I wish they taught this in school.
I wish my parents wrote a “manual” on it, and hand it down to me, the day I was born.
Instead… I learnt it from a journey called, life.
These are powerful life lessons that allowed me to:
- Become a profitable trader
- Be an entrepreneur
- Love every s.i.n.g.l.e day of my life (okay, I’ve got a kid coming, so I may eat my own words later)
If I could somehow meet my 20-year-old-self…
…I’d want him to swallow what I’m about to share with you…
Are you ready?
Remember names and you’ll be rewarded
You want to be respected. You want to be appreciated. You want to be noticed.
And I can give all these to you, by calling out your name.
Not “hey”, “hello”, or “sup”
It makes a world of difference. Don’t believe me?
Check this out…
I frequently hit the gym. Before I could hit the weights section, I need to approach the receptionist, to register myself and collect my towel.
There’s this Malay girl who has the blackest face ever. She’s never in a good mood, and I’m always given the “take your towel and get the f*** out of here” attitude.
Then one day…
I decided to squint my eyes at her name tag, and acknowledge her, by her name.
Her eyes lit up and gave me the biggest smile ever. And if you think its a one off event, heck no.
Every subsequent time I see her, I’m always treated with her big bright eyes, and beautiful smile. And its all because I called her by her…
On top of it, gym members who register after me, are greeted by the positive attitude of hers (instead of the charcoal black face).
Can you see how powerful this is?
If you don’t believe me, try this out yourself. Go down to MacDonald, order a double cheese burger, without cheese and bun.
The person might think you’re crazy, but if you just call out his/her name, you’ll be treated like a VIP customer.
If you’re wondering where I learnt this from, its from the book, How to win friends and influence people, by Dale Carnegie (I highly recommend every living soul to read this book).
Let’s move on…
What’s in it for me?
If you want to get ignored by me, do this…
Hey, my name is John, from ABC broker.
I would like you to try our new trading platform that I’m sure your subscribers would love.
Do you want to meet up for coffee to discuss this further?
And, this is the problem…
- Do I know you?
- What makes you think, my subscribers would like what you have to offer?
- What’s in it for me?
Let’s be honest. We only care about ourselves. We don’t care whether the sun is going to explode. We don’t care whether the world will end next week.
We only care when our next paycheck is coming… right?
So if you want to pitch a product or a service, always let the other party know, what’s in it for them.
Here’s an example of how John, could have done better…
My name is John and I’ve been following your blog for the past one year. I truly enjoyed your posting, and it has improved my trading tremendously.
I understand you have a Trend Following Mentorship Program going on, which will greatly benefit my clients.
Would you be interested to hold a seminar with my clients, and teach them more about Trend Following? At the end of it, you can share with them what you have to offer (what’s in it for me).
You can invite your subscribers along, as we have enough room to fit 100 pax.
I hope to hear from you soon!
Would I reply this time?
Now, here’s a story on how I used this principle…
Back in the army, I had this irritating company sergeant major (CSM). He’s the kind of person that is never wrong, loves to reject ideas, and is obsessed with area cleaning.
So, I was currently sleeping in a 12 men bunk, that consists of 6 ceiling fans. Unfortunately, I wasn’t under any of the fans.
Needless to say, I wanted to shift my bed to be under the ceiling fan, so I can keep myself cool at night.
I knew that if I told him the truth, about why I wanted to shift my bed, I would be rejected flat.
So, here’s what I did instead…
Encik (is how I address him), I love to do area cleaning, but my bed is in the way.
This makes it difficult for me to do a thorough cleaning at the hidden corners.
May I request my bed to be shifted so I can do a better job in area cleaning (what’s in it for him)?
Did he agree?
And “miraculously”, my bed was shifted under the ceiling fan. Get my point?
There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback
This is a lesson that I’ve learned from being a commando, in my army days.
The word failure is used by those who accept it.
But to those who don’t accept it, its feedback.
Think about this…
If you set out a goal and you’re not getting the results you want, what’s it telling you?
Its telling you that, whatever you’re doing, is clearly not working out (and this is feedback).
Take me for an example…
When I was in university, I had a subject called Financial Intermediary (FI).
I took a few tests on it, but always scored poorly.
I could say “Damn it, I’m not cut out for theory papers”.
I could tell myself “Okay clearly my style of writing isn’t working. Let me get into the head of my lecturer, and find out what she wants”.
Can you see how I’m taking this as feedback?
So I started questioning my lecturer on what what I’m doing wrong, and what needs to be improve.
And it paid off!
I was the top scorer for FI for that year.
Remember. There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.
Focus on the intention, not the action
Its easy to get annoyed when someone does an action, that is inappropriate.
But if you focus on their intention, it usually paints a different picture.
Here’s what I mean:
My dad fetches our family often. Sometimes I don’t understand why he chooses a particular route, which takes a longer time to our destination.
To be honest, it irritates me.
Then I started thinking along these lines…
“Does my dad want to take a longer route, waste more petrol, and time?”
Of course not. He’s probably unaware of a shorter route, and he needs my feedback.
So, looking at it his actions, you may think he’s an idiot. But understanding his intention, he only means well.
