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Value Reading By Michael Masterson: 7 Years To 7 Figures

June 1st, 2008 by Wai Loong (1 Comment)

Two weeks ago, I nearly kicked myself for missing out on a tremendous learning experience from Michael Masterson. Truth to be told, I’ve almost forgotten to even take a peak on his invaluable compilation that I’ve borrowed from the local national library. I almost finished it in under 2 days – just in time before its due date – or get a fine from the library!

This blog post has 2 objectives in mind:

  • Introductory to Value Reading: Offline & Online
  • Valuable Lessons From Michael Masterson

You are free to skip to any section that interest you most.

Section 1: Introductory to Value Reading: Offline & Online

When was the last time you read ever finish reading a book?

Was it during your college days? More likely that your professors had forced you into finishing that dreadful dissertation or assignment?

I’ve grown to appreciate reading lots of reference books in addition to the main course work during my days in the university. It was during those fateful years that it began to dawn on me the precious values that I’ve picked up, that now proved to be so invaluable.

The Chinese have a saying: “Embedded within each book are boundless treasures”.

Here, “treasures” can mean anything, usually knowledge, experiences or spiritual kind. It could be life experiences of others. Other times, it can be core knowledge that’s necessary to feed your current present interest. To me, value reading is to feed the purpose of spiritual growth. So if you’re not reading as many as 20 self-enriching books a year, then you have definitely short-changed yourself!

Books vs Internet:

Before the Internet comes along, most of the world’s most valuable lessons are on print. Today, we have so much searchable information that it can quickly become information overloaded.

Now, don’t get me wrong into thinking that books are now obsoleted. Indeed, the Internet is a big mess of information. Unfortunately, much of the information is usually unorganized, leaving you to spend a great deal of time surfing endlessly to piece together information – if you’re so fortunate to do so.

As I mentioned, lots of information is useless – unless properly organized. That’s why, a major part of my reading still comes from books.

Value Reading: Blogs (rare)

In the recent years, blogs of all imaginable types seem to pop up from everywhere – to serve different purposes. Solid and informative blogs are, in my own opinion, are short introductory to any topic of interest.

Of course, bloggers can choose to elaborate the chosen topic in great length based on their own insights, but rarely do I find many that packs great detail that is worthy to take away. Bloggers are just any other book authors: they add values to their readers by crafting their own insights around a topic of interest.

More importantly, most blogs do point you to very useful resources.

Catapult Your Own Learning:

You may agree or disagree with me on this: Books are tremendous value in studying a new subject. The Internet is an excellent place to get started in your favorite subject or hunt for timely information. Outside this, you’ll want to dig deeper – and books are usually the answer.

For example, I’m always fascinated with many important topics in life. I use a number of sources to feed my learning, and books are usually the first places to hit. To get an idea of what I may be interested in, here is a list of some of my on-going reading and learning:

  • Medicine: Alternate Healing
  • Science & Meta-Physics: The Human Mind
  • Writing: Copywriting
  • Finance & Business: Fundamental & Technical Analysis, Building online businesses

Just imagine that all the above topics can be instantly zeroed in using my favorite search engine…

Sure, I’ll get thousands, if not millions of results in organic search engine listings matching my keywords.

But are they all useful? Sadly speaking – no.

You see, 90% of my online time is spent looking at snippets of information.

And rarely do I often find information put together useful enough to help me see a clearer picture of a topic that I’m interested in.

Web results do not add value the way books does – in many ways. Most web results provide quick and short answers, but not necessary to supplement or complete a through understanding of a particular subject, not to mention to a level of competency!

That’s where many ambitious authors step in to fill the gap that markets demand.

You see, authors do not write for fun. And since their names are on the cover, it’s less likely that the information within are entirely useless, much less irresponsible and liberal than those you read on the web.

Many books are more organized pieces of works from one or more people. Authors put (possibly difficult) topics into perspectives. Perspective is the name of the game. Without whom, information by itself is plainly useless.

I accelerate my learning by taking advantage of this – and you should too!

The more writings you pick up, the more objective you can see on any subject of interest. Of course, different authors have their own views on the subject matter and you may not necessary agree on them all.

Always keep an open mind to all writings and be careful on what new ideas to accept or reject. Being arrogant to dismiss knowledge is a sure-fire way to shut yourself up from learning anything new, including relearning something old that you may have missed in the past.

