This is a book review and video commentary (below) about John Maxwell’sThe Difference Maker: Making Your Attitude Your Greatest Asset. In John Maxwell’s earlier teachings he taught “attitude is everything“. He thought that if you had a great attitude, you could accomplish anything. However, an older and wiser Maxwell has revised his thoughts about attitude and now teaches thatattitude is the difference maker.
Why the shift? John realized that there are certain restrictions individuals face that cannot be overcome by attitude. If your short sister wanted to play for the NBA chances are extremely slim that she will get in because of her height and gender. She could have the most powerful, determined attitude in the world but sometimes that isn’t enough.
However, if she is faced with getting a promotion and is up against other equally qualified candidates, chances are, if she has a strong positive attitude she will get the promotion over others with a less powerful attitude.
Attitude Isn’t Everything
I wouldn’t want anyone to use this as a reason to fail. Attitude isn’t everything but you can change your life, learn new things, and figure out how to do something you’ve never done before if you have the right attitude. Never say “I can’t”, “it’s too hard” or “that’s impossible” because if you say it you are telling yourself just that.
Tell yourself you can learn how to do something new or nontraditional if you set your mind to it. If you say you can, you’re right! Just adopt a positive attitude!
Omarra Byrd has a really good report available called The RoboForm Report that I just read. He has discovered new uses for RoboForm over and beyond using it as a great time saving tool that remembers and fills passwords. He shows you how to use RoboForm as a complicated form filling tool. Great for anyone who has repetitive online form filling tasks to do. Think big when it comes to this topic. If you have different users that you fill out information for, this could be a great asset. His report opened my mind to the possibilities of using the RoboForm in brand new ways.
Try using a password saver and form filler to save time looking for and remembering all your passwords. Search on your computer in help using the phrase “fill form” or try a copy of RoboForm as a free trial and see if you don’t become much more productive right away.
Really. If you are not using Roboform you should. It saves tons of time. It works on all your computers and also on mini drives and your mobile phone (the computer kind).
Wealth and Employee are 2 Terms That Usually Don’t Go Together
Let’s define an employee. Employees expect to be paid a certain amount. Only then will they begin to work for that pay. People who work for a paycheck, bonus or profit sharing plans, perks etc. are promised some kind of financial reward then work hard to achieve it. They wouldn’t consider doing a job for free. However they are not promised wealth.
Employees are most of the people we know, likely ourselves at some point. I know that was me when I was a student, then an engineer, then and engineer trying to get a promotion. I was always motivated by the paycheck or getting a bigger paycheck, degree, a bonus or promotion of some kind.
It’s pretty normal but not necessarily good. Being overweight is normal these days but that’s not to say it is good for your health.
So if you take away the incentive, the paycheck, the bonus, the granting of the degree, what is the motivation to press on? Nothing, because you don’t know any better. When you trade your precious time for money nearly every day of your life until you retire you are an employee.
I am not condemning this. The human race has been doing this kind of thing for a long time and we’ve improved our lifestyles and health. But when I look in the mirror, as I get older, and my kids get older and go off to college, I cannot allow my life to be run by using up 40 – 50 hours per week working for someone else’s glory.
Being an employee is a fairly easy way to live. We just know it. Just follow someone else’s plan and go home at the end of the day. Granted you don’t have a say in when you work and sometimes you get to work overtime for free if you are salaried, but you can just show up, run on autopilot and collect the check at the end of the month.
Golden Handcuffs Do Not Equal Wealth
You can really get sucked into the whole job scene. Often referred to as the golden hand cuffs, this is no kinky adult play. I hear so many people who work at a job because of the benefits such as health insurance. You know, you can buy that as a stand alone person and you can probably find a group rate so the costs are not that high. I had the same reaction myself before I left my corporate job. As much as I liked going to work every day (not) I was brainwashed into thinking I couldn’t leave because of the benefits.
Some employees won’t work if the boss is gone, or if they feel like they aren’t getting paid enough. Gee, find another job if you don’t like this one. On the other side of it there are bosses that only do the bare minimum to keep their employees happy and have no respect for them as people.
Maybe you love the work you do but maybe you don’t want to do that much of it. Maybe you want some more time for yourself. Maybe you want to be able to have more of a say in when and where you get the job done. Maybe you’re not into face time and sucking up to the boss. Maybe you are tired of working for money, trading your time for dollars. Or maybe it suits you just fine. If so, you’re very lucky.
