Survival of the fittest part: 1 of 3

There’s this hotel a few miles from where I live that sits right on the water. Beautiful property, perfect location, I actually used to work there, but now it’s closed down. Why? Because it’s sinking, the foundation is completely faulty. The cost to break it down and rebuild, financially, doesn’t make sense. This property has been sitting for the longest, someone’s time, money, and dream wasted because of a faulty foundation. Meanwhile, the property on the river right next to it is thriving and is always packed. One property isn’t better than the other, they’re basically identical, the only thing that separates them is the foundation. The biggest and most important part of your life is about getting your own personal foundation together. In this post, I’ll break down exactly what this foundation consists of, after that it’s on you to secure it for yourself. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. However, the goal of this three-part series is to not only give you the foundation, but to show you how to build on it. Moreover, then rest comfortably within the structure you choose to build for yourself. What good is taking the time to create a foundation and never building on it? This post will point you in the right direction. 
Priorities: Young men, listen up. I know many of you are trying to learn the game, thinking the GAME is all about pulling females, but I’ll tell you, if your biggest worry and problem is getting and keeping a chick, you’re one lucky motherfucker because that’s the easy part. Moreover, life is about much more. You’ll eventually discover. Your life shouldn’t revolve around women. They should be an addition to the life you’re living and the great things you’re doing with yourself. Once you have your foundation in place and start building on it, you’ll have no shortage of females after you, and you’ll have better options, but far more important, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have your affairs in order. 
Life insurance. I’ve seen too many people die without it, and the family has to struggle to pay the cost to bury their loved one. It costs to be born, it costs to live, and it costs to die. With so many options in place to make sure that you leave the means behind to take care of your final costs so that they won’t pass on to the people you care about the most is extremely important. There are a lot of cheap options, get some.
Savings: life happens. Even if your day to day routine is the same, you never know when something can happen when you need access to cash. The more you save, the better off you are. Having a “first things first” mentality when it comes to spending will carry you a long way. Needs first, wants last. Learn the difference. You’ll notice that once people see you have money, they will try to chip away at it. All of a sudden people need something from you, but you can’t help people get their foundation right if you haven’t gotten yours together. Your foundation is your first priority.
Retirement: I read an article recently that talked about the number of baby boomers who will not be able to retire, due to many factors, but one of the main reasons was due to lack of planning. They’re struggling to stay in jobs where younger people are coming up in because they don’t have the means to support themselves should they lose their positions. Many lost their pensions due to mismanagement by the people in charge of their portfolios. We live in a new time, the time of the hustler. There're so many avenues to get a free education on how to set-up your own retirement account, build, and manage it. Now is the time to educate yourself on the different options out there, and take advantage of those options. Ask the average worker who has a 401k through their employer what their retirement portfolio consists of and how it’s allocated, and I guarantee you’ll get a blank stare. This is because too many people delegate things to others that they should take a hands-on approach to. There was a time when you could rely on your employer and the banks to manage that plan for you, but it’s a different time now, and when you don’t recognize that the times have changed, you fall victim to the times.
Speak the Language: Imagine being dropped off in the middle of China. There're no signs in English. No one around speaks English, and you have no clue where you are, or how to get to where you should be. Scary shit! This is life for many people, and I’ll tell you why. Money has its own language. If you don’t speak it, you’re lost, and at the mercy of the circumstances you’ve been dropped in. The language they use on the stock market, the methods used to evaluate companies and their stocks to decide if it’s worth investing in, is another language in and of itself. Once you know how to crunch the numbers, spot opportunities, and act on them, you put yourself in a position for a stronger foundation. Whenever you speak another language, you open doors of communication, connections, and opportunity that you otherwise wouldn’t have. Just like in the scenario of being dropped off in China, if you spoke Chinese, you’d have no problem getting to where you need to go, likewise, when you speak the language of money, and you understand the numbers, you’ll have no problem getting to where you need to go.

