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Conduct A SWOT Self-Analysis

I wrote this post back in December as we were closing out 2020. December is a great time to conduct an end-of-year SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) self-analysis. Truthfully, you can do a SWOT self-analysis at any time of the year, you don’t have to wait until December. Doing them quarterly is a great idea. Right now is a great time to do an end-of-year self-analysis.

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Conduct A SWOT Self-Analysis Frequently

I am going to give you a few ways to conduct a SWOT self-analysis. I conduct a SWOT self-analysis to take an inventory of my life. Looking at different aspects of my life to see where I became better, stayed the same, and where I’m worse off. Some of the areas that I look at are my goals, my plan, my education, and my expenses. In each area, I evaluate my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Your Goals

Since our goals are simply what we want they are easy to analyze. Did I accomplish them or not? Doing a SWOT self-analysis of your goals is crucial to set goals for next year. I break down my goals to make sure they were specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bounded. If I accomplish my goals easily, I know I need to set more challenging ones for next year. If I did not accomplish my goals, I want to find out why. Maybe I overestimated my abilities and set unattainable goals.

Your Plan

The next thing I do when conducting SWOT self-analysis is going over my plan. Accomplishing the goals I set for myself all depends on my plan. If the plan I had didn’t succeed then I need to change my plan. By analyzing my plan I don’t waste time doing things that didn’t achieve the results I expected. Achieving great results means my plan is working so I continue with the plan. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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Education

I always like to go over my education. I look at courses I purchased, books I read, and people I listened to. Writing down what I learned, if anything, from these different educational tools, helps me to see if I’m on the right path. You can analyze what you learned about yourself, your business/career, and your relationship.

For me, education is important and I never want to stop learning. This analysis of my education also helps me to analyze my goals. For example, if I didn’t achieve a goal in my business but I learned some new marketing tactics then I know I’m on the right track. If you are failing, don’t beat yourself up. As long as you are learning and doing you’re on the right track. Everything you’ve done in the past is like sowing seeds that will begin to sprout soon.

Expenses

Finally, I analyze my expenses. I want to see where my money is going. Am I investing my money or spending my money? For my business, some of the things I look at are courses I purchased, marketing expenses, as well as apps and plug-ins. I want to see if they were worth it or not. By conducting this analysis of my expenses I get a good indication of my return on investment. I can then determine what expenses I cut and what I continue for next year.

Decide today where you want to be this time next year. Conduct a self-analysis and put together a winning plan for next year. Commit to working on this plan every day and you will be a different person a year from now

Acquiring Power By The Mastermind Principle

I am continuing to talk about the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Today I will discuss the ninth step, Power of the Mastermind, The Driving Force. Don’t try to accomplish anything great alone. Acquiring power by the Mastermind Principle will help you to attain your goals.

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The power Of The Mastermind Principle

Power is essential for success. It can be defined in many different ways. One definition of power is; power is organized and directed knowledge. Napoleon Hill believed in acquiring power by the Mastermind Principle. This helps you gain the knowledge that you need for success. The sources of knowledge are:

1. Infinite Intelligence;

2. Accumulated Experience; and

3. Experiment and Research.

Infinite Intelligence comes from the universe. It allows you to use your creative imagination to gain knowledge. You can acquire this knowledge through meditation and prayer. Accumulated Experience comes from tapping into the knowledge that others have shared. This knowledge is contained in libraries, the Internet, etc. Experiments and Research are conducted to gain new knowledge. When knowledge is not available through an accumulated experience you can find it through experiment and research.

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Knowledge To Power By Masterminds

Knowledge is converted into power by organizing it into definite plans. You express those plans through action. Develop a burning desire for your definitive purpose. Create a plan to obtain it. Put your plans into motion through everyday action. Your knowledge becomes powerful. After that, more knowledge becomes available to you.

Hill describes the Mastermind as a “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.” The Mastermind Principle has two characteristics:

1. Economic;

2. Psychic or Spiritual.

The Mastermind

The economic characteristic is simple and straightforward. It is economically advantageous to surround yourself with the advice and knowledge of other people. If you want to create wealth, get advice from a wealthy person.