As much as books can provide, they are not perfect. Always supplement new information or evidence found in your own experiences, as well as those of others online.

Conclusion:

Reading by far one of the the most essential human activity ever since the invention of writing by our ancestors since the early Bronze Age (4th millennium BC).

The best way to learn any new topic, or to drill deep into is to read, contemplate and to put into action. Since time is a scarce commodity, it is even essential to pick the most useful information to read.

In my experience, knowledge is best acquired from reading books first, then drill down to current information from the web. Of course, much information on the web is without backing and you’ll need to validate them yourself with your own judgments.

Since good judgment comes from other’s experiences, and the latter comes from learning from their own bad judgments, it is not too difficult to figure out that learning from the experiences of others is highly essential. Reading good materials essentially short-cut your learning process.

Always keep an open mind when you pick up any reading material. The fastest way to kill your own learning is to dismiss something you think you’ve already knowby pretending that you’ve already know everything about a particular topic and close up any new/old knowledge that may be new, and that you’ve missed out in the past.

Section 2: Valuable Lessons From Michael Masterson

Seven Years to Seven Figures

If you’ve skip to this section directly, then you’re more likely to be someone who cares for your long term financial future. Indeed, below are just about some points I’m about to share with you, some key components that you’ll probably won’t easily find on the Internet.

Seven Figures to Seven Years: The Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire by Michael Masterson is by far one of the best practical books on wealth creations.

If you’re looking to create massive wealth in a very short span of time, who do you seek recommendations from? Do you seek recommendations from someone who is financially so-so (or even struggling) in life, or do you seek recommendations from multi-millionaires, someone who has been there over and over again?

Seven Years to Seven Figures

A little clarifications on advices…

I’m sure you’ll find a lot of comments about this book on Amazon, most of them in my own opinion, are pure superficial. Many comments on Amazon about this book come from people who does not take the recommended actions and literally put them to the test of time. The 3 stars and below are from folks who believe they are smarter than the rich. Only a small handful who understood the insights kick themselves immediately.

You don’t expect to become instantly rich after seven years from reading a measly book, do you? Otherwise, libraries must be one of the most heavily guarded places on earth!

Truth to be told, the Internet is a double edged sword. You can use it to your own advantages, or your own destructions. The Internet is littered with all sorts of advices, both constructive and destructive. Take every recommendations with a pinch of salt – including mine.

You’ve got to apply Michael’s wisdom into actions! If your situation is not quite exactly mentioned in the book, you’ve got to adapt the material and change yourself! It’s not about finding exact answers for your situation, or for every situations! Wealth is through individual’s creations from actions, through focused intentions and right objectives, not from wishful thinkings.

My job here is to point you to some directions in the book that you may want to pick up – and hopefully position you more advantageous in life.

My Perspective From “7 Years To 7 Figures”:

Here’s a snapshot of the content page of this book:

Seven Years to Seven Figures

In brief, Michael pointed out a few things that can put your financial future into better shape.

  • Identify your long-term goals
  • Pick only one goal that you must achieve first before all other things (it can be anything but it happen to be wealth that Michael teaches)
  • Align and focus on that one goal for the next few years
  • Work backwards from this goal that you’ve selected
  • Find a mentor (or mentors) to guide you to that goal
  • Start by massively saving and wise investment with high ROI
  • Widen your economic moat
  • Widen your network of people and opportunities
  • Learn new financial skills (sales & marketing)
  • Start your own part-time business
  • Break the habit of making more money

Identify your long-term goals:

Most people have a lot of priorities in their lives. I have a few important priorities in life. But if I were to pick one that is most important, which would that be? Will it be family, health/well-being, wealth, relationships etc?

If you ask me, I’ll say all are just as important. It’s really difficult to prioritize anything on the list since they’re all listed by me! It’s like trading health for wealth, or any other combinations I can permutate.

I figured for myself that building wealth is most important. Why?

First, everything cost money. It’s true for the saying: “Money can’t buy happiness”.

What’s even solid in the material world, something that drives the economy is – *gasp* money!

So how much money is enough?

I can’t let you know that, but I can tell you it’s not a lot. I’m the self-contented in nature so you can sort of guess it!

As for you, only you can answer that question yourself. I must warn you that the more you crave, the more you become unhappy and stressed up. Nobody claims they have earned enough money. But how many folks who have been there takes the courage to claim a stop?

