The Triple-A Triangle?
I wish I could say acquiring wealth was easy for me, but it wasn’t.
So in response to the question “How do I start?” I offer the thought process I go through on a day-to-day basis. It’s easy to find great deals. I promise you that. It’s just like riding a bike. After a little wobbling, it’s a piece of cake. But when it comes to money, it takes determination to get through the wobbling. That’s a personal thing.
To find million-dollar “deals of a lifetime” requires us to call on our financial genius. I believe that each of us has a financial genius within us.
The problem is that our financial genius lies asleep, waiting to be called upon. It lies asleep because our culture has educated us into believing that the love of money is the root of all evil. It has encouraged us to learn a profession so we can work for money but failed to teach us how to have money work for us. It taught us not to worry about our financial future because our company or the government would take care of us when our working days are over.
However, it’s our children, educated in the same school system, who will end up paying for this absence of financial education. The message is still to work hard, earn money, and spend it, and when we run short, we can always borrow more.
Unfortunately, 90% of the Western world subscribes to the above dogma, simply because it’s easier to find a job and work for money.
If you ask most people if they would like to be rich or financially free, they would say yes. But then reality sets in. The road seems too long with too many hills to climb.
I once met a young woman who had dreams of swimming for the U.S. Olympic team. The reality was that she had to get up every morning at four o’clock to swim for three hours before going to school. She didn’t party with her friends on Saturday night. She had to study and keep her grades up, just like everyone else.
When I asked her what fueled her superhuman ambition and sacrifice, she simply said, “I do it for myself and the people I love. It’s love that gets me over the hurdles and sacrifices.”
A reason or a purpose is a combination of “wants” and “don’t wants.” When people ask me what my reason for wanting to be rich is, I tell them that it’s a combination of deep emotional “wants” and “don’t wants.”
If they’re not strong enough, then the reality of the road ahead may be greater than your reasons. I’ve lost money and been set back many times, but it was the deep emotional reasons that kept me standing up and going forward. I wanted to be free by age 40, but it took me until I was 47, with many learning experiences along the way.
As I said, I wish I could say it was easy. It wasn’t. But it wasn’t that hard either. I’ve learned that, without a strong reason or purpose, anything in life is hard.
To help you focus in on what will push you along, I’ll share the formula that worked for me…
The Formula for Success: The Triple-A Triangle
Over the years, my wife Kim developed a plan for success called the Triple-A Triangle. It’s a plan that works both for anything — including investing.
Below is a quick overview of that plan. It’s not hard to remember, but it takes fortitude to execute.
Choose your dream. Create a clear vision of what your financial dream and financial freedom look like to you. Hold onto your vision throughout your journey.
Acquire the knowledge, the education, the facts, the figures, and the data you need to take action. The acquire stage is ongoing because the markets and the economy are always changing.
Apply the knowledge you’ve acquired in the real world. Take action. Put into practice what you’ve learned. With a small amount of acquired knowledge, you can quickly move into the apply stage. Many small apply steps lead to more tremendous learning, which will produce results.
One key to this process is to do one thing every day that gets you closer to your financial dream — which is why the secret fourth “A” is Achieve. You will achieve throughout your entire journey. You will achieve with every win or success. Be sure to celebrate every win you have along the way. It’s those moments of success and accomplishment where real joy is found.
You Must Do All Three
There are no shortcuts to this process. It takes all three parts of the Triple-A Triangle to achieve your goals and dreams.
Confucius said it best: “To know and not do, is to not yet know.”
Many people accomplish the aspire step and move into the acquire step and get stuck there. They attend all the seminars, read all the books, and are constantly researching online. The problem is they never move into the apply stage.
Why? My guess is fear — fear of making a mistake, of losing money, of looking stupid, of people saying, “I told you so!”
It is only by applying the knowledge after you acquire it that those fears will dissipate. All three steps are necessary to achieve your financial dreams.
My purpose is to offer clarity to define what you aspire to, to offer information for you to acquire, and then, most importantly, to use real-life stories and encouragement as the catalyst for you to apply the knowledge in your life to have what you want.
These three stages are constantly in motion. You don’t move from one to the second and then to the third and then you’re done. You aspire, you acquire, and you apply over and over again. Then you acquire more and apply more, and acquire more and apply more, all the while holding onto your vision of what you aspire to. It’s an ongoing dynamic cycle.
How to Get Started
So for those who want a to-do list on how to get started, I will share with you some of the things I do, in abbreviated form.
- Stop doing what you’re doing. In other words, take a break and assess what is working and what is not working. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Stop doing what is not working, and look for something new.
- Look for new ideas. For new investing ideas, I go to bookstores and search for books on different and unique subjects. I call them formulas. I buy how-to books on formulas I know nothing about.
- Find someone who has done what you want to do. Take them to lunch and ask them for tips and tricks of the trade. As for 16% tax-lien certificates, I went to the county tax office and found the government employee who worked in that office. I found out that she, too, invested in the tax liens. Immediately, I invited her to lunch. She was thrilled to tell me everything she knew and how to do it. After lunch, she spent all afternoon showing me everything. By the next day, I found two great properties with her help that have been accruing interest at 16% ever since. It took a day to read the book, a day to take action, an hour for lunch, and a day to acquire two great deals.
- Take classes, read, and attend seminars. I search on the Internet for new and interesting classes, many of which are free or inexpensive. I also attend and pay for expensive seminars on what I want to learn. I am wealthy and free from needing a job simply because of the courses I took.
As you move toward achieving your financial dreams, pay attention now and then to how much of your doing is spent in each part of the Triple-A Triangle. Only when you find the right balance will you start to move through every stage and begin to find financial success and freedom.
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily