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How do you win?

by Peter Switzer

Last week I was asked to speak at a breakfast business session for the Queensland Reds rugby organisation. The whole morning was a great success with former Wallabies legend Tim Horan as MC.
I kicked off my speech confessing I was a Waratahs’ supporter but sometimes when I look at the success rate of Queensland’s rugby and rugby league teams, I wish I had been born in the state where its USP or unique selling proposition is “beautiful one day, perfect the next”.

Winners and losers

In thinking about Queensland and how success is explained, whether it be for sport, building a business or creating a wealth-making portfolio of assets, the words of Les Brown came back to me. They go like this: “There are winners, there are losers and there are people who have not learned how to win”.

In the whole scheme of things, victories can be small or huge and even highly disappointed losers do get some wins along the way. However, the really big holdback factor in so many unhappy people’s lives gets down to losses outweighing wins.

Queensland success

So, what explains Queensland’s success rate and how can it apply to others who want to build a better business or get richer, if not now then later down the track?

In the worlds of rugby league and rugby union, the centre points of success were great leaders. Rugby had Ewen McKenzie, now the Wallabies coach, while rugby league had Wayne Bennett, arguably league’s greatest ever coach, and then Mal Meninga. Even Brisbane seemed unbeatable in AFL in the early 2000s when it was spearheaded by Leigh Matthews and the influence he so clearly had. The Lions ended up in four consecutive grand finals and won three of them with Matthews’ incredibly strict approach said to be the hallmark of his regime.

Knowledge and commitment

So we need strictness to win? It could be called that but it could also be broken down into two really important things.

The first is that you need the knowledge about how to win to be imparted to you and this is the role of an external leader, adviser, coach or mentor. Then once you are shown the way, you have to commit to doing things differently.

I have always loved the advice, “If things are going to change, things will have to change.”

Definition of insanity

It’s been said Einstein once observed that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. And while it’s disputed that the great professor of science actually said this, I reckon he would not be ashamed of it being credited to him.

I think we are all victims of our own self-imposed insanity, which explains why we don’t beat our insurmountable problems. So many people want to beat smoking, weight, wealth, business and even relationship problems but they do nothing real about it.

Personally, I have wanted to drop five kilograms in weight — TV shows often tell you when you had too much linguini lately — and so my wife booked me in with my South African dietician who I lost 10 kilograms with a few years back. She is tough but she gives the formula to lose weight, and so I dropped about eight kilograms in six weeks.

So I stuffed around for two years before I faced the truth — it was temporary insanity!

How do I get rich?

I have said before that I’m flabbergasted people don’t ask me the most obvious question when they meet me, which is, “how do I get rich?”

I recently told this to someone who responded in a defensive kind of way “but what if I don’t want to be rich?” My response was that you don’t have to sell your soul to be better off, if that makes you feel more comfortable than something as gross as the word ‘rich’!

The comedian Sophie Tucker once said, “I have been rich. I have been poor. Rich is better.”

Leadership is key

So, how do you get better off? Or how do you win, money-speaking?

You can do it yourself via self-leadership. You have to recognise that you want it and you have to believe you can do it. Then you search for a plan — either learn from books, the internet or from going to an adviser. Then commit to making it happen.

The steps to wealth success get down to asking yourself what you want? Then ask, am I on track to make it happen?

If the answer is no, you have to create a plan that will make it happen and this could tell you that you will have to earn more income and/or save more, as well as spend less! It will show you that you need to borrow to invest in property or even shares and it will actually show you how your wealth will build over time.

Seek and you will find

There isn’t one plan that will make you better off — there are many — but it starts with you being realistic about whether you have been ‘insane’ for too long? And when you say yes, the next step is to sign up for the changes.
It gets down to this simple piece of advice: seek and you will find.

Peter Switzer is the founder of the Switzer Super Report, a newsletter and website for self-managed super funds -

For more on growing your wealth, read Peter's article here: 'The vital question not asked: how do I get rich?'

Published on: Thursday, November 21, 2013

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