Truth Bomb Tuesday: The secret to success is so simple, it’s almost boring.
It’s one of my favourite sayings:
How do you eat an elephant?
One mouthful at a time.
I love it because I think it captures two of the biggest barriers people have to overcome on their journey towards financial freedom.
I think a lot of people never make it out of the starting blocks because it just looks too overwhelming.
They look at the elephant on their dinner plate and they think, there’s just no way I’m ever going to be able to eat that.
Defeated before they even begin, they quit. They never even make a start.
That’s one type of person.
Another type of person looks at the elephant and thinks, ‘right, that’s a heroic amount of food. I’m going to need to bring a heroic appetite.
They think they need to “eat big.”
And so they put a huge amount on their plate at every meal. (They call it stretch goals).
They also cram as much as they can into every mouthful. They also look for ways to cut corners – maybe chewing less than they probably should.
For a little while, they make some impressive gains.
But eating an elephant is a marathon, not a sprint, and sooner or later they burn out. They push themselves for as long and as hard as they can, but they can’t sustain it. They get RSI in the jaw and indigestion.
The elephant wins.
The third type of person, thinks, well this is just what it is. I just need to quietly put my head down and eat what I can eat, but no more than I can eat.
I just need to do what I can and trust that, in time, I’ll get there in the end.
This is the kind of student I love to work with.
You tell them that they need to get on top of their debts, and so they spend a few months working with their mentor, slowly chipping away at their debts, paying them down bit by bit.
And you tell them that they need to sort out that negatively geared investment property.
And so they put their head down and research a few strategies, and then just start putting one day a weekend for a few months into a cosmetic reno or something to increase the rent.
And then you tell them that they need a few chunk deals to get going, and so they put their head down, decide on a strategy that works for them, and bang out three or four over the next 18 months or so.
Before you know it, and generally much quicker than people realise, the elephant is eaten. They have cleared their debts and built up equity and cashflow.
And thanks to the compounding nature of money, time and energy, all this happens very slowly, then all at once.
And quicker than you think.
Suddenly they look up and they’re where they always wanted to be, and often years ahead of schedule.
It’s not heroic. It’s not glamorous. But bit by bit they get it done.
Never underestimate the simple power of steady and sustained application.
It can move mountains.