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Tightwads ignore the power of great advice at their peril

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017

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Words by Peter Switzer

On Thursday night I interviewed the irrepressible Sarina Russo, whose recruitment and education business — Sarina Russo Group — employs over 1000 people around Australia and even overseas! Sarina feeds off positivity and is 24/7 focused on making her business great. And while she has an unflappable self-belief on what she can achieve, great performers like her know the value of inside advice from those who are strong where she might be weak.

Sarina Russo weak? Now that’s hard to get my head around, but numerous observations and tips from experts I respect, this week alone, reminded me of how valuable getting quality views on important subjects is a no brainer and actually not only gives you a competitive edge, it can also help you save and make money.

Marcus Buckingham, the author of Go Put Your Strengths to Work made his name pointing out that the top performers in all manner of activities make their weaknesses inconsequential by getting others to carry those responsibilities, while they concentrated on their time and efforts in their strength zone.

I think the best supporting advice I can give to my proposition that you should look to specialist experts for help is to recommend that you spend your time wisely in good company.

Be choosey with your friends and network and make sure you dedicate time to listening to and watching media that can actually help you build your competitive advantage.

It has long been argued that education is power but you don’t have to go to university for education. In the age of the Internet and the smartphone, it’s everywhere. And it means anyone can listen to my On The Money radio show, Monday to Thursdays on the Talking Lifestyle radio network between 4pm and 5pm.

And if you have a day when too much Peter Switzer is never enough, you can watch my Sky Business TV program at 7pm live and then it’s repeated about three or four times!

There are no excuses for not getting the inside info on getting richer and more business successful from me! Oh, you say you don’t have Foxtel, well, all interviews are repeated the next day on my website Switzer Daily, so there’s no excuse for avoiding me!

Away from money information that could make you richer, who can’t seriously argue that we all would not be better off if we had a personal trainer meet us every morning at 6am? And what if we had an in-house chef, who was an expert on high-quality, nutritious foods that didn’t make us fat?

To top it off, let’s throw in a business coach and a life coach with a major in psychology, as well as inspiration to ensure that our self-improvement goals were not only met but set at an aspirationally high level.

Let’s further dream of catch-ups with Tony Robbins two times a year for a boot camp that’s designed to help you stay on track with your stretch goals.

Of course, this might be a dream world for anyone aspiring to be the next Sarina Russo or Mark Bouris but as my old mate Tom O’Toole (the Beechworth Baker) always advises: “avoid dream-takers who stop you believing in yourself and your dreams.”

But not all dream-takers are people, as they can be your attitudes towards spending money. The tightwad in all of us sometimes tells us that paying for advice or guidance is a waste of money and/or is seen as too expensive.

I come across this all the time when it comes to businesses hesitating about spending money on accounting or financial advice. I often argue that it’s not so much a cost but an investment in success. In more cases than not, it’s one financial step back for a pile of steps forward.

When it comes to investing in success, too many of us have the attitude that “my fear of spending money with a dud means I’m prepared to court failure or limited success by not getting help.”

No one’s ever admitted this to me but it’s the logical conclusion when you think about so many people not signing up for success.

Sarina Russo said she learnt so much that explains her success when she heard Jim Rohn talk about the positive lessons from failure. She said she has learnt from her failures but insisted that you have to have the attitude of “get on with it” and try something else.

Rohn once said: “Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”

Not spending your time educating yourself and being in good, instructive company is a classic daily mistake.

Over this week, I was shown and I showed to others many interesting things about the super changes that come in on June 30.

One such insight I talked about was how if you were planning to sell a property to roll the money into super right now, a couple could get $1,080,000 into super in one go. However after June 30, the maximum amount falls to $600,000.

I also pointed out that if you chose to buy a rental property inside a self-managed super fund and you kept it until you retired and you were in the 0% tax zone, then you could withdraw the property as a lump sum and pay no capital gains tax. And even more surprising is that once it’s out of super, you could live in it!

I know people often go to financial advisers for stock market tips but really they can often make and save you a lot of money from what they know as a specialist that you don’t. Outlays on a good financial adviser, accountant, dietician, personal trainer, business coach or even a psychologist are investments, not just costs.

The great Australian athlete, Herb Elliott, explained that he succeeded because he learnt to beat that little voice inside our heads, which always talks you out of things that are hard. It tells you not to run in the rain, that the mental plus from that muffin outweighs the thickening of the arteries you might worry about and so on.

Sure, many of us can’t afford experts but Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great (one of the best business books of all time) said that when he was young he created a personal board of directors and many of them were recruited via the reading of books by the greats of business. He read their books as they were speaking to him and, importantly, he took their advice. He self-educated himself in areas that he could not get from his academic courses, which ultimately saw him become a leading US business professor and a global educator of some the world’s most prominent CEOs.

Let me finish with two more great quotes from Jim Rohn to prove my point.

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune,” he counselled us.

But I’ve always loved this one, which sums up the core of people like Sarina Russo and why they succeed while others don't.

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.”

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day. No prize in guessing who I got that one from.

And one last thing — beat the little voice ‘tightwad’ inside your head.

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