This is like a 'STOP' flag to some people! You can almost see the RELIEF in their faces when I 'confess' this sin. They immediately seize upon this and say something like: "Oh, you've got a degree. Well, of course it's easy when you have a degree. I mean you can have your pick of jobs when you've got a degree can't you? The pay is so much better; no wonder you achieved all those things! Of course it's different for me. People didn't go to university so easily when I was young, anyway I had to leave school at fifteen. If only I had gone to university, things would have been so much better!"
As they walk away I can hear them muttering, "A degree, well of course a degree makes all the difference..."
As I explained in the last chapter; their reaction is a direct result of poor Positive Self Image or lack of I-Can. It has NOTHING to do with the reality of the situation.
I believe that the negative effects of sharing my personal story with you are outweighed by the positive effect of convincing you that I am just a normal person with a true and exciting story to tell. By telling you about myself, I want you to think something like: "This guy's nothing special! I could do what he's done, and more!"
You will have said that I believed in myself, worked very hard to get my exams, (believe me I didn't find it easy), struggled through university, (I was nearly kicked out), then worked my way up through a career until I was in a job which could support a car like that. What's easy about that? Where's the "free hand-up" which I received and you didn't?
Nevertheless, I was intrigued to see if goal setting could work if you had absolutely nothing - in the Western World sense.
For example, most of the money-making ideas which you might like to try, require SOME capital. Even running a small business from home will mean that you have to fork-out some money to start with. This is the most common complaint (excuse) which people give for inaction: "I haven't got a penny to start my own business!"
When someone from the Western World complains about not having a penny, this usually means that they own a colour television, possibly a video, certainly a HI-FI or record player, a radio and many other luxuries. They also spend quite a lot of money each month on cigarettes, drink, chocolate or other luxury food items.
But I won't go into that!
In Western World terms, I will define a 'penniless' person as follows:
Someone who has a place to live, can afford the basic necessities of life like food, clothing, and heating (although they have to carefully watch the budget). They own a few luxury items like a television, radio, record player, watch, some jewellery; but none of it is 'worth much' and they cannot afford to go and buy new things very often, if at all.
Their income exactly equals their outgoings. There is nothing left over to save; in fact they are often in debt to quite a large extent through finance, credit cards and bank overdraft.
The possibility of raising, say, £1000 to start a speculative business venture seems like zero.
Does this sound a bit like you? I fitted the above description exactly, before I started to use the Midas Method.
A while ago, I used to suggest to people in this situation that they could find £1000 if they really wanted to, for example, they could sell a few things, cut back on drinking and smoking and perhaps take an extra part-time job for a few months, but I was met with such a hail of excuses and disbelief every time, that I decided to do something about it.
To prove the power of my technique, and purely as an exercise for this book, I wrote the following goal:
"Starting with nothing, I will make £1000, net of expenses, in eleven weeks. This I will achieve without working for more than 11 hours."
The wording of this goal may seem a little strange, so I will explain. Remember I was starting from NOTHING, so I allowed one week to get my first pound, another week to double it into two pounds, another week to double that into four pounds, and so on, until I had exceeded £1000. (If you do this, you actually end up with £1024.) This takes eleven weeks.
Obviously I could have made £1000 by working in a pub part-time for a year, so I set the time limit of eleven weeks. Also, if I had given up work, I could have earned £1000 in eleven weeks just by working a forty hour week for £2.27 per hour; so I set a limit of a maximum of eleven hours work. One hour a week for eleven weeks.
When I set this goal, I had no idea at all about how I was going to achieve it, to be honest, I found this goal more difficult to achieve than a lot of much larger goals I had set myself. For example, it is much easier to turn £5000 into £10,000 (thereby making £5,000), than it is to start with nothing and make £1000.
I achieved this goal. If I can do this, so can you. I made my £1000, starting from nothing, in eleven weeks. I didn't work for more than ONE hour in total (as it turned out); that's £1,000 per hour! Not bad going!
