I’m not some oracle or wizard. But I’m convinced the wisdom you’re about to hear is priceless: The best time to start is always NOW.
In about every thing you consider doing for your betterment, it’s better to start now than later.
Start today. Don’t wait. And you’ll win.
It’s that simple!
These examples will show you exactly what I mean.
Finding work you love doing
Guess what? I really like my work. It’s my favorite thing to do in this world. That wasn’t the case in February 2016 at my sales job. So I quit my job to do work I love.
Just like that, I knew being an entrepreneur had my name on it and I acted fast. Now I’m 100% happier.
Some people go their entire lives with the mindset that they have to trade time for money. And they never experience the other game where their job is something they look forward to every week.
The time is now to discover and pursue work you’re passionate about.
Though there’s a fine line here. I’m not saying don’t put in your dues, work hard, and sacrifice fun to work longer so you get a leg up at your company. Working hard should be a given.
But get to the cliche where work doesn’t feel like work because you enjoy it. That can become your reality if you start moving towards it daily. When you enjoy what you get paid to do, you’ll never go through life the same.
Getting in a consistent healthy eating and exercising habit
The longer you wait, the more you’ll build the habit of an unhealthy lifestyle. Your heart, arteries, back, and body only deteriorates faster the lazier you are.
Instead of gaining 15 unwanted pounds after college, it will extend to 25, 35, and maybe 45 into your thirties f you procrastinate long enough.
Not to be dramatic, but I’m going to be for a sentence or two: If you go too far over into the unhealthy zone, you can cut decades off of your life. That’s the dire consequence of waiting to be healthy.
Here’s your medicine. Eat healthier. Limit fast food.Go with water over soda. Get to the nearest gym now and sign up. My Planet Fitness gym only costs $10 a month, anyone can afford that.
Don’t even think about it. Just go today! It sounds counterintuitive because everyone nowadays overthinks things. But it’s time to stop thinking and start eating nutritious foods and moving your body. Your body will reward you with longevity.
Learning how to invest your money
If you know my content, a good chunk of the time I talk about getting your money right and investing. Learning how to and investing your money in your early twenties compared to your early thirties can mean millions of more dollars. Got your attention?
- Your money will double more based on the rule of 72 (a calculation to determine how fast an investment will double)
- Compound interest (where your money makes money on itself) multiplies the longer its in the market
- Time in the market is arguably the best advantage an individual investor has going for them
- Your money will keep up with inflation if it’s invested in a S&P 500 index fund
Now if you enjoy being poor, then by all means don’t learn how to invest. Just save your money under your bed. Oh yeah, don’t forget about digging a hole in your backyard.
But if the thought of reaching financial freedom and providing your future family with an incredible life is 1% appealing to you, watch my videos, buy my Freedom Mindset book, or learn about money from someone else who knows what they’re doing.
The time is now to take positive financial steps, since going back to yesterday or five years ago is impossible. Money pays for freedom. Learn how to master it now!
Self-awareness is simply knowing your wishes, desires, feelings, strengths, and yourself.
Ironically, self-awareness will help you with every single example on this list. Every one.
It’ll help you: know what career you’ll excel in, your best exercise, why financial freedom matters to you, who to love, who to spend time with, fun hobbies for your personality, what organization to serve, and why to be grateful.
How do you build self-awareness? That’s a little bit tougher.
Here are some activities to help:
- Write down your 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals
- Take the Strength’s Finder test
- Reevaluate how happy you are at your job every month
- Spend time reflecting on the best parts of your day and why
- Read fiction and nonfiction books
- Put yourself out there to meet new people each week
- Try new hobbies
- Ask coworkers and friends about what you excel at
Honestly self-awareness comes with age. But now’s the best time to look for and develop it.
Living in a loving relationship
I get it. You don’t want to be lonely and the guy or girl giving you attention right now can feel good.
My reservation is that a lot of people are in relationships that plain and simple are unhealthy. Their anxiety is through the roof. They can’t trust the other. And it brings the worst out of them. But for some reason they stay in it.
