, am I making good choices? Good choices of action? Good choices in perception? Do you choose to be a victim?

Do you blame others or take responsibility?

Someone once said, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. If you continue to make the same choices, you can expect the same results.

If you are unhappy in your life, make better choices. There’s no time like today.

Peace Out.

For more on this article and replies to it, you can click here to go to the Rich Dad thread.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball by FTC

The Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball

Earn up to $100,000 per year!

At the world’s most successful seminar, we’ll show you how
to multiply your money in 6 months or less -- with little risk.

Our experts will teach you the latest insider secrets for making money fast.

You can’t afford to pass up this valuable opportunity.

What a pitch! You may have received a letter or seen an infomercial promoting a seminar or conference that promises to help you make a lot of money. Seminar hucksters say they’ll give you valuable information about how to invest successfully or operate a profitable business. Their "success stories" and testimonials seem to show that anyone who attends the seminar can make money from the investment and business program they’re selling. Some promoters may even claim to have gotten rich from their own investment in the program.

If you attend one of these seminars, you’ll hear a series of sales pitches for a variety of business opportunities and investments. Consumers who invest in these "opportunities" frequently find that the pay-off isn’t as promised -- and they can’t recoup the money they spent.

The Federal Trade Commission wants to alert you to the secrets of the seminar squeeze. Be wary of promotional materials or sales pitches that make these claims:

* You can earn big money fast, regardless of your lack of experience or training.
* The program or business opportunity is offered for a short time only.
* The deal is a "sure thing" that will deliver security for years to come.
* You’ll reap financial rewards by working part time or at home.
* You’ll be coached each step of the way to success.
* The program worked for other participants -- even the organizers.

Don’t Get Hit By The Pitch
Promises of quick, easy money can be a powerful lure. If you buy into a business opportunity at a seminar, you may find that the products and information you purchased are worthless and that your money is gone.

You can avoid getting hit by the seminar pitch. Here’s how:

* Take your time. Don’t be rushed into buying anything at a seminar. Avoid high-pressure sales pitches that require you to buy now or risk losing out on the opportunity. Remember, solid opportunities are not sold through nerve-racking tactics.
* Investigate the business you’re considering investing in. Talk to experienced business people and experts in the field before spending your money.
* Be wary of "success stories" or testimonials of extraordinary success. The seminar operation may have paid "shills" to give glowing stories.
* Be cautious about purchasing from seminar representatives who are reluctant to answer questions, or who give evasive answers to your questions. Remember that legitimate businesspeople are more than willing to give you information about their investment or sales opportunity.
* Ask about how much money you need to qualify for the investment or sales opportunity, and ask about the company’s refund policy. Get this in writing. Keep in mind that you may never recoup the money you give to an unscrupulous seminar operation, despite the operator’s stated refund policies. Taking precautions before you invest is a more effective way to safeguard your money than trying to get a refund after the investment’s been made.

To File a Complaint
If you’ve been victimized by a seminar promoter, contact your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General, and Better Business Bureau.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NJ Deal - Sunnyside Terrace Short Sale

My group finished its first short sale with a duplex in Sunnyside Terrace in NJ. It was good as my friend who is a loan officer got the lead and another friend who is an investor short saled with the bank. The #s are:

ARV = $220 to $250K
Fixup costs = $40 to $50K
1st lien bank mortgage = $175K as of Feb 2005
Other liens = $12K

Final payoff after short sale: $125K including all closing costs and paying off credit card judgements, taxes, and utility bills.

There were many challenges to this getting done as the title search revealed extra emcumbrances on title among other things. It found things that were paid off but was not dismissed or recorded as satisfied. This made the whole thing drag.

My friend and I agreed to take 25% of the finder's fee. It was flipped to our short sale teacher to rehab and rent or live in. He was going to be paid 50% net of flip value.

We were happy to close and now looking for more short sales. The client even said she was happy and she wanted to know if we would hire her as a paralegal!

It is a good win although a small one. Many are happy including the bank :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Door Knocking on Saturday

Yesterday I went door knocking on several prospects that I have had in my file for the last 2 months. The purpose is to get rid of any fear in knocking on someone's door to speak with them about their foreclosure situation. The results were:

81xx 17ave - spoke with HO (homeowner) and they were visibly upset after several knocks, the HO was agitated with the multiple knocks and said, "I don't want to be a XXXX but..." SLAM the door! Alot of the dust moved from it. The HO gave feedback about the following - 1. lack of business cards and 2. lack of business address (as I previously proposed meeting at a Dunkin Donuts to outline a plan of attack)

87XX 17ave - spoke with tenant who was a very good guy who was sharing alot of info about where the HO was, I shared with them a little about the situation and asked him about the HO, I saw the HO and spoke with him. The house was newly renovated 2 months ago and is now being rented with negative cashflow. HO has import / export business that is viable. HO just was disorganized in paying the mortgage. Good person.