The truth is, you don’t really want a lot of money. You just need enough to cover a comfortable living and a little spare for rainy years for your family. For the spare, you can always choose to give away.

Focus on that one goal for the next few years:

Break down the daunting focus to something small and managable everyday.

Why only 1 goal?

Focusing on only 1 goal at a time allows you to throughly keep your attention on that one single target. Many people argue that they can focus on multiple goals at a time. I don’t know if that’s true but as far as I’m concerned (as well as many others), it’s far easier to manage with only one main priority. Everything else is secondary for the next few years.

Of course, I don’t mean you totally ignore everything else. It just means everything else has a lower priority. It’s particularly useful in times of making big decisions. It separates what’s truly important vs what’s truly urgent.

Work backwards from this goal that you’ve selected:

I’ve learned over the years that the fastest way to get deluded is not to follow blindly thinking that I’ve been progressing towards the goal that I’ve set.

What could be further away from that!

To achieve the one big goal that was selected, Michael drafted a complete breakdown in numbers that must be achieved before that goal can be attained. This exercise can be pretty scary when you start working out and you’ll be surprised how much further away than you think.

For example, to reach a personal network of $3,000,000 in 7 years, assuming you’ve factored in a conservative 10% pa return from your investments, that works out to approximate $300k of savings one has to set aside to invest and allow the compounding effects to kick in for the remaining years!

To make that $300k, Michael recommended some possible ways…

Find a mentor (or mentors) to guide you to that goal:

All successful people in the world has at least a mentor to guide them. Interestingly, a mentor is quite different from a coach. Someone pointed out to me that a mentor is someone who has decided to work with you for a long term, such as a business building mentor. This relationship is very special and many times, there is very little monetary value attached to, unlike a coach.

To short-circuit your accomplishment, a mentor is necessary.

Start by massively saving and wise investment with high ROI:

So $300k of savings does sound like A LOT OF MONEY isn’t it?

Well, that’s assuming your investments pay you 10% pa return and compounded.

To make savings more realistic (hence lower the amount you save per year for investment), the most obvious way is to massively increase your income OR to find ways to increase the annual returns from all your investments.

Most folks do not realize that it’s entirely possible to practically increase the returns from their investments, for example, 15%, 20%, 30$, 40% and possibly more; all without increasing one’s investment risks (applicable to only certain investment vehicles)!

For example, certain kind of real estates does appreciate in valuation, some as much as 40% pa, depending many factors, such as location and financial leverage. Of course, if you’re not skilled to evaluate real estate opportunities, paying a small fee for trusted professionals is always a great idea.

Buying real estates at great bargains is like picking stocks (a share of businesses). So is knowing when to sell. The fundamentals to great investments do not change over time. If you’re new, find a mentor to guide you on this. It pays many fold to do so because real estate is the game of the rich. And you may be able to participate in the rich man’s game quite easily here.

If you feel like putting some ROI numbers into perspective, the article section “Requirements for creating wealth through passive investments” put together by Mike is probably a useful guide to know how much annual savings is reasonable for you to reach your 7 figures goal.

Michael does offer several ways for ordinary folks to gradually increase one’s income. I’ll quickly touch on that in the following sections….

Widen your economic moat:

As in great investment gurus pointed out, great businesses have wide and deep economic moats.

I believe that wisdom to be the same with a human being. The secret is to massively increase the value you furnish to your customers, your co-workers, your bosses, your business etc. You get the idea. When you’ve developed wide economic moat, unlimited wealth shall follows.

Even if you’re an employee now, you have the potential; and much more than what you think.

The secret is: “Are you willing to put in the effort to be competent and master a new skill?”

Only then can you build your economic moat, and that makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

Most people (including myself) are too comfortable in our protected zones. It’s very hard to take a leap out of that invisible walls around that binds us to a mediocre life. To break out of that zone, serious efforts have to be put in daily.

To help you get a feel how much effort is required, follow these simple, yet amazingly powerful steps:

  1. Focus on that one thing you will need to do daily to bring you closer to your chosen objective.
  2. Create a to-do list and stick to the plan daily.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you’ve gain complete competency in the skill.

Easier said than done but if you’ve never done it before, it’s difficult to visualize. How fast you want to reach your objective depends on the amount of effort and time put in, and your burning desire to attain your chosen goal.