Learn how to invest in Real Estate: Real Estate is about peeping opportunity and knowing the numbers. There’s nothing better than having someone build equity in a property for you, while you sit back and watch your wealth build. If you can focus on little townhomes and condos, which in certain parts of the country you can get for a good price, your mortgage payment will be nothing, and you’ll have some cash left over every month after you make that mortgage payment. Regardless if you choose to actively invest in real estate or not, you should make it a point to know how. You never know when an opportunity will come up. Things like that don’t usually fall into your lap, it’s like with anything in life, once you learn the skill, you’ll see opportunity before it sees you. There are so many books you can buy, and even cheap classes you can take at your local community college, that will give you the foundation of knowledge you need on this subject.
Stay away from: Have you noticed that the people with the least room to talk about the flaws of others are always the most vocal in that area? Stay away from people like this. There are many types of people to avoid close friendships with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for specific purposes. These people aren’t doing much, and the only use you have for them is when they have information that may benefit you. People like this can’t hold information and gossip to themselves, so their only use is when they have info that you can use to further whatever it is that you’re after. When you’re at the bottom focused on building a nice foundation for yourself like I am now, and many people are, your priorities come into clear focus. I don’t want my time to be spent discussing or gossiping about other people, If we are not discussing ways to build and put ourselves in a better position, we don’t have much to discuss.
Adapt to circumstances: Back in 2006, I got arrested for possession. I was lucky because I only had a few crumbs in my possession when I got searched, but in my car just one block away, I had a couple of ounces of crack under my passenger seat, not much by street standards, but would have been enough to get me a few years. I was literally looking at my car as they put the cuffs on me, thinking how one block could have completely changed my life. I had my real estate license at the time, but hadn’t made any deals, and needed to do something to help support my daughter. Once I got arrested, my income stream and potential income stream came to a close. I really had no other skill to fall back on, but I have a trait in my character that I didn’t fully know was there, the ability to adapt, and the ability to see opportunity. I was so scared of the possibility of not being there to raise my daughter that I began to write lessons down that I would want her to know if, for some reason, I wasn’t there to raise her. That’s how I discovered how much I like writing and how much insight and knowledge I had stored within me. Now everything I write is not only about passing it on, but showing people that a lot of this stuff is already in them, they possibly just haven’t had a situation that brought it out of them or gave them a chance to display it. You have to learn to bounce back and also discover what it really is that drives you. Just don’t let your discovery come in such a dramatic way.
The mentality: I remember not too long ago, I had a book signing and had someone tell me that the only way I’d be successful at writing was if Oprah featured my book. It dawned on me that this is the mentality of too many people. Everyone is looking to be “put on” by someone else who has already made it. They say things like “if Jay-Z would just listen to my demo” “if Oprah would feature my book in her book club” these are the people who are less likely to make it because they're relying on a handout, instead of relying on their own hands to build the foundation for success. It’s much better to start your hustle from the ground up on your own. It will be slow at first, but person by person you’ll build an audience for what you have to offer, and people in powerful positions will respect you more. Being around or having an outlet to talk to like-minded people is key. Find people who are accomplishing goals in their life and share ideas, and keep each other motivated. I use to buy this magazine called the ‘Robb Report’, and I remember showing it to a few people, and their reaction surprised me. I was told by one person “get that away from me, that’s depressing, I don’t want to see what I’ll never have.” That showed me the difference in mindset we had. I always looked at the magazine as inspirational, and something to work towards, while they saw it as a reflection of something they wanted but felt they could never have. That made me see that you have a few type of people: The dreamer, the dreamer/ Hustler, The anti-dreamer/worker. “The dreamer” all this person does is dream, and fantasize about the life they want. Moreover, this is enough for them. It’s their escape from reality. The “anti-dreamer/ worker” is just that, they don’t dream of more, and they simply go through life doing the tasks that are required of them and never aspire to have more or be more. “The dreamer/ hustler” dreams big, but uses every resource possible to make those dreams come true. There’s no place they won’t travel. There’s no stone they will leave unturned for what they want out of life. I know people who went to prison for years, came out and was living in luxury in no time. They had a vision, they had hustle, and they had the hustler’s perception. Where most people see a straw that you drink with as just a straw, a hustler see’s things slightly differently, they see the seller of the plastic, they see the straw makers manufacturing business, they see the distribution of those straws, and they see the retail of that product. They see this all like someone’s million dollar business. Damn near everything we touch, taste and see these days is a business for someone. Find a way to get your piece. 
Listen, learn, apply, and pass it on: Nobody took the time to sit down and give me the game of life, I had to experience situations in order to learn, but it made me start devouring books in search of answers to life’s problems. Listening to many different sources and finding outlets to apply what I learned has come in handy.
I try to fill all gaps in my knowledge that may be there, so if I missed anything, please add to the list.
I wrote this to myself as a reminder and roadmap to get, and keep myself in order. Moreover, to focus on, and correct, weak areas in my foundation. I’m sharing this with the intent that it will serve the same purpose for you. –RulesofLife101 (November 20, 2012)

(You can pick up his books here and here.)

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