7x Bay 2x - HO wasn't home and dropped off a letter to his bro in law. Bro in law is a good guy working in NYS Sanitation.

2xx Bay 3x - HO wasn't home and dropped off a letter to followup.

5x Bay 3x - talked with neighbor regarding the reason for vacancy, the issue is it is in court for 2 parties fighting over ownership. 1 party has ownership due to unethically having the previous owner deeding property in the will before being deceased. The remaining heir is fighting for full rights to the property.

Lessons Learned:
* My style lends itself that I have business cards. Many of the HO in preforeclosure want to feel that there is someone reliable and professional to help with their situation. Female HO are very volatile.
* Better marketing collateral - business cards, letters, etc... (it is amazing how small things can build or destroy credibility in front of the client)
* Door rings no more than 3x. More than that it becomes a hard sell. If the owner is hiding then leaving a letter w/ business cards seem to be the best way.
* Fear is to be tamed. I don't feel it can be totally eliminated for myself. It is a defensive mechanism but instead I concentrate on the vision behind the vision to assist HO in preforeclosure and at the same time get paid for it. Building the system.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Twelve Outrageous Secrets of Success Your Guru Never Told You, But Your Mentor Will!! by Claude Diamond

by Claude Diamond

Secret #1: If your Life Stinks, it's your fault. (Hey, I warned you!) Success begins when you take full, unmitigated, unequivocal RESPONSIBILITY for your life. You stop blaming lawyers (well, maybe lawyers), politicians, luck, the weather, etc. How many times do we hear from others how it's always someone else's fault? Your Success ALWAYS begins and ends with you.

Secret #2: Throw away your Useless 40 Pound Success Planner. These things are the most useless, supposedly time saving devices ever created. They are designed to save you time, but all you do is waste it by filling out the silly thing. Heck, you even need a three day seminar to learn how to use them. Try using a simple composition book (yep, the black & white one from grammar school) or a basic weekly calendar book. I use one and my appointments and goals are always in front of me. It works great! It's time to simplify.

Secret #3: Whoever said 'Money isn't Everything' never had any. Yes, Yes I know all about good health, etc. What I mean is how can you be a good
Husband or Wïfe, Mom or Dad, a role model to your kids, an upstanding person of character, a contributing member of your community, a person of faith when you are up all night sweating about paying your bills?

Secret #4: TURN OFF THE TELEVISION! Television is a narcotic for the
masses. The average household has a television on for 8 hours plus per day. Watching Gilligan and his buddies on that insipid island won't make you rïch, but what will get you to wealth is making more time for the goals you have set for yourself, for research, learning and implementing ideas. One of the biggest excuses I hear when Mentoring others is that there is no time for anything. Hogwash. There is all the time you need to find your greatness if you place a value on it.

Secret #5: Walking on Hot coals will only give you a hot foot! There are more silly ways for you to spend money in search of success than ever
before. I can't tell you how many folks I have Success Mentored who have literally spent tens of thousands on gimmicks. You don't need to find your center, eat tofu or wear a crystal from the planet Zongo. You just need to learn simple principles of common sense and apply them.

Secret #6: If you hang around or take advice from losers you will become one, too! You are a product of your environment. Oh boy, this is a toughy,
but let's go for it. I discovered a long time ago that when I hung around with losers I became a loser, too. How many times do you find yourself wanting to hang out with folks who have no desire for greatness, just recreation, gripping sessions, whining and the like. The good news is that if you surround yourself with Wïnners you can become one, too. You must create an environment of Success. It's that simple.

Secret #7: You can't petition the Lord (for wealth) with Prayer. (I heard this on some rock album in the 60's). NO, I am not trying to proselytize,
but I figure that praying to the Almighty to wïn the lottery while waiting in line at the 7-11 quaffing down your mango Slurpy™ isn't what spirituality is all about. Save your talks with the big guy for stuff that's really important.

Secret #8: You have to be your own Cheerleader. Nöw don't go into the attic and get your daughter's high school pom poms out. What I mean here is you have to be in your own corner. Success is about having self esteem, believing in yourself, having a little respect for YOU. If this sounds self centered then you're correct. It's all about you, your confidence, your attitude when you really get to the bottom of it.

Secret #9: Character does Matter. No matter what you see and hear from our politicians it really is smart to do the right thing at the right time. I
know this sounds corny, but when you do the right thing at the right time you feel good about yourself, you never have to look over your shoulder, you never have to remember a lie you told. Ask yourself this question. If you were walking down the street with your child and you found a wallet with the owner's ID intact would you have the character to return it or would you hope your child forgets about it and you pocket the loot? How can you expect anything more of your kid (or anyone else) when you, as their role model, can't lead by example?

