How Should I Start?

by: Daniel P. Matthews

You could run right out and put $20 into a savings account. Perhaps something even more ambitious, like deposit $1,500 into a mutual fund. Either of these would be a start. But, you should consider beginning down the road to financial independence by thinking. That's right, thinking.

Indeed, start by thinking.


Vision, Goals, Action and Persistence (VGAP) ©

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These are the key to unlocking the secrets of financial independence.

Vision means quietly contemplating your future to get a clear Vision of the way you think you want your life to unfold. What is life like at age 65, 70, 90 even 100. Some people want untold wealth. Others want comfortable surroundings. Some even say they picture themselves maintaining their current lifestyle forever. You must decide on your own Vision. Whatever your Vision it must be clear. Also, you must visit it often; make your Vision a frequent moment of reflection. Your Vision is the stepping off point for your Goals.

Goals are the stepping stones that lead you to your Vision. You set Goals as an interim step to achieving your Vision. For instance, your Vision might have you spending two weeks each year at the beach. An interim step might be to enjoy next years vacation at that beach and while there visiting real estate opportunities (condos, time-shares, etc.) with the purpose of accumulating information that would allow you to set a future Goal of owning your vacation spot - another step toward your Vision. Goals are dynamic - they change. As you accomplish one Goal there is another to be conquered, each in turn moving you closer to your Vision. Your Goals are important. But, another important key is Action.

Action must be taken in order to accomplish your Goals. Without Action all you have done is create a Vision and some Goals but nothing happens. This aspect of your road to financial independence is the most often point of failure for beginners. It is easy to say things are too hard. It is easy to say you'll get to it tomorrow though tomorrow never comes. It is easy to forget to do one little thing, then another. It takes Action to accomplish your Goals. You must know that all the Actions you will take will not be successful. Fear not, Persistence is the last key to your success.

Persistence is what delivers the goods. Ray Kroc failed at numerous ventures before finding McDonalds. In our example of owning a vacation spot on the beach it is quite possible that the first offer you make will be rejected. So, make another offer. Or find another property for which your offer is acceptable. The point is Persistence pays off. Persevere and financial independence is within your reach!

Finally, a word about life systems. Understanding in your head and heart what is right and what is wrong is very important. Your Vision, each Goal you set, every Action you take should be based on what you know is right. Such fundamental life systems exist and you must decide yours.

After you spend some time envisioning your future and contemplating your life system you are ready to start down the road to your own financial independence.


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