What I’m learning on my journey to wealth creation – part two

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Many of us have been taught to go to school, get some tertiary education if at all possible, get a job, invest in a good pension or provident fund (for the long term) and eventually you will have a comfortable little nest-egg which will enable you to retire from the world of work, sit in the sunshine sipping cocktails on the beach.

This past weekend I attended one of Robert Kiyosaki’s free seminars to learn more about his Brick-Buy-Brick training method where he teaches one how to invest in property whether you have your own financial resources or not. For those who don’t have their own financial resources, his training programme teaches how to go about finding other sources of income to create wealth for yourself by investing in property.

I went to the workshop as a sceptic, determined to find faults and flaws and to write this off as just another scam, however, I was not able to find any flaws or faults so if it is a scam, it is a very well disguised one.

In my previous post I mentioned that the property you are living in is not an asset but a liability. In terms of wealth creation, you would need at least one additional property from which you can receive rental income which will then be an asset to you. Your (financial) aim in life should be to increase your assets and reduce your liabilities.

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According to Robert Kiyosaki, there are six steps you need to take to become a property investor. These steps are:

1. Decide to learn how – the first part of your investment should be in your education. Education about the property market, the do’s and don’ts of buying property etc
2. Find an area to invest in i.e. find your deals. Focus on the areas closest to your own home so it’s easily accessible should the need arise for you to go there.
3. Identify potential properties in the area(s) you want to work in.
4. Find a good Broker (Estate Agent)
5. Put the deal together
6. Manage the property

What I learned this weekend:

1. You need to have an Action Plan and it needs to be in writing. Having an Action Plan in your head is no good. Do you have a financial Action Plan for the next 12 – 24 months?
2. Success is something you attract by the person you become.
3. You need to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Of course you still need to give 100 percent at work, but when you’re not at work, you should work harder on yourself than any other part of your life.
4. Self-development for the next 12 months should include: attending at least two seminar/workshop events (more if possible), read at least one book per month (more if you can) and listen to at least one audio book (more if you can).
5. We should not wish for less challenges, we should wish for more wisdom i.e. focus on the opportunities and not on the challenges.
6. Work on that which you can control i.e. you can control your income (cash flow) but you cannot control the Government, inflation and/or recession etc Leave politics to the politicians. Focus on improving your own life.
7. Knowledge equals confidence.
8. Pain can motivate you – embrace your challenges
9. Allow people to help you. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
10. Three keys to success: Opportunity, knowledge and Action (massive action)
11. We need to have a positive mental attitude (PMA) and a millionaire mindset
12. Study yourself: keep a journal (write daily learnings, your life’s mission, your vision board etc). Go through your journal every quarter and again at the end of the year and see how far you’ve come.
13. Believe in yourself.

“Hell on earth is meeting the person you could have become”.
Keith Cunningham

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What I’m learning on my journey to wealth creation . . .

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Money seldom solves a person’s money problems. Financial literacy solves your money problems. Make your financial freedom the most important bill you pay every month. Ann Wilson.

I come from a generation where I was taught that the pathway to wealth is to exchange my time for money and that the longer I worked for someone (company or organisation) and the more money I earned in the process, I would be able to create wealth for myself.

After more than thirty years of doing this, I have come to realise that exchanging my time for money is a vicious cycle, like a hamster on a wheel, going nowhere slowly. Whether you give 150 percent or more of yourself, the increase in money remains the same percentage, your tax bracket changes and even though you are earning more money, because of the new tax bracket you could actually end up coming home with less cash in your pocket. So what’s the alternative?

In the last year or so, I’ve been doing research and attending workshops and seminars run by big achievers like Conrad Laubuscagne, JT Foxx, Ann Wilson (The Wealth Chef), and others. This coming weekend I will be attending a seminar by Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad (the book) fame.

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So what have I learned so far?

There is a big difference between Savings and Investments – why?

Savings – money to use for emergencies (security net)
Investments – money you are not using. Invested for long term (minimum of 5 years) and which you could live off the interest.

Increasing your income is not important but increasing your assets is. Increasing your income won’t solve your money problems, it only increases your spending. The more you earn, the more you want to spend.

We all need to keep an Income Statement and a Balance Sheet.

Income Statement – Record of your Income and Expenditure each month
Balance Sheet – Record of your Assets and Liabilities. You should review this every quarter.

What is an Asset? Something that causes money to flow back into your life

What is a Liability? Something that causes money to flow out of your life

In order to create wealth, you need to build up your Assets. We need to remove ourselves from the money for time exchange. Ann Wilson

Definition of Financial Freedom (according to Ann Wilson – The Wealth Chef): You are financially free when you have a big enough pot of assets that earn money for you and pay for your chosen lifestyle without you having to go out to work for someone.