Well can the employee achieve wealth? Probably not. The reason is that wealth is defined in terms of time freedom and financial freedom. How can a person who has to go to work to receive a paycheck be considered wealthy? It’s impossible. I don’t care if you have million dollar salary, if you can’t call your own time shots, or take time off (a year), then you are not wealthy.
Would you ever consider an alternative? Entrepreneurship requires more effort in the short term but in the long term the benefits can far surpass the effort. Your path to wealth is not a job.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently, a single mom. She was in the process of buying her first home. She was able to make the payments and had a down payment all set, but she had not enough credit history to secure the mortgage.
She told me that the mortgage guy said she should apply for two credit cards. Wow! Silly me. I thought everyone, except the credit card addicted, had a credit card or two.
I guess if you paid cash for everything you needed you’d be a very lucky and disciplined person, but for me, using a credit card makes life way easier and it improves my credit rating.
Why? Because I pay it off every month. Even if you don’t like the idea of having a credit card using one and paying it off every month establishes you as a good credit risk.
It takes a few months for the credit companies to find out how great a lendee you are though, so if you are contemplating needing a real loan for real estate or financing college, get a credit card or two, spend a little every month. Put it into your budget and don’t forget about it. Pay it off on time or early, and your credit score should go up.
You can use a department store credit card for this, or a gasoline card or a regular old Visa or MasterCard.
Find a No Fee Credit Card
If you use Visa or MasterCard make sure to find one that doesn’t charge you a yearly fee, or has a high interest rate. Having some kind of bonus associated with it is a bonus. This could be frequent flyer miles, new car rebates, or cash back.
If you have a real problem with credit cards and run up the balance then have to pay high interest fees, this is probably not for you. Or maybe you could have a friend or a parent hold them for you so you can’t use them. Just maybe put some monthly recurring payment on it but keep the card away from you. Or not.
I just read a great book by Timothy Ferriss called The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s a must for any person who wants more say in their life. The ideas are different than usual. Instead of dreaming up ways to cram so much more into your life Ferriss recommends eliminating a lot. Read it for yourself.
So you’d really need a lot of help to get to this point. I’d need a lot of housekeeping help, help with dinners and someone to clean up after all my pets. So if you are only working 4 hours a week, you are really going to have a lot of extra time.
I’d probably end up working more because I like to work. Maybe I could then work on things that were more interesting than home maintenance and chores. If you like what you are doing, is it work? Not sure.
I have noticed though than when I check my email lees or later in the day I get more done. When I go on vacation and take my computer along I hardly ever check the email. Of course then there is a huge pile of it when you finally log on again.
One thing I used to do at work is file a week worth of email into a folder. Then after another week passed I’d delete the whole thing. I did have a sort for direct emails from my bosses though. But there were only a few of them and that is manageable.
One thing he teaches is to stop looking at email all the time. It’s fairly addictive in my opinion. Save time – Ditch your email to become more productive.
Regarding work and life most people fit into one of these four categories:
(1)No time, and no money.
If you are an employee, chances are this describes the way you feel. You can’t go shopping on a Tuesday afternoon or tell your boss to take a hike. How will you even be able to afford to send your kids to college, save for retirement or even think of having a life today with no time and no money? You want time and money right?
(2)No time, lots of money.
Some “successful” self-employed, professionals and small business owners are in this category. They are slightly better off than the employee because they earn more, but they have to work even harder than employees to keep up with the diminishing profit margins, competition and servicing their customers. As a single mother, do you want to spend much less time with your kids?
(3)Lots of time, no money.
A lot of farmers, villagers, college dropouts or bums have lots of time but no money. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but without a stable source of income, how long can you last many days forward? If you’re a single mom, you know that your kids will need food, clothes plus medical care for that broken arm or leg. Not a great place to be in my opinion.
(4)Lots of both time money.
It is the category that big business owners, landlords, investors are in. Imagine, not having to work for money, but having money to work for you by investing them and earning profits by using your money to make money. Also, you’re smart enough to hire the best people so you don’t even have to work. Just think about how many people you could help out in the no time, no money category A lot of people like it there.
Here are Two Questions for You
Which one of the four categories best describes your current situation?
Which one category would give you the most opportunity to be a great single mother?
If you answered with time and money you’re the kind of person that stands a chance of getting there. Because as Henry Ford put it “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Yes you can do anything you want and with the internet and all the information and services readily available there is every reason a determined single mom could be in the time and money category rather quickly.