I’m not your dating coach. But let me be your friend: If your significant other, person you’re talking to, or flavor of the month isn’t treating you right, toss them to the curb. There are billions of people out there in the world, meaning you can find a ton of lovers who treat you right.
Maybe I should do a Robben Rant on love? Nah.
Seriously, though, analyze your relationship now before you get married to the wrong person and have to suffer more pain down the road. Quit it early before the hammer comes down on you later and kids are in the mix.
Spending quality time with friends and family
High school and college made it easy to see your friends almost every single day. You went to the same school, lived in the same place, and went to the same social events.
After you graduate and age, everything changes. Friends are spread out across the country. Everyone’s too busy to even take a phone call. Those nights staying up all night talking about life are far gone the more you age. You simply lose connection with your old friends.
The only way to reverse this trend is to make a committed effort to stay in touch. Give them a text or call right now. Prioritize hanging out with people who make you feel good.
And our parents are only getting older. If you haven’t seen them in a month or more, give them a call today or schedule a dinner with them for next week. The best time to reconnect is now.
To be honest, this is a weakness of mine because I’m always working. I’ll take my own medicine by connecting with old friends to grab lunch and dinner this week. I promise!
Discovering a hobby you love
It’s so much better to live life on your terms. And in this case I mean not only working on interesting stuff, but also having hobbies outside of work that you genuinely go to for peace and relaxation.
Watching the television because you haven’t found a hobby that energizes you isn’t a way to go through life. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination:
- Wine tasting
- Ping pong
- Thrift shopping
- Playing poker
- Video gaming
- And 1,000+ other ideas waiting for you to try them
Don’t wait for retirement to find your passion for golf or cycling. You can find your escape now and go to it to release stress.
Why wait to find your passions? C’mon dude.
Giving back to your community
Another myth I need to bust is the idea that you need to wait to give back until you’re richer, older, or less busy. That can’t be further from the truth.
You’re enough right now, as you are, to make a positive difference in your local community. Volunteer at the food shelter. Donate your clothes you don’t wear anymore. And look for opportunities to bless others.
Their lives and yours will improve through your service. It doesn’t make sense to wait until you’re retired to care about community issues. And when you’re 80, you might not be fit enough to serve—you might need a youngster to help you.
What am I getting at? You know the drill. The best time to serve your community is now.
Feeling grateful to be alive
Don’t think for a second that I’m ending this post with a sappy, cheesy ending.
Gratitude deserves to be first on this list. Don’t believe me? Read this. Because the best time to realize how blessed you are to be alive and breathing in this beautiful world is right here, right now.
If you haven’t figured it out, life is all about perception. The rich person with a poor perspective is lost. The poor person with a rich perspective is content.
If you live life like it’s a gift, you’ll have more than enough time on earth to make your life count. The older you get with the wrong mindset, the more years you waste being a grumpy, entitled, and piece-of-crap human. That’s not cool to yourself or the people in your live.
Appreciate the moment and seize the days you’re given: carpe diem.
The past is dead. The future can wait. Your life is now.
The best time to start is NOW.
Life Tip: Never Take Anything Good For Granted
Have you ever had something really good in your life, until you took it for granted and lost it? What a horrible, miserable feeling, right? It’s the worst.
I know from experience.
My senior year of basketball still leaves a sour taste in my mouth thinking about it.
It’s strange though because it started out good, like really good.
After thousands of hours of insane dedication to practice my basketball craft and improve my shooting, dribbling, passing, defending, and rebounding, I reached a dream of mine: make the starting lineup for the St. Xavier Bombers varsity basketball team.
Not only that, my first game of the year couldn’t have been better considering I only played 14 minutes the entire game. The stat line below proves it.
And we won the game by 23 points. Everything is going smooth, until it wasn’t.
From the next game through the last game of the year it was all downhill.
Let me explain.
The Lost & Final Basketball Season
Let’s just say I was a different guy in high school. Now I’m all motivated and focused on building my businesses and leaving a legacy.
But the 18-year-old Brian was all about wreaking havoc and having a good time above all.
To express himself at school or during basketball team activities, he’d go as far as he could to toe the line of breaking the rules for pure laughs and excitement. Often he crossed the line.