What does being financially free mean to you?
• What could you create?
• What could you do in the world? (charity)

What is your destination (financial)? Be specific:
• How much is enough?
• How much money do you need in order to be financially free?
• What value of assets do you need to be financially free?

What do we need to do?
1. Start investing early – we need to start investing early to take advantage of compound interest. We need to invest in products like Retirement Annuity funds and Tax Free savings accounts – the latter only recently introduced here in South Africa.
Start small – invest a lump sum amount each month (start with as little as R50.00 per month into a low cost savings account). Set up a debit order to automatically take this money before you have a chance to spend it. Value yourself enough to pay yourself first! The habit is more important than the amount. Invest in yourself. Make your money work for you. You are worth it!

2. Be a passive investor – we need to be passive investors on the Stock Market but we should not listen to the Stock Brokers who so badly want to convince us they are the only ones who know how to make us rich. We should not take advice when it comes to picking stocks. We need to simply buy and hold a portfolio of low-cost Index Tracker Funds via an Online Broker which we can do ourselves, without the help of a third party. This is called passive investing and it works.
– Pick individual stocks not high fee mutual funds (Index Tracker Fund or Accumulation Fund). The Accumulation Fund is where your dividends get re-invested each month so you receive a compounded growth on your investment.
– Invest in low cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) that replicate the market without making any bets on what’s going to happen to individual stocks and leave the money there for long term (a minimum of five years)
– Google Exchange Traded Funds [name of country] to find the trading platforms available in your country. For South African’s – you could try http://www.etfsa.co.za. There are many others you could choose from which you will find via your Google search.

3. Consider the economics of leasing instead of buying. Often, renting wins. Now this is where I need some convincing because I was raised to believe that owning your own home is your greatest asset and a major achievement because it signifies wealth and prosperity. What I was never taught was that the house you are living in is not an asset, it is actually a liability. Why? Because an asset is something which brings in money for you and the house you are living in does not do that for you. The house you are living in is a liability because you are constantly having to spend money i.e. you have to pay the Mortgage Bond every month, utilities, maintenance, insurance etc – money leaving your pocket instead of coming in. Often you are better off leasing or renting rather than buying.

Renting vs Buying – you need to ask yourself these four questions:
• Are mortgage rates going to stay low?
• Are flats/condos going to increase in price?
• Are equities (stocks) going to decline in price?
• Am I comfortable having a large portion of my nett worth in one asset? Remember: the house you are living in is not an asset, it is a liability.

Assets fall into four groups or categories:
1. Equity – this is stocks, shares, bonds and mutual shares i.e. you share in the profits of somebody else’s business. Income from Equity is also known as Portfolio Income.

2. Income-generating property (residential or commercial) – this is not your private home. This is another property you own and which is being rented out to someone so you receive an income in the form of rent. This is also known as Passive Income.

3. Low-input businesses – This is a business that makes a profit for you, without you being actively involved in the daily running of the business. For example: you could earn royalties from a book you have written, royalties from E-books you sell via the internet, royalties from patents you hold on certain products or royalties earned from music you produce. You put the effort in upfront and then leave the products to earn income for you. Other examples include Vending Machines, ATM’s, automatic car wash systems and most online businesses – once created, they are driven and sold through automated systems.

4. You – your time and skills are your greatest asset which you exchange for money, however, less than 10 percent of your total income should come from you. 90 percent of your income should come from passive income sources. That is the way the wealthy generate income.

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Wow! A major learning curve for me is that I’ve been doing it all wrong all this time.

I was taught to believe that I was responsible for earning 100 percent of my income through blood, sweat and tears – exchanging my time for money, working for someone, when, in fact, I should have systems in place where I can generate 90 percent or more of my income without even having to leave my house every day.

So . . . guess what? I’m now reviewing my skills to see which of my skills can generate a passive income for me – maybe not a book but I’m sure I can come up with a few E-books or something? I’m also soaking up as much information as I can about automated systems – what can be automated and how I could like this to my skills I have.

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This sure is an interesting journey. By associating myself with the wealthy and super rich, I’m learning so much. It’s opened up a whole new world for me.

Questions:
• What part of the wealth journey are you on right now?
• Which goal do you want to achieve?
• Will that goal bring you closer to your dream (long term goal)?
• What do you have to do to achieve your goal? (your resources: effort, time, money)?
• Are you willing to sacrifice what is needed in order to achieve your goal?