I know you probably have lots of “idiots” in your life, doing actions you can’t comprehend. But instead of focusing on their actions, think about their intention.
Does it paint a different story?
Give without expecting anything in return (my secret to a happy life)
Here’s the thing…
Most people give and expect something in return. When they don’t receive it, they feel disappointed, cheated or even betrayed.
But when you give without expecting anything in return, you’ll never feel this way. Because you don’t expect anything to start with.
And if you do get something in return, you’ll be happy because it came as a surprise. Don’t we all love surprises?
The funny thing is this…
…when you give wholeheartedly, you will always be rewarded in more ways than one. Call it karma, paying it forward or whatever. But I’ve seen it worked firsthand myself.
Let me share with you two real life examples:
Collin Seow, a top-tier remisier in Phillip Securities
My friend, Collin Seow is a perfect example.
He recently launched his book, The Systematic Trader, and our conversation went something like this…
Me: What’s the difference between the content in your book and your trading course?
Collin: The book is for those who couldn’t afford to attend my trading course, and its the same thing I teach in my trading course.
Me: Wouldn’t it cannibalize your education business, as traders would buy the book and not attend your course?
Collin: Not really because there are traders who bought the book, and still attend the course. I believe in giving 100% and not hold anything back.
Collin’s philosophy in life is amazing and he is definitely one of the happier friends I have around.
Neil Patel, a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30
To tell you the truth…
TradingwithRayner wouldn’t be where it is, without Neil Patel.
Although I don’t know him personally, his blog, Quicksprout has taught me so much about marketing, business and life.
Here’s a sample of what you can get on his blog:
- The Beginner’s guide to online marketing
- The advanced guide to SEO
- The advanced guide to content marketing
- The advanced guide to link building
- And much more…
Do you know what’s the best part?
Everything on his blog, is FREE (while others charge thousands for). And I can dare say, he has literally changed my life, for the better.
Do you think Collin and Neil got where they are today, by taking?
Nope. They deserve everything they’ve got because they have so much to, GIVE.
Happiness comes from within
No one is going to make you happy.
Not your mom. Not your dad. Not your spouse.
Then who can make you happy?
Some families I know have barely enough to get by, have simple meals at home (because they couldn’t afford to eat out), but they’re contented.
On the other hand…
I’ve seen families who are rich, spend without thinking twice, but are miserable.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying rich people are miserable. Instead… I’m telling you that, just because you have “everything” on the outside, doesn’t mean you’ll be happy on the inside.
Happiness comes from within.
It comes from how you appreciate the little things in life (like eating a Burrito with your spouse, outside a shopping mall because there’s no space inside).
It comes from knowing your family and friends, are always there for you.
It comes from giving, without expecting anything in return.
Put yourself in other’s shoe
We’re always quick to pass a judgement when someone’s action don’t meet our expectations.
Here’s a story that happened sometime ago…
I was reading the newspaper, and it reported a thief was caught stealing a loaf of bread.
My judgement on him was something like this…
LOL, a loaf of bread? What an idiot. You deserved to get caught for stealing.
Then, I came across the background of the thief on social media…
He is a 65 year old unemployed man, with no kids, and a bedridden wife to look after. He’s struggling to meet ends meet and, is surviving on the food provided by social workers. Some days, he eats as little as one slice of bread, only.
He decided to steal a loaf of bread because his wife was hungry and, he has nothing else to offer her.
My lesson learnt is this:
Don’t be too quick to judge others because we’re not in their shoes.
Your greatest investment is, in yourself
Why are you being paid?
Have you figured?
Okay, here’s why…
We’re all being paid to solve problems, in one way or another. The bigger the problems you solve, the more money you’ll make.
A road cleaner is being paid, to clean up the streets (solving dirty roads problem).
A CEO is being paid, to ensure survival of a company’s future (solving whatever problems at hand).
A teacher is being paid, to impart knowledge to the future generations (solving the problem of transferring knowledge from one head to another).
Now, the silver question is this…
How do you solve problems?
By increasing YOUR KNOWLEDGE.
When you have more knowledge, you think of more solutions. When you think of more solutions, you solve more problems.
When you solve more problems, you start solving bigger problems. When you start solving bigger problems, you start making big money.
Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talent; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. – Warren Buffet
Now, the golden question is this…
How do you increase your knowledge?
The easiest way to do it is, read more books. Or better still, go to the library and borrow them (its free). Try to beat this, for an ROI.
Here’s the number of books I’ve read over the last 2.5 years…
If you do the math, I read an average of one book per week.
And this does not include books I’ve bought, training videos I’ve watched, and seminars I’ve attended.
By increasing my knowledge and applying it accordingly…
It allowed me to be a profitable trader, be an entrepreneur, and have no boss to answer to (okay, maybe except my wife).
Your greatest investment is not in your stocks, properties or children.
But in yourself.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt in 2015?
If you’re still reading at this point, then congratulations! I’ve just shared with you, my biggest secrets in life.
I can’t promise you’ll be a millionaire if you apply these lessons. But I can assure you that, you’ll lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
So, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt this year?
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