Widen your network of people and opportunities:

The world evolves around human being. If you hate to interact with people, or if you dislike working with people, then Michael’s book (and wealth building) is not for you.

As I’ve mentioned before (some ago old and wise writings from India):

“At the dawn of civilization, a group of people discover that concentrated economic activity generates riches.”
– The Source of Wealth, Nury Vittachi

Participate in seminars, expositions, dinners and get yourself introduced to the world. Getting yourself exposed and remembered by others (for the good reasons of course!) is the starting path towards expanding your social network.

If you want someone successful to remember you for a long time, Michael did pointed out a technique that blew me off – and it’s something anyone can easily apply:

Send a hard covered book that you think the person is not likely to have read before; one that you have benefited much from.

It’s a cool tactic that can be improved upon using one’s creativity.

And here’s a bonus if you’ve been reading thus far…

With the Internet, more wealth is created faster and more easily than ever before! Imagine connecting with hundreds, if not thousands of highly successful and wealthy individuals that you never dream possible – is now within the reach of your fingers and keyboard!

You can read more about this technique from one of my previous article:
Twittering-Facebooking-Blogging Made In Social-Networking Heaven!

Learn new financial skills (sales & marketing):

Even if you’re not into sales or marketing by profession, it is highly recommended that everyone should pick up, preferably as early in your life as possible.

These are some of the few skills that a financially responsible person must learn, apply and be comfortable with if he or she wants to reap financial benefits for the long haul.

As this topic is too diversified, I recommend that you seek out a mentor to get started.

Start your own part-time business:

Truth to be told, most financially stable people from all over the world attribute a large proportion of their networth from their own businesses and investment portfolios.

Even if you’re an employee, it’s possible and readily easy to jump start your part-time businesses! Some easy ideas below for you to get started (in case you’re not familiar):

  1. Small scale retail & auctions (Resale services, drop shipping light bulk etc)
  2. Create software products by hiring economic software programmers worldwide
  3. Freelance copywriting
  4. Write your own book
  5. Record your own videos and create socially attractive and highly interactive web services.
  6. Marketing your own products or others on the Internet (Internet & affiliate marketing)
  7. etc…

All these take serious efforts to build over long periods of time. Along the way, you’ll probably pick up the art of business building and enjoy doing the things you’re truly passionate about and make a good living out of it too!

Seven Years to Seven Figures

Break the habit of making more money:

I’ll probably make this section brief because it’s very difficult to imagine why anyone wants to stop making more money when it keeps rolling in!

Most folks who have walked the path of riches will probably tell you that making more money itself does not satisfy the spiritual self. More wealth may actually fills more emptiness to the heart, and robs the meaning of life out of it.

I know it’s difficult to visualize such a scenario, but rest assure that the ultimate reason why anyone wants to make substantially enough money, is to be calm the nerves of poverty.

More wealth does not necessary brings more happiness – where happiness is generally the relentless pursue of Nirvana in the human mind.

Conclusion:

A good number of people pointed out that Michael Masterson’s book is a good marketing gimmick. I must agree to a certain extend, but if you can take that point constructively, you too can use it to your own advantage if you choose to turn from a loser to a winner!

Everything in life that hits you like a brick, can a blessing, a disaster or even neutral. Perhaps, it’s only you yourself can decide which way you want to go, and craft the destiny you so desire or undesire.

So stay hungry, stay foolish, and live a life with passion!

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Ready, Fire, Aim — Michael Masterson Audio Book on June 10th, 2008 at 11:19 am

[…] Value Reading By Michael Masterson: 7 Years To 7 Figures – Two weeks ago, I nearly kicked myself for missing out on a tremendous learning experience from Michael Masterson. Truth to be told, I’ve almost forgotten to even take a peak on his invaluable compilation that I’ve borrowed from the … […]

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About Insights, Inspirations, Tranquility, Peace and Harmony

Ng Wai Loong

Wai Loong is an electronics engineer by profession. He currently resides in Singapore, a thriving hub at the heart of South-East Asia. When he is not so stress out on the computers or laboratory, he enjoys value reading, jogging at his own pace and blogging in his spare time. Other times, he likes to catch up with some close friends over a cup of latte or teh tarik. As a gift from this friend, you are invited to interact freely with him on his personal blog.

PS: May the person reading this blog transforms his/her businesses, finances, relationships and life for ALL to WIN!