Me . . . the budding Voice Over Artiste

Voice_You have a voice

I started my work life many years ago as a Receptionist/Typist and from my very first job I was always told I have a great speaking voice. Employers since then have been reluctant to move me away from the telephone because I apparently sound good on the telephone and interact well with callers.

This got me thinking one day. “Why don’t I become a Voice Over Artist? Of course, there was a lot of self doubt and the negative mind monkeys always questioning me “do you really think you can do this?”

Find your voice

More than fourteen weeks ago I decided to throw myself in at the deep end, found myself a Voice Coach and have been working hard at training for my new found profession. I must tell you, it’s HARD WORK, but, I’ve found myself such a super duper Voice Coach who is so super patient with me and so encouraging.

The bad news is that the Voice Over industry is such a highly competitive industry and voice acting jobs are very difficult to get into – especially when there are professional actors and actresses doing Voice Overs to supplement their income. This means that no matter how good I am at using my voice, I will still face strong competition in the real world.

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There are numerous types (genres) of Voice Overs:
• Commercial Voice Overs
• Promotional Voice Overs
• Movie Trailer Voice Overs
• Animation Voice Overs
• Audio Book Voice Overs
• Industrial Voice Overs

The type of Voice Over which suits me depends on my type of voice and performance ability. My lessons focussed on learning various styles of reading to find what style suits my voice best. For example: do I make a good narrator suitable for audio book voice work or do I have a natural “regular” sounding voice best for commercial work? I think my Coach and I have established that I don’t have a big booming voice which would be suitable for movie trailer voice work and I don’t quite have any character voices developed yet for animation voice work. Maybe later?

Many Voice Over Casting Directors offer classes that specialize in each genre of Voice Over. A big advantage of being trained by a casting director is that, if they’re impressed with you in class, you could get called in for Voice Over auditions, and you may even get a referral to a Voice Over Talent Agency.

Voice_mike

Now that I have completed my training and based on some honest feedback from my Coach, when I’m ready to move forward, the next step would be to produce a Voice Over demo reel, but before I spend money on a Voice Over demo reel, I need to be certain that I’ve refined my voice acting skills enough to move forward with a career in Voice Overs.

Once I’m ready for my demo reel, I will need to find an audio production company that specializes in producing Voice Over demo reels, preferably one recommended by an experienced Voice Actor (like my Coach for example).
What is a Voice Over demo reel? It is a professional recording of about eight excerpts that feature my voice speaking copy (reading text). There would be a separate demo reel for each and every genre of Voice Over which I will pursue to get work. A demo reel usually runs between 60 – 90 seconds and displays a good vocal and emotional range.

Some people misinterpret this to mean inventing voices or dialects, but that’s not advisable. You really just need to demonstrate enough versatility to be able to perform a variety of Voice Overs.

Voice Over Agents and Casting Directors want to be comfortable knowing that they can throw a lot of different voice scripts at you, from peppy and energetic to solemn and intimate and that you will do a great Voice Over read every time.

Once the Voice Over demo reel is done, I will be ready to start submitting my demo reel to voice Over Talent Agents and Voice Over Casting Directors. A Voice Over Talent Agent is the person who will represent me and help me get Voice Over work. They will find opportunities for me to audition, and if I’m accepted for a job, they will take 10 percent of my earnings. A Voice Over Casting Director is a person hired by an Advertising Agency or Production Company to manage and direct Voice Over auditions.

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The main difference between Voice Over acting and other types of film and stage acting is the way you audition. For Voice Overs, you do most of your auditioning at the Talent Agency and only a small percentage with a Casting Director. The Talent Agencies, like the Casting Directors, actually have their own Voice Over booths where auditions are done. If you have a home studio and are good at directing yourself, your Voice Over Agent may permit you to record your Voice Over auditions from home.

The Voice Over business, like all acting, is unionised for most of the major work such as national television commercials, promos and animation. Many local and regional commercials as well as a great deal of non-broadcast narration, are not unionised.

Voice Over work is voice acting, plain and simple. Very few people make an exclusive career of Voice Over work. Like all acting, the Voice Over industry is very up and down and unless you are able to book long-running Voice Over campaigns, or do e-books or an animated movie feature, income from Voice Over work is usually supplementary.

Most Voice Over Artists are also on-camera actors and Voice Overs is just one area where they regularly audition for work. The key is, in order to work as a Voice Over Artist, I will need to work flexible hours that allows me to audition or I will have to find a job where I work at night.

You never know – the next advertisement you hear on the radio or television might just be my voice.

Just watch this space!