Many people go through life envious of the success of others. But what they fail to realise is that successful people, and especially those who reach the upper echelons, spend their lives working hard to achieve their dreams. While there’s no proven formula, there’s no denying that many of the people we admire share common qualities that helped them get to the top – and stay there! Hear what they are from Michael Yardney.
Kevin: Success definitely leaves clues. If you follow a successful person, you’ll pick up lots of really good information, if your antenna is out and you’re looking for it. Probably one of the most common questions I’m asked is “What makes a successful investor? Why are some people more successful than others?” Well, there are some great lessons, and Michael Yardney joins us to talk through those with us this morning in the show.
Good morning, Michael. How are you?
Michael: Hi Kevin.
Kevin: I know you’ve made a study of this, and you’ve written several books about it, as well, and that is, what makes someone very successful? They do leave clues, and there are some common traits, Michael, aren’t there?
Michael: Yes, there are. Now, of course, everyone measures success differently, so I’m not necessarily talking about how big your bank balance is or how many properties you have in your portfolio or how big your share balance is – even though a lot of people do measure success in a monetary way, don’t they, Kevin?
Kevin: They do, mate. Yes, exactly. So what have you found, then?
Michael: What I’ve done is I’ve studied, I’ve learned. I’ve actually mentored over 2000 people in the last ten years, so I’ve seen those who’ve been successful and those who haven’t. Yes, there are some common traits, so let’s go through them.
One of them interesting is that a lot of the successful people start their day early. They’re early birds. They’re earlier risers –and fancy people like Sir Richard Branson, Robert Iger, the Disney CEO. Lots of people wake early and they actually take advantage of their time in the morning – the extra hour or two – to get things done in an efficient way, Kevin.
Another thing that a lot of successful people do – in fact, all of them – is they read. They understand the power of reading today. It’s also, I guess, passed on to podcasts, where people are just continuously learning. It helps them learn from the mistakes as well as the successes of others, and that opens their eyes to other possibilities.
Kevin: Interesting that they read, Michael. Any examples there of people who you can cite as good readers who have been successful?
Michael: Well, I’ve heard that Bill Gates reads for an hour as part of his bedtime routine. J.K. Rowling, the first ever billionaire author, read everything she could.
Kevin: Oh, was she really? Is that right – she was the first billionaire author?
Michael: She’s done particularly well, Yes.
Kevin: Oh, okay.
Michael: Albert Einstein. In fact, all successful people read. Today it’s not just hardcopy books, as I said, but there’s so many ways of giving yourself energy and motivation by looking at what others have done.
Kevin: Okay. Well, they get up early. They read books. What else do they do, Michael?
Michael: They actually get going. They actually have all the resources they need, and so they create a daily habit of doing something.
They also keep themselves fit. They understand the importance of their health as part of a balanced life, so you’ll find that many of them workout and exercise. They keep moving. They take a break during the day to walk, as well. They recognize that one way of being rich, one way of being successful is having health, Kevin.
Kevin: What about the other end of that: how do they relax?
Michael: Well, they understand the importance of balance. So despite getting up early and despite being active during the day and doing things, they also recognize the power of relaxation, meditation, taking time out, balancing their life.
Now, it’s not always balance day-by-day, Kevin, so often they work really hard and then they take long holidays, or they work really hard and take some off over the week. When you look at them hour-by-hour, day-by-day, the balance may not be there, but if you look over a long term, it’s the only way you can keep going, Kevin.
Kevin: Michael, what separates professionals from wannabes?
Michael: Well, professionals work even when they don’t feel like it. There are lot of examples of people who have done well and persisted on when the average person would give up. So they’re dedicated, Kevin.
They also practice. They get to the top of their game by doing the same thing over and over again. You’ll never become an expert by doing a hundred things once, so they do one thing and do it a hundred times until they’re an expert in it. I guess the way you know you’re an expert is if you can get reproducible results.
One way they do this is also eliminating distractions. They don’t multi-task. A lot of people think it’s good to multitask and they’re proud of that, but it’s been shown to be a very inefficient way of doing things, Kevin.
Kevin: I don’t multitask at all. I can’t do it. I’ve always thought that was because I was a male.
Michael: That’s what we’re taught – isn’t it? – and that females can, but in fact, it’s been shown… Even with the old story of disruptions with e-mails: if you’re going to do that, just set aside certain times of the day and just keep doing that, and don’t handle your e-mail or any other papers more than once. They tend to be very efficient and learn to minimize distractions.
Kevin, another interesting characteristic of successful people is that they dedicate time to giving back to their community, to charities; they volunteer, they donate. They not only donate money but they donate time.
Kevin, our joint good friend Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits, has found that 73% of the wealthy people in his five-year study volunteered for over five hours a month. And others do that, too. We know about the philanthropy of Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg; they all donate to different causes.
And it’s not because they’re already rich, Kevin. They started doing that long before they were rich, and if you don’t have money to donate, Kevin, we all have time that we can give back to the community.
Kevin: Just on that point, Michael, if I can just have my two bob’s worth just you for a minute, I’ve been doing this show, I think, for about ten years now, and without doubt, every time I ask someone like yourself to contribute to the show, to give us some information, it’s always on the basis that “I’m so happy to help. The more people I can educate, the more people I can tell about how to do this sort of stuff, the better.” That’s the giving nature, Michael, I’ve found.
Michael: It’s also the abundance philosophy, Kevin. If I buy a property, it doesn’t stop you buying one. If I buy some stocks and shares, it doesn’t stop you doing it. So passing on the information doesn’t harm me. If, in fact, it helps other people and improves their level of wealth and the community, I’m going to be living in a better place.
Yes, you’re right, Kevin. The only reason I know what I know is because other people helped, taught me, educated me, so that I see it as my obligation to do it, Kevin.
Kevin: They’re very goal-oriented, too – aren’t they, Michael? – these successful people.
Michael: Yes, they are. They have goals, they write them down, they know where they’re heading, and then they keep on track. Now, of course, you don’t have successes every time, so they’re also able to get up one more time than the average person and start it all over again, recognizing that the setbacks and the failures are just a normal part of entrepreneurship, business, and property investing, Kevin.
Kevin: It’s a great insight you’ve given us there, Michael, those nine traits. But you know, the bottom-line to all this and a good mutual friend of ours, Michael Sheargold, once said the power of any great idea is in its implementation. It’s actually getting off your butt and doing something about it, isn’t it?
Michael: Kevin, I’ve often used Michael Sheargold’s word in that regard, because I have had over 2000 people go through my mentorship program, and they’ve all said how much they’ve learned and how good it is. Some of those people at the end of the year program, have changed their lives. They’re the ones who’ve done something. Those who said, “Hey, I really liked, I enjoyed it,” but haven’t done anything, they’re back to where they started.
So it’s not the information. You’re 100% right; it’s the implementation of it.
Kevin: That’s absolutely right. And on that note, I’ll implement and get on to the next interview. But Michael, thank you very much for your time. It’s been great talking to you. Michael Yardney from Metropole Property Strategists.
Michael: My pleasure, Kevin.