Purely for your interest, I will tell you how I achieved this goal although there is a danger that you will dismiss it as 'chance' or 'good luck'. If you set yourself this goal, obviously you would achieve it in a different way.
The first part of the story is so strange that I admit that I was tempted to change it for something which you would have believed more easily, however, working on the basis that truth is often stranger than fiction, I have decided to tell you exactly what happened to me.
The first problem was getting one pound. Obviously I had tens of pounds in loose change lying around, but the point was to start from nothing. I honestly didn't know how to get this first pound but I had a 'fall-back' position in that I was going to ask a friend to give me a pound, no questions asked. As it happens, I didn't need to do this.
On the evening of the very first day, I was at a disco celebrating New Year's Eve - right in the middle of the dance floor I found a one pound coin. The amazing thing was that the dance floor was absolutely covered with small round cardboard inserts from 'party-poppers' which had been fired off at midnight. These inserts were exactly the same size and shape as a one pound coin so I was lucky to find a pound coin in the first place, but remarkably lucky to spot it amongst the debris.
Needless to say, I wasn't looking for pound coins, I was busy seeing the New Year in. I'm not superstitious, but that really did seem like an amazing sign that things would go well in the coming year.
I was now the proud owner of one pound! I needed to double this into two pounds; again I thought of asking a friend to give me a pound, but again I didn't need to. About two days later, I was walking through town thinking about how I could turn one pound into two pounds when suddenly, there on the pavement before me was another one pound coin! I picked it up in absolute amazement and carried on to the Baker's shop. As I walked into that shop, there, on the floor, was yet another one pound coin!
Not five minutes after finding the second coin, I had found a third - this was getting spooky! I honestly can't remember the last time I found any money before these incidents, so it was not as if I was in the habit of stumbling over money just waiting to be picked up! As I say, this is so odd that I was tempted to invent the start of this story by saying that I borrowed five pounds to get going, but I wanted to share this amazing experience with you.
You may be relieved to hear that I didn't just walk around town and pick one thousand pounds up in loose change from the pavements! That was the end of finding one pound coins - I haven't found one since, but the story has an interesting sequel.
Over the next few weeks I kept finding money. Often only one or two pence at a time, but sometimes twenty pence. I must have found over FIFTY coins over a three week period (only totaling one or two pounds), I still have them in a bag at home. It got to be so that I couldn't walk anywhere without finding money - it became a standing joke amongst people who were with me. After I achieved the one thousand pound goal, this phenomena suddenly ceased and I haven't spotted so much as a one pence piece since.
Strange isn't it?
So I now had three pounds. As it happened, the following day was my birthday. One of the cards was from my sister, and in it she had included a five pound note as a 'joke' present, we had long ago abandoned sending presents on birthdays so this was really strange. I wondered if including this gift would be cheating, but decided that it had the same strange quality as finding the money, so I decided to add it to the pot - I now had eight pounds for a total 'work' time of about twenty seconds!
Nothing happened for about a week, and I was really struggling to work out how to convert eight pounds into sixteen pounds when out of the blue a friend called and asked if I could get some electronic parts for him since he knew that I had contacts. The interesting thing was that he could easily have got those parts for himself, I don't know why he bothered me about it. I asked him how much he wanted to pay and he said two hundred pounds, maximum (this was for fifty parts). I made one phone call and found the parts for eighty pounds!
Now I must confess that I cheated very slightly here. Since I only had eight pounds legitimately, I couldn't buy those parts for eighty and then sell them to him for two hundred, so I used some of my own money to buy the parts. I COULD have asked him to send me a cheque for two hundred pounds and THEN I would send the parts, but I knew he was desperate and I didn't want to keep him waiting for them. I allowed this transaction because although I cheated and used some of my own money, I didn't have to and I could have made the same deal by getting money 'up front'.
I now had one hundred and twenty eight pounds in the third week.
