The whole world of personal development was something that Neil did not really get into until he started his property investing journey. Initially he was put off by some of the “happy clappy” styles that some people have in this area and instead much preferred the down to earth, simplistic style of personal development.
One of the most simple things to do was to actually write down his property investing goals. Research has proven that by actually committing your goals and plans to paper makes them more likely to happen even if you then put the paper in a drawer and forget about it. One of the great leaders in the field of setting goals is Brian Tracy. Neil had the pleasure of seeing Brian present in the UK in 2009 when he spoke to the PPP network of Franchise Partners. You can have goals for many different areas of your life including financial, personal, health & fitness, social, business, family and friends.
These were Neil’s first property investing goals:
1. To buy my first property or properties in Chelmsford to rent out the rooms until I can generate profit of the equivalent of my monthly outgoings on rent and bills (approx. £500pcm)
2. For me to continue renting until I can generate approximately £1,000 pcm profit from property and then look to buy my own property.
3. To achieve approximately £2,000 pcm profit from property and then consider leaving my job to be a full time investor.
4. To achieve a monthly profit of £10,000 pcm from property and enjoy the lifestyle that goes with it!!
Even though these goals were written in a very basic way and without any confidence that they would actually come through they happen to have been achieved even though he actually forgot he had written them down!!
One of the most thought provoking and mind changing books that Neil read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This book teaches the fundamental principles of buying assets to generate income whilst minimising your liabilities and expenses. It sounds very simple but most people do exactly the opposite!
Neil has many other books that he can recommend you read but he also gets a lot from reading autobiographies from business and sports people. The whole idea of finding out exactly how and why someone has done what they have from their upbringing really gives you an insight into what makes people successful. He has read books by people including Richard Branson, Lord Alan Sugar, Duncan Bannatyne, James Caan, Theo Paphitis, Rachel Elnaugh, Lance Armstrong, Clive Woodward, Paul Gascoigne, Jimmy Greaves, Paul McGrath, Michael Owen.
Some of the most inspirational people that Neil has seen speak in the UK include Miles Hilton-Barber, Simon Woodroffe, Richard Branson, Brian Tracy, Stephen Covey, Mike Harris and Richard Reed. Many of these speakers also have audio cd’s that you can listen to on you Ipod or in your car whilst travelling to work. Travelling in your car is one of the best times to continue educating yourself by listening to inspirational and successful people. We spend so much time in our cars or travelling in general that you might as well make the most of that time and do something productive with it.
Continual learning is a big part of Neil’s success. There are always people that are more successful than you and know more than you so it is important that you learn from these people when you have the opportunity to and make sure you surround yourself with people that you can learn from also on a day to day basis.
For the last couple of years Neil has worked with a business coach on a monthly basis and has benefitted from speaking to someone regularly who can look at his business from the outside with a fresh set of eyes. Having someone to speak to who understands what you are going through and is able to help you work your way through a problem has been really key to allowing Neil to always be moving forwards and trying to achieve bigger and better things.
Some of Neil’s top tips for personal and business development are:
1) Write a list of things you need to do the next day just before you go to bed. This helps you to wake up and just get stuck into your tasks straight away rather than getting into the day and then thinking what you should be doing. It also allows you to get things out of your mind or brain which allows you to sleep better because you can properly switch off knowing that you can get stuck into things tomorrow rather than stay awake all night thinking about them.
2) Recognise your successes and celebrate them! However small that success or achievement it is important that you take time out and reward yourself for it. It shouldn’t all be about work and unless you recognise your success it seems crazy to have these targets to beat unless you can get something back for completing them.
3) Take action! There are so many people in the world that can talk a good game and they are often the people that want to tell you what you can and can’t do without ever having even attempted it themselves. We all know we have friends or work colleagues like that! Ignore them, get out there and take action. Even if you fail or something doesn’t work out as you thought then learn from it and take more action. Better to try and to fail than to not do anything in the first place!
4) Health and fitness should be a major part of your life! What is the point in aiming to be successful, make lots of money etc and then have your life shortened by poor health? You don’t have to run marathons every month but small amounts of regular exercise as well as a balanced diet will give you massive benefits. Regular exercise also gives you time to think and generate ideas. If you go on a long walk or run you can really process your thoughts and get some clarification on an issue that you are facing. In terms of health just make small changes to what you eat. Going on a diet will not make you happy! Most diets mean you stop eating the things you like. Where is the fun in that?? It is important however to really think about what you are putting in your body. If you like chocolate, eat it but maybe only on a certain day each week.
5) Get out of your comfort zone!! The only way you will grow or develop is to do things that you have not done before. In most cases that fills people with fear which is why they don’t do it. Also, if you are comfortable there is no reason to do anything different but by doing new things, meeting new people and being open minded about what is possible will always put you in a position where you can grow and new opportunities will present themself to you. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing, over and over again and expect to get a different result. To get a different result in your life you need to do things you haven’t done before. It’s scarey but is vital for personal and business development.