Here are some of the reckless things I did during that basketball season:
- After receiving a hard foul when driving to the basket, I stayed on the ground and racked off 5 push ups before shooting foul shots
- On the bench during a pre-season game, I grabbed my phone and sent a tweet out to my Twitter followers explaining what I just did (tweeted during the game)
- Ruined team pictures by putting a 3 goggles sign on my thigh, so the school had to retake them a week later
- Stormed the refs locker room after a frustrating overtime loss when a bunch of questionable calls went against us
- Put a teammate in a headlock during a shoot around hours before a game
- And a lot more crazy stuff
That’s not close to all of the bad-boy moves.
I don’t know if you realize this, but it’s hard to play solid basketball and stay in the coaching staff’s good graces when you’re messing around whenever you can. It doesn’t work out well.
That’s why it’s to no shock looking back that I got suspended twice. The first time I had to sit out two quarters against our biggest rival. And then I was suspended a full week from the team later in the year.
Not to mention a bunch of other disciplinary issues and conflicts with coaches that I don’t have time nor want to discuss.
It all boils down to the fact that my antics sabotaged my final year of basketball.
After the season ended, the problem was I couldn’t go back in time to stay focused on basketball and give it my 100% again. That ship had sailed. The opportunity was gone.
So I had to, and now have to, live with regret when thinking back to that year and what could have been.
But regret about not appreciating the game of basketball isn’t the only thing I received from that experience. It’s the unforgettable lesson: never take anything good for granted.
Fortunately I learned this lesson at age 18, not 48.
Never Take It For Granted
Thanks to my failure that year, I developed a wiser perspective to appreciate the good things in my life.
So now I know never to take my work, my company, my clients, my health, my friends, my family, and life in general for granted. Regret is the worst feeling out there so I want to live in a way that eliminates it.
Where maybe if my senior year basketball season went smoother I’d never have learned the full extent of that lesson. Who knows? Maybe something far worse than a disappointing basketball season could have went down.
But because of the outcome I get to hold that experience in my back pocket going forward. I turned a scar into an advantage.
Although it’s always cool for me to flip negative experiences into positive ones, it’d be even better if I didn’t have to learn the hard way.
Truth is you don’t have to be a dummy like me.
I don’t know what your “it” is (I can guess it’s your family, friends, faith, career, pets, house, teachers, and country). I do know you need to never take it for granted if you want what’s best out of your life.
Also, don’t forget to appreciate the little things that come and go during the passing days.
It could be your peaceful commute to work where you’re alone with your thoughts. It could be the Monday morning cup of coffee you can afford without thinking about. Or it can be your place’s proximity to the beach that other people would kill to have.
Never taking life’s big and small gifts for granted is a big step to living the good life.
And there’s another reason to have this mindset: you don’t want to mess around with regret.
Regret Is Brutal, Eliminate It
Regret is the worst feeling out there in my opinion.
Sadness sucks but you can become happy again. Anger isn’t fun but you can eventually relax and get over it.
But regret, there’s no way to reverse it and recover. It sticks with you the rest of your life. That’s why it’s brutal.
Your only solution is to do your best job to eliminate it at all times by both being super grateful for what’s good in your life and staying focused to keep it going well.
If you are unappreciative and lose focus, there’s sometimes no going back from there. Your fate is often sealed once the moment ends.
I want my life to be filled with as little regret as possible. That’s part of the ingredients for a great life, in my humble opinion.
Don’t you agree? Please join me in this effort to never take anything good for granted.
Brian, Promise You’ll Never Stop Writing
Hey guys, to celebrate video number 40 on my YouTube channel I put together a different kind of video.
Here I share a personal story and value I hold dear to my heart. It’s all about my relationship with writing and how it’s went from zero to hero in my life.
I hope you enjoy the video and feel inspired!
If you’re interested, here’s the transcript:
Let’s first take it back to high school. You sucked at writing. Just like all of your other classes, you hated it and let your teachers know by your classroom antics or naps, and doing the bare-minimum on papers.
Writing never interested you because it was a part of the school system you went to war against.