To my horror, three complete weeks went by without me being able to do a thing to increase the money, there just didn't seem to be any opportunities. I couldn't think of any way of doubling this money because it was such a small amount. If it had been five hundred pounds, I would have looked for a used car bargain, polished it up and sold it for six hundred and fifty; something like that - but there's not much you can do with one hundred and twenty eight pounds. It began to look as though I was going to fail in this goal but I kept reciting that goal daily, and I truly believed that I would achieve it.
In desperation, in the sixth week I invested that money in some OTC 'Penny Shares', these are shares not traded on the stock market which can show spectacular rises (and falls) in a short period. Over the next week the shares lost twenty percent in value - I was getting gloomy, I only had five weeks left to make over eight hundred pounds! Then I got lucky again and after a further two weeks the shares climbed in value until they were worth two hundred pounds (after deductions). I decided to pull out with the two hundred - time was getting short.
I ought to point out that I know little about shares or the stock market and I am certainly not an expert. I was now in real difficulty since I had two weeks to make eight hundred pounds - a seemingly impossible task.
A further week went by, and again it looked like I might have to abandon the goal until another amazing event happened.
Totally unrelated to this, I had been wanting to buy a larger telescope (as I am interested in astronomy). Whilst thumbing through "Exchange and Mart" I saw an advert for a twelve inch reflecting telescope, mounted, with drives for five hundred pounds. This was an absolute bargain and I telephoned the (local) number immediately. The owner had, unfortunately, developed cancer and was unable to engage in his hobby, he just wanted all the equipment cleared out as he was moving to a smaller house.
He told me that one person had already called who was on his way to look at it. I ascertained that he would sell to the first person who arrived, and so I immediately jumped in the car and drove round there.
The telescope was housed in a large observatory with a motorised roof and the instrument was everything I wanted. It was also being sold at a give-away price. I immediately wrote a cheque for five hundred pounds and told him that I would collect it sometime over the coming months. He said that I would need to bring a large lorry; this I couldn't understand, as the instrument would have fitted into a modest van. He then stunned me by asking how else I was going to move the observatory!
Apparently the observatory was INCLUDED in the price! I couldn't believe my ears! There had been no mention of this in the advertisement and the observatory was worth at least a thousand pounds (as indeed was the telescope).
To cut a long story short, I sold that observatory for eight hundred and fifty pounds the very next week. This, together with the two hundred pounds made one thousand and fifty pounds; I had achieved my goal - just!
You may think this was a bit of a cheat, but again I COULD have achieved that same result with just the two hundred. I would have used the two hundred pounds as a deposit, then sold the observatory for eight hundred and fifty, used three hundred to pay off the owner, then sold the telescope for at least a thousand pounds thereby making much more than one thousand pounds! It just wasn't convenient to do this, and anyway, I wanted the telescope, the point is that I could easily have done taken this route.
The point is that I achieved the goal I set out to achieve. I wish it had been a little 'cleaner' and more obvious (like buying and selling a few times to build up the money) but it didn't work out that way for me, perhaps it will for you. Working for less than ONE hour and with total expenses of a few local phone calls and a couple of gallons of petrol, I made over one thousand pounds in under eleven weeks. Do you think I was lucky? Perhaps I was, but I guarantee that I could do the same thing again and again and again if I decided to.
I didn't need that £1000. I could have drawn twenty times this amount out of my bank in cash. That is exactly why I set this goal, to disprove doubters who could point to my large bank balance and say: "It's easy for you to talk, look how much money you've got!"
Had I been 'penniless' (as defined earlier), then within eleven weeks I would have had £1000 in cash with which to start a new business - all by working for less than one hour a week!
Note how precisely I worded the goal. This is what I mean by knowing exactly what you want. It would have been useless for me to set a goal like this: "I will get enough money to start my own business."
How much money? £1000? £10,000? When would I get this money? In three weeks time or twenty years? How hard would I have to work for this money?