The psychic or spiritual characteristic is more difficult to comprehend. When two minds come together a third force is created. This becomes like a third mind. A human mind is a form of energy. When two minds come together it forms an affinity or a marriage.

Energy

Energy is the building block of everything created. Nature can translate energy into matter. Matter is the physical substance that occupies space and possesses mass. This is distinct from mind and spirit.

As humans, we build through our thought process. By creating a Mastermind group our brains tap into more knowledge. Therefore, becoming more powerful. Think of your brain as a battery. A group of batteries is more powerful than one. Therefore, a group of brains creates more power than a single brain alone.

Henry Ford

A great example of acquiring power by the Mastermind Principle is Henry Ford. When Ford went into business, he was poor, illiterate, and ignorant. Despite this, within 10 years he had overcome all these shortcomings. 25 years after he started he became one of the richest men in America.

He became friends with Thomas Edison. After that, his business grew by leaps and bounds. His most outstanding accomplishments didn’t occur until after he met Henry Firestone, John Burroughs, and Luther Burbank. Henry Ford is a prime illustration of acquiring power by the Mastermind Principle.

Instructions

Throughout history, men and women have utilized the Mastermind Principle to increase the power of their minds and accomplish great things. If you don’t find yourself progressing in obtaining your goals look for someone to join you. Set a goal, develop a plan, and put action into your plan. Maintain harmony within your group and watch your progress grow.

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I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to like, follow, and comment. I would like to know if anyone has utilized the Mastermind Principle. What were your results? Also, subscribe to my email list and podcast. I appreciate your support.

Cites

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“Power Of The Mastermind, The Driving Force” Think and Grow Rich: The Complete Classic Text, by Napoleon Hill, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008, pp. 243-253.

The Importance Of Retirement Planning

I have been retired for seven years now and I enjoy every minute of it. I retired when I was 53 years old but could have (and should have) retired at the age of 50. There has been a lot to learn in my retirement. I can describe my retirement in one word, options. There are unlimited options for me now that I didn’t have when I worked for the government. I can be or do anything I want now. Today I want to discuss the importance of retirement planning.

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Planning For Retirement

When I was working, I attended a pre-retirement seminar a couple of years before I retired. We were allowed to request attendance five years before our minimum retirement date. At the end of the seminar, I wrote on my evaluation that it was great information. The only problem was we needed the information sooner. It was too late for a lot of people to do what was needed for a comfortable retirement. Here are five things to do for a comfortable retirement.

  1. Begin Planning Early.
  2. Develop Specialized Knowledge and Skills.
  3. Find a Good Financial Planner.
  4. Begin Saving Early.
  5. Pay off Your Mortgage.

Begin Planning For Retirement Early

When I started my career I was 23 years old. Two things that I never thought were going to happen back then were: I would retire; I would get old. When you’re young you never think about getting old but it is inevitable. It happens to all of us. Importance of retirement planning is crucial. Starting your career is when you should start planning for your retirement. Begin thinking about what you want to do and how you want to live when that day finally comes.

Beginning your plan early will allow you to adjust to everything life throws your way. Sometimes life throws you the good things, marriage, children, etc. Other times the bad things death, injury, sickness, etc. Good things and bad will affect your retirement. By planning for the future early in your career you can minimize the impact.

Specialized Skills And Knowledge In Retirement

During my 30 year career, I developed certain skills and knowledge. After I retired I learned that most of my skills and knowledge didn’t transfer to my new life. If you have generalized skills and knowledge, you will learn that everyone is retired with the same skills. There’s a lot of competition. Finding your niche will help you stand out against the competition. I suggest that you research throughout your career skills that are needed in the private sector. Take courses and study those skills to gain the knowledge that you need.

A Financial Planner Is Important

Find a good financial planner. Unless you are an expert on finances you will need a financial planner. They can help you make the right decisions with your money. This will allow you to keep as much money as you can before retirement. It is a big change to go from knowing a check is coming every two weeks to a smaller check once a month. You will need to supplement your retirement with other sources of income if you want to maintain your current lifestyle.

