Focus Your Life and Achieve Financial Prosperity
By Tiffany Bass Bukow, Founder of MsMoney.com
Seldom do I personally review the finance and career books that arrive on MsMoney’s doorstep. After all, I am simplifying my life and reading dozens of books a month is a full time job by itself. But once in awhile a book will strike my fancy and I will open it up. The particular book I decided to give my attention to this month seemed to hit a chord that has been resonating deep inside me for some time now.
I have been actively volunteering my time with the Women’s Technology Cluster, which is a non-profit organization created to build a professional network and community to help women technology entrepreneurs get access to capital. My company, MsMoney.com was one of the first company’s they incubated. The WTC (www.womenstechcluster.org) has given me the opportunity to grow as a women business leader in the entrepreneur community.
I serve as a mentor for a handful of their promising new technology startups and work directly with the founders. Often, I find myself searching for the words that would reveal the secrets to success – not just running a successful company, but also being successful in all areas of your life. I recently wrote a segment for the book: Leading Women: What it Takes for Women to Succeed and Have it All in the 21St Century. I had to spend time analyzing what it meant to “have it all”, especially for a woman who seems to have twice the burden as men. So I have been thinking about this topic of “success” for quite some time. Because everyone’s experience is unique, it is sometimes difficult to create a template of success that is relevant for everyone.
However, Brian Tracy, the author of the brand new book Focal Point, has done just that.
In just the first 30 minutes of reading his book, I knew he was right on target. Everything he talked about in his book was what I had learned through trial and error in my 15-year career. I can’t help but think what I would have accomplished sooner if I had followed his advice at the beginning of my career. Even though I already practice the majority of what Tracy preaches, it isn’t too late to reap some benefits from his knowledge. There are gems of information that would make the most successful person think; “AHA!”
Lee Iacocca, the retired Chairman of Chrysler Corporation summed Tracy’s latest book up: “I couldn’t have written it better myself!” I agree with Mr. Iacocca; if I had to write a book on achieving success – Focal Point would be it.
What Tracy’s book does for me now is serve as a vehicle to help others. Not just those that I am mentoring, but hopefully other people who are interested in hearing what I have to say. It is my personal mission to help individuals (especially women) get the most out of their career and their financial life in order to create the lives they only dreamed of. I figured, if I did it – then anyone could. This is where I mark the X in my life – it is my own focal point. As the book says, people just need to mark their own X and if they follow certain steps, success is practically guaranteed.
Since MsMoney has a financial services and career focus, I wanted to pull one action task from the book and prove it can be accomplished in the real world. Tracy’s Focal Point Process shows you how to double your income and double your time off simultaneously. Even he comments how most people find this statement preposterous. At first glance it does seem pretty hard to believe, after all most people are complaining about having too little time and too little money.
I can prove to you that it is possible to double your income and double your time off. Ten years ago I was working too many hours and making little money. I was not challenged or stimulated by my environment and was not doing something I was passionate about. This is not a surprising situation for someone in the early stages of their first career. Tracy book alerts readers that they should be flexible and constantly reassessing their lives and be ready for change. Well, I did just that. I decided I was too young to be miserable so I resigned. I quit without any savings or another job lined up. (By the way Ms. Money says it is not wise to quit your job without at least 3 months of savings – but hey I was young and still had a lot to learn.) I knew there had to be a better life and career that was more lucrative.
Within 6 months, I had lined up another job where I literally doubled my income and doubled my time off. It took a little time to find the right opportunity, but it was worth it. I was only 24 years old and was making more money and had more time off than the most of my peers. People were jealous and saying I lived a charmed life. How did I achieve this wonderful lifestyle? I followed a few key points that Tracy includes in his prescription for success. I set my sights on a vision of the career I wanted and did not stop until I achieved my goal. Once in my new job, I determined what it took to be at the top of my field and I followed the necessary steps to get there. That is what it takes to be successful – conceive it, believe it and you CAN achieve it! I have followed this advice over the last 15 years and have made my personal, career and financial dreams come true.
Your financial life and your net worth are just one piece of the puzzle. Don’t let the buck stop there. Doing so could leave you disillusioned and very unhappy. Being truly successful means addressing all areas of your life in the same fashion; work, play, home, health, family, friends, community, spirituality. You must employ a process of management that leads to success in every facet of your environment.
You can do it slowly like I did, over a 10-15 year period of trial and error, or you can read Brian Tracy’s Focal Point and follow his prescription for success and learn to create personal and financial prosperity today. Happy reading!