August 12, 2020Building Wealth POSTED BY: EDITOR AUGUST 12, 2020 By Geoff Hughes When the world is facing a down economy, people tend to move into fear and out of resourcefulness. The truth is, down markets are inevitable. They happen in cycles, and we are all likely to face them at some point in our lives. Even the most seasoned and successful people can face a personal financial crisis in a down market. Richard Branson, for example, is worth $5.9 billion and has openly shared his financial struggle in the current economy. The ability to turn things around and come out stronger is what defines a person’s long-term success. A down economy can be the catalyst or experience that accelerates our growth and awakens our focus or resourcefulness. It can also be what leads some to give up or their dreams. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Before even thinking about building wealth, we’ll want to get clear on our priorities. Our health and well-being are paramount for success. Physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness is just as essential as financial wellness. Money is not the ultimate goal. The money will not magically cure dysfunction, isolation, dis-ease, or unhappiness. First and foremost, money is a byproduct of value. The more value you seek to bring into your life and put back out into the world, the more that money will be showered back upon you in return. Put more focus on providing value than gaining financial rewards and material excess. It’s helpful to get clear on what you would want your life to look like, even if money didn’t exist. There is an excellent talk by Alan Watts about this concept. Most successful people throughout history did not set out to create a legacy as a super-rich person. They were, first and foremost, driven by integrity, impact, and the desire to make a difference. You were born to make a difference. So, how do you build wealth from nothing? Focus on what areas of your life you want to change, including, but not limited to your bank account. Strategize how you can optimize your contribution to the world and bring meaningful change to your life. If I had to start from nothing and rebuild my wealth, here’s what I’d do: PROVEN STEPS TO BUILD WEALTH IN A DOWN MARKET 1. Figure Out The Trends Most people skip this step, but it’s vital to understand the direction the world is moving in when looking at strategies to build wealth. There is value in trusting your intuition. Still, it is crucial to understand trends and, more importantly, people. Notice where peoples’ attention and behaviors are going. Have a good look at the world, and pay attention to the conversations on social media. Just be sure to do it as a student, not a mindless consumer. Ask yourself: What do people need? What do they value? What needs has the market not met? Stay adaptable. Move forward with the current rather than struggling against it. Think of all the ways you can help people and also what people need right now. Have conversations with those you want to serve, and find out what is really needed. 2. Evaluate Your Skill Sets And Pivot Everyone has the ability to create wealth. However, it is essential to ask this question regularly: Can I use my current skill set, or do I need to upgrade it? Sometimes, this is simply a matter of taking something you are already good at and making it your expertise. Sometimes, it just means doing what you are already doing, but finding new ways to make it work. For example, if you are an excellent personal trainer, you could learn how to train online. A salesperson can learn to sell over video conferences and find leads on social media. Assess your strengths. Look where you need to go deeper and where you may need to pivot. The mistake to avoid here is ever assuming the need to learn, shift, and change has passed. Even the most seasoned warriors make sure that it’s more than just their swords that remain sharp, fresh, and ready for battle. 3. Find Your Unique Position Ask yourself: How will I stand out? How can I be at my best? Take some time to reflect on what you have to offer the world, especially from a business standpoint. We are not here to be average. If you have dreams of making a substantial positive impact on the lives of others, you have to stand out. One effective way to stand out is to become known for being this best at something. It will require a conscious process to improve at something continually, but the rewards are high. Start with a strong foundation and commit to building on it. If you need some help on how to do this, read this guide from James Altucher. You can also differentiate yourself through a very high level of service to others. People remember how you make them feel. Ritz-Carlton Hotels are known for making people feel well-cared for or even pampered. Their motto is, “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” This unique position has helped The Ritz-Carlton stand out among a sea of other hotel options, and charge a premium for it. 4. Communicate It’s always a good time to plant seeds and create amazing relationships. Remember that your network is your net worth. You are a reflection of the five people who you are with most of the time. However, this rule does not just apply to people. Think about the influences you surround yourself with on and offline. Your environment includes people you spend time texting/messaging, articles you read, and content on your newsfeeds. Reading this article is one way of choosing to spend your time on messages that inspire, motivate, and inform your growth. Not only is it essential to have an environment aligned to your vision and values, but it can also be valuable to distance yourself from those who are out of alignment with you and your goals. It doesn’t mean that you get to be unkind to such individuals, or in the case of certain family members, for example, leave no space in your life for the person at all. You can, however, set your boundaries and expectations of what you will receive from this person and be clear and firm on upholding these boundaries. Think about the avenues you take to network and expand the group of people who motivate you to move forward. Always remember to put the relationship and communication first. It’s much better to build connections with a focus first on what you could do to support rather than what you could gain. Surround yourself in an environment of growth; if strategic partnerships form from it, it’s an added benefit. 5. Hustle This one should be no surprise, but it’s worth repeating. You have to be willing to put in the work, especially in a down market. People that give extra effort come out the other side winning. A down economy may be the time to offer your services for free at first, create multiple payment plans, reach out to more prospects, do more daily favors, ask and give more referrals, etc. The list goes on and on. There is an abundance of ways in which you can take action to grow your wealth without compromising your health or integrity. We tend to underestimate the amount of work needed to succeed, so in these times, it’s better to overestimate it. If you planned to do ten sales calls, do one-hundred. If you were reading one book per month, read two, or take more notes on the first one. Wake up earlier and get going on projects or research trends. Your finances and your family will thank you for it. There’s a saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Keep a journal to document your process. This way, you’ll learn which things work well and gain insight from things that do not yield results. Don’t get impatient with it. These things can take time. “Get Rich Quick” schemes are almost always foolhardy. Focus on building a strong foundation. From there, you can branch out and flourish in any direction you wish. Final Thoughts Use this time to take radical responsibility. Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. Keep your health at the top of your mind as you bring attention to wealth-building. You can push yourself, but don’t hit a breaking point. Maintaining optimal health is critical for creating life-long success. Also, be careful not to get caught up in focusing on what you don’t have. Always bring awareness to gratitude. If you want some help implementing gratitude practices in your life, read this article. A down-economy is an excellent opportunity to appreciate what we have now while improving our capacity for success in the future. If I had to start all over again, building my wealth from nothing. I’d learn the trends of what people are needing and solve those problems. With a unique position in the marketplace, I would focus on building relationships and surrounding myself in a supportive environment. The next step would be to hustle, share some services for free, or find a way to prove my value. This action plan is available to anyone with a willingness to do the work with consistency and persistence. A down-economy is not a time to put your life on hold. On the contrary, it’s an opportunity to become bold in pursuit of your dreams. How will you use this time to better your future?