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Save Early And Often

Begin saving as early as you can. The earlier you begin the more money you will have in retirement. I always put money into my Thrift Savings Account, which is the government 401(k). If I had to do it over again I would maximize my contributions. In retirement, you can use your savings to supplement your retirement. I withdraw a certain amount every month. Because the stock market has done so well, my savings have increased.

Saving early is probably the most important thing you can do. I recommend setting a goal for the amount of money you want to save before retirement. For me, the best thing was having it withdrawn from my paycheck and placed into my account. Out of sight, out of mind. Since I never saw the money it was like it never existed. My savings account would grow every two weeks without me doing anything.

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Eliminate That Big Debt

Pay off your mortgage. My mortgage is my biggest expense as it is for most people. Since I transferred a lot during my career I was not able to pay off my last mortgage. I bought houses and sold houses; made and lost money. If I had stayed in one location, in the same house, I wouldn’t have to worry about a mortgage now. I think about what I could do in the places I could go if I didn’t have a mortgage. If at all possible, pay off your mortgage before you retire.

These are just five things I wish I had known before retirement. One can’t overstate the importance of retirement planning. I am not an expert on retirement or financial planning. I hope that you will begin thinking about retirement now that you are young and not wait until it’s too late. Do your research, make a plan, and find a financial planner to help you. Always remember to start saving early.

Credits

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10 Quotes About Planning For The Future

I am continuing to talk about the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Today I will discuss the sixth step, organize planning. It is through organizing planning that you turn your desire into action. By setting up solid plans for your future you will be able to turn your dreams into reality. I have also included 10 quotes about planning for the future to help you understand the importance of a good plan.

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“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

10 Quotes About Planning For The Future

Now that you have your desire or definite purpose you want to tap into your imagination to help create your plan for the future. I discussed in last week’s post how your imagination can be thought of as your workshop where your plans are created and organized. I have also talked about in previous posts the six steps for turning your thoughts into reality. The formation of a practical plan is one of the steps.

  • Find a group of like-minded individuals to help you create your plan.
  • Decide what form of compensation that you will trade for their help.
  • Meet with the group at least twice a week.
  • Maintain perfect harmony between yourself and every member of your group.

You Will Need Help Planning

This group is what is known as a “Master Mind” group. It can consist of as many people as you may need. One person might suffice or you might need many more to tap into their “specialized knowledge.” Let’s face it, it is extremely difficult to accomplish anything alone. We simply don’t have all the knowledge necessary to create our plans for the future.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
~ Pablo Picasso

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”
~ Tom Landry

Everything begins in the mind as a thought. It is going to take a solid, practical plan to transform that thought into an actual physical item, such as money. Once you have your plan, go to work. Do something every day and continue to take advice from your “Master Mind” group.

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”
~ Thomas Edison

“You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now.”
~ Harry S. Truman

You Never Plan To Fail, But It Happens

Your first plan might not be your best plan and you find it doesn’t work. No worries most first plans fail. Henry Ford built two automobile businesses that failed before he started the Ford Motor Company. Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. If you fail, go back and redo your plan and try again. Keep reworking your plan until you find one that works.

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
  ~ George S. Patton

“Unless you have a definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within you.”
~ Zig Ziglar

Working on your plan will help prevent procrastination, self-doubt, and anxiety. As you continue to work on your plan you will build belief in yourself and your plan for the future. As your belief turns to faith then nothing can stop you.

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
~ Winston Churchill

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
~ Alan Lakein

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Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed these 10 quotes about planning for the future. Are you looking to improve yourself and make a better future? If so, I encourage you to check out my courses and subscribe to my email group. They send out a monthly newsletter with quotes and tips on self-improvement.

I appreciate all my followers and grateful that you read my blog and listen to my podcast. Don’t forget to like and leave a comment. I enjoy reading your thoughts on my different topics. My next podcast will be coming out Wednesday.

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“Organized Planning” Think and Grow Rich: The Complete Classic Text, by Napoleon Hill, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008, pp. 134-198.