Secret #10: Find A Mentor. Mentor defined: A wise and trusted teacher. I know of no other technique of Success that has given me greater results
faster than having a One-On-One relationship with a wïnner. The positive influence, guidance, teaching, motivation and laser like focus is what Success is made of. This technique goes all the way back to Homer's ancient Greece and has stood the test of time. Seminars, books and tapes are fine starting points, but there is no substitute for an ongoing supportive, role model relationship. Decide what it is you would like to do, learn and accomplish with your life, then find someone who is already doing it Successfully to help you to discover your greatness. Don't start from scratch or reinvent the wheel when you can have the life you want beginning today with the right Mentor.

Secret #11: Become a Coach or Mentor. Enabling others to stay focused and motivated is such a great feeling! There is no greater joy than sharing in the success of another person who you played a part in helping. Specialized niche Coaching & Mentoring is becoming the höme busïness opportunïty of the 21st century. Find a Mentor and Become a Coach or Mentor and make a difference in your life and in that of another person.

Secret #12: You have everything you need right nöw to Succeed. You are endowed with the same seeds of greatness as anyone you have ever envied or
admired. It's just a question of finding your passion, discovering your greatness and pursuing it with a disciplined HUNGER. So many people accept mediocrity as their standard when they are capable of so much more. Don't settle for less; excel and find the life you deserve, your greatness within and the life you are destined for. You have everything you need right nöw! So just go for it!

Thinking Like a Winner by Brian Tracy

Thinking Like a Winner

by Brian Tracy

After studying the research done in cognitive psychology (see "Word to the Wise," below) over the last 25 years, I've come to a simple conclusion: The degree to which you feel in control of your life will largely determine your level of mental well-being, your peace of mind, and the quality of your interactions with people.

What cognitive psychologists call a "sense of control" is the foundation of happiness and high achievement. And the only thing in the world over which you have complete control is the content of your conscious mind. If you decide to exert that control, even when you are surrounded by difficult circumstances, your future potential will be unlimited.

Your aim should be to work on yourself and your thinking until you reach the point where you absolutely, positively believe yourself to be a total winner in anything you sincerely want to accomplish. When you feel unshakable confidence in yourself and your abilities, nothing will be able to stop you. This state of self-confidence comes from (1) understanding the functioning of your remarkable mind, and (2) practicing the techniques of mental fitness over and over, until you become a completely optimistic, cheerful, and positive person.

In his book "The Act of Will" , Italian psychologist Dr. Roberto Assagioli laid out a series of psychological principles that can help you understand the way your mind works and how you can take control of it. One of his principles is that images or pictures, either from within or from the outside, will trigger thoughts and feelings that are consistent with them. In turn, those thoughts and feelings will trigger behaviors that lead to the realization of the pictures.

This has been referred to as the Law of Reversibility, and is one of the most important success principles ever discovered. Simply put, you are more likely to act yourself into feeling than you are to feel yourself into acting.

For example, when you become absolutely convinced that you are a total winner and you are meant to be a complete success in anything that you really want to do, every picture or image that somehow represents winning to you will trigger thoughts of what you could do to achieve that same state. The picture will also trigger the feeling of excitement that will motivate you to take action.

A friend of mine who was a sales manager had a simple technique to make new salespeople successful, and it worked more than 90% percent of the time. When he hired a salesperson, he would take that person to a nearby Cadillac dealership and force him to trade in his current car for a new Cadillac. The payments on the Cadillac were substantially more than the new salesperson had ever imagined himself making, so he would strongly resist getting into the commitment. However, the sales manager would insist until, finally, the salesperson bought the new Cadillac and drove it home.

No matter how unsure or insecure the salesperson felt, when his spouse and friends saw the new Cadillac and he experienced the pleasure of driving it down the street, he began to think about himself and to see himself as a big success. And in almost every case, it turned out to be true. Those people went on to become great successes at selling their products.

Take every opportunity you can to surround yourself with images of what success means to you. Get brochures on new cars. Get magazines with pictures of beautiful homes, beautiful clothes, and other things that you could own as a result of achieving the success that you are aiming for. Each time you see or visualize those images, you trigger the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make them materialize in your life.

In her book "Wake Up and Live" , Dorothea Brande said that the most important success secret she ever discovered was this: "Act as if it were impossible to fail, and it shall be." She goes on to explain that you need to be very clear about the success that you desire, and then simply act as if you already had it. Act as if your success were inevitable. Act as if your achievement were guaranteed. Act as if there were no possibility of failure.

You can control your actions easier than you can control your feelings. So if you choose to exert control over your actions, those actions will have a "back flow" effect and trigger the feelings, thoughts, and images that are consistent with those of the person you want to be, of the person who lives the life you want to live.

Your brain is a multi-sensory, multi-stimulated, extremely complex, interactive organ. Everything that you think, imagine, say, do, or feel triggers something else. It's like a series of electrical impulses going out in all directions and turning on lights everywhere.

By understanding the way your mind works, you can make your mind work for you as a powerful engine of growth and development. You can consciously surround yourself with a series of sensory inputs that bombard you with messages and cause you to think and feel like a total winner.

And if you think like a winner and do the things that winners do to keep their minds positive and optimistic, you will be a winner.

Books by Brian Tracy