Brian this is a note to your future self.
Things changed your freshman year of college. You wanted to be a big time lawyer, and writing soon became your major since top lawyers know how to read and write well. So you needed to write, and write well, to get a top GPA and reach your dreams. And you did.
But things changed again. You said see ya to law school, hello entrepreneur land and started the blog takeyoursuccess.com. That meant constant writing, and hours of it to publish 2-3 posts a week for the past few years. And then you became an author from your writing, already accomplishing a major achievement on your bucket list through this method of communication.
Now writing is your daily routine as much as breathing and eating is. Writing is your public and personal journal, the world sees it but you know the heart of what’s behind the words and the words unsaid. Writing is magical to you.
Although you’re a business owner, author, and coach, at the end of the day, remember your journey all started from a blog, from writing. You’re a writer, writing your story as you go, figuring it out piece by piece, and telling the world, striving to create your legacy one word at a time.
So note to future self, never stop writing. You wouldn’t be the same without it. And all great stories have a storyteller. You happen to be your own storyteller, just how you like it.
What’s your story?
What do you want to tell your future self to commit to?
What’s magical to you?
I hope by hearing part of my story you find clarity in your story. Because we’re all in this thing called life together, so let’s make the most of it.
The Art Of Negotiation: Care Less
The art of negotiation is truly an art. Either you’re skilled enough to win, or you’ll stumble to the finish line as a loser. Those are the only two possible outcomes.
Depending on the deal, the difference in winning and losing could mean securing your dream job or entering unemployment, getting a deal or getting ripped off $10 grand, and building a million dollar business or going bankrupt.
But like many things in life—how to write a winning resume, who to marry, how to make money, how to invest—no one teaches negotiation.
Our parents: only if we’re lucky. The school system: fails at this. The government: nope.
If government and corporations had it their way, we’d never learn to negotiate so we would have to take the short stick without complaining. That’s just wrong.
Since you’re reading this article, you’re on the right path though. Because the first step is to want to know how to negotiate better.
The second step is to learn how…
“He Who Cares Less, Wins”
Emotions can often be helpful.
For example, you should feel love toward the person you’re about to marry before you go through with it. Duh!
Or you should feel sad when your parents are getting old and sick. That sadness can help you appreciate them better and prioritize quality time going forward.
But in the negotiation arena, emotions will kill you before you know it. It’ll be like a sniper with his finger on the trigger and a red dot on your chest—it’s already too late for you.
Why do emotions kill negotiation ability? It’s mainly because feelings cloud judgement.
Your brain focuses on how it’s feeling instead of reason, logic, and answering does the math work for you to go forward. Insecurities also come into play, which can make you do the opposite of what you intended.
Clouded judgement leads to rash decisions and often buyer’s remorse.
It also costs you real dollars.
This study found anxious negotiators were more likely to take deals 12% less financially attractive than their counterparts. If it’s a 12% loss off a $500,000 mortgage, we’re talking about $60,000. That’s a big deal!
But consider someone’s approach who couldn’t care less about winning the deal: They’re relaxed. They speak clearly and listen carefully. And they’re focused on the specific details of what they’re getting and giving.
Not to mention they hold the leverage because they don’t need the deal. If it helps them they’ll take it, but by no means are they getting on their hands and knees to beg for it like a dog.
It’s not hard to figure out that someone who is relaxed and focused performs better than someone who is scatterbrained and under pressure.
This explains precisely why caring less helps you win.
Plus, when you care less, you can’t lose. You either win the deal on your terms or you leave it on the table as a draw.
Caring less is precisely how you ensure you never make a bad deal that takes the shirt off your back. Those deals are the unrecoverable ones that will leave you unable to sleep at night.
Let’s check out how caring less comes to play out in day-to-day scenarios.
Real Life Negotiations
Negotiation happens everywhere, all the time.
You probably just miss it or don’t label them as deal-making.
To open your eyes and get a grip on how this goes down, read these four examples about how negotiating the right way changes the entire landscape.
1. Grad school admissions: Whether a grad school accepts you and how much money they give you comes down to 100% negotiation.
The university is negotiating to get the best students in their class (and fill the seats to make money). You’re negotiating to get into the school and make the best choice for yourself.
If you’re a top candidate with acceptances to all the elite schools, the game is on to negotiate the best offer package. You’ll want to negotiate for a fat scholarship, maybe a stipend, and see if you can get anything else (like a teaching assistant job) to entice you to come.
If you have average grades and admissions test scores, you’re playing a game of negotiating to get into better schools with no scholarship or less reputable ones with scholarship money. Use the acceptances into the better schools as leverage to get more money.
2. Buying a car: This is the classic negotiation scenario used from personal finance bloggers to authors. (Maybe because just about everyone buys a car and has room to negotiate.)
If you’re like most people, you’ll arrive at the lot and make a beeline to the car you want. Then tell the salesman, “I’ve always wanted this car. It’s perfect. How much is it?”
Their signals are telling them you’re an easy sale and to negotiate little. You cost yourself potentially thousands of dollars.
But say you come back another day after reading this article and bring a more tactical approach. Instead of making a straight shot to one car, you tell the salesman, “I don’t have any particular car in mind. I’m not sure I really need a car to be honest. Just had some free time and wanted to look around.”
You ask about a few car prices then “randomly” stumble on the one you actually want to ask the price, without being too excited (care less).
This is how the playing field gets tilted. The salesman is now the desperate one trying to both find you the right car and sell it to you.
And when you negotiate, you have to make an offer and be prepared to walk away with nothing (that’s a draw not a loss). There are plenty of stories where someone walks and the dealer calls them back the next day to drop the price to get the deal done.
This scenario works when buying a house, motorcycle, boat, and all other related-purchases.
3. Job offer and salary package: I feel strongly about this one. You have to negotiate your salary if you like yourself!
There’s free money on the other side if you do this well. That’s why I dedicated an entire section of my money book to salary negotiation, and have written about this multiple times on TYS. (See here and here.)
Let’s break it down (assuming you’ve been offered the job): The company is negotiating to get you on their team at a fair (or cheap) price, and you’re negotiating to get the job at a higher price.
Communicating you have other employment options and while you’d love to work here you know you may have to decline the deal, can often make the employer want you more. Odds are they fork over the extra money and hope you pan off as a long-term investment.
But if you don’t know how to negotiate and say, “I accept this,” the second after they tell you the salary offer, there’s no extra money for you. The reason you have less money is all your fault.
4. Business projects: Business comes down to negotiation across the board. If you’re an employee, freelancer, or small business owner, you need to know how to persuade the other side to get the deal and price you want.
Bad business negotiation means being in a place of desperation where you take contracts even if it’s 10%, 25%, or 50% your normal rate. The desperation will come through in your communication and be the reason you get taken advantage of in broad daylight.
A smart employee should recognize your company’s price is your price, and not care if you lose the deal because the person on the other side only values cheap labor, and not high quality work.
A freelancer should know the value in their work, price it accordingly, and have a take it or leave it mentality with clients. There’s always more work to be won instead of compromising your skill for cheap labor.
A business owner should double their rates to bring in more revenue (assuming they have a solid product, sales, and marketing), while not caring if they lose their smaller clients. That’s the quickest way to bring in more money, and it sure beats getting nickel and dimed on project rates.
Everything is negotiable.
Knowing that, it’s your job to care less by having more options on the other side in case you don’t get what you want.
How do you get more options? The single best way is to work hard and provide value so you become financially well off.
Poor people are often in desperate, emergency-like situations where they can’t afford to shop around for a smart transaction. Where the rich have more time and opportunities to ensure they win the negotiation.
With wealth also comes the freedom to need less and become beholden to no one. This self-reliance empowers you at the negotiation table to only make deals if the numbers make sense to you.
You’re in a position of power when you’re finances are taken care of regardless what happens in these daily negotiations.
As you keep living, keep your eye out for negotiations big and small. Seeing them go down will give you mental reps and prepare you for your day-to-day negotiations.
Caring less about what you want, ironically gives you a better chance of getting it.
Related: Everything Is Negotiable